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April 19, 2011

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LM Midwest Region Report: April 19, 2011

by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com

Player of the Week

Sydney Thomas, Medina (Ohio)
With only one senior returning from last year’s 21-0 state championship team, the Queen Bees knew they would have to rely on Sydney Thomas. The midfielder and Loyola (Md.) commit scored 40 goals a season ago, including two in the Ohio title game against Upper Arlington, while leading the team in draw controls with 76. In Medina’s season-opening test against then-No. 5 Hudson in the Game of the Week, Thomas paced the Bees with seven goals and led the team to a come-from-behind victory.

Midwest Region Top 10

1. Loyola Academy (Ill.) – (10-1) – It had been a while since Loyola faced an in-state team, and the Ramblers put it to Glenbrook South (Ill.), 19-3, after facing some of the nation’s top teams in the Mid-Atlantic.

2. New Trier (Ill.) – (10-0) – New Trier played four games in five days, and the Trevians came away with four easy wins, including an 18-0 shutout of Deerfield (Ill.).

3. Medina (Ohio) – (3-0) – The season couldn’t have started any better for Medina, which beat top-10 foe Hudson by a goal and followed that up with a two-goal win over Sycamore (Ohio); the Battling Bees have an interesting interstate game against New Trier at the end of April.

4. Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – (7-1) – Even when Mason (Ohio) held Cleveland Heights to eight goals, the Tigers managed to escape with an 8-4 victory behind seven scores from Meg Lentz; Heights’ schedule for next week features games against three top-10 teams.

5. Eden Prairie (Minn.) – (2-0) – It’s hard to justify moving the Eagles down in the rankings, albeit only one spot, after they posted two wins in the early going by a combined score of 34-10, but Heights deserved the jump.

6. Hudson (Ohio) – (3-1) – The Explorers let a late three-goal lead against Medina slip away, but they should benefit from the experience later in the season; Hudson has only one game this week to prepare for the rescheduled contest with Cleveland Heights.

7. New Albany (Ohio) – (3-0) – A 14-6 defeat of Wellington School (Ohio) was the only action the Eagles saw last week, but they’ve got a chance to build their resume and jump in the rankings with this week’s game against Upper Arlington.

8. Okemos (Mich.) – (1-0) – Make it 54 consecutive victories for the Chieftains, who brushed aside Mattawan United (Mich.), 17-4; Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.) offers an early-season test on Saturday.

9. Blake School (Minn.) – (1-0) – The reigning state champions in Minnesota began their title defense with a 17-2 thrashing of Wayzata (Minn.); it’ll be tough for opponents to slow the Bears’ midfield of Meghan Bauer, Lydia Sutton and Hillary Crowe.

10. Upper Arlington (Ohio) – (7-1) – The Golden Bears have reeled off a nice seven-game winning streak since the opener against St. Paul’s (Md.); UA didn’t lose to an in-state opponent until the state championship game last year.

Game of the Week

No. 10 Upper Arlington (Ohio) at No. 7 New Albany (Ohio) – Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Would you rather your team be well-rested or in-a-rhythm going into a crucial game? Different coaches will give you different answers, but the theory will be put to a test on Tuesday. New Albany has played just once in the last 10 days, while Upper Arlington has done battle four times in that span, winning the last two by a combined three goals. So who has the upper hand? The teams didn't face off last year, but they last played to a one-goal game in 2009, when New Albany won, 8-7.

News and Notes

Though it hasn't cracked the top 10 yet, a team on the brink of the rankings is Sycamore (Ohio). The Aviators are 5-4, but each of their four losses has been at the hands of a top-10 opponent. Most recently, Sycamore came up just short against No. 3 Medina, 10-8, and it could be a team that makes noise later in the season. Another Ohio school, Mason, has a profile similar to that of Sycamore. The Comets are 3-5-2, but their losses have come to teams in the top-10. Sycamore and Mason will meet April 28... Arrowhead (Wis.) has gotten off to a scorching 7-0 start, and the Warhawks have outscored their opponents by a combined 115 goals in those games. Arrowhead doesn't have a game scheduled for a few weeks, but it faces Lyons Township (Ill.) in the first week of May, a team the Warhawks narrowly lost to last year, 8-7.


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