Exeter (Reading, Pa.) junior Morgan Stump is like most lacrosse players. She isn’t a five-star recruit, doesn’t come from a recruiting hotbed and has not had many opportunities to get noticed by college coaches.
But at the Philly Lacrosse Showcase, she’ll get her chance to make her mark on the recruiting radar in front of dozens of coaches looking for the next hidden gem, and just having that opportunity is enough for her.
“We don’t get many college coaches to come watch our games where I am,” Stump said. “So these showcases are really important to show you’re ability to them.”
Stump is one of nearly 200 girls from 11 states scheduled to play in the second annual Philly Girls Lacrosse Showcase at Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.) on Nov. 5. In two years the event has established itself as one of the premier fall showcases in the nation -- attracting some of the top college coaches and a mix of high-profile recruits and under-the-radar players hoping to get seen -- and this year should be the best ever.
Last year the boys and girls showcase was on the same weekend at the same venue. This year the girls’ event was moved up three weeks so it doesn’t interfere with the fall club tournaments and every player in the showcase will receive personal video clips from their games that they can use in a highlight film.
“It’s a very unique event,” said director Jenny Duckenfield, the coach at Mt. St. Joseph’s Academy (Flourtown, Pa.). “The trend for girls has been you get recruited through your club team. We want to bring it back to the individual and give them more power to get noticed.”
Stump is part of that category playing at Exeter, a program that’s only four years old. She recorded 43 goals and 16 assists as a sophomore, was team MVP and led the Eagles to a league title. But coming from an area where lacrosse is still in its infancy stage has hindered her from getting noticed, something she hopes to change at the showcase.
“I’m excited for the college coaches to see me play,” Stump said. “They don’t get to come out here too much because lacrosse is new in this county. Hopefully I can play my game and show them what I can do.”
All the participants will have a chance to impress the more than 30 college coaches scheduled to attend during the three-game morning session. After lunch, the Top 40 players from the two age groups (seniors/juniors and sophomore/freshman) will be selected to play in an All-Star game.
“The idea is to get to the All-Star game because every coach will be watching that,” Duckenfield said. “But you’re going to be noticed whether you are an All-Star or not.”
Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, N.C.) sophomore Susana Russell is itching for the opportunity. Like Stump, she plays in an area where it’s hard to get noticed by college coaches because the level of play hasn’t reached elite status yet. But Russell is hoping to increase her notoriety with a good performance at the Philly Showcase.
“Lacrosse is very new down here and it hasn’t really spread so it’s hard to get seen,” Russell said. “I’ve been working really hard for the event and I’m really looking forward to the experience.”
An experience that doesn’t come around very often for some players.
ESPNHS will be at the Philly Lacrosse Showcase. Follow lacrosse editor Mike Loveday on Twitter @ESPNMike for live coverage and look for complete coverage after the event.