By Perry A. Farrell
Special for Second Half
NOVI – Rockford ran its Division 1 girls lacrosse championship streak to seven straight titles Saturday.
The Rams got past Brighton 21-6, following up a similarly dominant 25-5 win over the Bulldogs in the Final a year ago.
Rockford finished 15-5-1, with four of the losses and the tie coming against teams from Illinois and Ohio.
“It’s a ton of fun, and we have great leadership from our seniors,’’ said Rams coach Mike Emery. “We have great youth coming up through the program, and we’ve really built a culture over the last 10 years. That’s eight championships in the last 12 years. We’ve been in the Semifinal game every year, in all 12 years that I’ve coached. We just have way too much fun.’’
The reigning champs wasted no time scoring as Isabelle Holmes found the net 50 seconds into the game to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.
Exactly 60 seconds later, Holmes added her second to get Rockford off to a good start.
Brighton’s first offensive attack led to a score by Sophie Mondro, but seconds later the Rams scored again on a goal by Katie Rodriguez to make it 3-1.
Rodriguez tacked on another at 20:49 to give Rockford a 4-1 advantage.
With Rockford a player short, Cat Kophcia scored to cut the lead to 4-2. But Sydney Zimmerman emerged from the penalty box and scored to make it 5-2 after running down an errant pass.
Holmes scored her third goal of the half to increase Rockford’s lead to 6-2 at the 12:34 mark. Chloe Dunham then took a feed from Mackenzie Delacher and found the net to give Rockford a 7-2 lead, and Rodriguez picked up a loose ball and scored her third of the game.
Mondro scored her second and third goals of the game for Brighton to trim the deficit to five.
Brighton (16-8-1) mounted a rally as Kophcia scored her second to make it 8-4. But with Brighton a player short, Dunham scored her second goal to extend the lead to 9-4. Zimmerman scored her second as the eventual champs moved ahead 10-4.
Mondro then scored her fourth goal for Brighton, but senior standout Karrington Vander Molen finally got on the board for Rockford as the advantage swelled to 11-5. She finished with three goals.
Dunham scored with 10 seconds left in the half to give the Rams a 12-5 lead.
Rodriguez opened the second half with a goal, her fourth, to make it 13-5.
“It’s so fun,’’ said Rodriguez. “The team aspect of it never gets old. We have so much energy. It’s so fun to win it still.”
Vander Molen added her second goal, and the Rams were rolling, 14-5.
McKenna Rinehart gave the Rams a 10-goal lead, which meant a running clock. Delacher added her second goal to put Rockford up 16-5. Zimmerman added her third to make it 17-5.
“I was happy because we didn’t get beat by as many as last year,’’ said Brighton coach Ashton Peters. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. Rockford is a dynasty.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Rockford raises its latest Division 1 championship trophy Saturday. (Middle) The Rams' Anna Glynn (15) and Brighton's Maddie Mince work to pick up a loose ball.
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:
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.)