Rockford Completes Drive for 5 Straight

June 10, 2017

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for Second Half

BRIGHTON – Rockford girls lacrosse coach Mike Emery has built a dynasty in Division 1, and Saturday’s 17-7 championship victory at Brighton High School over Birmingham United made it five straight MHSAA titles for the program.

Get ready for more. The Rams (20-2) dressed just three seniors: Zina Emery, Sisely Vongphasouk, who scored a goal in the second half, and Samantha DeBoer – meaning they’ll be Ram tough again next season.

“All year long it has really been this way,’’ Emery said. “We lost a ton of kids last year and some kids that are making some great strides at local universities and in the Big Ten and other places. We loaded up, and we started eight freshmen and sophomores today. We’ve been dominant all season, and these kids are awesome.’’

Birmingham’s lone bright spots were junior Meryl Feys, who scored four goals, and Grace Murray who had two.

Rockford’s Brooklyn Neumen started the scoring with an unassisted goal at the 22:27 mark of the first half.

“We knew that it was going to be very hot, so we made sure that we stayed hydrated,’’ said Neumen. “We wanted to get ahead to start because we wanted to make sure the midfielders had a rest. We executed our gameplan, and I thought that was our best game of the season. We’re a lot younger than last year, but we have a lot of talent. The freshmen and sophomores that have come up play like veterans. It’s fun because we have played with them since elementary school.”

Seconds after Neumen’s goal, teammate Isabelle Holmes made it 2-0 with a blast from in front of the goal. Neumen scored her second goal at the 20:33 mark to make 3-0.

A minute later Karrington VanderMolen scored the Rams’ fourth goal as they began to pull away.

Murray finally found the net for Birmingham (13-10) to cut the lead to 4-1 at the 17:17 mark.

Rockford’s Margaret Hammer made it a four-goal deficit again with her first goal of the game.

“It was Hammer Time, and she came to play,’’ said Emery.

Said Hammer: “We work really hard together, and we support each other and never give up. We have each other’s back and we’re well-bonded. I feel like we’ll be strong next year too.’’

VanderMolen tacked on her second goal to increase the lead to 6-1. Neumen scored her third to make it 7-1, forcing Birmingham coach Jen Dunbar to call a timeout to regroup.

Sydney Zimmerman got in on the scoring to make it 8-1 for the powerful Rams. Feys finally ended the drought for Birmingham with 12:53 left in the half to make it 8-2, but Hammer nailed home her second goal to increase the lead to 9-2.

Hammer made it back-to-back goals to put the eventual winners ahead, 10-2, forcing another timeout by Dunbar.

Mekenzie VanderMolen made it 11-2 with a full 9:10 left in the first half. Hammer’s fourth goal made it 12-2 and started a running clock.

Karrington VanderMolen started the second half with her third goal to make it 13-2. Hammer contributed her fifth, and the rest of the game was just a formality with the running clock and a 12-goal lead.

For good measure, Neumen picked up her fourth goal to make it 15-2.

“I started to get this feeling early in the season when we played East Grand Rapids, and we had a running clock against them and then we played Forest Hills and we got a running clock on them,” she said. “I felt like we could make it to the state championship and win it.’’

Click for the full scoring summary.

PHOTOS: (Top) Rockford’s girls lacrosse team celebrates during its Division 1 championship victory Saturday. (Middle) The Rams’ Brooklyn Neumen works to create an opening in Birmingham’s defense.

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.)