Listed at 5-feet, 3-inches tall, former Bryn Mawr goalkeeper Julia Suriano was one of the smallest players at Saturday’s 2023 All-America Lacrosse Senior Game at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field, but she provided one of the biggest performances seen during the 17-years of the prestigious event.
Facing a North squad loaded with players from New York, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey and New Hampshire who are headed this fall to such lacrosse powerhouses as Virginia, North Carolina and Duke, the Maryland-bound Suriano, the starting goalkeeper for the South squad, seemed to use every part of her slight frame as well as her stick to deflect away six shots in one half of play to join the ranks of former senior game participants, such as St. Mary’s graduate Megan Ward, who recorded the same amount of saves in 2012 before heading to North Carolina, where she won a pair of national titles in 2013 and 2016.
Suriano and Ward are among a handful of goalkeepers to finish in the top eight in saves at the All-America game with current Clemson goalie Emily Lamparter setting the all-time game record with 15 in 2021.
“I was just so excited,” said Suriano, whose South squad scored a 14-10 victory. “This is the best competition in the entire country, and to just be able to play against and with all of these people, it’s just an incredible experience. I was ready; I wasn’t nervous. I was just so happy and excited to be here.”
Suriano, who split the game with Columbine (Colorado) goalkeeper Betty Nelson, limited the North squad to just a pair of goals in the second quarter to help the South turn a 3-2 deficit into a 7-5 halftime lead it would not relinquish in the second half.
“I was just out there having fun,” Suriano said. “I wasn’t worried about how many saves I had. I was just out there to play with these girls. Some of them are coming to Maryland with me. Some of them I’ll be playing against. I was just enjoying every moment… I just knew that the shots coming in were going to be something else, and I was right: the shots were awesome, but I had a great defense to help me out. It was an awesome experience.”
The Baltimore native was also supported by a high-flying offense that was led by Most Valuable Player Alexa Vogelman of Pennsylvania, who led all scorers with four goals, and supported by Glenelg Country School’s Regan Byrne and Marriott Ridge’s Maisy Clevenger.
Byrne posted two goals and an assist to help the South squad to victory for only the sixth time in the game’s lengthy history, something that was not lost on the Clemson-bound attacker.
“Yesterday at the banquet, when they said that the South was the underdog… that really pumped us up, and we knew we needed to get a win, so we were really excited (to take home the victory),” said Bryne, whose assisted on Glenelg’s Isa Torres’s lone goal with 20.7 seconds left in the first quarter, cutting the North lead to 3-2. “Since a lot of us are from Maryland . . . we just came in really excited because we knew this was probably the last time we would be playing with each other.”
Clevenger, who is joining Suriano at Maryland, chipped in a trio of assists to go along with a goal in the third quarter that staked the South to a commanding 10-5 advantage as she beat her defender on a one-on-one move around the goal. She followed that score with back-to-back assists on goals by Broadneck’s Lexi Dupcak (Maryland) and Vogelman to stop a mini-run by the North and re-establish her team’s five-goal lead at 12-7 with 6:24 left in the third quarter.
“It’s really what I dreamed of,” Clevenger said. “The atmosphere was insane. My teammates were probably the best people I have met in my entire life. I’m so grateful that I not only got to play with them, but I get to play against them in upcoming years. I’m just grateful. This is literally everything I’ve ever dreamed about since I was a little girl.
“I definitely wanted to go out and play my best, and I think I did what I needed to do on the field. It was just everything that I thought it would be.”
St. Paul’s Lauren Steer (Georgetown) added a goal for the South, tossing in a shot right before the buzzer sounding the end of the first half. Steer’s high school teammate, Natalie Shurtleff (Clemson) also posted a score in the second quarter as the South outscored the North, 5-2, for the two-goal halftime advantage.
In the boys game, McDonogh’s McCabe Millon scored a pair of goals for the South squad, which included three Baltimore area players, but it was not nearly enough to overcome a high-flying North team, which won the nationally televised contest, 22-16.
