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Olivia Ripple

Denver Commit Olivia Ripple Stars in 2023 Girls' Adrenaline All-America Game

July 24, 2023
Jacob Richman
Dylan Nadwodny Photography

The North beat the South 14-13 in Frisco, Texas, in the Adrenaline All-America game.

FRISCO, Texas — With just one goal separating the North and South girls’ Adrenaline All-American teams in the final minute, it was a mad dash. Red and white jerseys flashed all around the field at the Ford Center at The Star.

It was chaos until the North’s Alex Cutone (Boston U) knocked the ball loose one final time, allowing her side to wind down the clock and come away victorious, 14-13. In a game that featured 27 goals, it was those closing moments that MVP Olivia Ripple (Denver) enjoyed the most.

“The back and forth at the end, everything rushing through your mind, just knowing that you have to get the ball, you have to get the last possession,” Ripple said. “Anything can happen. And it was just a really great moment to be able to spend with the team.”

In the yearly gathering of the best college-bound girls’ lacrosse players, Ripple notched a game-high four goals in the high-scoring showcase.

Ripple was the first on the scoreboard, converting her first of three free-position attempts. The North led 3-0 early thanks to scores from Ripple, Madi Smith (Northwestern) and Kathleen Michaud (Cal Berkley).

Smith — one of a handful of Ripple’s longtime teammates on the STEPS California club team — was a force throughout the game, too. Along with a goal and an assist, she took on the bulk of draw controls, played solid defense and won the halftime shot contest, slinging two 82-mile-per-hour shots.

Smith took part in the most memorable goal of the contest, setting up Adele Atherton (Brown) — another STEPS California player — for a back-handed twizzler at the end of the first half. Smith will join her sister Samantha Smith, the 2021 Adrenaline All-American MVP, at Northwestern in the fall.

“This is our last game all together. We'll be heading to different places next year,” Ripple said. “It was just a really great experience to play with some of the girls that I've played with my whole life.”

The North kept the South at arms’ length, holding a 9-7 lead at the half, but the South went on a 4-0 run in the third quarter to take its only multi-goal lead of the evening.

Kaley Kakac (Johns Hopkins) showed out for the South, completing her hat trick in the third quarter after a feed from Reagan Diby (Duke). The North came roaring back before the end of the period, with Anna Colpack (Stanford), Cutone and Ripple each finding the back of the net.

Despite a valiant effort in the final minutes, during which Grace Hoverman (Columbia) and Alexa Christensen (Johns Hopkins) closed the gap, the North pulled clean ahead for the victory.

Although her team came out on the losing side, this year’s Adrenaline All-American game was particularly special for local Reese Robinson (Rutgers), who finished with a pair of goals and assists.

“There's not really a lot of opportunities in Texas,” Robinson said. “Having this one thing that kind of brings people from all over pinpoints a spot on us. It’s really cool.”

On top of getting to perform on the practice field of her Dallas Cowboys, she also had the chance to play under coach Megan Carney, the 2018 Adrenaline All-American MVP and a fellow Texan who starred at Syracuse University.

“I first started wanting to really play at a high level when I watched Megan Carney win MVP [in 2018], and that's really when I started to take lacrosse seriously,” Robinson said. “This experience is so amazing.”

As intense and hectic as the game became, camaraderie was at the forefront. Goals were met with big cheers on the field and at the benches. Members of the North used their sticks like barbells and count off after every goal scored.

The game signified the end of high school lacrosse for the All-Americans, but there will be plenty to look forward to at the next level for every participant.

“I gotta stay humble,” Ripple said. “I can't let this go to my head. I'm going to be playing with some of the best in the country and the best to ever play. I'm excited to just learn from the best and be able to compete at that level.”