For most players, Saturday's Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic was a chance to test their skills against the nation's top girls seniors. For seven recruits bound for the University of Florida, however, it was a chance to dream.
The seven - including Janine Hillier of the North squad and Haydon Judge (St. Mary's), Ashley Bruns (Mount Hebron), Kitty Cullen and Colby Rhea (McDonogh), Brittany Dashiell (John Carroll) and Sam Farrell (Severna Park) of the South team - combined for four goals and an assist, as the North surged to a 12-9 win at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Next season, they will comprise the core of a first-year program that already has exceptionally high expectations.
"It was really exciting to play with my other Florida teammates, just to see how they play and how we play together," Dashiell said. "I think together we can, throughout the years, get better and better and hopefully eventually win a national championship."
In this game, the North - composed of players from schools in Pennsylvania and north - took command in the second half, scoring seven of eight goals over a span of just more than 13 minutes to win their third of four games in the series.
Stephanie Anderson, a Rutgers-bound midfielder from Wading River, N.Y., earned Most Valuable Player honors with three goals and an assist.
"We were losing some passes in the beginning of the game and had some trouble with that, but in the second half we really picked it up," Anderson said. "We picked up the intensity level and got it going again, just weaving the ball down the field."
Said Bruns: "I think they just wanted it more than we did. They got a little more physical."
The South, led by Notre Dame-bound Betsy Mastropieri (two goals, two assists) had a chance to get back into the game late in the second half, but Cullen and Danielle Kirk (Archbishop Spalding) hit the post on consecutive shots.
For the majority of players, however, the end result mattered little.
"It was a blast playing with all these girls that I've been competing with for so long," Cullen said.