Nike/US Lacrosse Midwest Region Report
by Jonah Rosenblum | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the Week
Mario Caito, Solon
For a long time, Caito was all that kept the Comets going in a critical matchup against the Tigers. Trailing 6-2, Caito came out from behind the net, and facing strong coverage, spun around for an unorthodox goal. Right before the half, Caito finished a fast break as he sprinted past the cage, scoring despite a rapidly thinning angle. In the fourth, after both teams stayed knotted at nine for nearly seven minutes, Caito came out from behind the net and lost his defender with a beautiful pivot before putting the ball in the back of the net. Caito followed with another goal to seal the 11-9 victory.
Coach Donald Gries credited Caito's work in a new box league.
"He's a special player," Gries said. "I think that helped him a lot. Tight angles, not a lot to shoot at with the goalies obviously in that league wearing the sofa cushions and everything so that helped him."
Also Notable: Matt Lowes, Vicksburg (Mich.); Justin Gearig (Mich.), Vicksburg; Jordan Miller, Bay City Central (Mich.); Jack Moran, Benet (Ill.); Riley Mann, Benet (Ill.)
Also Notable: Pierre Bryne, Culver Academy (Ind.); Cal Callahan, Loyola Academy (Ill.)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Champlin Park (Minn.) at Andover (Minn.), May 21
The Rebels' run to an undefeated mark will face some serious challenges toward the end of the season, as they take on 9-1 Andover and 7-3 Wayzata (Minn.). The Huskies are in the midst of a difficult stretch themselves as their match against Champlin Park falls in between games against 7-1 Anoka (Minn.) and 7-2 Owatonna (Minn.).
Midwest Region Top 10
1. Culver Academy (Ind.), 23-0
Not that the Eagles needed to provide any more proof that they're the top team in the region, but their 16-3 win over Brother Rice (Mich.) sent a sharp statement.
2. Upper Arlington (Ohio), 13-2
The Golden Bears ended their regular season on a high note, holding two 13-win squads in Loyola Academy (Ill.) and Dublin Jerome (Ohio) to a combined 10 goals.
3. Loyola Academy (Ill.), 13-4
The Ramblers' final six opponents had a combined 96-23 record, forcing their first losses since the beginning of the season. Still, Loyola came back from a loss to Upper Arlington (Ohio) with a strong win over Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio) the very next day.
4. Dublin Jerome (Ohio), 13-4
Few teams have as many quality wins as the Celtics, who downed Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio) twice, edged New Trier (Ill.) in overtime, beat Olentangy (Ohio) on the road and twice gave Upper Arlington (Ohio) fits. This team has been in nearly every game.
5. Brother Rice (Mich.), 14-4
The Warriors' seven-game win streak couldn't last forever. They have lost to the Eagles of Culver Academy by a combined margin of 34-11 in two games this season.
6. MICDS (Mo.), 16-2
The Rams have surrendered four goals or fewer in five of their last six and roll into postseason play on a 10-game win streak.
7. Carmel (Ind.), 15-3
The Greyhounds have won 15 of 17 since a tough season-opening loss to Culver Academy (Ind.). It will be interesting to see how they do against the Eagles' "B" team on Friday.
8. Champlin Lake (Minn.), 9-0
A 10-1 victory over a good Maple Grove (Minn.) squad stands out to say the least.
9. Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio), 13-5
Few teams may inspire as much interest as the Wolves, who are coming off a sub-.500 May and losses in five of eight, yet may still have one of the Buckeye State's best teams.
10. Rosemount (Minn.), 8-1
Doubling up on Bloom Jefferson (Minn.) on the road is going to draw a lot of praise for the Irish. A win at Lakeville North (Minn.) would ensure respect.
News and Notes
After a huge comeback win against Chagrin Falls (Ohio), the players sprinted back and forth, one line to the other.
An angered coach watched them. A strong message was sent.
"Something happened unfortunately that's a bad reflection on us," Solon (Ohio) coach Donald Gries said. "So, the kids had to learn that I won't tolerate that."
Despite the 11-9 victory, Gries noted a sportsmanship-related issue after the final whistle and made crystal-clear that such behavior is unacceptable and had the players run sprints as punishment.
"I only know one way to do it [hold his players responsible for their actions] and that's the way," Gries said. "I was mad."
Otherwise, Solon's energy was remarkable. After failing to exert much pressure in the second quarter as Chagrin Falls rushed out a big lead, the Comets picked up the pace in the third, pressuring all the way downfield and wreaking havoc.
"We are a great team in unsettled," Gries said. "We didn't get too many breaks in the first half and they were obviously slowing it down, but for a team to beat us, they have to play four good quarters."
Their energy may have been best exemplified by John Sensibaugh, a junior midfielder who placed an enormous hit on a Chagrin Falls player to wedge the ball loose in the final minutes, then spun away from several defenders before slamming into another. Sensibaugh drew two Tigers fouls on the play, clinching the victory, while drawing an even larger reaction from a fired-up home crowd.
Gries noted Sensibuagh's role as middle linebacker on the Comets' football team.
"Sensibaugh is a man-child," Gries said. "Given the chance, John doesn't hesitate."
2014 Midwest Region Report Archive
- February 26 - Preseason Top 10/Player of the Year Watch List
- March 25
- April 1
- April 8
- April 15
- April 22
- April 29
- May 6
- May 13
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