LM Midwest Region Report: June 7, 2011
by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the Week
Ellie Hudson-Heck, Medina, Ohio
Hudson-Heck, a junior, had a week to remember, as she scored two game-winning goals in the Ohio Division-I state playoffs. The first came in the regional final against Cleveland Heights with 5:19 remaining, as the Bees battled back from a 9-6 deficit. Hudson-Heck's goal gave Medina a 12-11 lead that it didn't relinquish. Four days later, Hudson-Heck's second game-winner came in even heightened circumstances. In Saturday's state championship game, Hudson-Heck wrapped around the right side of the cage and buried the ball in the back of the net past Upper Arlington goalie Morgan Fulwider with just 57 seconds remaining, giving Medina a 12-11 overtime victory. Add a three-goal performance against New Albany in the semifinals, and Hudson-Heck scored 11 goals last week, upping her season total to 55.
Midwest Region Top 10
1. Loyola Academy (Ill.) – (20-2) – The Ramblers' reign at the top of the Midwest rankings went wire-to-wire: Loyola started the season as the top-ranked team in the Midwest, and that's where it closes the 2011 campaign. Loyola held just a 4-2 lead at halftime against Hinsdale Central but rallied in the second half en route to a 15-3 win and its third consecutive state title.
2. New Trier (Ill.) – (19-3) – Two losses by a combined three goals to archrival Loyola with a pair of one-goal wins over Medina and Cleveland Heights provide the backdrop for New Trier's season and its strength. The Trevians haven't lost to an in-state team other than Loyola in five years, and they continue to be one of the Midwest's top programs.
3. Medina (Ohio) – (16-2) – Back-to-back losses in late April to New Trier and Upper Arlington seem ages ago now, as the Battling Bees won their second straight Ohio Division-I state championship on Saturday. Avenging the earlier loss, Medina beat Upper Arlington in overtime, 14-13, in a repeat of last year's title game matchup, and they graduate only one senior from this year's team.
4. Cleveland Heights (Ohio) – (10-7) – The Tigers had Medina on the ropes in the regional final, leading 9-6 in the second half and stymieing the Bees' powerful attack, but the Tigers couldn't hold on and fell 11-10. Heights hasn't beaten Medina since 2006, but they return a powerful offense next year led by Meg Lentz.
5. Upper Arlington (Ohio) – (16-5) – The Golden Bears hit their stride late in the season, winning consecutive playoff games against Sycamore and Hudson, but Upper Arlington's run ended the way it did a season ago: with a loss to Medina in the Division-I state championship. The Bears' season course is interesting, as they beat Medina and lost to Hudson earlier this year.
6. Hudson (Ohio) – (15-3-1) – The Explorers' stout defense had allowed an average of 3.4 goals per game against in the five contests leading into the semifinals against Upper Arlington, but Hudson allowed 13 goals to the Bears. Still, Hudson had a solid season, which included wins over Cleveland Heights and Upper Arlington and a one-goal loss to the eventual state champs, Medina.
7. Blake School (Minn.) – (14-0) – Blake had a closer call than expected against Edina in postseason action, playing to an 8-8 tie in the second half before emerging for a 12-10 win. Lydia Sutton and Meghan Bauer each scored four goals for Blake, which earned the No. 1 seed in the state tournament bracket and will meet Bloomington Jefferson on Wednesday.
8. New Albany (Ohio) – (15-4) – In their second season as a Division-I team, the Eagles once again fell to Medina in the state semifinals, this time by a score of 14-7. New Albany won three straight Division-II state titles before changing classifications, and the Eagles nearly beat Medina earlier in the season, a game which ended in a 13-12 loss.
9. Eden Prairie (Minn.) – (14-1) – Since their loss to Blake, Eden Prairie's already potent offense has seemed unstoppable, scoring an average of 20 goals in their last four games. The Eagles' next state tournament opponent is Stillwater, and a potential rematch with Blake would be played on Friday.
10. Okemos (Mich.) – (19-3) – It's hard to envision a top 10 without Okemos, which consistently has been one of the Midwest's top programs, but the eventual Michigan state winner might take the nod in the postseason rankings. For now, Okemos remains in the top 10, thanks in large part to a 10-9 overtime loss to Medina, the Midwest's third-ranked team and Ohio's Division-I state champs.
Game of the Week
Minnesota State Championship Game –
We don't want to jump the gun too much on predicting who will play in Thursday's state title, but if it goes according to chalk, No. 1 Blake will meet No. 2 Eden Prairie. The history of this series speaks for itself, but Blake has won two of the last three meetings between these teams in the championship contest. The Bears also took this year's regular-season matchup in mid-May, 14-12.
News and Notes
Arrowhead won its fifth Wisconsin state title in six years, beating Verona 9-3 on Saturday behind three goals from Hannah Bird and two from Rachel Martell ... Columbus Academy snuck past Rocky River, 11-10, in the Ohio Division-II semifinal and then won the state championship with a 13-11 defeat of Hathaway Brown on Sunday. Meredith McCloud found the back of the net four times to give the Vikings an early lead, and Courtney Deena registered a hat trick in the second half to upset the defending champions ... We're down to the final four in both Michigan's Division-I and Division-II classification. In D-I, the remaining teams are Rockford, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Brighton and Bloomfield Hills Marian, while the last teams standing in D-II are Caledonia, Livonia Ladywood, Flint Powers Catholic and Academy of Sacred Heart. It's worth noting that Flint Powers Catholic knocked off reigning champion Okemos, who was the pre-eason sixth-ranked team in the Midwest and had won 53 straight games entering the season.
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