Nike/US Lacrosse Midwest Region Report
by Jonah Rosenblum | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the Week
Beau Eckstein, Culver Academy (Ind.)
The Eagles' midfielder played a key role in Culver's impressive blowout victory over regional power Brother Rice (Mich.). The Delaware commit won 19-of-29 faceoff opportunities, including 8-of-11 in the first quarter, allowing the Eagles to settle into their dangerous transition game.
"I think he was the big difference between the two teams. We dominated the faceoff," coach Jon Posner said. "When we win faceoffs, we typically dominate games."
Also Notable: Brandon Kozielski, Bay City Central (Mich.); Trent Wellsted, Lapeer West (Mich.); Dominic Sutermeister, Davison (Mich.), Mitch Wodrich, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (Mich.); Nicholas Kakos, Lake Zurich (Ill.); Joey Alyash, Lyons Township (Ill.); Macko Saffin, Mariemont (Ohio); Zach Nye, Hudson (Ohio)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio) at Columbus DeSales (Ohio), April 15
Separated by a short drive down Interstates 71 and 270, Worthington Kilbourne and Columbus DeSales have pitched a heated battle for Columbus supremacy over the past few years. Their sole two matches over the past two years were decided by a combined three goals, including the Wolves' overtime victory in 2013. With the Stallions riding an impressive 7-1 start, this match figures to be huge.
Midwest Region Top 10
1. Culver Academy (Ind.), 12-0
Three of Maryland's finest failed to defeat Culver Academy. Traditional Midwest power Brother Rice fell well short. At this point, it's not clear who, if anyone, can beat the Eagles.
2. Brother Rice (Mich.), 6-1
The Warriors' surprisingly lopsided defeat to the Eagles this past week was disappointing, but they still have six authoritative wins to their name.
3. Upper Arlington (Ohio), 5-0
Upper Arlington has soared out to an impressive 5-0 start, including a road win over the always dangerous Dublin Jerome (Ohio) and a home win over resurgent Liberty Olentangy (Ohio).
4. Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio), 7-0
The Keystone State failed to dethrone the Wolves, who outscored two Pennsylvania teams 27-7 last weekend. Worthington Kilbourne, with wins over Liberty-Olentangy (Ohio) and New Trier (Ill.), has put together a formidable resume.
5. Loyola Academy (Ill.), 6-2
The Ramblers picked up a big 11-10 victory at Lake Forest (Ill.) heading into their showdown with rival New Trier (Ill.).
6. Dublin Jerome (Ohio), 5-1
The Celtics pulled off a nice overtime win over New Trier (Ill.) early and played Upper Arlington (Ohio) hard. They'll have more chances to prove themselves with Olentangy (Ohio), Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio) and Liberty-Olentangy (Ohio) coming up.
7. Solon (Ohio), 6-0
The Comets have raced off to a 6-0 start, including impressive wins over Olentangy (Ohio), Medina (Ohio) and St. Ignatius (Ohio). They've won four straight over teams with winning records.
8. Columbus DeSales (Ohio), 7-1
Three of eight contests have gone into overtime. Columbus DeSales has played six overtime periods overall. All of that experience might come in handy with an expected close contest against Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio) coming up.
9. Olentangy (Ohio), 5-1
Olentangy has allowed just four goals per game, with its only loss a defensive nail-biter against undefeated Solon (Ohio).
10. Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.), 5-0
The Shamrocks have scored 20-plus goals in three of five games thus far and have beaten numerous winning teams. That being said, they have yet to play the likes of Brother Rice (Mich.) and Culver Academy (Ind.), who they play back-to-back toward the end of April.
Didn't believe Culver was a national power? Think again.
The Eagles demonstrated regional dominance with an 18-8 victory over Brother Rice (Mich.). They proved national prowess with wins over McDonogh (Md.) and Gilman (Md.). "It was huge for us," coach Jon Posner said. "It proved that lacrosse is not just an East Coast sport anymore."
Quantity of teams beat might surpass quality, despite the allure of the McDonogh, Gilman and Brother Rice programs. Culver somehow managed to win five games in six days.
"We had the ability and talent to do it but playing that many games back-to-back-to-back, I think as a coaching staff we were a little surprised to come out of that trip 5-0," Posner said.
Posner credited it to their work in the weight room; their running routine, which begins in October; and a significant amount of Crossfit. With a brutally snowy winter keeping the Eagles indoors, they had no choice but to focus on the gym. They went into their trip out east with just two outside practices.
"Due to our weather out here, we're not going to be hitting on all cylinders," Posner said. "With our limitations due to weather, we thought we'd make up for it by being the fittest team out there."
2014 Midwest Region Report Archive
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