Nike/US Lacrosse West Region Report
by Todd Karpovich | LaxMagazine.com
Players to Watch
Erin Jeffery, Carondelet (Calif.)
Michaela Michael, Menlo School (Calif.)
Kate Pederson, Coronado (Calif.)
Game to Watch
Air Academy (Colo.) at Kent Denver (Colo.), March
1. Carondelet (Calif.), 2-0
The Cougars opened their defense of the Northern California Section Division I championship with a 19-6 victory at Acalanes. Kerianne Hunt and Erin Jeffery led the way with four goals each, while Cali Castagnola and Morgan Castlein each added three.
2. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 0-0
The Bruins are the early favorite among area coaches to win the state title. Under new coach Brianne Tierney, Cherry Creek has a veteran squad, including All-State picks defenseman Chloe deGrasse and midfielder Blair Sisk.
3. La Costa Canyon (Calif.), 1-0
The Mavericks opened the defense of their San Diego Section Division I championship with a quality, hard-fought 9-8 victory over Torrey Pines. La Costa Canyon has not lost since March, 13, 2012.
4. Coronado (Calif.), 0-0
The Islanders have all the talent to win a third consecutive San Diego Section Division II championship with at least seven players committed to play college lacrosse. Coronado is led by All-American Kate Pederson (USC) and Caroline Carlson ( Fresno State ) leads the attack after scoring 64 goals last season. Coronado opened the season with a 17-1 victory over Granite Hills.
5. Kent Denver (Colo.), 0-0
The Sun Devils will begin their quest for a state championship when they open the season March 13 against Air Academy. Kent Denver has a well-balanced team and is led by All-American Catherine Ellis, (Cornell), Caroline Schlegel (Cal-Berkeley) and Abby Godfrey (Elon).
6. Air Academy (Colo.), 1-0
The Kadets opened the season with a convincing 19-1 victory over Palmer. Air Academy looks to defend the state title with the return of three All-Colorado players in Jessica and Natalie Berg and Kayley Holmes.
7. Los Alamitos (Calif.), 3-0
The Griffins improved to 3-0 with a 15-11 victory over Coronado. Led by All-Americans — attacker Julie Crowell (Cal) and midfielder Haley Fessenden (Navy) — are shooting for a fifth straight county and Southern Section championships.
8. Centaurus (Colo.), 0-0
The Warriors will be led by junior Sarah Brown, an All-Colorado selection that will attend Colorado. Centaurus opens the season March 12 at Heritage-Littleton.
9. Menlo School (Calif.), 0-0
The Knights will be led by Michaela Michael (USC), an All-American who is the school's all-time leading scorer with more than 400 career points. She will attend USC.and was named an MVP at the 2012 Champion All-American Showcase.
10. St. Ignatius (Calif.), 1-0
The Wildcats are an independent and opened the season with a 10-8 victory over Acalanes (Calif.). After finishing 14-4 last season. St. Ignatius will be led by midfielders Nicole Vincelette (Cal), Alex Robertson (Cal) and attacker Kate Mattimore.
News and Notes
Carondelet (Calif.) coach Rick Jeffery has put together one of the top programs in the region by building on the sport's growing popularity. This season, Jeffery has numerous players that will play college lacrosse, consisting of: Erin Jeffery (Hofstra), Kerianne Hunt (Brown), Morgan Castelein (Ohio State), Madison Castelein (Ohio State), Cali Castagnola (Colorado) and Katie Merritt (San Diego State). Carondelet has put together a tough non-conference schedule with games against St Johns (Texas), Radnor (Pa.) and nationally ranked St. Stephens & St. Agnes (Va.). Jeffery is confident his players are up for the challenge. "We have a group of seven seniors that have been playing together since 6th grade and they have a great chemistry together," he said.
New Coach, Same Team
Brianne Tierney has taken over coaching duties at Cherry Creek (Colo.) and will look to further develop an already talented squad. Some of the top returning players include Tori Link (Colorado), Steph Guerra, Shannon Kinney, (Susquehanna), Blair Sisk and Sarah Cromer, in addition to sophomore Caroline Perry. "I hope the team will become more confident and poised when we have possession and would like to see the team become much more aggressive in our ride and on defense," Tierney said. Tierney has an impressive resume. She established the women's lacrosse program at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania and served as head coach. She was named the 2012 Commonwealth Conference Coach of the Year. In addition to serving as the head coach at Cherry Creek, Tierney is the director of lacrosse operations for the University of Denver men's program, where her father, the legendary Bill Tierney, is the head coach.
Check back to LaxMagazine.com every other Wednesday throughout the high school season for updates to the Nike/US Lacrosse Regional Girls' Top 10 rankings and the Nike/US Lacrosse National Girls' Top 25.