Nike/US Lacrosse West Region Report
by Todd Karpovich | LaxMagazine.com
Evan Murphy, Amador Valley (Calif.)
Murphy scored four goals in a 20-5 victory over Menlo. For the season, the middie has 12 goals and five assists in four games, scoring on more than 75 percent of her shots. She will play at Oregon.
Julie Crowell, Los Alamitos (Calif.)
The senior scored four goals in a surprisingly overwhelming 20-7 victory over Foothill. Crowell was an All-American and All-Sunset League first team pick last season.
Caroline Carlson, Coronado (Calif.)
Carlson led Coronado with six goals in an 11-8 victory over Canton Crest and 10 goals in three games at the Surf Sun & Stix Tournament. She has 24 goals and seven assists in 10 games this season and has committed to play lacrosse for Fresno State.
Games to Watch
St. Stephen's & Agnes (D.C.) at Carondelet (Calif.) – March 28
The West Coast region's top-ranked team takes on Virginia power St. Stephen & Agnes, ranked second nationally in the Nike/US Lacrosse National High School Girls' Top 25. Carondelet is led by Erin Jeffery, who earned All-American honors in 2011 and 2012. She was the East Bay Athletic League MVP last season after scoring 107 goals and will play at Hofstra. The Cougars will have to find a way to slow down St. Stephen's & Agnes' Carly Reed, who is one of the nation's most prolific scorers and will attend North Carolina.
Cherry Creek (Colo.) at Moorestown (N.J.), April 6
The Bruins head East to take on two strong programs in their respective states. Cherry Creek is led All-State picks defenseman Chloe deGrasse and midfielder Blair Sisk. Moorestown is ranked seventh in the Nike/US Lacrosse National High School Girls' Top 25.
1. Carondelet (Calif.), 8-0
The Cougars have showed the poise and firepower to defend their Northern California Section Division I championship. Carondelet has surged to a 8-0 record with some impressive victories, including two over teams ranked in the Top 10 – Coronado and St. Ignatius – and won the Surf, Sun & Stix Tournament. A huge showdown with national implications will happen on March 28 when the Cougars take on St. Stephen's & Agnes (Va.).
2. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 2-0
The Bruins started the season strong with dominant in-state victories over Grand View and Chatfield. Cherry Creek now opens another challenging part of their schedule with non-conference games against Hinsdale Central (Ill.), Germantown Friends (Pa.), and Moorestown (N.J.), which is ranked seventh in Nike/US Lacrosse National High School Girls' Top 25.
3. Amador Valley (Calif.), 4-0
The Dons are as balanced as any team in the state and opened the season with four consecutive victories, averaging almost 18 goals per game, and allowing less than 10. In a 20-5 victory over Menlo School, nine players had goals, including four by Evan Murphy and three each by Cambi Cukar, Corinne Logan and Justine Chinn.
4. Los Alamitos (Calif.), 5-0
The Griffins are off to another strong start, reeling off four-straight victories. Los Alamitos also established itself as the top team in Orange County with an impressive 20-7 victory over Foothill. Julie Crowell led the way with four goals while Breezy Hastie, Grace Schmidt-Beck and Jenny Lange each had hat tricks.
5. Kent Denver (Colo.), 2-0
The Sun Devils wasted little time setting the tone for the season with impressive victories over No. 6 Air Academy 21-20, and No. 8 Centaurus. 19-16. The victories catapulted Kent Denver to the top of the state rankings.
6. Air Academy (Colo.), 4-1
After dropping the high-scoring affair with Kent Denver, Air Academy bounced back with victories over Arapahoe (Colo.) and Pine Creek (Colo.). Air Academy also picked up a solid non-conference victory over Bingham of Utah.
7. Coronado (Calif.), 6-2
The Islanders had their three-game winning streak snapped with an 11-5 loss to top-ranked Carondelet. Canyon Crest picked up three victories in the Surf, Sun & Stix Tournament before losing to top-ranked Carondelet in the final.
8. Centaurus (Colo.), 2-1
The Warriors rebounded from a tough three-goal loss to No. 5 Kent Denver with an 18-6 victory over Chaprarral. Centaurus has a tough non-conference game March 26 against Palos Verdes (Calif.)
9. La Costa Canyon (Calif) 5-1
The Mavericks took third place in the Surf, Sun & Stix Tournament with a 6-3 victory over St. Ignatius. La Costa Canyon dropped a tough game to No. 4 Los Alamitos.
10. St. Ignatius (Calif.), 4-2
The Wildcats bounced back from a loss to top-ranked Carondelet with a 13-9 victory over Foothill-Pleasanton. St. Ignatius has a crucial matchup against national power St. Stephen's & Agnes (Va.) on March 26.
News and Notes
Amador Valley faces tough slate
Amador Valley (Calif.) has established itself as one of the top programs in Northern California. This season, the Dons have a solid corp of returning players that face of the toughest schedules in the history of the program.
"Though we had a couple strong seniors last year, our strength rested mainly with our sophomores and juniors who are now dominating in several key areas: goalkeeping, draws and possession control, and a distributed offense," said coach Bob Mezeul, who took over the program in 2005. "We are balanced and have depth as well."
Amador Valley has two junior goalies already headed to Division I programs – Allie DaCar (Stanford) and Molly Grozier (Marquette). Mezeul regards DeCar as the best goalie in Northern California and possibly in the entire state. Mezeul has also installed a new offense that is already paying dividends.
The key players on offense are captain and middie Evan Murphy who orchestrates the offense and has strong transitions, midfielder Jackie Gilbert, who dominates the draw control, and attacker Cambi Cukar, who led the state in assists last season and who could again this year.
"We've installed a new progressive motion offense that has given our players focus and is proving very successful," he said. "Many of our players have been playing together for quite a while and in several circumstances are together in off-season club play so their freelance motions with two-man offense is very effective as well."
In addition to its competitive league schedule, Amador Valley faces several, tough non-conference opponents. The Dons already beat St. John's (Texas), which also lost to top-ranked Carondelet, but beat St. Ignatius (Calif.) and Menlo School (Calif.), in its trip to California. Amador Valley also plays St Stephen's & Agnes (D.C.), which will be another big test.
"By looking outside our league – in this case even outside our state – we hope to demonstrate our strength and gain some looks at our well-deserving players by D-I colleges," Mezeul said. "I'm not expecting any miracles to happen but we will certainly give them all we have. It will be a great experience for our players to match skills with the nation's best and an excellent measure of our relative strength against a true powerhouse team."
Surf, Sun & Stix
Carondelet topped Coronado 12-1 to win the Surf, Sun & Stix Tournament at Westview High School in San Diego.
The Cougars were the only team to win all three of their games in the tournament. La Costa Canyon took third place with a 6-3 victory over St. Ignatius.
Coranado's Caroline Carlson had 10 goals in three games in the tournament. The tournament included eight of the top eight teams in California: Carondelet, La Costa Canyon, Coronado, Los Alamitos, St. Ignatius, Poway, Torrey Pines and Beckman
Check back to LaxMagazine.com every other Tuesday 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.