EGR Makes Most of Long-Awaited Finals Opportunity

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for

June 12, 2021

NOVI – The frightening thing about East Grand Rapids’ girls lacrosse roster this season is there was just one senior.

The Pioneers beat Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood 15-11 Saturday afternoon at Novi High School to claim their seventh Division 2 title.

It was an opportunity last year’s seniors didn’t receive due to COVID-19 forcing a canceled season, and that wasn’t lost on their former teammates who came back this spring.

“It was really tough last year; we had so many seniors that we loved so much and were excited about playing with,’’ said junior Lucy Cavanaugh, who had six assists and scored four goals for EGR. “This year we wanted to come in strong. We only have one senior this year. Some of these juniors had never played on varsity. We worked so hard this year, and we practiced so much.’’

Junior Lizzie Lundeen, who had scored 102 goals heading into this week, added five more in the finale.

“The only goals that were important were the ones scored in this game,’’ she said. “We practiced all the time. Eliana (LaMange) played great. She had that goal just before half, (that) was amazing. We felt a lot stronger with that goal.

“This was surreal because we’ve had a long, strung-out season because of COVID. We didn’t want to take it for granted.’’

East Grand Rapids lacrosseRegulars in the Division 2 Final, East Grand Rapids previously had won six titles while Cranbrook (13-7) had captured championships in 2017 and 2018. 

East Grand Rapids (23-2) wasted no time scoring as Lundeen netted her first 40 seconds into the fray for a 1-0 lead.

Cavanaugh tacked on the Pioneers’ second goal for a 2-0 lead as play stayed in the Cranbrook end.

Cranbrook finally got out of its end and scored on a goal by junior Riya Batra to cut the deficit in half. The Cranes then tied it 2-2 on a goal by Lilli Sherman.

Lundeen scored her second goal of the game for a 3-2 lead with Cavanaugh getting her second assist.

Lola Norton tied the game at 3 for Cranbrook at the 15:13 mark, and the Cranes took their first lead on a goal by Eryn McLaughlin with 12:33 left in the first half.

LaMange tied the game for EGR on Cavanaugh’s third assist, then Cavanaugh scored her second goal to give the Pioneers a 5-4 lead, and LaMange scored her second to make it 6-4. Lundeen scored her third to give EGR a 7-4.

Mallory Brophy scored for the Cranes to make it 7-5. Oliva DeMuth got the Cranes’ to within one goal with a score with 2:37 left in the first half.

Lundeen scored her fourth goal of the half to give the Pioneers an 8-6 lead and tacked on her fifth to put the Pioneers three up. LaMange scored her third just before the buzzer to put EGR up 10-6. 

Cavanaugh scored her third to start the second half as East Grand Rapids opened up an 11-6 lead.

The teams traded goals with LaMange scoring her fourth of the game to make it 12-7. Cavanaugh responded with her fourth to increase the lead to 13-7.

EGR started pouring it on as LaMange scored her fifth to make it 14-7.

Consecutive goals by Brophy and Ella Lantigua cut the East Grand Rapids lead to 15-10 with 8:26 left in the game.

After an EGR timeout, the Pioneers went into a four corners offense, draining two minutes off the clock.

“They are a class act,’’ said Cranbrook coach Jeanne Woodbury. “We didn’t play as well as we liked, but we’re a young team and we have a chance to get back.’’

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) East Grand Rapids' Eliana LaMange (24) fires a shot during Saturday's Division 2 Final. (Middle) Cranbrook's Lilli Sherman (14) works to take possession from EGR. 

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

By Geoff Kimmerly 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.