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April 21, 2011

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MIKE LARSON

Girls’ lacrosse needs an overhaul
acrosse is a beautiful game. It’s fluid, fast-paced and high-scoring. It’s fun to play and it’s fun to watch, even if you aren’t an expert with the rules. In short, lacrosse is everything that a sport should be. But the sport is flawed, specifically in the girls’ game. I know, I know. I’m sure a red flag just went up in your brain and the words “sexist” and “pig” are flashing through your grey matter like a neon sign. But hear me out. It’s no secret that there are several women’s sports that, even at the professional level get a bum rap because they are perceived as boring or uninteresting. Think WNBA. Yeah, I’m sure those signs in your head we were talking about earlier are flashing double time now, but think about it. Even when there was a WNBA franchise in this area (before it packed up and moved to the sports’ Mecca that is Tulsa, Okla.), the team was playing for championships and the franchise had to give tickets away in area gas stations to even get people to show up. But lacrosse isn’t like that. Lacrosse isn’t boring at the men’s or the women’s levels and the girls’ game isn’t any less fun to watch than the boys’ game. My beef with girls’ lacrosse is that there are just too many stoppages. The stoppages are because the rules of the girls’ game allows little to no contact. In the boys’ game, players wear helmets, shoulder and elbow pads and gloves. They play a physical style that almost rattles your teeth just watching the game. The girls, however, with the exception of goalies, aren’t allowed to wear helmets. They
PLEASE SEE OVERHAUL/2-C

defense
By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

L

Huron shuts down rival Skyline 1-0 in SEC opener

Photo by Kelton Kaye/A2SPORTSPHOTOS.COM

Huron’s Casie Ammerman attempts to get the ball past Skylines Rachel Johnston.

O

n Saturday afternoon, experience defeated youth. Or maybe it was a staunch defense that shut down a dynamic offense. Any way you slice it, when the Ann Arbor Huron girls’ soccer team traveled across town to play Skyline, it was the senior-laden River Rats that came away with the 1-0 victory in the first Southeastern Conference Red game for both squads. “Skyline did a great job,” Huron coach Reese Richardson said. “But our defense was just a little too much for them.” Huron (1-1-1 overall, 1-0 SEC), which recently played state finalist Plymouth to a 0-0 tie, is a team that is very defensive-minded. “Our strength is our defense,” Richardson said. “We know that. We know that we have to hold teams scoreless if we are going to give ourselves a good chance to win. And that’s what we did against Skyline.” Huron got on the board early, getting a goal from McKinlee Ward in the ninth minute of the first half. After that, the River Rats put the clamps on and refused to give up an inch. Huron kept its focus largely on Skyline freshman Cienna RealWhitsitt, who has been a big playmaker for the Eagles. “A lot of their key players are underclassmen,” Richardson said. “So we had to really work hard.” The Huron coach said he was happy with the way his team played defense overall, but that he was really impressed with the play of Becca Wurster. Wurster, a senior captain, did everything right,
PLEASE SEE DEFENSE/2-C

GIRLS LACROSSE

We’re more than just a sports section

Pioneer beats the clock, FGR wins takes down rival Huron rivalry match
By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

BOYS LACROSSE

Irish hold of Gryphons, win 11-3
By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

In addition to all of the sports stories and information found in these pages, the A2 Journal sports section offers even more media online. Check us out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ A2JournalSports) for stories, photo albums video and more. Follow us out on Twitter to get up to the minute scores from your favorite high school teams and get updates game cancelations or time changes.

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Pioneer girls’ lacrosse coach Zachary Maghes said that his team’s motto is to start strong and finish strong. On Friday night against Huron, the Pioneers did just that. After leading for much of the first half, the Pioneers fell behind just before the break. They then trailed for almost the entire second half, but came through in the waning seconds of the game to win the contest 17-16. “I thought we played really well,” Maghes said. “We moved the ball well and really stuck it out late in the game.” The cold weather couldn’t stop the Pioneers from heating up early in the game, as Pioneer senior Emy Guttman scored just 33 seconds in. The River Rats tied the game less than a minute later when Photo by Buck Overton/A2 JOURNAL Taylor Standiford found the back of the net. Huron and Pioneer faced off last Friday at Riverbank Stadium Guttman answered right back on Huron’s campus. The game was close all the way through, but the Pioneers came back in the final minute to take the lead PLEASE SEE CLOCK/3-C on a goal from Rachel Freeman. Pioneer won 17-16.

