East Grand Rapids Extends Division 2 Reign with Sudden Victory

By Scott DeCamp
Special for MHSAA.com

June 11, 2022

ROCKFORD – As a player from East Grand Rapids’ first girls lacrosse championship team in 2012, it means everything to Meggan Lloyd to uphold the Pioneers’ rich tradition.

She’s off to one heck of a start as the Pioneers’ head coach. She’s 1-for-1 in guiding her alma mater to Finals titles. 

It wasn’t easy, but East Grand Rapids got it done Saturday in the MHSAA Division 2 championship game with a 12-11 sudden victory in the third overtime against Detroit Country Day at Carlson-Munger Stadium. 

Senior Lizzie Lundeen’s goal 18 seconds into the third OT period secured the Pioneers’ eighth Finals championship over the last 10 years, not counting the 2020 season which was canceled because of COVID-19.

“I feel like being on some of the first teams that started the tradition, it’s really important that I see it through,” Lloyd said. “I feel like the team is kind of my baby in a way. I don’t ever want to see it dwindle or go away, so I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that we’re coming out strong every single year, no matter who’s on the team.”

Saturday marked the second thriller that East Grand Rapids (20-2) and Country Day (16-3) played this season. The Pioneers needed overtime for a 15-14 decision over the Yellowjackets on April 19.

The championship match was a dandy as well, featuring four lead changes as momentum swung back and forth.

Senior Eliana LaMange scored four goals for EGR. Sophomore Vivian LaMange had two goals and two assists for the Pioneers, who built a 6-3 halftime lead. Lundeen netted a hat trick. Senior Caroline Potteiger made seven saves.

Sophomore Emma Arico, daughter of University of Michigan women’s basketball coach Kim Barnes Arico, tallied three goals and an assist to lead Country Day. Senior Ainsley Schilling had two goals and a pair of assists for the Yellowjackets, while freshman Mary Pavlou had two goals. Senior goalie Clara Yuhn made five saves.

“Flip of the coin in that game; flip of the coin. Hats off to EGR. They’re a fabulous program. The amount of depth that they have in their ranks is really something,” Country Day coach Emma Kuehl said. “I couldn’t be prouder of my team. You know, I don’t think a lot of people expected us to be here this year and they have worked tirelessly to get to this point, and I couldn’t be prouder.

East Grand Rapids/Country Day lacrosse“It’s almost worse going out like this,” Kuehl added with a grin, “because we were so close – so close. But, you know, we’ll use it as motivation for the future.”

The future is now for the EGR seniors, the core of whom won their third Division 2 title in as many opportunities.

Some do have lacrosse futures, such as Lundeen and Eliana LaMange, who are both Division I-bound athletes. The former is headed to Kent State and latter to Robert Morris. They’ll be rivals in the Mid-American Conference.

Before that, they wanted to leave a legacy at East Grand Rapids. Mission accomplished.

“At the end there, once we won the draw, I knew someone had to take charge. Once I popped out and got that pass, I went past my girl and I knew I had an opening so I just ripped a shot and it went in,” Lundeen said. “I was trying to make (Yuhn) think I was going to shoot low, but then it kind of went near her hip side, so lucky it went in.

“It was overwhelming when it went in. I couldn’t believe it at first,” added Lundeen, who immediately found herself at the bottom of a pile of teammates 10 yards from the goal where she scored the winner. “It was amazing. I was at the very bottom, crying like a baby.”

Eliana LaMange watched as Lundeen won the draw to start the third OT period and split four defenders. LaMange called it “awesome” on Lundeen’s part. Kuehl said it was a breakdown on her defense’s part.

LaMange said the match was intense, but she believes the Pioneers performed well under pressure.

“It’s pretty awesome to end our senior year like this,” LaMange said.

Lloyd said her team needed to put the ball away and eventually did. The rookie coach was proud of the Pioneers’ defense for stepping up and shutting out the Yellowjackets in overtime.

Winning state titles never gets old for EGR and Lloyd.

“Well, not for me – not quite yet,” she said with a laugh.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) East Grand Rapids goalie Caroline Potteiger (43) stretches for the save during Saturday’s Division 2 Final. (Middle) Country Day’s Emma Arico (16) looks to make her move. (Click for more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)

Representative Council Approves Limited Regional Seeding in Girls Lacrosse at Fall Meeting

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

December 9, 2022

The addition of limited seeding at the Regional level of the Girls Lacrosse Tournament headlined actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its Fall Meeting on Dec. 2 in East Lansing.

Generally, the Council takes only a few actions during its Fall Meeting, with topics often introduced for additional consideration and action during its meetings in winter and spring. This Fall Meeting saw the Council take only three actions, with additional discussion centered on topics expected to receive more specific consideration at MHSAA sport committee meetings this winter and the Council’s meetings in March and May.

The Council approved a Girls Lacrosse Committee proposal to seed the top two teams in every Regional, and place those top seeds on opposite sides of the bracket beginning with the 2023 season. The two teams to be seeded will be determined by using the MHSAA’s Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) formula, which takes into account success and strength of schedule and is used currently to provide seeding information in boys lacrosse, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys soccer, and ice hockey. Only the top two teams in girls lacrosse will be seeded and separated; the other teams in each Regional will be placed on their brackets by random draw.

The Council also approved a Boys Lacrosse Committee recommendation that will allow athletes to participate in up to five quarters per day between teams at multiple levels – for example, varsity and junior varsity – also beginning with the 2023 season. For boys lacrosse multi-team tournaments, if two school teams (for example, the varsity and junior varsity) are at the same event, athletes may play in no more halves or quarters than what is being played by the school’s highest-level team that day. (Example: if the varsity team is playing three 30-minute half games for a total of six halves, a player playing both varsity and JV on the same day can play in six total halves that day.) The “fifth quarter” rule, by allowing athletes to compete on two levels on the same day, is intended to help programs that are otherwise lacking enough participants to field teams at multiple levels.

Taking into account the wintery weather conditions experienced by athletes during the MHSAA alpine ski season, the Council approved a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation to adopt the “MHSAA Competition and Practice Guidelines for Cold Weather,” which are specific to alpine skiing. The guidelines include a windchill chart and cold standards for ambient temperature. This proposal also was supported by the Ski Committee and will go into effect for the 2022-23 season.

Remaining discussions focused on results from this fall’s Update Meeting survey completed by administrators during the MHSAA’s annual presentations across the state. The Council considered survey data including on questions related to the out-of-season travel rule. The Council also discussed results of a fall survey completed by member school athletic directors and head varsity football coaches concerning ongoing conversations about scheduling and playoff format. Following the Football Committee meeting in January 2023, an ad hoc committee comprised of members of the MHSAA staff, Representative Council, Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) and Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) will be convened for further discussion on these topics, with their report to be provided to the Council during its March 2023 meeting.

The Fall Meeting saw the appointment of Westland John Glenn athletic director Jason Malloy for a first-two-year term to the 19-person Council, and the re-appointment of Bay City Western principal Judy Cox for a second two-year term. Malloy previously was appointed to finish a partial term as one of the two representatives of member junior high/middle schools.

The Council reelected Scott Grimes, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, as its president; and Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, as secretary-treasurer. Brighton High School athletic director John Thompson was elected Council vice president.

The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.