'Reloaded' EGR Plays to Familiar Result

June 11, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

BRIGHTON – This was supposed to be a season of transition for the East Grand Rapids girls lacrosse program.

Gone were 12 seniors and seven starters from the team that last year won the program’s record fourth straight Division 2 championship.

And then the Pioneers lost three straight games as April turned to May, and four of six games total during that string – or one fewer defeat than they’d suffered the last four seasons combined.

And yet, Saturday’s season ending was the same – a 13-11 win over Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood at Brighton that extended the MHSAA-best championship streak to five straight.

“Our motto was kinda, “Rebuilding? More like reloading,’” Pioneers junior attack Lindsay Duca said. “We graduated seven-plus starters last year, and everyone’s asking me, ‘Oh, are you going to win states?’ And I’m like, ‘We’ll be prepared for it, but who knows.”

The Pioneers knew enough, whether it be how to restack the lineup or come back with one of the most dominant 20-minute runs in MHSAA Lacrosse Finals history.

Cranbrook Kingswood (17-7), seeking its first championship in the sport and last season’s runner-up after falling 19-6 in the season finale, scored this game’s first three goals and took a 5-2 lead into the 15th minute.

But Pioneers freshman attack Mary Schumar – playing only her sixth varsity game – scored her first of six goals Saturday off a Duca assist with 10 minutes to go in the first half. By the time senior attack Julia Surman scored 6:40 into the second, East Grand Rapids (17-4) had flipped the advantage with a 7-1 run. That turned into an 11-2 streak when Schumar scored her final goal to give her team a 13-7 lead with 6:43 to play.

“Basically, our team needs to settle down and start picking them apart offensively, and that’s something we’ve been working on all season,” East Grand Rapids coach Rich Axtell said. “And they were just patient and got layups, and that’s what we have to look for.”

Duca, also Schumar’s neighbor, had seven assists during the 11-goal streak and eight assists total – which were second-most for an MHSAA Final behind Mackenzie Lawler’s nine for Okemos in 2010, and tied for fourth-most for any game in MHSAA history.

Surman added three goals for East Grand Rapids, as did junior midfielder Auden Elliott.

Cranbrook Kingswood scored the final four goals, but couldn’t get two more past over the final 1:31. Sophomore midfielder Isabelle Scane scored three of the final four goals and five total, giving her 126 for the season – second-most in MHSAA history. She also had three assists, and senior midfielder Grace Giampetroni scored three goals.

“They play a really nice zone defense which is designed to stop an individual dodger like Isabelle, but she still managed to find some seams and dodge to the cage,” Cranes coach Greg Courter said. “She’s a fierce competitor. I’m not surprised that she beat some triple teams and found a way to score.

“We’re still pretty young," he added. "The heart of our team is sophomores right now. We’re hoping this becomes a common event with a different outcome at some point.”

But East Grand Rapids also should return most of this group next season – only six players graduate, and Surman the only one who scored Saturday.

The Pioneers who come back in 2017 will be another battle-tested group.

“Once we started assisting each other and started playing selflessly, it all came together,” Duca said. “When you have your streak going, it’s hard to (not) let your guard down. But I think that’s one of the strengths of this program. Even if we let our guard down, we always come back and get the job done.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) East Grand Rapids’ Lindsay Duca (22) looks for an open teammate during Saturday’s Division 2 Final. (Middle) The Pioneers go on the attack during their comeback win.

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

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.