Inside Lacrosse Invitational Brings Out Nation’s Best

When we did the ol’ pros & cons column exercise in deciding whether or not to attend the Inside Lacrosse Invitational, there some significant cons for IL. Maryland heat in July has a feel all its own. Weekday events always lead to lower numbers. And the drive down…well, it’s not getting any shorter (and plane tickets aren’t getting any less expensive).

But just when one might be leaning toward a potential no, opting to stay closer to home at an easier, more convenient local option, you see the list of teams. Then you look at the way Inside Lacrosse covers their event, which is really unlike any other. Fact is, this group of 2021 Clams really should have the opportunity to play against Edge Lacrosse from Canada, if for no other reason than to know they’re out there, and to get an idea of how high the bar can be set. The 2020’s – even in their undermanned state – deserve the opportunity to square off against Nation United, and give ‘em the playoff semi-final scare that was equal parts exciting and jarring. Nation United, a national organization that “utilizes elite level lacrosse to inspire diversity”, draws from across the entire country, taking players temporarily who play for their own clubs. And they definitely had their share of elite talent, as All-Star teams ought to have. But our ‘20’s, down 6 players due to injury or pre-planned early departure, literally left everything they had on the field throughout the deep playoff run. It made every Clam coach who watched and coached the squad this weekend overwhelmingly proud of the effort they witnessed.

The local tournament options we considered for this block of time could never have led to such profound, overwhelming pride, and such a noteworthy feather in the cap for the Clams’ national reputation. (And not to be “that coach”, but it’s impossible not to wonder what-if…a few more of our numerous committed and/or injured ‘20’s made it down, and we may very well have been watching the Fighting Clam win the ‘Ship on ESPN3. Next year!)

We’re going to manage our coverage of this event a bit differently than other writeups. Fact is, Inside Lacrosse does a lot of it for us. So please see below for an overview of our successes, our not-quite-successes, and all the occurred over the last three days for the Clam teams down in Md.

2020 IL All-Stars: Wes Silver (Newton North) and Brian Souza (St. John’s Prep)
2021 IL All-Stars: Keegan Palmer (Central Catholic), Shaun Padden (Xaverian Brothers) and Daniel Jones (Team England U-19)

2020 Fighting Clams (5-2) *Click each game to check out the box score

8-7 W vs. CT Wolves 2020
7-10 L vs. LI Sting 2020
8-4 W vs. Team Minnesota 2020
16-3 W vs. Team 91 Tri-State 2020
11-5 W vs. Performax 2020 (Playoffs)
7-5 W vs. Tenacious Turtles 2020 (Playoffs)
7-9 L vs. Nation United 2020 (Semifinals)

Fighting Clams 2021 (3-3) *Click each game to check out the box score

6-7 L vs. Nation United 2021
8-10 L vs. True National Green 2021
9-7 W vs. 3d Colorado 2021
10-9 W vs. Crossfire 2021
4-9 L vs. Edge 2021
11-4 W vs. Performax 2021

*Note all stats were kept by Inside Lacrosse and may not be 100% accurate. Please understand that we do not have the ability to change the stats and have already asked to change anything we find that is egregious.