LM Midwest Region Report: May 3, 2011
by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com
New Trier can usurp Loyola as the No. 1 team in the Midwest when the Illinois rivals meet Wednesday.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
Player of the Week
Christine Easton, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Coming off an All-American season when she scored 89 goals, Easton hasn't been slowed much at all in 2011. The Ohio State commit scored three goals against Minnetonka (Minn.) on Thursday, propelling the Eagles to an 11-9 victory. That was the lowest output of the season so far for Eden Prairie, but Easton's hat trick came against a conference rival and helped her team stay undefeated.
Midwest Region Top 10
1. Loyola Academy (Ill.) – (12-2) – Loyola's only game of the week came against Sacred Heart Academy (N.Y.), one of the Northeast's top teams, and the Ramblers came up just short in overtime.
2. New Trier (Ill.) – (14-1) – The Trevians suffered their first loss of the season to Sacred Heart Academy (N.Y.), but New Trier bounced back with three wins, including quality one-goal victories over top-10 opponents Medina (Ohio) and Cleveland Heights (Ohio).
3. Eden Prairie (Minn.) – (6-0) – Two more in-state wins last week help the Eagles jump up a few spots in the rankings, with an assist to the teams in Ohio, who have beat each other up in head-to-head meetings.
4. Hudson (Ohio) – (8-1) – After their early-season loss to Medina, the Explorers have rattled off seven wins.
5. Medina (Ohio) – (6-2) – The Queen Bees lost back-to-back games last week to New Trier (Ill.) and Upper Arlington (Ohio), but wins over Hudson (Ohio) and Sycamore (Ohio) help them hold serve in the top-10.
6. Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – (9-3) – The Tigers lost two straight one-goal games to New Trier (Ill.) and Hudson (Ohio), though Heights' high-powered attack still makes them one of the toughest teams to slow in the Midwest.
7. Okemos (Mich.) – (9-0) – Five more W's for the Chieftains, who will put their 62-game winning streak on the line against Medina (Ohio) this week, arguably their toughest game of the season.
8. Blake School (Minn.) – (4-0) – Blake is a little still slow to get going, but the Bears won a pair against Minnesota opponents this week, extending their winning streak dating back to last season to nine games.
9. New Albany (Ohio) – (11-1) – New Albany suffered its first defeat of the season, a 6-5 loss to Chagrin Falls (Ohio), but the Eagles will have a chance to jump in the rankings when they play Cleveland Heights (Ohio) this week.
10. Upper Arlington (Ohio) – (10-4) – The Golden Bears have an interesting slew of outcomes, knocking off Medina (Ohio) and Mason (Ohio), while losing to Cleveland Heights (Ohio) and Hudson (Ohio).
Game of the Week
No. 2 New Trier (Ill.) at No. 1 Loyola Academy (Ill.)
– Wednesday, 7 p.m.
It's the matchup we've all been waiting for since the season started. Less than two miles separate the schools on Chicago's north side, and the players have grown up with and against one another. Both teams have lived up to their billing this season, holding the top two spots in the rankings since the pre-season. Loyola won both of the meetings last year, 14-11 in the regular season and 18-11 in the state championship game. In terms of a recent common opponent, both teams played Sacred Heart (N.Y.) last week, and the Ramblers only lost by one goal, while the Trevians fell by eight. But the transitive property doesn't apply in lacrosse, and these archrivals are sure to play to a close outcome.
News and Notes
Okemos coach Bill Prahler, known by some as the Godfather of Michigan lacrosse, set out to create a more challenging schedule for his team in 2011, to help his team get exposure and show the way the Great Lakes State can play lacrosse against the rest of the Midwest. Prahler's efforts will come to fruition this weekend when the Chieftains face Medina (Ohio) in a game between two top-10 teams, which could be counted as runner-up for Game of the Week. ... Staying in Michigan, Rockford (Mich.) topped Brighton (Mich.), 8-7, in a battle of two of the top teams in the state. Rockford beat Brighton in last year's Division 1 state championship game as well, 19-11.
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