Preview: Familiar Favorites Converging Again in Novi

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

June 11, 2021

Despite the one-year break in MHSAA girls lacrosse due to COVID-19, little has changed when it comes to the look of championship weekend.

The four teams playing for this year’s titles in Division 1 and 2 are more than familiar with reaching the season’s final day. In Division 1, Rockford will meet Brighton after they also faced off in the 2018 and 2019 Finals. In Division 2, East Grand Rapids faces Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood; they met in the 2016 and 2017 championship games, with Cranbrook then making the 2018 Final and East Grand Rapids doing the same in 2019.

Below is a glance at all four teams playing at Novi High School. Statistics are through Regional Finals unless noted. The Division 2 Final is set for 2 p.m., with Division 1 following at 4:30. Tickets cost $9.40 and are good for both games, and may be purchased online only at GoFan.

Both games will be broadcast and available with subscription from MHSAA.tv, with free audio broadcasts on the MHSAA Network.

Division 1

BRIGHTON
Record: 18-5-1
League finish: First in Kensington Lakes Activities Association West & overall
Coach: Ashton Peters, fourth season (41-14-1) 
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2011, runner-up 2010, 2018 and 2019.
Best wins: 18-5 (Semifinal) and 16-2 over Bloomfield Hills, 14-4 and 19-13 over Hartland, 19-10 and 17-11 (Regional Final) over Northville.
Players to watch: Ella Boose, jr. M (31 goals, 23 assists); Sophie Mondro, sr. A (29 goals, 17 assists); Amanda Granade, jr. A (104 goals 19 assists); Gabby Mainhardt, jr. M (52 goals, 13 assists). (Stats through Regional Quarterfinals.)
Outlook: The Bulldogs finished runners-up in both 2018 and 2019, with Mondro scoring a team-high four goals in the 2019 championship game. She and Boose both earned all-state honorable mention that season. Peters was a player on the 2011 championship team and went on to become one of the most accomplished in Alma College history. Granade is the 11th player in MHSAA history to score 100 goals in a season. Junior mid Abbey Burchfield had added another 28 goals and 11 assists through the Regional Quarterfinals.

ROCKFORD
Record: 14-4
League finish: Third in Ottawa-Kent Conference Tier 1
Coach: Mike Emery, 14th season (228-52-7) 
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2010, 2013-19.
Best wins: 19-5 over Brighton, 12-10 and 11-10 (OT in Regional Semifinal) over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern, 16-10 over Midland/Dow in Semifinal, 21-3 over Spring Lake.
Players to watch: Katherine Rodriguez, sr. M (50 goals, 15 assists); Chloe Dunham, sr. A (55 goals, 18 assists); Mackenzie Delacher, jr. A (36 goals, 20 assists); Chloe Holmes (35 goals, 23 assists). (Stats through Regional Semifinals.)
Outlook: Despite missing a season with the rest of the state, Rockford brings back significant Finals experience as it seeks an eighth-straight championship. Rodriguez scored four goals in the 2019 title game win, while Dunham scored three, Holmes scored twice and Delacher had a goal and assist. Sophomore attack/mid Izzy Osborn (28 goals/31 assists) is another notable playmaker. The Rams twice avenged an earlier loss to FHNE, with the other defeats twice to East Grand Rapids by a combined three goals and once to Loyola Academy of Illinois.

Division 2

BLOOMFIELD HILLS CRANBROOK KINGSWOOD
Record: 13-6
League finish: Second in Detroit Catholic League Central
Coach: Jeanne Woodbury, first season (13-5) 
Championship history: Division 2 champion 2017 and 2018, runner-up 2015 and 2016.
Best wins: 14-13 over Detroit Country Day in Regional Final, 18-7 and 16-10 over Bloomfield Hills Marian.
Players to watch: Lilli Sherman, sr. M (41 goals, 18 assists); Mallory Brophy, sr. A/M (50 goals, 24 assists); Olivia DeMuth, sr. A (28 goals, 21 assists); Riya Batra, jr. M. (60 goals, 20 assists). (Stats through Semifinals.)
Outlook: Cranbrook won its final four games of the regular season and has since run its streak to nine straight victories – and five of its six losses came by just three goals or fewer. Sherman earned an all-state honorable mention as a sophomore in 2019. Coach Woodbury played at Boston College, and senior daughter Gwen is the team’s goalie and also one of the state’s top swimmers. Sophomore Ella Lantigua is another scoring threat with 35 goals and 24 assists this spring. 

