Orange County standouts Maddie Barkate (St.Margaret’s), Tess Keiser (Mater Dei), Gianna Danese (Mater Dei) and Hennessey Evans (Trabuco Hills) helped the South defeat the North 16-13 in the ADRLN All-American game on Sunday at the Ford Center in Frisco, TX.
Barkate secured 11 draw wins and scored a goal to earn MVP honors.
“I was not expecting to be named MVP! We were just having fun playing together and a lot of players had a great game. I couldn’t believe it when they told me. Just playing in the game was a dream come true. Watching Megan Carney [currently on Syracuse] get MVP the year before and then getting to receive it was something I couldn’t have imagined,” Barkate said via a direct message on Instagram.
Niki Miles (St.Margaret’s) was also slated to participate in the game, but due to her being on a mission trip in Africa, she was unable to attend.
The game was played with four 15 minute running clock quarters. Other than that most of the standard girls lacrosse rules applied.
The game started out tight with the North clinging to a 3-2 until late in the first quarter when Danese scored the equalizer off of a free position. Chloe Hunter scored a short time later to give the South a lead that they never relinquished.
Thanks in large part to Barkate’s success on the draws, the South took control of the game in the second quarter. Barkate and here teammates rattled off seven goals in the frame to enter halftime with an 11-3 lead. Barkate and Danese both contributed goals in the quarter.
The South continued to surge in the second half and led by as much as 13-4 before the North’s offense came back to life. The North nine of the next 10 goals to trim the once commanding South lead to 14-13 with 6:38 left in the game.
But the North got no closer, as the South shut the North out the rest of the way. Goals from Anna Winkler and Danese gave the South the 16-13 win.
“It was a lot of fun! I’ve played with most of the girls at one point and I’ve played against all of them over my high school career, so it was nice to get to play together one last time before college,” Barkate said.
Danese finished with four goals while Barkate and Keiser each had one. In regards to the all-star game, Barkate found the event a more than satisfactory way to end her high school career.
“The facility is amazing. It is better than anywhere I’ve ever had the opportunity to play. On the field, our run in the first half and then winning the game were both moments I couldn’t believe I was getting to experience in an All-American game. Off the field, practicing our celebrations and teaching ourselves the dance to Cotton-Eyed Joe at halftime was a lot of fun. And of course, getting to play with my club teammates one last time was my favorite part of the entire weekend,” Barkate said.