Finals Preview: Cross-state Powers Collide

June 7, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

For the first time in the brief history of MHSAA girls lacrosse, a top team from the Grand Rapids area will face a top team from suburban Detroit in both Finals, scheduled for Saturday at Rockford High School.

And those Grand Rapids-area contenders also are the favorites, both ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions at the end of the regular season.

Defending Division 2 champion East Grand Rapids faces Livonia Ladywood in the day's first game at 2 p.m., followed by the host Rams taking on Bloomfield Hills United for the Division 1 title at 4:30. Click for more information including all results from this season's tournament. Both finals also will be streamed live on and broadcast on, and shown next week on Comcast. 

Here's a brief look at the four teams vying for championships (player statistics do not include Semifinals): 

Division 1

Record/rank: 19-5, No. 4 at end of regular season
League finish: First in Oakland Activities Association Red
Coach: Andy Reed, third season (40-23-1)
Championship history: Has not played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 12-11 and 11-10 (Regional Quarterfinal) over No. 9 Birmingham United, 16-6 over No. 10 Grosse Pointe South, 13-11 and 14-6 (Regional Final) over No. 7 Troy, 8-7 over No. 5 Birmingham Marian in Regional Semifinal, 10-9 over No. 3 Ann Arbor Pioneer in Semifinal.
Players to watch: Margaret Metzger, sr. M (81 goals, 32 assists); Maria D’Angelo, jr. A (61 goals, 21 assists); Emma Mucci, jr. M (28 goals, 24 assists); Christina Arens, jr. A (24 goals, 19 assists); Maddie Monahan, sr. M (29 goals, 14 assists).
Outlook: Bloomfield Hills has more than doubled its wins (nine) from Reed’s first season and won 14 straight this spring. The Blackhawks also have survived a run of four straight ranked opponents during the postseason, with three one-goal wins during the advance. Metzger added five more goals in the Semifinal win, and her 86 total puts her 12th in the MHSAA record book for one season.

Record/rank: 20-5, No. 1 at end of regular season
League finish: Second in O-K Conference Tier 1
Coach: Mike Emery, sixth season (102-28-5)
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2010.
Best wins: 12-6 over No. 3 Ann Arbor Pioneer, 7-4 over No. 5 Birmingham Marian, 9-5 and 15-9 (Semifinal) over No. 2 Hartland, 9-4 over No. 8 Brighton, 17-16 (OT) over Division 2 No. 2 Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
Players to watch: Meghan Datema, jr. M (44 goals 14 assists); Erika Neumen, sr. M (68 goals, 27 assists); Alex VanderMolen, fr. A/M (51 goals, seven assists).
Outlook: A win over Bloomfield Hills United would give the Rams victories over all four of the other top-five teams in Division 1 at the end of the regular season. Rockford also beat some of the best in Division 2, splitting with second-ranked Grand Rapids Catholic Central, sweeping two games against No. 3 Caledonia and taking a win from No. 4 Okemos (however, two losses came against Division 2 No. 1 East Grand Rapids). Three more players in addition to those listed above have scored at least 27 goals so far this season.

Division 2

Record/rank: 21-2, No. 1 at end of regular season
League finish: First in O-K Conference Tier 1
Coach: Rich Axtell, fourth season (77-14)
Championship history: Division 2 champion 2012.
Best wins: 6-2 and 13-5 (Semifinal) over No. 4 Okemos, 12-8, 17-8 and 14-13 (Regional Final) over No. 2 Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 10-5, 15-11 and 13-11 (Regional Semifinal) over No. 3 Caledonia, 14-9 and 13-5 over Division 1 No. 1 Rockford, 12-11 over Division 1 No. 2 Hartland.
Players to watch: Claire Ludlow, sr. A (56 goals, 16 assists); Liza Elder, soph. A (54 goals, 21 assists); Katherine Golladay, soph. M (40 goals, 26 assists).
Outlook: It’s tough to argue against East Grand Rapids as the state’s top team regardless of division given its first-place finish in the super-competitive O-K Tier 1 and a list of wins that also includes victories over Division 1 top-10 opponents Bloomfield Hills United, Brighton, Birmingham United and Ann Arbor Pioneer. Total, East Grand Rapids had seven players with at least 18 goals this season entering the Semifinal, making them an incredibly-tough defensive matchup.  

Record/rank: 15-1, No. 8 at end of regular season
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic High School League Division II
Coach: Kris Sanders, fourth season (48-19-1)
Championship history: Has not played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 15-11 over No. 9 Flint Powers Catholic, 12-8 over No. 5 Farmington Hills Mercy in Regional Final, 11-10 over No. 10 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood in Semifinal.
Players to watch: Jaclyn Snyder, sr. AW (36 goals, five assists); Megan Leon, jr. A (40 goals, eight assists); Jessica Snyder, jr. A (49 goals, 20 assists).
Outlook: Ladywood made its way into the Division 2 computer rankings’ top 10 early this season and held strong, with its only loss to Division 1 No. 5 Birmingham Marian in the regular-season finale. Senior Christina Riga and junior Rachel Donabedian also have scored at least 30 goals apiece this season, and the team scored fewer than 11 only in that lone loss.

PHOTO: East Grand Rapids' Claire Ludlow looks for an opening in front of the net during her team's Division 2 championship victory last season. 

Bloomfield Hills' Semifinal Run Powered By Scoring Skill, Talent in Net

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

September 29, 2023

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:

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.)