High School Girls’ Lacrosse Preview: Breaking Down Midwest Top 10


Loyola fell from its perch as the Midwest’s perennial leader last year, and now that top spot appears to be up for grabs in 2020. Perhaps it’s a chance for Ohio leader Upper Arlington to move up. At any rate, Illinois remains a puzzle.

*US Lacrosse Magazine recently released its Nike/US Lacrosse High School Girls Preseason National Top 25. Check it out here.

1. New Trier (Ill.)
Last season: 21-1-2

Replacing Player of the Year Lucy Murray will not be easy, but the defending state champion Trevians have plenty in the cupboard, including All-American midfielders Charley Meier and Claudia Shevitz. Junior midfielder Emma Huber did a magnificent job face-guarding Hinsdale Central’s Jenna Collignon in last year’s state title game and could be a big impact player this year.

2. Loyola Academy (Ill.)
Last season: 25-2

The Ramblers were stunned in a sectional final loss to New Trier, but don’t count them out. With All-Americans Audrey Brett and Annabelle Burke returning, not to mention Maley Starr, the Ramblers should be a factor. In fact, the team returns five of seven first team all-state athletes from last year.

3. Upper Arlington (Ohio)
Last season: 20-2-2

The defending state champs return a Player of the Year candidate in senior midfielder Ellena Schildmeyer, an All-American who tallied 153 draw controls in 2019. While the Golden Bears lose last year’s leading scorer, Sophie Ballou, they return their next three leading scorers in Schildmeyer (52 goals), Camryn Callaghan (44) and Annie Hargraves (39).

4. Rockford (Mich.)
Last season: 13-5-2

The Rams demonstrated their iron-clad grip on Michigan lacrosse in last year’s state title game, breaking open a 4-2 game with four straight goals and later running away with nine straight scores. They return an All-American midfielder in Sydney Zimmerman, who led the team in goals and draw controls last season.

5. Hinsdale Central (Ill.)
Last season: 20-5

The Red Devils suffered some devastating injuries last season, including to Alaina Hamood (Penn State) and Madeline Pisani, but they still were able to make the state title game. With Hamood and Pisani back healthy, as well as Jessica Joy and standout scorer Jenna Collignon returning, expect Hinsdale Central to be a force. Collignon established herself as a scoring threat with a seven-goal performance against the Ramblers.

6. Glenbrook South (Ill.)
Last season: 20-5

Goals shouldn’t be a problem for the Titans as they return a pair of first team all-state attackers in Meghan Bireley and Isabella Tiesi. Both were brilliant in Glenbrook South’s first win at state, combining for 11 goals in a 21-12 victory over St. Charles in the third-place game. The Titans gave the eventual state champion Trevians a scare in the state semifinals and should be a team to watch.

7. Prior Lake (Minn.)
Last season: 18-1

The Lakers are coming off a state title and the future remains bright considering Payton Bloedow, who had six goals and three assists in Prior Lake’s 17-12 state final win over Eden Prairie, is just a junior. She is one of the top returning players along with Josie Kropp and Mackenzie Salentre, who also were key contributors in the championship game.

8. New Albany (Ohio)
Last season: 19-4

The Eagles gave the Golden Bears a heck of a fight in last year’s state title game, but they have their work cut out for them trying to replace Emily Rezabek (Ohio State), Alyssa Kneedler and Chloe Platte, who all scored multiple goals against Upper Arlington. Rezabek was a force last season, scoring 90 goals.

9. Columbus DeSales (Ohio)
Last season: 21-1

The Stallions ended the season with 21 straight victories to win Ohio’s Division II title, but they face their share of challenges entering 2020. They need to replace Sophia Finotti and Grace Lensmire, who combined for nine goals in the state final, but it could be a chance for Liz Renken to shine. She had five goals in last year’s state semifinal.

10. Carmel (Ind.)
Last season: 17-3

Coming off back-to-back state titles (and five since 2011), the Greyhounds are here to stay. Among their young talent are Hannah Kim, who finished her sophomore season with 61 goals and 18 assists, and fellow junior Maddie McGarty, who had 37 goals and 29 assists in 2019.

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