ALBANY, N.Y.—Sixty girls lacrosse teams took the fields of the University at Albany this past weekend for the 8th annual Northstar Capital City Classic, the third stop on the 2022 Find Your Summit Tour (#FNDURSUMT) sponsored by Gait Lacrosse.
Established in 2014, this year’s Capital City Classic was the first to be held in the tournament’s original location since 2019 as the two-day event drew players, fans, coaches and spectators alike to the pristine UAlbany multi-sports complex, including the spectacular Bob Ford Field at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium, now home to the Great Danes men’s and women’s Division I lacrosse programs.
“The University at Albany is a remarkable venue and with approximately a thousand families making their way here to enjoy the tournament, the atmosphere was festive and exciting for the many competitive games played over the course of Saturday and Sunday,” said Summit Lacrosse Ventures CEO and President Ashley Gersuk Murphy, who along with co-director Blake Schierer was on site for the action-packed weekend.
After needing to cancel the Capital City Classic in 2020 and then last summer hosting it across three different venues in Albany, the Summit Lacrosse Ventures staff was elated to welcome teams back to the event’s birthplace—and the iconic towers of the UAlbany campus served as a marvelous backdrop for the competition across nine different divisions, ranging from 10U through the high school graduation class of 2025.
Clubs and families relaxed underneath pop-up sun shelters arranged adjacent to the playing fields, and the lawn was transformed into a colorful, bustling tent village of sorts underneath bright, warm sunshine on consecutive days.
“You couldn’t ask for a better setting than this one,” said Murphy, one of Northwestern University’s all-time greatest goaltenders and a star on the Wildcats’ first NCAA championship team. Before leaving for Evanston, she graduated from the Albany Academy for Girls after having developed her love for the game in the Capital Region.
"The Capital City Classic is particularly special to me, as I take pride in hosting a quality event in my hometown and bringing programs from around the region to compete locally," Murphy said.
Albany is a short and convenient drive for many outstanding club programs, and an impressive list of teams from Upstate New York, the Tri-State area and New England participated this past weekend.
“It was a thrill to see many returning groups, along with new attendees, enjoying themselves and a rewarding weekend of lacrosse,” Schierer said.
The Capital City Classic—one of four events in Summit Lacrosse Venture’s Northstar series—was held concurrently with the Saratoga Shootout, a nearby boys tournament co-hosted by Summit Lacrosse Ventures and Syracuse-based Rhino Lacrosse.
“The game of lacrosse as a whole, especially the girls’ game, benefits when young teams can compete at an appropriate level, learn and develop in a positive and encouraging setting,” Murphy said.
“We started Northstar a decade ago to create exactly that kind of opportunity, and it’s gratifying to see the excitement of these players during this special weekend as they take the field with their families cheering them on.”
The third stop on the inaugural #FNDURSUMT Tour saw lead sponsor Gait Lacrosse boasting a strong presence on site and with some of its newest, most sought-after heads and handles on display and, through local retail partners, for sale to Northstar attendees.
“It was another weekend that absolutely aligned with the Summit Lacrosse Society’s guiding principles of camaraderie, competition and respect, and we’re already looking forward to coming back to UAlbany in 2023,” Murphy said.
Visit the Summit Lacrosse Ventures Facebook page for images from the Northstar Capital City Classic and be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s event, slated for June 24 and 25, 2023.
Remember to use the hashtag #FNDURSUMT to follow Summit Lacrosse Ventures and our partners as we trek across the country hosting a total of ten different events this summer.