It’s been a whopping 10 years since the Under Armour All-American and Underclass games were started and since then the Garden State has struggled to take home the title of champions, falling short to Philadelphia in 2015. But this year it was neither the usual Philadelphia nor Baltimore teams we’ve seen in the past four or five championship games. Instead for the first time in tournament history New Jersey takes the championship over a very talented Washington D.C. team.
It’s a bit ironic that these two teams met for the championship considering I have watched them play against each other, only for different teams. At Big 4 HHH I watched Leading Edge Elite 2018 take on MADlax 2018, which included a lot of players from the UA Underclass championship. So needless to say there was a little bit of rivalry in this game which made it THAT much more interesting.
It was a tale of two goalies when it came down to the end as Owen McElroy (Georgetown) and Toby Burgdorf (Providence) stood tall and combined for a tournament 32 saves. McElroy lead the tournament with 21 saves and attackman Connor Morin (Notre Dame) was named MVP after his 2 goal, 2 assist performance in the championship game. Another major contributor for this team was midfielder Brian Tevlin (Yale) who tallied 7 goals and 2 assists throughout the tournament while also snatching key ground balls on the faceoff wing as well as being a defensive force.
MVP Connor Morin added that this New Jersey team has been a long time coming, as chemistry was not hard to come by.
“A lot of these guys have been playing together since middle school and before that. I’ve known every single kid on this team before we formed it. I think it took us a little time to gel, but once we started playing together, we were just better than any other club team around. We played like real teammates. The ball was moving and we just clicked.”
For all of the talent that New Jersey sends into NCAA lacrosse across all divisions, it’s hard to believe that this is their first underclass championship, but for now we Garden Staters will enjoy it.
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