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April 26, 2011

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LM Midwest Region Report: April 26, 2011

by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com


The Midwest Region rankings will likely undergo a shift this week with several top-10 and interstate games on tap, including LM's Game of the Week -- No. 5 Eden Prairie (Minn.) at No. 1 Loyola (Ill.) on Friday.

Player of the Week

Elaina Enich, New Albany, Ohio
With Emily Newman and Morgan Fee, the Eagles knew their strength coming into the season would be at midfield, while the team had to replace eight starters from last year, mostly on defense and attack. One player who has emerged is Enich, a sophomore attacker, and she proved it Saturday against Sycamore (Ohio), in New Albany's 13-12 win. Enich found the back of the net six times, which included the equalizer and game-winner. Enich also tallied hat tricks against Upper Arlington (Ohio) and Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio) earlier last week, giving her 12 scores for the week.

Midwest Region Top 10

1. Loyola Academy (Ill.) – (12-1) – The Ramblers continued their offensive surge, as they've scored at least 18 goals in each of the last four games; everyone has circled May 4 on their calendar for the game against New Trier (Ill.).

2. New Trier (Ill.) – (11-0) – New Trier continued its undefeated campaign with a 23-0 win last Thursday, and the Trevians will be careful to not overlook Medina (Ohio) and Cleveland Heights (Ohio) this week before facing Loyola Academy (Ill.).

3. Medina (Ohio) – (4-0) – It has been slow going to start the season for the Queen Bees, but they'll be buzzing this week with a pair of games against top-10 foes.

4. Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – (8-1) – A 17-9 defeat of Hathaway Brown (Ohio) will serve as a tune-up for this week, which features contests with three ranked opponents.

5. Eden Prairie (Minn.) – (4-0) – Two in-state wins last week help the Eagles hold serve in the No. 5 spot; their much-awaited trip to the Chicago area comes this week when they play Loyola Academy (Ill.), which should help prepare them for May 19 against archrival Blake School (Minn.).

6. New Albany (Ohio) – (8-0) – The Eagles have continued to find ways to win, as they escaped with a pair of one-goal victories this week against Upper Arlington (Ohio) and Sycamore (Ohio).

7. Hudson (Ohio) – (3-1) – The Explorers' only game of last week, scheduled to be against Magnificat (Ohio), was postponed; Hudson has five games on the slate this week, including an interesting contest with Cleveland Heights (Ohio).

8. Okemos (Mich.) – (4-0) – The Chieftains still haven't lost since May 30, 2008, and they had a trio of victories last week, which included a 14-11 nail-biter against Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.).

9. Blake School (Minn.) – (2-0) – The Bears, Minnesota's reigning state champions, topped Edina (Minn.) in their only game of the week, 14-5.

10. Upper Arlington (Ohio) – (8-2) – The Golden Bears lost a one-goal overtime thriller, 12-11, to New Albany (Ohio), but rebounded with a 15-goal outburst over Hilliard Darby (Ohio).

Game of the Week

No. 5 Eden Prairie (Minn.) at No. 1 Loyola Academy (Ill.) – Friday, 5 p.m.
As Loyola Academy has established itself as the team to beat in the Midwest, it has also built something of a target on its back. But that's not because teams don't admire the Ramblers, it's because you've got to beat the best to be the best. As Eden Prairie coach Judy Baxter told Lacrosse Magazine before the season, "Our No. 1 most-respected opponent, (Loyola Academy), has a strong history of aggressive, athletic play," she said. "They're an exceptionally well-coached program ... We always look forward to our trip to Chicago for challenging competition." The Eagles beat Loyola in 2008, but the Ramblers have come out on top the last two years, including last year's 17-9 victory.

News and Notes

We'll have a much better idea of where teams stack up after this week. The "Game of the Week" should be a dandy, but there are a handful of other games that'll send shockwaves throughout the Midwest: No. 2 New Trier (Ill.) vs. No. 3 Medina (Ohio), No. 2 New Trier (Ill.) vs. No. 4 Cleveland Heights (Ohio), No. 3 Medina (Ohio) vs. No. 10 Upper Arlington (Ohio), No. 4 Cleveland Heights (Ohio) vs. No. 7 Hudson (Ohio) and No. 7 Hudson (Ohio) vs. No. 10 Upper Arlington (Ohio). ... When two of Minnesota's top teams, Edina and Blake School, faced each other Saturday, they were taking part in the first-ever "Play for P.I.N.K" lacrosse game in the country to raise awareness of and funds to fight breast cancer. The acronym stands for "Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology and Knowledge," and the organization has donated $22,000,000 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation since 1996. The idea to support the cause in a lacrosse game came from Blake School coach Laura Mark. "Like so many, I have been personally inspired by the perseverance, determination, and positive spirit of those who have battled cancer," Mark said in a press release. "This game was just one way to show our support and to pay tribute to the survivors, their families and all to those whose fights continue. With thanks to the MN lacrosse community, every athlete on the field and every fan in the stands can claim victory for the day. " Blake School defeated Edina, 14-5.


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