Nike/US Lacrosse Midwest Region Report
by Jonah Rosenblum | LaxMagazine.com
Top PerformersBo Lori, Hudson (Ohio)
Goalkeeper Tyler Zickel, who will help inaugurate Boston University's lacrosse program next season, might be the most heralded member of the Explorers, but junior Bo Lori has been electric all season long. Lori continued his remarkable campaign with a six-goal, five-assist performance against North Canton Hoover (Ohio).
Donny Bergdoll, Hinsdale Central (Ill.)
Bergdoll can turn an opposing team's night into a nightmare in an instant. Bergdoll was particularly effective in the Red Devils' 4-3 victory over Fenwick (Ill.), scoring all four of Hinsdale Central's goals. He opened up with two goals in the game's first five minutes and then exploded for two more goals in a minute in the third quarter.
Games to Watch
Loyola Academy (Ill.) at New Trier (Ill.) – April 16
The Ramblers have several chances to prove themselves this season, with matches against Carmel (Ind.), Lake Forest (Ill.), Lyons Township (Ill.) and Culver Academy (Ind.) still on the docket, but they have an immediate chance to make their case as the top dog in Illinois with their April 16 contest against New Trier. Four of the last five between the Trevians and the Ramblers have been decided by two goals or fewer, including a 7-5 Loyola triumph in their sole meeting of the 2012 season.
Mason (Ohio) at Hudson (Ohio) – April 19
The Explorers, after starting their 2012 campaign with a 7-1 record, are off to another quick start this season, winning their first seven. The Comets are also undefeated to this point, and much like last year, look to hand Hudson its first loss of the season. Mason didn't win by much in 2012, defeating Hudson 11-8 on the Comets' home field. Now, the Explorers have a chance to stay put and return the favor. They are an astounding 43-7 since the start of the 2011 season.
1. Culver Academy (Ind.), 8-1
The Eagles look to have one of the best attacks in the region, as they have put up points in spades all season. Culver Academy posted 17 goals against Calverton (Md.), 14 goals against Detroit Country Day (Mich.), 20 goals against Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio) and 17 goals against Brother Rice (Mich.). Even against strong teams in Boys' Latin (Md.) and Landon (Md.), Culver Academy posted nine goals apiece. The Eagles will challenge themselves all season long, as tough matches against Hill Academy (Canada), Louisville St. Xavier (Ky.), Mason (Ohio) and Carmel (Ind.) await. Indeed, eight of the Eagles' nine remaining regular-season matches are against out-of-state foes.
2. Brother Rice (Mich.), 5-1
The Warriors have generally been as good as expected to start out the 2013 season, topping 19 goals on three separate occasions. Their one shortcoming was against Culver Academy (Ind.), which got on the Warriors' defense for 17 goals. Brother Rice had only given up 20 goals all season to that point. It was an especially bitter disappointment given how competitive Brother Rice was in two meetings with Culver Academy last season. Culver Academy helped introduce a tougher part of the schedule that includes matches against Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.), Hill Academy, Detroit Country Day and Dublin Jerome (Ohio).
3. Dublin Jerome (Ohio), 5-0
The Celtics have been very steady thus far, posting 16-plus goals in four of five games this season, but in the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet." Dublin Jerome's first five foes of the year have posted a combined 10-14 record this season. The Celtics will be hard-pressed to copy last season's one-loss finish, as they play five straight games against teams with winning records to round out the month of April, including Brother Rice and Upper Arlington (Ohio).
4. Upper Arlington (Ohio), 4-0
The Golden Bears represented the Midwest well with two easy victories in the Keystone State, downing Sewickley Academy 10-3 and Shady Side Academy 8-1. Upper Arlington's defense has been picture-perfect early in the 2013 season, surrendering just five goals in its first four games combined. Next up for the Golden Bears: a date with a Dublin Coffman Shamrocks team that started its 2013 campaign with four-straight wins.
5. Loyola Academy (Ill.), 5-1
The Ramblers have gotten off to a blazing start on the attack, scoring at least 18 goals in each of their five victories this season. A 12-5 loss against West Genesee (N.Y.) can be forgiven, most losses to Empire State competition can, as Loyola Academy hasn't skipped a beat against its in-state competition. In fact, the Ramblers have outscored their five Land of Lincoln foes by a wide margin of 97-10. Of course, the somewhat weak foes they have taken on in Illinois will do little to help them prepare for New Trier (Ill.).
