High School Girls

April 18, 2012

Midwest Girls' Regional Report (April 18)

by Teddy Cahill | LaxMagazine.com

Top Performers

Christine Easton, Eden Prairie (Minn.)
Two games into the season, Easton has scored one-third of the Eagles' 24 goals. She opened the season with a hat trick against Lakeville North (Minn.) and added five goals against Robbinsdale Armstrong (Minn.). The senior midfielder will play for Ohio State next year.

Tori Nienhaus, Grand Rapids Catholic Central (Mich.)
Nienhaus scored a career-high eight goals in Catholic Central's 17-13 victory against Rockford (Mich.) last Friday, helping the Cougars remain undefeated. Coach Dennis McCarty told mlive.com that Nienhaus, a junior, has improved each year. "She is definitely someone you want hanging around the net because she can put the ball past the goalie."

Kelsey Murray, New Trier (Ill.)
Even in a game where she was double- and triple-teamed according to coach Pete Collins, Murray still found a way to lead New Trier to a 15-8 victory against Blake. Murray scored four goals and had seven assists, as well as seven draw controls.

Games to Watch

Loyola Academy (Ill.) at New Trier (Ill.) – April 27, 6 p.m.
Located just four miles apart in Chicago's northern suburbs, Loyola and New Trier is one of the best lacrosse rivalries in the Midwest. Before the season, New Trier coach Pete Collins compared it to Duke-North Carolina or Bears-Packers. So neither team needs an extra incentive. "They know this game coming up is going to be a great game," Collins said.

Hathaway Brown (Ohio) at Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – April 18, 6:45 p.m.
As close as Loyola and New Trier are, Cleveland Heights and Hathaway Brown are even closer. The schools are separated by just 2.5 miles in Cleveland's eastern suburbs. Though Hathaway Brown plays in Division II in Ohio, this game will still go a long way to determining Northeast Ohio's best team. Cleveland Heights coach Terry Saylor said his team will have to watch out for the Blazers' Annie Brockett.

New Albany (Ohio) at Sycamore (Ohio) – April 21, 11 a.m.
New Albany has won the last three meetings with Sycamore, including a win in the state tournament in 2010 when the Eagles were still in Division I. Now playing in Division II, New Albany is still one of the most dangerous teams in the Cincinnati area. Sycamore will be looking for its first victory in the rivalry since 2009.

1. New Trier (Ill.), 11-0
For the first time since 2010, there's a new No. 1 in the Midwest. The Trevians have continued to dominate their in-state competition, outscoring their opponents from Illinois 109-20 in six games. New Trier beat Blake School 15-8 in Madison, Wis., the two-time defending Minnesota state champions. Coach Pete Collins said the Trevians are starting to click in all phases of the game.

2. Loyola Academy (Ill.), 8-3
The Ramblers stumbled on their trip to Washington, D.C., and, as such, lost the top spot in the rankings — they went wire-to-wire in 2011 as the region's No. 1 team, and opened this year as the favorites again. But in its recent stretch Loyola went 3-3, losing as many games in three days as it did in the last two years combined. Coach John Dwyer said Loyola needs to put their experience to good use with its game against New Trier looming next week.

3. Upper Arlington (Ohio), 4-2
After losing consecutive state championship games to Medina (Ohio), Upper Arlington turned the tables with a 9-7 victory Saturday. The Bees have yet to play a home game but haven't shied away from taking on the region's toughest teams. Upper Arlington's only losses came in Chicago against New Trier and Loyola — each by just one goal.

4. Blake School (Minn.), 2-1
The Bears started the season with a 15-1 defeat of Breck School (Minn.) before travelling to Madison, Wisc., to take on New Trier. Blake stumbled in its lone game against a team outside of Minnesota and saw its 22-game winning streak snapped. New Trier coach Pete Collins said he was glad to play Blake early in the season because "in a month or so they're going to be dangerous."

5. New Albany (Ohio), 4-0
The Eagles got past a difficult test at Mason (Ohio) last weekend, winning 14-13. New Albany travels to the Hannigan Tournament Saturday where it will face fellow Division II power Hathaway Brown (Ohio) in a possible state tournament preview.

6. Eden Prairie (Minn.), 3-0
Eden Prairie opened its season with a decisive 18-11 victory against Minnesota-power Lakeville North that featured eight players scoring for the Eagles. Eden Prairie will get its first big test of the season next week when it visits Minnetonka (Minn.) in a state tournament rematch.

7. Medina (Ohio), 4-1
A tough slate for Medina against Ohio's top teams culminated Saturday with a game against Upper Arlington for a rematch of the last two state championship games in Ohio. The Bees lost 9-7, but if the last two years have been any indication, they'll get another shot later this season.

8. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (Mich.), 7-0
The Cougars have continued to roll through their competition in Michigan, averaging 18 goals per game. Catholic Central used a second-half comeback to beat previously-undefeated Rockford 17-13 last week, firmly establishing the Cougars as the team to beat in Michigan this spring.

9. Sycamore (Ohio), 2-1
After losing to Medina in overtime in its first game of the season, Sycamore beat Summit Country Day School (Ohio) 18-10 for its first victory of the season coming off spring break. The Aviators schedule starts to heat up now with games against Mason (Ohio), Cleveland Heights (Ohio) and New Albany (Ohio) all coming up in the next 10 days.

10. Cleveland Heights (Ohio), 2-3
The Tigers have stumbled in a monstrous early-season schedule that included trips to Chicago and upstate New York. Though Cleveland Heights is back in Ohio playing more familiar competition, the schedule doesn't let up with Sycamore (Ohio) and Upper Arlington (Ohio) on its Hannigan Tournament slate Saturday.

News and Notes

Honorable mention Top Performer: Blake School (Minn.) sophomore Lydia Sutton, who scored four goals in Blake's 15-8 loss to New Trier. Despite New Trier's attempts to slow Sutton, Trevians coach Pete Collins said the only way to stop her was to keep the ball away from her. "When she got the ball, she was able to score," he said. ... For the third poll in a row, the top 10 remained the same — just in a new order. Hathaway Brown (Ohio), off to a 4-0 start, also received consideration.

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