Section II lacrosse champions Griffin King of Niskayuna and Abigail Searles of Saratoga Springs will be among the Capital Region representatives at the Under Armour Underclass Tournament Thursday through Sunday at Towson University in Baltimore.
King and Searles will compete in the Highlight Division for those graduating in 2019 and 2020 along with Ballston Spa standout Samantha DeVito. Another nine players from the Capital Region will compete in the Command Division for those graduating in 2021 and 2022. The local cast will play on Upstate New York teams.
With the addition of a Connecticut/New York contingent this year, the tournament will include teams from 12 regions of the United States. The tournament starts with pool play action and playoffs are held afterward.
King was selected Niskayuna's most valuable player on offense after piling up 63 goals and 30 assists as a junior for the Section II and regional Class A champs. King, a midfielder who has committed to Brown, was also named a first-team Suburban Council all-star and US Lacrosse All-American.
King produced nine goals when Niskayuna beat Shenendehowa 20-9 for the Section II title, and generated 11 goals in the regionals when the Silver Warriors topped Kingston 21-7 and Mammaroneck 14-13.
“I think it’s great Griffin was selected to the Under Armour All-American team," veteran Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang said. "He now gets to compete with and against some of the best competition in the nation. This opportunity can only make him better.”
Searles had a big sophomore season as Saratoga's goalkeeper, 12 times holding opponents to single-digit goals over 19 games. The second-team Suburban Council all-star and Bryant commit made several key stops when the Blue Streaks edged Bethlehem 14-12 in the Section II Class A final and won their first area title since 1998.
DeVito collected 35 goals and 25 assists during her sophomore season. The midfielder, a first-team Suburban Council all-star, also had 97 ground balls and 93 draw controls. She was named to the Command Division all-tournament team last summer.
This year's Upstate New York Command Division teams will include Gregg Dort (Ballston Spa, goalkeeper/faceoff), Erik Gottmann (Ballston Spa, midfield), Christan Johnson (Albany Academy, midfield), Antonio Rossetti (Ballston Spa, attack), Noah Watso-Hanson (Niskayuna, longstick midfield), Katherine MacEachron (Queensbury, defense), Erin McClernan (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, midfield), Celia Ralph (Shenendehowa, defense) and Avery Waters (Saratoga, defense).
The weekend's uncommitted showcase (for athletes who were among the final Underclass Tournament region cuts) will include Lucas Bennice (Ballston Spa, attack, 2020 Black), Caden Padelford (Niskayuna, attack, 2022 Black), Isabel Adams (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, defense, 2021 Red), Alana Connally (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, midfield, 2021 White) and Suzie Smith (Saratoga, midfield, 2022 Red).
Alexander Bang (Albany Academy, midfield, 2022) made the uncommitted group but will be unable to attend.