Nike/US Lacrosse Midwest Girls' Report
by Jonah Rosenblum | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the WeekMeggan Loyd, East Grand Rapids (Mich.)
Meggan Loyd told a MLive.com reporter after her team's 11-7 championship victory over Okemos that this was the sweetest of East Grand Rapids' three-peat. Having lost a large number of seniors, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year. What senior wants that? She proved otherwise with four goals to lead the Pioneers over Cranbrook-Kingswood (Mich.) into the state semifinal and then did the same in the state final against the Okemos.
Also Notable: Bailey Ellsworth, Okemos (Mich.); Olivia Sherman, Okemos (Mich.)
Game of the WeekChamplin Park (Minn.) at Eden Prairie (Minn.), June 10
Eden Prairie must get past a very tough first-round playoff foe in Champlin Park, where the boys and girls have combined for a single loss this season. Of course, the Rebels haven't played an opponent of the Eagles' ilk yet. They've struggled through multiple lesser opponents and will be a decided underdog come game time.
Midwest Region Top 10
1. Loyola Academy (Ill.), 24-5
This wasn't the dominance many have grown accustomed to seeing from Loyola, but still the Ramblers finished with 11 straight wins and won a state championship despite allowing 10 goals per game over their final three.
2. Sycamore (Ohio), 20-0
The Aviators did it all. They scored 14-plus in their last 10 games of the season. They beat every single powerhouse Ohio has to offer.
3. New Trier (Ill.), 22-1-1
The brutality of this season's finish might take a while to get over. New Trier posted a season full of smashing successes and big out-of-state wins only to finish as the Land of Lincoln's silver medalist.
4. Hinsdale Central (Ill.), 18-3
The Red Devils posted another excellent campaign, but they measure themselves on a different scale than most, by how they fare against in-state rivals New Trier and Loyola, and by that mark, they were a painful 0-3.
5. Medina (Ohio), 17-3
Medina was 0-2 against Sycamore, but 17-1 against the rest of its schedule. The Battling Bees have a lot to be proud of, including holding every single opponent to single digits until the finale.
6. Mason (Ohio), 14-6
Two wins over Upper Arlington (Ohio) highlight a season that was bookended with losses to Medina. On the bright side, they held the Medina to seven in the postseason after allowing 13 in the opener.
7. East Grand Rapids (Mich.), 18-2
The Pioneers finished in impressive form, posting a four-goal victory over a 20-win Okemos (Mich.) squad. After losing two of their first eight, the Pioneers never lost again.
8. The Blake School (Minn.), 14-2
The Bears' only two losses are to New Trier (Ill.) and Loyola Academy (Ill.). Meanwhile, their wins include a five-goal margin over top rival Eden Prairie (Minn), seven goals at Minnetonka (Minn,) and a 17-3 victory at Benilde's-St. Margaret's (Minn.), which had just two losses prior. They appear to be steamrolling toward a title.
9. Arrowhead (Wisc.), 18-2
The Warhawks may want to consider toughening their schedule. After a tough loss to New Trier (Ill.), Arrowhead won its next 13 by an average of 11.8 goals.
10. MICDS (Mo.), 14-0
The only possible disappointment with the Rams' 2014 campaign is it had a somewhat anticlimactic end. Of their six final foes, only one had a record of greater than one game over .500 and arguably their greatest win came way back in mid-April.
News and Notes
Perhaps Okemos (Mich.) was blessed with too easy a road to the state championship game. They blasted East Lansing (Mich.) 20-3 for a regional title, led by a seven-goal effort from Bailey Ellsworth. They got to play their state semifinal game at home, crushing Livonia Ladywood (Mich.) 15-4. By the time they reached the final, they had not played a competitive game in three weeks, for better and, perhaps, for worse, as they were blown out by East Grand Rapids.
East Grand Rapids' Liza Elder finishes 2014 with 79 goals and 48 assists and should lead a very powerful Pioneers team in 2015 as she will be joined by freshman Auden Elliott, Emma Hoff and a host of other capable young players. Hoff was key in the state semifinal, tying the score at 10 with 5:26 remaining and adding a goal before the final buzzer.
Elder is also one of the few Midwestern high school players to make it to the "big leagues" of Midwestern lacrosse. She'll play for Northwestern University, which has generally built its dynasty on a host of New Yorkers despite having Loyola and New Trier right next door.
2014 Midwest Region Report Archive
- February 25 - Preseason Top 10/Player of the Year Watch List
- March 25
- April 1
- April 8
- April 15
- April 22
- April 29
- May 6
- May 13
- May 20
- May 27
- June 3
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