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.)

Title IX at 50: Ella Boose's Story

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

July 5, 2022

Brighton senior Ella Boose helped her girls lacrosse team to the cusp of a Division 1 championship as both a freshman and junior before finally getting to celebrate the ultimate MHSAA prize with her teammates this spring after leading the Bulldogs past Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern in the Division 1 Final.

The senior attack tallied three goals and two assists in the championship game and was named to the Division 1 all-state first team after previously earning honorable mentions her other two varsity seasons (with 2020 canceled due to COVID-19), when Brighton finished Division 1 runner-up. Boose will continue to play at Grand Valley State University.

What the opportunity to compete as a female athlete means to Ella Boose:

"Honestly I don’t think people think about it as much just because it’s so normalized now, which I think is a great thing. I think that’s how it should be. But being a female athlete, it’s definitely very empowering and I’m really happy about the fact that we have equal rights now.

"Yes, for sure I think (younger girls) definitely look up to us. My next-door neighbor, she’s in third grade, and she actually just started playing this year. And that means a lot to me because I practice with her in the backyard sometimes, and it makes me really happy that I’ve inspired her to play lacrosse because she really loves it."

Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.

Previous Title IX at 50 Spotlights

June 28: Kaila Jackson's Story - Read
June 23: 
We Celebrate Our Past, We Look Forward to Our Future - Read
June 21: Assistant Directors Have Been Difference Makers - Read
June 14: 
Girls Lacrosse Finals Officials Set Empowering Example - Read
June 7: 
From Gymnastics to Wrestling, Girls Opportunities Continue to Grow - Read
May 31: 
Mumford Sprinter's Magnificent 2006 Final Remains Unmatched - Read

May 24: Scane, Whiteside Alone on 400-Goal, 500-Point Girls Lacrosse Lists - Read
May 17: Over 8 Days in 1988, Pair of Champs Set No. 1 Singles Standard - Read
May 10: 
Portage Central's Tarpley Scores as State's Superstar, U.S. Soccer Hero - Read
May 3: 
Prychitko 'Legend In Her Own Time,' Legend for All Time - Read
April 26: 
Braddock vs. Verdun Still Striding Among All-Time Sprint Matchups - Read
April 19: 
Holmes' Strikeout Record Rarely Approached, May Be Unbreakable - Read
April 12: 
Anticipation High as 45,000 Girls Return to Spring Sports - Read
April 5: 
Regina's Laffey Retiring as Definition of Legendary - Read
March 29: 
Edison's Whitehorn named 2022 Miss Basketball - Read
March 22: 
Carney-Nadeau Sets Girls Hoops Standard with 78-Win Streak - Read
March 15: 
Binder Among Voices Telling Our Story on MHSAA Network - Read
March 8: 
29 Years, Thousands of Cheers - Read
March 1: 
Kearsley Rolls On Among Girls Bowling's Early Successes - Read
Feb. 22: Marquette Ties Record for Swim & Dive Finals Success - Read
Feb. 15: Jaeger's 2004 Winter Run Created Lasting Connection - Read
Feb. 8: Marian's Cicerone to Finish Among All-Time Elite - Read
Feb. 1: WISL Award Honors Builders of State's Girls Sports Tradition - Read
Jan. 25: Decades Later, Edwards' Legend Continues to Grow - Read
Jan. 18: Iron Mountain Completes Championship Climb - Read
Jan. 11: Harrold's Achievement Heralds Growth of Girls Wrestling - Read
Dec. 20: Competitive Cheer Gives Michigan Plenty to Cheer About - Read
Dec. 14: 
Evelyn's Game Had Plenty of Magic - Read
Dec. 7: 
Council Term Ends, But Leinaar Leaves Lasting Impact - Read
Nov. 30: 
Basketball Season Ready to Add to Rich Tradition - Read
Nov. 23: 
Marysville Builds Winning Streak Yet to be Challenged - Read
Nov. 16: Wroubel Has Championed Girls School Sports from Their Start - Read
Nov. 9: Pioneer's Joyce Legendary in Michigan, National Swim History - Read
Nov. 2: Royal Oak's Finch Leading Way on Football Field - Read
Oct. 26: Coach Clegg Sets Championship Standard at Grand Blanc - Read
Oct. 19: Rockford Girls Set Pace, Hundreds After Have Continued to Chase - Read
Oct. 12: 
Bedford Volleyball Pioneer Continues Blazing Record-Setting Trail - Read
Oct. 5: 
Warner Paved Way to Legend Status with Record Rounds - Read
Sept. 28: Taylor Kennedy Gymnasts Earn Fame as 1st Champions - Read
Sept. 21: 
Portage Northern Star Byington Becomes Play-by-Play Pioneer - Read
Sept. 14: 
Guerra/Groat Legacy Continues to Serve St. Philip Well - Read
Sept. 7: 
Best-Ever Conversation Must Include Leland's Glass - Read
Aug. 31: We Will Celebrate Many Who Paved the Way - Read