Preview: Familiar Favorites Converging Again in Novi

By Geoff Kimmerly 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, with free audio broadcasts on the MHSAA Network.

Division 1

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 Granader, 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.

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

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. 

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.

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.