High School Girls

April 4, 2012

Midwest Girls' Regional Report

by Teddy Cahill | LaxMagazine.com

Top Performers

Kelsey Murray, New Trier (Ill.)
Murray has been on fire to start the season for New Trier. In five games, the junior attacker has scored 24 goals and added 15 assists. Murray, a Stanford commit, took her play to the next level Saturday against Upper Arlington (Ohio). In New Trier's 11-10 victory, she scored six goals and assisted on four others. "Kelsey took over that game and played outstanding," Trevians coach Pete Collins said.

Meredith Abrahamson, Loyola Academy (Ill.)
Abrahamson showed she is more than capable of taking over the offensive load from Molly Hulseman, last year's Midwest Player of the Year and current Loyola University midfielder. In Loyola's 15-7 victory Saturday against Cleveland Heights (Ohio), Abrahamson scored eight goals and added one assist.

Katherine Doraty, Medina (Ohio)
Doraty, a senior attacker, scored nine goals and had one assist in the Bees' first three games. Doraty led the team with four goals in its season-opening 9-8 victory at Mason (Ohio) on Saturday. She will play next year at Notre Dame College (Ohio).

Games to Watch

Okemos (Mich.) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (Mich.)
April 10, 6:30 p.m.
Okemos has long been a Michigan girls' lacrosse power, while Grand Rapids Catholic Central is the reigning state champion and considered to be the best team in the state this year. Catholic Central is off to an undefeated start and, while Okemos might be a bit down this spring, a victory would send a message to the rest of the state.

New Trier (Ill.) vs. Blake School (Minn.) at Madison, Wis.
April 14, 11:30 a.m.
The Minnesota State High School League strictly limits travel outside the state to games within a 600-mile roundtrip. Fortunately for Blake, Madison, Wis., is just about exactly 300 miles off campus, allowing it to "host" New Trier at the University of Wisconsin. The two teams played a scrimmage last year, which Blake coach Laura Mark said was close. She expects more of the same when the region's No. 2 and No. 3 teams square off. "We expect it to be a real battle," she said.

Upper Arlington (Ohio) at Medina (Ohio)
April 14, 6 p.m.
In a rematch of Ohio's Division I state championship game the last two years, Upper Arlington will travel north to Medina. Upper Arlington gave Loyola (Ill.) and New Trier (Ill.) all they could handle last weekend and will now set its sights on the team that ended its last two seasons. Medina, meanwhile, started the year with three straight victories as it tries to prove it has what it takes to win a third straight championship.

1. Loyola (Ill.), 5-0
After a pair of victories against local competition to open the season, the Ramblers rolled through the Loyola Invitational last weekend, defeating Ohio powers Upper Arlington and Cleveland Heights. Loyola heads to Washington, D.C., next weekend where it will play in the St. Stephens & St. Agnes Spring Fling.

2. New Trier (Ill.), 5-0
The Trevians also looked impressive in their undefeated run in the Loyola Invitational, led by attacker Kelsey Murray. New Trier's schedule the next two weeks builds to a matchup with No. 3 Blake (Minn.) on April 14.

3. Blake School (Minn.), 0-0
Blake begins its defense of back-to-back Minnesota state championships April 10 against Breck School (Minn.). The Bears will look to midfielders Megan Bauer (Harvard) and Lydia Sutton who combined for 111 goals last season.

4. Upper Arlington (Ohio), 2-2
While the Bears managed only one victory in the Loyola Invitational, they were impressive nonetheless. Upper Arlington came within one goal of upsetting both Loyola (Ill.) and New Trier (Ill.) in a pair of tight games Saturday.

5. Cleveland Heights (Ohio), 1-2
Like Upper Arlington (Ohio), Cleveland Heights ran into the region's juggernauts the Chicago suburbs and came away with a pair of losses. The Tigers were hanging with New Trier (Ill.) until Kelsey Murray took over the game and helped the Trevians pull away.

6. New Albany (Ohio), 0-0
New Albany opens its season Saturday against Olentangy (Ohio). The Eagles will rely on midfielder Emily Newman (Ohio State) and attacker Elaina Enich (Cincinnati) to be the focus of the their offense.

7. Eden Prairie (Minn.), 0-0
Eden Prairie opens its season April 11 against Lakeview North (Minn.). The Eagles' only two losses last season were to Blake (Minn.) — one coming in the state title game.

8. Medina (Ohio), 3-0
The Bees began their state championship defense with a three-game swing through Cincinnati, including one-goal victories against Mason and Sycamore. The Bees are creating early buzz in the region that this team is better than last year's, despite losing All-American Sydney Thomas. Medina will put that theory to the test when it hosts Upper Arlington (Ohio).

9. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (Mich.), 3-0
The Cougars won their first three games by a combined score of 56-15 before taking off for spring break. The competition gets tougher in the next two weeks with Okemos (Mich.) and a visit to East Grand Rapids (Mich.) on the slate.

10. Sycamore (Ohio), 0-1
The Aviators led Medina (Ohio) with a minute to play Sunday, only to give up a goal to send the game to overtime and another in the closing moments of the sudden-death period. Sycamore has a long break to regroup before facing Summit Country Day (Ohio) on April 14.

News and Notes

No. 1 Loyola Academy (Ill.) and No. 2 New Trier (Ill.) solidified their top rankings with undefeated weekends against some of the region's best teams in the Loyola Invitational. Loyola coach Jon Dwyer noted his team and New Trier combine to play nearly all the top teams in the Midwest. "We've got the top two rankings," Dwyer said. "And we have to play those teams to prove it." ... Though Loyola and New Trier were both in the Loyola Invitational, they did not play each other. They won't square off for nearly a month, but Dwyer already has the game on his mind — somewhat. "We have a lot on our plate between now and April 27," he said. ... Dwyer and New Trier coach Pete Collins both praised Upper Arlington (Ohio), despite the Golden Bears two losses in Illinois. "Upper Arlington is a team that's just going to get better and better and better and better," Collins said. ...The Minnesota high school ranks will be adding a member soon. According to Patch.com, the St. Michael-Albertville school board voted to move its girls lacrosse team from club status to varsity.

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