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Five local girls’ lacrosse players to compete in national tournaments

Five elite girls’ lacrosse players from the area — Allentown, North Brunswick and Manalapan — will be busy competing in national all-star events over the coming weeks.

Morgan Bell, Alyssa Castellano and Sophia Schindel, who are teammates on the Millstone Township Middle School team and are expected to play at Allentown High School, have all been selected to represent New Jersey in the 2017 National Lacrosse Academy and National Lacrosse Classic at the River City Sportsplex in Richmond, Virginia, July 18-21. Each has been named to the 2017 National Lacrosse All-Star Team.

The National Lacrosse Academy is an event that brings the top youth lacrosse players in the United States and Canada to one venue, where regional teams, coached by NCAA lacrosse coaches, compete in the national tournament.

According to the National Lacrosse Academy press release, the academy offers a first-of-its-kind lacrosse experience that has been created to provide a curriculum focused on how a young lacrosse athlete should develop in order to compete at a top high school and collegiate lacrosse program.

Schindel was named a 2017 Warrior National Lacrosse All-America and has been selected to represent New Jersey at the National Prospect Invite, which will also be held at the River City Sportsplex July 17-18.

The National Prospect Invite is a premier lacrosse experience that has been created to provide athletes with exposure to a diverse group of talent and gain recognition by competing in front of NCAA coaches from every division, according to the academy’s release.

Talysa Jimenez is an upcoming junior at North Brunswick Township High School and was selected to the National Prospect Invite. She was named a Warrior National Lacrosse All-America as a defender.

“I’m extremely proud of her,” her father, Anthony Jimenez, said. “We always tell her to do her best, to have fun and to focus on the goals at hand. I’m glad her hard work paid off.”

Talysa Jimenez, who has been playing lacrosse since the fifth grade, hopes that her experience in Virginia will gain her attention.

“I’m very honored by the selection,” she said. “I’m proud to be on the team, and I’m excited to get watched by the coaches there. I hope to be on a great college team one day.”

She revealed that she has simple goals.

“I’m going to work my hardest,” she said. “I’m not gonna let other players get past me. I’m just going to work as hard as I always do and have fun doing it.”

Incoming seventh grader Anna Wingerter of Manalapan will also be in Richmond, Virginia, for both the Brine National Lacrosse Classic July 18-21 as well as the U.S. Lacrosse Nationals July 28-30.

“My wife and I are extremely proud of Anna,” her father, Jeff Wingerter, said. “She earned both opportunities through dedication and consistent hard work. I told her to just have fun, smile, enjoy the experiences and let your light shine.”

The younger Wingerter said that she was “flabbergasted and thrilled” when she found out that she was nominated for both events, mostly because of how new she is to the sport.

“Three years ago, I picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time,” she said. “My first lacrosse game was in April 2016. This is truly an honor.”

She wants to take in the experience.

“I expect to win with my teams and leave Richmond with an Olympic-style lacrosse experience,” she said. “I will play with hustle and heart and try new things during all of the games.”

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