Nike/US Lacrosse 2014 HS Preview: Midwest Region Girls
|Maggie Nick is the reigning Midwest Player of the Year and Loyola (Ill.) is preseason No. 1 in the region. Can they continue to set the tone in the area? (TD Paulius)|
Lacrosse Magazine's Nike/US Lacrosse High School Preview features the preseason national Top 25 for both boys' and girls' (released Tuesday) and preseason regional Top 10s and Player of the Year Watch Lists for boys (Wednesday) and girls (Thursday) across the country.
Midwest Region Girls' Preseason Top 10
1. Loyola (Ill.)
In-state rival New Trier lost its star, Kelsey Murray, to Stanford, while Loyola returns its best player, Maggie Nick. One of the best clutch scorers in the nation, the senior had 75 goals, 36 assists, 85 draw controls, 72 ground balls and 33 caused turnovers last year. She'll need to be just as versatile this year. The Ramblers lost Katherine Eilers and Grace Foley one offense and defense, respectively.
2. Mason (Ohio)
The Comets' perfect season was spoiled by Sycamore in the regional final. But a much-heralded junior class now turns into a much-heralded senior class. Tori Blakeman, Allie Specht and Lindsey Zeltwanger give Mason the star power needed for a deep postseason run.
3. Upper Arlington (Ohio)
The Golden Bears won each of their last seven games by at least five goals en route to a state championship. Upper Arlington has reached the state finals in six straight seasons.
4. New Trier (Ill.)
After a 1-2-1 trip to the East, the Trevians lost just two games the rest of the season. Kelsey Murray will be very hard to replace, however.
5. Sycamore (Ohio)
The Aviators faced as a tough a path as anyone to the state final and handled it with aplomb, downing both Mason and Medina. Don't ever count Sycamore out.
6. Medina (Ohio)
The Battling Bees were ousted by Sycamore in the state semifinals after three straight titles. Still, Medina took down Okemos (Mich.) and East Grand Rapids, in addition to several in-state rivals.
7. East Grand Rapids (Mich.)
The Pioneers loaded their 2013 schedule with out-of-state contests against Loyola (Ill.), New Albany (Ohio) and Medina (Ohio) and still emerged with a 22-2 record.
8. Blake School (Minn.)
Some will say the Bears got lucky when Lakeville North (Minn.) downed Eden Prairie (Minn.) in last year's semifinals, clearing their path for a state title. Can Blake finally take down New Trier?
9. Hinsdale Central (Ill.)
Jacquie Edwards (49g, 11a) and Kate Christian (52g, 23a) have some pundits picking the Red Devils to surpass New Trier and give Loyola its stiffest in-state competition.
10. Montini Catholic (Ill.)
The lone remaining star on the attack, Frankie Kamely, and coaches Michelle Sebastian and Virginia Kosenkova hope to make Montini Catholic a permanent thorn in the side of Loyola and New Trier.
Player of Year Watch List
A Tori Blakeman, Mason (Ohio)
A Kate Christian, Hinsdale Central (Ill.)
M Annie Dooley, Loyola (Ill.)
M Jacquie Edwards, Hinsdale Central (Ill.)
A Frankie Kamely, Montini Catholic (Ill.)
A Charlotte McGuire, New Trier (Ill.)
A Armonde Moore, Upper Arlington (Ohio)
M Maggie Nick, Loyola (Ill.)
M Molly Plasket, Upper Arlington (Ohio)
M Lydia Sutton, Blake (Minn.)
A version of these regional breakdowns appears along with additional feature content in the March 2014 issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.