High School Girls

March 29, 2011

LM Midwest Region Report: March 29, 2011

by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com

US Lacrosse All-American Molly Hulseman and top-ranked Loyola (Ill.) are off to a sizzling start in the Midwest.

© Anne Ryan

Player of the Week

Janie Gion, New Trier, Ill.
After scoring 18 goals in the first five games of the season, New Trier attacker Janie Gion went scoreless against Sycamore (Ohio), as the Aviators and coach Eddie Clark face-guarded the senior. But it wasn't Gion's goal-less game that made an impression on New Trier coach Pete Collins. "It was great for her to experience that pressure," Collins said. "We put some twists in our offense for her to break free and get open, and she was able to get open a few times. Every time she did, they would swarm to her and she was able to swing the ball and we got some great looks off." Gion recently committed to Brown, and she is coming off a 62-goal, All-American season. She's the fifth-leading scorer in New Trier history. Added Collins: "She's just a gamer. She's really competitive. She's really a great leader out there, and she just elevates everyone's level. She's really a kid who loves to compete and play hard. She's leading on draws, running the offense. She's done an outstanding job."

Midwest Region Top 10

1. Loyola Academy (Ill.) – 5-0 – The Ramblers didn't break much of a sweat in the early action, topping their opponents by a combined score of 75-22.

2. New Trier (Ill.) – 5-0 – The Trevians move up one spot from the preseason rankings thanks to a dominating start, where the results mirrored Loyola in the teams' four common opponents; one of those wins was an 11-6 victory over Sycamore (Ohio), a mini-rivalry game between interstate foes who have faced each other six times in the last seven years.

3. Medina (Ohio) – 0-0 – The Bees haven't lost since May 2009, and they'll put their 21-game winning streak on the line against Hudson on April 11.

4. Eden Prairie (Minn.) – 0-0 – The Eagles don't see game action until April 14, but you can be certain they're already thinking about the May 20 matchup with the Blake School, which topped Eden Prairie in the state championship game last year.

5. Hudson (Ohio) – 0-0 – The Explorers will look to avoid a slow start like 2010, when they opened with consecutive losses before stringing together 17 straight wins, and they first faceoff with Cleveland Heights on April 4.

6. New Albany (Ohio) – 0-0 – In their second season as a Division I team, the Eagles will start their campaign against Hilliard Darby on April 7.

7. Okemos (Mich.) – 0-0 – The Chieftains, who have won 53 straight games, had their season-opener with Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern (Mich.) postponed, and they'll face Grand Rapids Catholic Central (Mich.) on April 12.

8. Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – 0-0 – The Tigers take a trip out West to face Menlo School (Calif.) and Palo Alto (Calif.) before beginning their league slate with Hudson.

9. Blake School (Minn.) – 0-0 – The defending state champions won't start their season for another few weeks, when the Bears face Wayzata (Minn.) on April 15.

10. Upper Arlington (Ohio) – 0-1 – A season-opening 22-7 loss to St. Paul's (Md.) knocks the Golden Bears down two spots in the rankings, though the loss shouldn't cause too much worry, since St. Paul's is a well-respected program.

Game of the Week

Rockford (Mich.) at Grand Haven (Mich.) – Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Things are quietly getting underway for the girls of the Midwest, and there aren't too many notable games, but one of the region's best teams just missing the top 10 will see action. Coach Mike Emery's Rockford Rams, which lost narrowly to Okemos a year ago, play in-state Division I opponent Grand Haven on Wednesday. The Buccaneers went 8-8 in 2010.

News and Notes

Following Alan Schwarz's article in The New York Times about wearing helmets in women's lacrosse, there has been widespread response from the coaches in the Midwest. "There have been more people questioning, 'Why don't you wear helmets?'" New Trier coach Pete Collins said. "Just really trying to educate about that... The difference between the men's and women's game has come up a lot." ... In response, Illinois specifically has been looking at the way penalties are being called. Said Collins: "We want to have the rules be safe. I know that Maryland, Florida and South Carolina – those states looked at not following all of the rules. We're trying to track every single card, what the penalties were, so we can really get some good data on what's happening. And helping the officials too. But we want to make the game, No. 1, safe, and No. 2, looking at how it impacts the game."

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