6. Carmel (Ind.), 8-0
The Greyhounds got off to a flying start, surrendering six or fewer goals in their first eight games. Particularly impressive was a 9-6 victory over perennial Show Me State contender St. Louis University. A tough road trip looms, however, as Carmel ventures northwest to play New Trier (Ill.) and Loyola Academy (Ill.) before returning to the Hoosier State to take on Brebeuf Jesuit. Though the Braves were no challenge for the Greyhounds in 2012, falling 30-5, the Trevians came within four goals of them last season.
7. Eden Prairie (Minn.), 0-0
The Eagles have waited for what has seemed like an eternity to get their season started, but once it gets going, it gets going fast. Eden Prairie will play three games in five days and five games in 10 days to kick off the 2013 season — weather permitting, of course. After traveling to Wayzata (Minn.), Hopkins (Minn.) and Edina (Minn.) early in the season, the Eagles will spend most of the remainder of the 2013 season at home. Their opener against the Red Knights should be interesting, given that Benilde-St. Margaret (Minn.) defeated Eden Prairie 9-7 last season.
8. Lake Forest (Ill.), 4-1
The Scouts have come back beautifully from a blowout loss to Columbus Catholic (Fla.), downing their next two foes by a combined score of 34-11. Most impressive of all was an 18-8 win over a Lyons Township squad that had won its first eight of the 2013 campaign. Lake Zurich (Ill.) is next on the docket for Lake Forest, but even though the Bears boast an impressive 8-1 record, the Scouts defeated them handily last season, 10-2, despite a similarly gaudy record.
9. Eastview (Minn.), 0-0
With snowstorms still roiling the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Lightning are just hoping to get a couple of games in at this point. Eastview is set to open its 2013 season against Mahtomedi (Minn.) on April 18, on a day when snow showers are once again expected in the Minneapolis area. Even though they are one of the last teams to start playing lacrosse in the entire country, the Lightning remain in the Top 10 for now, though a road loss at Mahtomedi or Rosemount, both of which Eastview edged by a single goal last season, could unseat them.
10. Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio), 4-1
No one expected the Wolves to beat Culver Academy (Ind.) — but competing with the Eagles would have been nice. Worthington Kilbourne fell to Culver Academy 20-2 and coupled with a pair of close wins over Archbishop Moeller (Ohio) and Dublin Coffman (Ohio), perhaps no team is in greater danger of falling out of the Top 10 than the Wolves. Their offense has yet to post more than 12 goals in a game this season, and the Eagles made a mess out of their defense.
News and Notes
An Old New Power
After posting a 7-6 win over St. Louis University, one of its foremost rivals in the Show Me State, MICDS was unable to beat a school in De Smet Jesuit (Mo.) that it handled with ease last season.
Rams coach Andy Kay, however, noted that the Spartans, though they haven't posted a winning record since 2010, were once a state power. And led by their powerful defense, they could be a contender in the state of Missouri once again, according to Kay.
"De Smet has really put a lot of resources into that program. It's kind of an old school program that used to win all of the time, and they're doing a good job," Kay said. "They've got some big, physical kids. I think they're going to struggle with how to put the ball in the net, but man, if they're holding teams to not too many goals, they'll be fine. They'll be happy to win like that."
Indeed, De Smet has won plenty like that — holding its last seven opponents to single-digit scoring totals.
Perhaps the Rams' loss was less surprising given that they were quite sloppy against St. Louis University, according to Kay, and given that De Smet has now won five straight.
"I've got to credit those guys," Kay said. "They played a really solid defense. They were very opportunistic. It was one of those games. They capitalized on everything. Anything that we did wrong, they capitalized on."
Simplicity Works Best
After scoring seven or fewer goals in four of its first five games, MICDS finally exploded for a season-high 16 goals against Eureka (Mo.) on April 8. The Wildcats had previously built a 5-1 record behind stout defense. But against Eureka, MICDS finally pieced things together.
"We were probably trying to be a little too creative offensively so we simplified things," coach Andy Kay said. "We moved to a few fewer guys on the perimeter. We went into more of an old school New York Institute of Technology Deuces offense. We're certainly emphasizing trying to get good looks inside."
The Rams followed their 16-goal performance with another season-high, this time scoring 18 goals against Kirkwood (Mo.) to pick up another easy win.
"It's been really good for a young team to kind of come into their own a bit offensively," Kay said. "Basically, we try and treat our offense like an old school motion offense. What are you doing off ball?"
Kay said that his team has essentially gotten back to the basics. He has helped his team figure out who its primary shooters are so there's less standing around and wondering who's going to do what.
How basic are we talking?
"People say, 'What offense do you run?' and we say, 'Offense,'" Kay said.
Note: The Nike/US Lacrosse Regional rankings will not necessarily reflect the same order as the Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25 poll, which is voted on by US Lacrosse area representatives and Lacrosse Magazine contributors, who compile the regional rankings.