HomeMoorestown NewsA new goal: MHS senior competes in World Lacrosse Championship

A new goal: MHS senior competes in World Lacrosse Championship

Connor McDonough has had a lacrosse stick in his hands since the time he was old enough to hold one. His mother, Karen McDonough, said when he was younger, she used to have to tell him to stop practicing when the sun went down and to come inside. 

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Now a Moorestown High School senior, McDonough’s practices have gone from the backyard to the Outback. McDonough was selected to play on the U19 Australian Men’s National Lacrosse Team 2020. In July, he’ll travel with the team to Limerick, Ireland to compete in the World Lacrosse Men’s U19 World Championship. 

For McDonough, lacrosse has been a way of life since age 5. His father was a lacrosse coach, and much of his free time was spent surrounded by the game. McDonough plays attack — a position which he said offers up a bit of everything that the game has to offer. He said between facing off against the other teams’ best defenders to scoring points for his team, the position keeps him battling it out on the field for most of the game. 

Last year, McDonough was part of the MHS lacrosse team that took home a state championship. Come September, he’ll leave to play Division 1 lacrosse with Towson University, and the opportunity to try out for the Australian team came about as a direct result of the recruitment process. Adam Sear, a lacrosse coach at the University of Michigan and Australian native, saw McDonough’s tape and encouraged McDonough to try out for the Australian team. 

The games are only held every four years, so tryouts for the national team were nearly a year long process. This past January, McDonough made his way down under to compete in the final round. He said the nearly five day tryout was grueling as him and his fellow competitors faced off against Australia’s senior national team from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. 

A few days later, after he’d returned home, he got a call with the news. He was part of the 23 man Australian squad. 

“I thought it was one of the coolest things that has happened to me so far in my lacrosse career; that and probably committing to go Division 1 are definitely up there,” McDonough said. 

Given his mother, Karen, is originally from Perth, the news was a bit of a full circle moment for the family. 

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for him; I was very proud that he could represent my home country on an [international] scale,” Karen said. 

McDonough will still be in school when the team kicks off practices, but come June, he’ll meet up with the squad when they travel to the states for two weeks worth of practice at Towson University before they all depart for Ireland.

Between travel, lodging and other related expenses, the cost to compete is around $10,000, so McDonough set up a GoFundMe to fundraise for the trip. As of now, he’s more than halfway to his goal.

Around 23 teams will compete for two weeks at the world games. McDonough said more than anything else, he’s excited to participate in an event that means so much to the lacrosse community. 

“The world games are pretty big in the lacrosse community, so I think it’ll be cool to have that exposure to everything — having games televised and competing for a championship,” McDonough said. 

Karen said the games represent the culmination of years of her son’s hard work. 

“To say you’ve played in the world games, I think that’s a remarkable achievement,” Karen said. 

To donate to McDonough’s GoFundMe campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/f/u19-australian-national-men039s-lacrosse-team.


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