Poway midfielder Marquez White was the only Californian invited to compete in the 2020 edition of the Under Armour All-America Senior Lacrosse Game.
This is the second year in a row that California has been limited to one selection in the event, long considered the premier showcase for incoming freshmen in Division 1 college lacrosse.
Last year’s selection J.J., Sillstrop, an attackman out of La Costa Canyon, is currently with Denver.
By contrast, in 2018 California had a record number four players recognized by Under Armour: Drew Erickson (San Ramon Valley, Denver), Quentin Buchman (Santa Margarita Catholic, Notre Dame), Isaiah Dawson (Bishop’s School, Harvard), and Evan Egan (Torrey Pines, North Carolina).
Californians have appeared in the annual game, typically held in July in Baltimore, since its inception in 2006.
Altogether 22 players from the state have been honored in the event’s history, including some of California’s all-time best lacrosse players such as Dartmouth’s Casey Hingten, Notre Dame and Maryland’s Will Yeatman, Cornell’s Roy Lang, and Brown’s Philip Goss.
Last week’s release of the game’s opposing North and South rosters came with the announcement that the event, which had originally been slated for July and re-rescheduled for August, would not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some facts about Marquez White, who will be beginning at Princeton in the fall:
- White ended the 2109 season with 69 goals and 12 assists.
- He was also a 2020 Adrenaline All-American.
- In 2018, he first attracted East Coast attention as a Co-MVP at the FLG in 3D event held in Maryland.
- White had originally committed to Syracuse in his freshman year but was one of five Orange commits to change their minds within the course of two months in 2018.
- He will cross paths in the Ivy League with his longtime friend and Poway midfield running mate Eli Butler, who plays for Brown.
- He’ll also face again Isaiah Dawson, another UA selection and midfield star at San Diego-area rival The Bishop’s School, now playing at Harvard
Welcome to The Ivy League
As noted earlier, White is headed to Princeton in the fall.
He’s actually one of three UA All-Americans who will be joining the Tigers, the others being Culver Military Academy goalie Michael Gianforcaro, and Sean Cameron, a middie out of Bishop Guertin in New Hampshire.
Their arrival comes at a time when Princeton, and the Ivy League in general, is in drastic need of an injection of talent.
Before the 2020 season was abandoned, the Ivy League had three teams among the nation’s D1 top-5 , with Princeton coming in at #3 at 5-0 (including a win against defending national champion Virginia).
With the Ivy League’s refusal to grant a one-time exemption for athletes seeking a fourth season, the Ancient Eight has since suffered a predictable talent drain.
In short order, Penn’s Kyle Thornton and Kyle Gallagher transferred to Notre Dame; and Yale’s Jackson Morrill and Lucas Cotler decamped to Denver.
And in the hardest blow, Princeton’s Michael Sowers, generally recognized as the nation’s best player and the clear Tewaaraton Award front runner, headed to Duke.
The Under Armour Lacrosse Game and California Lacrosse
Californians made their mark on the Under Armour game fairly early on.
In that inaugural 2006 game, Will Yeatman scored a goal in 17-14 losing effort for the South.
Two years later, the South would lose again—this time 13-12.
But the two St. Ignatius grads representing California that night, Alex Capretta (Princeton) and Roy Lang (Cornell), put in three of those goals between them.
More importantly, the UA game has served as an unofficial starting point for players whose success at the D1 level has done a lot to elevate the reputation of California lacrosse:
- Will Yeatman: At 6’6, 260 pounds, Yeatman looked like a prototypical NFL lineman—which is something he ultimately became. At his size, he looked especially out of place at attack. But in a star-crossed career that saw him move from D1 football to D1 lacrosse and from Notre Dame to Maryland, Yeatman showed unmistakable talent and finesse. He arguably never fulfilled expectations on the lacrosse field, but at times he came maddeningly close to showing just how good he could be. One of those times coming when he scored 3 goals in less than 6 minutes against Georgetown as a senior in 2010.
- Casey Hingten: The La Costa Canyon grad excelled at defense at Dartmouth at a time when the Ivy League was long in talented attackmen, including Cornell’s Rob Panell and Jack McBride of Princeton. Hingten, who was second-team All-Ivy in both his sophomore and junior years, received first-team honors in his senior season in 2010. That season he was also recognized as an Honorable Mention USILA All-American.
- Roy Lang: A two-time All-Ivy selection at midfield for Cornell, the St. Ignatius grad received All-American honors twice, first-team in 2011 and third-team in 2012.
- Phil Goss: Goss didn’t make it on to the field at the 2016 event—-but only because, though invited, he was then representing the U.S. in the U-19 Men’s World Championships then being held in British Columbia. Timing wasn’t on Goss’s side this spring as well, when COVID-19 deprived the goalie of his senior season (Goss played at Brown and was therefore subject to the Ivy League’s unyielding ban on graduate student play). Still, Goss was impressive during the relatively short period he had in goal. He was a two-time Honorable Mention All-American with the Bears, First Team All-Ivy in 2018, and a Second Team selection in 2019. Goss was a graduate of Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, but he was undeniably a product of the Bay Area lacrosse scene, receiving coaching from, among others, former Duke player Matt Ogelsby.
David Parry is the founder and editor of LaxAcrossAmerica. A New York-based digital marketer and copywriter, he played Division 1 lacrosse as a walk-on at Brown.