LM Midwest Region Report: April 12, 2011
by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com
Loyola (Ill.) remained No. 1 in LM's Midwest Region rankings despite a loss against one of the South's top teams, Milton (Ga.), due largely to three wins over Virginia schools.
© Anne Ryan
Player of the Week
Mallory Vehar, Hudson, Ohio
Vehar, a senior midfielder and Syracuse commit, scored four goals against Revere (Ohio) in Hudson's season-opening 15-3 victory, while grabbing six ground controls and five ground balls. After losing their first two games of 2010 before rattling off 17 straight wins, Vehar made sure the Explorers started 2011 on a high note. "Mallory's quickness and aggressive play is incredible," Hudson coach Emily Fisher said. "She also is a very smart player who understands the game. She makes everyone else around her better."
Midwest Region Top 10
1. Loyola Academy (Ill.) – 7-1 – The Ramblers suffered their first loss of the season this week at the hands of one of the South's top teams, Milton (Ga.), in a neutral site game at Georgetown University, but Loyola also collected three wins against Virginia schools.
2. New Trier (Ill.) – 6-0 – New Trier passed its only test of the week, beating Motini Catholic (Ill.), 15-8, and the Trevians have a busy, four-game schedule in the week ahead.
3. Medina (Ohio) – 0-0 – The Bees' season finally starts on Monday evening, and they'll immediately face Ohio regional opponent Hudson.
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) – 1-0 – Syracuse commit Mallory Vehar gets a lot of attention, but six different players scored for the Explorers in the win over Revere to open 2011, including a hat trick by both Carly Mackessy and Caroline Keyes.
6. Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – 3-1 – The Tigers lost their first game of the season, 17-12, to the Mid-Atlantic's then-No. 9 squad, St. Paul's (Md.); Heights has a slew of games this week, including one against 3-0 Western Reserve Academy (Ohio).
7. New Albany (Ohio) – 2-0 – The Eagles opened their season with a business-like 12-8 win over Hilliard Darby (Ohio) and followed that up with a 9-7 victory against Mason (Ohio); New Albany only has one game this week, which will allow for extra preparation time for the upcoming tilt with Upper Arlington.
8. Okemos (Mich.) – 0-0 – After their season-opener was rained out two weeks ago, the Chieftains are ready for the season to start; Okemos travels to Grand Rapids Catholic Central (Mich.) and Mattawan United (Mich.) this week.
9. Blake School (Minn.) – 0-0 – Blake School's defense of its state title gets underway this week with the Bears facing Benilde-St. Margaret's (Minn.) and Wayzata (Minn.)
10. Upper Arlington (Ohio) – 3-1 – The Golden Bears responded about as well as coach Kim Rocheleau could have asked, sweeping three in-state teams by a combined score of 45-16.
Game of the Week
No. 5 Hudson (Ohio) at No. 3 Medina (Ohio) –
Monday, 5 p.m.
In a January interview with Lacrosse Magazine, Hudson coach Emily Fisher said this about Medina (Ohio), "Although they lost one of the top players in the area, Nikki Boltja [who's not at Louisville], they have a strong group of underclassmen that will make them strong contenders again this season. Their speed sets them apart from a lot of other teams." Hudson, though, has been showing off some speed of its own, utilizing high-intensity basketball-style offensive sets. Earlier this week, here's what Fisher had to say about the Bees: "Medina is a strong team. We are just focused on what we can control — playing hard, together and with heart — If we can do that, win or lose, we are successful." Both Medina and Hudson are under the guidance of first-year head coaches; Fisher has replaced Joya Mitchell at Hudson, while Amanda Wilson has taken over for Ed Gambaccini at Medina, the reigning Ohio division-I state champions.
News and Notes
Last week's Game of the Week between Hudson and Cleveland Heights was postponed due to the inclement weather conditions in Ohio... The season has been slowly getting started for the girls of the Midwest, but things should get more interesting this week, with the top teams from Michigan and Minnesota kicking off their seasons. And even with a few games being played in Ohio, coaches are intrigued to learn about their toughest competition. "Everybody throughout the state has lost a couple key players, so everyone is trying to see where they stack up," Cleveland Heights coach Terry Saylor said. "It'll be interesting to see if anyone pulls away from the group. If not, there are going to be some difficult, very, very close games in the tournament. All these early games are preparation for that."
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