EAST GRAND RAPIDS
Record: 22-2
League finish: First in O-K Tier 1
Coach: Geri Merrell, first season (22-2) 
Championship history: Division 2 champion 2012-16, 2019; runner-up 2017.
Best wins: 21-4 and 25-4 over Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 18-5, 16-11 and 17-8 (Regional Semifinal) over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central; 19-4 over Spring Lake in Regional Final, 22-4 over Grand Rapids Christian in Regional opener, 15-6 and 22-4 (Semifinal) over DeWitt, 13-4 and 6-4 over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern, 21-3 over Bloomfield Hills, 14-13 and 11-9 over Rockford, 23-2 over Hartland, 11-10 over Brighton.
Players to watch: Lizzie Lundeen, jr. A (102 goals, 34 assists); Eliana LaMange, jr. A (61 goals, 25 assists); Vivian LaMange, fr. A (47 goals, 54 assists); Caroline Potteiger, jr. G (6.3 goals-against average).
Outlook: The Pioneers have played many of the best from both divisions, winning a league title ahead of Division 1 Rockford and Forest Hills Northern/Eastern and losing this season only to FHNE in the second of a three-game series and to Loyola Academy of Illinois. There are many dangerous offensive players with whom to contend, with juniors Lucy Cavanaugh (48 goals/78 assists) and Ella Gjorgjievski (42/16) two more in addition to those listed above. Just as impressively, EGR has given up an average of only 4.8 goals per game over five postseason games, and held teams to six or fewer goals 16 times this season.

PHOTO: Brighton’s Sophie Mondro looks for a scoring opportunity against Rockford during the 2019 Division 1 championship game.

Performance of the Week: Grand Rapids Catholic Central's Claire Marosi

June 13, 2024

Claire Marosi headshotClaire Marosi ♦ Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Senior ♦ Lacrosse

The Cougars’ standout midfielder capped one of the highest-scoring seasons in MHSAA history with two goals and two assists as Grand Rapids Catholic Central edged Detroit Country Day in the Division 2 Final to win its first championship since 2011 and finish this season 23-0.

Marosi finished with 154 goals and 34 assists this spring; her goals rank third all-time for a single season and her 188 points were fourth-most on that list. She’ll continue her career at Northwestern, which finished NCAA Division I runner-up this year after winning the title in 2023. She's interested in studying communications. Marosi also played basketball and ran cross country as a senior, and previously ran track as well.

@mhsaasports 🥍POW: Claire Marosi #lacrosse #GRCC #letsgo #champion #goal #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🥍POW: Claire Marosi #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #bridgerton #yoga #hearthands #emoji #car #rolos #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

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Past 2023-24 Honorees

June 6: Emmry Ross, Onsted track & field - Report
May 31:
Isaac Sturgess, Flint Powers Catholic baseball - Report
May 30:
Abby Russell, Allen Park track & field - Report 
May 23:
Isabel Thelen, St. Johns tennis - Report
May 16:
Ally Katinas, Novi lacrosse - Report
May 9:
Peter Roehl, Rochester Adams golf - Report
May 2:
Lilah Smith, Richland Gull Lake soccer - Report
April 25:
Mason Mayne, Lawton track & field - Report
April 18:
Alli Wright, Jenison softball - Report
April 11:
Chloe Wishart, Trenton soccer - Report
March 28:
Jenna Maki, Ishpeming basketball - Report
March 22:
Jaremiah Palmer, Niles Brandywine basketball - Report
March 15:
Leah Hodge, North Farmington gymnastics - Report
March 8:
Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Report
March 1:
Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
Dec. 1:
Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report

(Photo by Jamie McNinch/RunMichigan.com.)