LM Midwest Region Report: April 5, 2011
by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com
Cleveland Heights (Ohio) standout Meg Lentz, who recently committed to Stanford, powered the Tigers to victories over California schools Menlo and Palo Alto despite being face-guarded by both.
Player of the Week
Meg Lentz, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
There wasn’t much high school girls' lacrosse action in the Midwest last week, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any stellar performances. Junior midfielder Meg Lentz, who recently gave a verbal commitment to Stanford, powered Cleveland Heights to two victories on the West Coast -- operative word being power. Lentz scored eight times against Menlo School (Calif.), and followed that up with an incredible 11-goal performance against Palo Alto (Calif.). Of the Tigers’ 38 goals, Lentz directly contributed to 24 of them, as she has also tallied five assists. “She’s pretty much controlling everything,” Cleveland Heights coach Terry Saylor said. “She’s very smooth. She’s very quick. She’s got decent speed, but her best attributes are quickness and knowledge of how to play. She’s very composed with the ball. She can be double-teamed or triple-teamed and still find options, because she sees the field extremely well.” The California schools tried to face-guard and double-team Lentz, as they knew of her exploits and commitment to the Cardinal. “It’s not that they didn’t play decent defense, she had to work for her goals,” Saylor added. “It’s just that she’s that good.”
Midwest Region Top 10
1. Loyola Academy (Ill.) – (5-0) – Each of the Ramblers’ five games this week will come against teams outside the Midwest, as they continue to build their resume and case as one of the best teams in the nation.
2. New Trier (Ill.) – (5-0) – Only one game is on New Trier’s slate this week, against Montini Catholic (Ill.), but you have to think the Trevians have their sights set on that game one month from now -- mark it on your calendars, New Trier-Loyola Academy on May 4.
3. Medina (Ohio) – (0-0) – The Bees will have to go another week before making their season debut, but the opener against Hudson (Ohio) is much awaited.
4. Eden Prairie (Minn.) – (0-0) – Minnesota’s spring sports season doesn’t start until March 28, which means the Eagles have been practicing for only one week, but Eden Prairie’s season opens April 14 against Minnetonka.
5. Hudson (Ohio) – (0-0) – In a battle between two of the Midwest’s best players, Explorers’ senior midfielder Mallory Vehar, a Syracuse commit, will go head-to-head with Cleveland Heights’ Meg Lentz on Monday; Hudson also faces Revere (Ohio) on Thursday.
6. Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – (2-0) – The Tigers were the only top-10 team to play last week, and two wins over California schools bump Cleveland Heights up in the rankings.
7. New Albany (Ohio) – (0-0) First-year coach Dave Ferguson will get to make his New Albany Eagles debut against Hilliard Darby on Thursday.
8. Okemos (Mich.) – (0-0) – Okemos won’t play this week -- its opener will be played April 12 against Grand Rapids Catholic Central -- but Midwest lacrosse fans are looking forward to the Chieftains’ challenge against Medina (Ohio) in early-May.
9. Blake School (Minn.) – (0-0) – Blake School’s drive for a third state title in four years starts on April 15 when the Bears travel to Wayzata (Minn.).
10. Upper Arlington (Ohio) – (0-1) – The Golden Bears look to get back on track this week, as they face three regional opponents: Thomas Worthington, Bishop Watterson and Sycamore.
Game of the Week
No. 8 Cleveland Heights (Ohio) at No. 5 Hudson (Ohio) – Monday, 5 p.m.
In an interview with Lacrosse Magazine in January, Hudson coach Emily Fisher said she knew Cleveland Heights would be “hungry for a win” against Hudson, since the Explorers eliminated the Tigers from the state tournament each of the last two years. In fact, Hudson beat Cleveland Heights not once but twice last year. “Hudson is a really quality team,” Cleveland Heights coach Terry Saylor said. “Their midfielders [Mallory Vehar, Carly Mackessy and Kolbie Haines] are extremely talented and very fast. They’ve certainly given us problems over the last couple years. It’s a good rivalry game and one that we look forward to.” For Heights, senior midfielder and captain Kelly Jones, a San Diego State recruit who has been out for a month with a concussion, may not be able to play against Hudson. Saylor said he hopes Jones will be back “in the next week or so,” but it was a psychological boost when Jones traveled with the team to California last week.
News and Notes
A team just outside the top-10 is Sycamore (Ohio), which got off to a 1-2 start. But two of the Aviators’ three losses came to Loyola Academy (Ill.) and New Trier (Ill.), the top two teams in the Midwest, while the victory was a 16-5 thrashing of Evanston Township (Ill.). “They’re a really good program and really well coached,” New Trier coach Pete Collins said. “They’re always really talented.” Sycamore will have a chance to jump into the top-10 this week when it faces Upper Arlington, a team it lost to 15-8 last year… It’s also worth noting that Illinois now has 47 schools playing lacrosse, as the state added six new programs this year. Maine South, traditionally a sports power, is among the schools that added a lacrosse team this year.
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