The North led 7-4 at the end of one quarter and 12-7 at the half. The lead grew to seven goals after three quarters.
Owen Duffy (St. Anthony’s-NY/North Carolina) and Thomas Gravino (Victor-NY/Maryland) led the North with three goals each. Duffy also had a pair of assists. The South’s Kyle Lehman (Kyle Lehman-PA/Penn State) led all scorers with four goals.
Millon, who was joined on the South roster by McDonogh teammate Mac Christmas and recent BL grad Kyle Foster, also added an assist in the contest. Millon is headed to Virginia, while Christmas is on his way to Duke and Foster will play at Ohio State. Both Christmas and Foster are defenders.
Millon was reflective as he soaked up the final moments of his high school career.
“It’s definitely very bittersweet,” he said on the Homewood Field turf after the All-America game. “I had such an unbelievable experience at McDonogh and met so many unbelievable guys and I had such a great experience there. It’s definitely weird to be moving on and going into a different environment, but I couldn’t be more excited going down to Charlottesville with so many unbelievable players and coaches.”
2023 GIRLS SENIOR ALL-AMERICAN LACROSSE GAME
(JULY 29, 2023 AT JOHNS HOPKINS’ HOMEWOOD FIELD)
SOUTH 14, NORTH 10
N 3 2 3 2 -- 10
S 2 5 5 2 -- 14
GOALS: North-Chloe Humphrey 3; Kate Timarky 2; Delaney Radin 2; Eva Ingrilli 2; Lindsey Devir 1; South-Alexa Vogelman 4; Alexis Ventresca 2; Regan Byrne 2; Maisy Clevenger 1; Isa Torres 1; Gabrielle Koury 1; Lauren Steer 1; Natalie Shurtleff 1; Lexi Dupcak 1.
ASSISTS: North-Lacey Downey 1; Chloe Humphrey 1; Avery Ruhnke 1; South-Maisy Clevenger 3; Regan Byrne 1; Taylor Lapointe 1; Alexis Ventresca.
SAVES: North-Shaw Lembo 4, Felicia Giglio 4; South-Julia Suriano 6; Betty Nelson 7.
SHOTS: North, 40-30.
DRAW CONTROLS: North, 26-24.
GROUND BALLS: North, 17-10.
2023 BOYS SENIOR ALL-AMERICA LACROSSE GAME
(JULY 29, 2023 AT JOHNS HOPKINS’ HOMEWOOD FIELD)
NORTH 22, SOUTH 16
N 7 5 7 3 -- 22
S 4 3 5 4 -- 16
GOALS: North-Owen Duffy 3; Thomas Gravino 3; Brock Behrman 2; Jackson Greene 2; Jake Melchionni 2; Trey Deere 2; Tomas Delgado 2; Peter Moynihan 2; Elijah Stobaugh 1; Benn Johnston 1; Cal Girard 1; Gabriel Sorichetti 1; SOUTH-Kyle Lehman 4; McCabe Millon 2; Hunter Chauvette 2; Colin Burns 1; Colin Kurdyla 1; Nate Kabiri 1; Hill Plunkett 1; Brady Wambach 1; Larry Horning 1; Ben Beacham 1; Jackie Weller 1.
ASSISTS: North-Owen Duffy 2; Brock Behrman 1; Trey Deere 1; Tomas Delgado 1; Jackson Greene 1; Jake Melchionni 1; Jake Spallina 1; Elijah Stobaugh 1; SOUTH-Colin Burns 2; Hunter Chauvette 1; Colin Kurdyla 1; McCabe Millon 1.
SAVES: North-Matt Tully 9; Patrick Jameison 4; South-Anderson Moore 8; Caleb Fyock 6.
SHOTS: North, 66-55.
FACEOFFS: South, 26-16.
GROUNDBALLS: South, 55-48.