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June 1, 2011

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LM Midwest Region Report: June 1, 2011

by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com

Player of the Week

Kelsey Gallagher, Loyola Academy (Ill.)
Even though it wasn't, last Monday's meeting between Loyola Academy and New Trier had all the makings of a state title game. Even though the teams had met in the championship game for the last three seasons, new sectional alignments forced the game to be played three rounds earlier than past years. With just about everything on the line, junior midfielder Kelsey Gallagher rose to the occasion for the Ramblers, leading the team with five goals in the 14-12 victory. After Loyola jumped out to an early lead, New Trier rallied back and tied the game at five. But a pair of goals by Gallagher and Stephanie Scherer pushed the Ramblers advantage to 9-5, and they would never look back. On a team with scorers like Scherer, Nicole Gleason and Molly Hulseman, Loyola is difficult to defend. But when players like Gallagher score too, the Ramblers are almost unstoppable.

Midwest Region Top 10

1. Loyola Academy (Ill.) – (19-2) – Arguably the Ramblers' toughest postseason test is out of the way, as they beat New Trier, and Loyola is two games away from repeating as state champions.

2. New Trier (Ill.) – (19-3) – Despite their two-goal loss to Loyola in the second round of the state tournament, New Trier put together another great season and went gate-to-gate as the Midwest's No. 2 team.

3. Medina (Ohio) – (13-2) – Medina continued its quest for back-to-back Ohio state titles, knocking off Shaker Heights, 14-3, in the second round of the tournament.

4. Blake School (Minn.) – (12-0) – Riding high off their win against Eden Prairie, Blake beat Benilde-St. Margaret's, 17-5, in the Eagles' first-round game of the Minnesota state playoffs.

5. Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – (10-6) – The Tigers' two post-season victories have come by a combined score of 33-6, and they've won four straight since a one-goal loss to New Trier.

6. Hudson (Ohio) – (14-2-1) – Since their overtime loss to Chagrin Falls in early May, the Explorers have been playing arguably their best lacrosse thus far, which includes a 14-5 win over Kent Roosevelt in the state tournament last week.

7. Eden Prairie (Minn.) – (10-1) – We've got our attention focused on a potential rematch with Blake later in the state tournament, but for now, the Eagles met Champlin Park on Tuesday in the third round of Minnesota state sectionals.

8. Upper Arlington (Ohio) – (15-4) – The Golden Bears have strung together three straight authoritative postseason victories, the most recent of which was a 20-11 defeat of always-dangerous Sycamore.

9. New Albany (Ohio) – (15-3) – It's never easy to beat the same team twice in a season, especially against a local rival, but the Eagles pulled off the trick against Mason, advancing in the state tournament with a 9-3 win.

10. Okemos (Mich.) – (18-2) – The Chieftains drop down a few spots in the rankings after losing their regular-season finale, 13-10, to Pioneer (Mich.), a rare loss against an in-state foe for Okemos.

Game of the Week

No. 5 Cleveland Heights (Ill.) at No. 3 Medina (Ohio) – Tuesday
These Division-I, Northern region squads didn't meet in the regular season, but they've posted near-carbon-copy results against similar opponents; for example, both schools lost to New Trier by only one goal in late April. Since confusion over player eligibility that forced it to forfeit a few games, Cleveland Heights has gotten back on track as one of the state's most potent offenses. Medina, on the other hand, has been one of the state's most consistent teams, outside of back-to-back losses earlier in the year. The Battling Bees are looking to repeat as Ohio Division-I state champs, and whoever wins this battle will have the inside track for the 2011 title.

UPDATE: Cleveland Heights had Medina on the ropes only to watch early, but Medina came back and won on junior attacker Ellie Hudson-Heck's game-winning goal with 5:19 remaining for an 11-10 victory in the Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association Division I regional final at Hawken School.

News and Notes

First-year coach Ken Tomozawa helped lead Carmel to the Indiana state championship, as the Greyhounds beat Culver Academy, 17-7, in the title game. Katie Pittman led the way for Carmel, as she found the back of the net four times and dished out seven assists in the final. ... Other than Loyola Academy, Libertyville, Hinsdale Central and St. Ignatius remain in the hunt for the Illinois state championship and round out the final four... In the Ohio Division II state tournament, a couple of interesting matchups are on the slate for next weekend. Rocky River will meet Columbus Academy and Mariemont will face Hathaway Brown, the defending champs.


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