Super Scorer Marosi, Grand Rapids Catholic Central Complete Perfect Run

By Jeff Bleiler
Special for MHSAA.com

June 7, 2024

ANN ARBOR — As the final minutes dwindled to seconds, Joe Curcuru was content knowing No. 22 possessed the ball.

It was fitting that Claire Marosi had the ball last as the clock struck zero and the celebration was on for the Grand Rapids Catholic Central girls lacrosse team, which completed an undefeated season by beating defending Division 2 champion Detroit Country Day 10-9 in the Final at University of Michigan Lacrosse Stadium.

Marosi, a senior, added two massive fourth-quarter goals to the 152 she already had scored this year as the Cougars completed a 23-0 season and collected their second Finals trophy and first since 2011.

But after defeating Country Day twice this season by 17-7 and 20-7 scores, the Cougars needed just about every second to fend off the Yellowjackets. And that was no surprise to Curcuru.

The Cougars’ Cate Marshall (1) flips the ball to teammate Sarah Rott while Country Day’s Sadie Rifkin (17) guards the net. “They’re a terrific team. To be the best, you have to beat the best. And they’re the defending state champ. We knew it would be a battle back and forth,” said Curcuru, who had led Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern to Division 1 runner-up finishes the last two seasons before making the move to Catholic Central.

Hadley Keating opened the scoring for Country Day just 14 seconds into the game, followed swiftly by a Sarah Rott answer 11 seconds later that tied the game at 1-1. Catholic Central poured in four more first-quarter goals — two each from Cate Marshall and Mairin Ziegler — to sit ahead 5-1.

“I think we started a little bit slow, and that kind of got us on our heels,” said Country Day coach Liz Nussbaum, whose team finished 17-4-1 with three losses to Catholic Central. “But I’m so proud of how our team was able to push back and not let a couple runs get us down.”

Mary Pavlou scored the first of her three goals for Country Day in the second quarter, and after Rott re-established a four-goal cushion for the Cougars, Olivia Winowich and Emma Arico pulled the Yellowjackets to within 6-4 inside of two minutes to play in the first half. Marshall’s third goal of the game gave the Cougars a 7-4 halftime lead.

The third quarter was all Country Day as Arico added two more scores and Pavlou had her second of the game to pull Country Day even entering the fourth. Country Day outshot Catholic Central 21-7 over the middle two quarters, including 10-2 during the third.

Keating gave Country Day an 8-7 lead 1:34 into the fourth, and that seemed to ignite Marosi and the Cougars. Curcuru moved her to the draw circle, and Marosi responded with back-to-back goals 1:15 apart to restore her team’s lead.

“I think it was a game of swings,” Marosi said. “(Country Day) had the momentum, then we had the momentum. Just to finish with momentum on our side was really helpful. I think we all knew when it comes down to it, we would pull it off.”

The Cougars celebrate their first Finals championship since 2011.Rott scored what proved to be the game-winner midway through the fourth quarter, but Country Day was not done, pulling within one on Pavlou’s goal with 4:17 to play. Catholic Central goalie Samaya Dean, who finished with 10 saves, made a massive one with less than two minutes to play by turning away what would’ve been the game-tying goal.

That’s about the time Marosi took control of the ball, drawing two penalties inside the final minute while playing keep-away and bleeding the clock.

“I told her after the game, there is nobody else in the state of Michigan I want with that ball than her,” Curcuru said. “It felt long, but it also felt good because I knew 22 had it for us.

“Claire not only is an incredible athlete, she’s so competitive and such a great leader. To have someone who can say, ‘When things are going tough, jump on my back. I’ll carry you a little bit.’ And that’s what Claire does for us every single day. And you saw it today. When we needed her the most, she came up the biggest.”

Marosi is heading to Northwestern University to play lacrosse after finishing with the third-most goals all-time for a single season with 154.

Catholic Central’s 10 goals were its fewest of the season and came after the Cougars outscored their first four postseason opponents by a combined 85-23. Nussbaum credited her team’s defense and the play of goalie Campbell Lindner for limiting the Cougars’ potent offense.

“Campbell really stepped up in the net. I‘m really proud of how she was able to make some of those key saves in those key moments,” Nussbaum said. “We definitely made tweaks (from the previous two games against Catholic Central), but at the end of the day I believe in the quality of our athletes.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Grand Rapids Catholic’s Central’s Claire Marosi (22) works to gain possession while chased by a pair of Country Day players Friday. (Middle) The Cougars’ Cate Marshall (1) flips the ball to teammate Sarah Rott while Country Day’s Sadie Rifkin (17) guards the net. (Below) The Cougars celebrate their first Finals championship since 2011.

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.)