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.’’
Regulars 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.’’
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.
Bloomfield Hills advanced to the Division 1 Semifinals this spring with one of the highest-scoring lineups in MHSAA girls lacrosse history, and one of its most accomplished goalies.
The Black Hawks scored 325 goals – sixth-most on the list – in going 19-4. Ella Lucia, then a junior, posted 17 single-game record entries for goals, assists or points, finishing with 125 goals, 59 assists and 184 points and pushing her career numbers to 186 goals, 113 assists and 299 points over three seasons.
Teammate Ilana Watson, a senior this spring, was added eight times for single-game accomplishments and also for 71 goals, 64 assists and 135 points for the season and 102 assists and 205 points over her two-season career. Goalie Sydney Butler, now a senior, made the single-season saves list with 186 and the career list with 466 over her first three seasons. Marlee Watson, who also graduated in the spring, was added for seven goals in a game.
See below for more recent record book updates for girls lacrosse:
On April 25, 2022, Holland West Ottawa then-senior Ella Spooner scored 13 of her team’s 16 goals against Zeeland. Those 13 goals tied for fourth-most in one game and also placed her on the single-game points list. She is playing at Kalamazoo College.
Troy Athens’ Claire Balintfy piled up eight record book entries during her sophomore season in 2022. A goalie, she posted a career-high 22 saves to tie for eighth on the single-game list, on which she appears six more times. Her 231 saves over 18 games that season rank second on that list as well.
Lexie Springman took 12 shots and made eight in Portage’s 19-9 win over Grand Ledge on April 5. She was a senior at Portage Central and is continuing at Regis University in Colorado.
Haslett/Williamston’s Abby Russell opened her high school career March 22 with a record book-worthy performance. The Haslett now-sophomore made the single-game goals list with seven in her team’s 10-9 loss at Portage.
Okemos’ Bridget Cox was a sophomore during the 2021 season when she earned her first four record book entries. She made the single-game saves list three times with a high of 16, and totaled 157 saves over 18 games total.
Holly/Ortonville Brandon tallied three single-game entries this past season. Junior Dakota Pinson made the single-game goals list with 10 against Fenton/Linden on May 4. Junior teammate Lainey Lasky made the same list twice with seven goals both times, against Flushing on May 3 and Lake Fenton/Goodrich on May 16.
Through three seasons, Salem’s Mileena Cotter has earned 35 record book entries – including setting the single-game record with 18 goals April 6 against Saline. Her 123 goals over just 10 games this past season rank seventh, and her 257 goals over 30 career games rank ninth on that list. Her career-high 19 points on April 5 against Dexter rank second for points in a game. She’s committed to sign with Syracuse.
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep junior Emily Szalach earned a record book entry with her 11 goals against Warren Regina on May 15 during a 13-12 triple-overtime win. It was the first entry for NDP for girls lacrosse.
Lake Orion’s Quinn McElroy capped her three-season varsity career this spring with eight record book listings, including for 69 goals and 100 points over 16 games as a senior, and 172 goals and 224 points for her career. Teammate Morgan Vasquez made single-season lists with 66 goals and 81 points, as did Amelia Guccione with 50 goals. Ava Adkins joined McElroy and Vasquez with single-game qualifiers, hers for 15 saves in a game against Troy Athens on April 12. Vasquez is a senior and Guccione a junior this school year, and Adkins also graduated this spring. McElroy is playing at Grand Valley State.
A pair of Detroit Cass Tech senior standouts made single-game and season scoring lists this spring. Taylor Weston made the single-game goals list three times, with a high of eight, and for her 64 goals total over 15 games; she also earned a listing for her 53 goals as a junior in 2022. Teammate Kayla Carroll-Williams made the single-game list twice, both for scoring seven goals, and the single-season list for 62 goals over 15 games.
PHOTO Bloomfield Hills goalie Sydney Butler, center, prepares to stop a shot against Bloomfield Hills Marian on May 11. (Photo by Susan Adams Photography.)