Last Thursday the Greenhills lacrosse team crossed over Plymouth Road and traveled to Gabriel Richard to take on the Fighting Irish. The home team took control of the game early on, and never really looked back. Gabriel Richard ended up winning the game 11-3. “I thought it went really well,” Richard coach Jim Carl said. “We controlled the tempo of the game. We were able to do some things offensively that we are not normally able to do.” The Irish were led by midfielder Colin McMahon, who scored five points on the game with three goals and two assists. Adam Kolevar also had a strong game, scoring two goals and two assists. He also had 11

shots. Other scorers for Richard were Daniel Modes with a goal and an assist, Alex Ziolkowski with two goals and Nick Bierley and Mike Meyer with a goal each. Coincidentally, the goals by Meyers and Bierley were career firsts for the players. “It’s exciting for those guys,” Carl said. “They both have been working really hard and it’s nice to have a chance to get a lot of guys in.” Greenhills scored all three of its goals in the second half, as Kyle Wozniak, Bryan Catalfano and John Lazarsfeld all tallied scores. Lazarsfeld also had an assist. “We played them tough in the first half,” Greenhills coach Mike Costello said. “Defensively, we were matching up pretty well. Offensively though, we couldn’t do much. Our lack of experience hurts us, but
PLEASE SEE FGR/3-C

Page 2-C 

Thursday, April 21, 2011 • HERITAGE MEDIA/A2 JOURNAL

Skyline lax tames Tigers
By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

The Skyline lacrosse team took its best shot Friday night when it took on Belleville. In fact, it took several. The Eagles unloaded on the Tigers, blasting 73 shots en route to a 16-2 blowout. “I was happy with our offense, Skyline coach Nick Zoroya said. “We did a good job of keeping the ball in our offensive end.” The Eagles wasted no time taking control of the game, scoring five goals in the first quarter. The team added four more in the second quarter to take a 9-1 lead at the halftime break. In the second half, Skyline outscored Belleville 7-1 to take a 16-2 victory. Sam Olson led the way for the Eagles with three goals and two assists. Sophomore John Crowley
Photo by Michael Steinberg/A2 JOURNAL

The coach also said he was happy with his team’s faceoff specialist, Trevor hill, who won 16-of-20 faceoffs against Belleville and has won 74 percent of his attempts this season. With the win, Skyline improved to 4-1 (however the team’s record has changed as it took on Chelsea on Wednesday after press time). The team will take on Greenhills on Saturday. Zoroya said he was happy with his team’s production so far this season. “Considering our only loss of NICK ZOROYA the season was against Pioneer, Skyline boys’ lacrosse coach I can’t be mad about that loss,” the coach said. “We are winning games that we should win.” also had a good game with two Mike Larson can be reached goals and an assist. by email at Mlarson@A2Journal. Don Weidner added four goals com. Check out his page on as well. Facebook at www.facebook. “I was happy with our com/A2SportsGuy and follow amount of scorers,” Zoroya him on Twitter at www.twitter. said. “We had six guys score com/A2JournalSports. goals and our setup guy (Aaron Dziubinski) had four assists.”

“Considering our only loss of the season was against Pioneer, I can’t be mad about that loss. We are winning games that we should win.”

Huron’s Sofie Tzotzinis closes in on Skyline midfielder Shelby Wyatt. Huron defeated Skyline 1-0 on Saturday think we can play with any Skyline (2-2 overall, 0-1 SEC) team in the state.” will look to even up its conference record when it hosts Mike Larson can be reached FROM PAGE 1-C by email at Mlarson@A2Journal. Ypsilanti tonight. com. Check out his page on Huron will also be in action according to her coach. Facebook at www.facebook. on this evening when it hosts “She’s a really hard worker com/A2SportsGuy and follow Chelsea. and knows how to play the him on Twitter at www.twitter. “We think we can play with game,” Richardson said. “She com/A2JournalSports. anyone,” Richardson said. “We leads by example.”

DEFENSE

Pioneer baseball splits
By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

The reigning Class A state champion Ann Arbor Pioneer baseball team had a rough time against Ypsilanti Lincoln on Friday. The Pioneers split with Lincoln, winning the first game, but losing the second. In the opening game of the double header, the Pioneers came away with an 8-4 win, while in the nightcap, the team fell 6-2. In the first game, Pioneer jumped out to a quick lead, scoring five runs in the top of the

first inning. Lincoln got a run in the bottom half of the inning, and then three more in the bottom of the second. Leading 5-4, Pioneer added two more runs in the fourth inning and another unanswered in the fifth. Neither team scored for the rest of the game as Pioneer held on for the 8-4 win. Despite the win, the Pioneers were plagued with miscues in the field, committing six errors.
PLEASE SEE PIONEER/3-C

OVERHAUL

field. The lack of contact also allows teams that have speedy FROM PAGE 1-C players to completely take advantage of the rules. just wear goggles to protect In boys’ lacrosse the majority their eyes and mouth guards. of the scoring happens because They are also prohibited from a team works the ball around body checking. the goal using crisp passing to In fact, contact with the head get the ball to an open player. is so out of bounds that even an In the girls’ game, a quick accidental brush with a stick or player can get the ball and literbody part within a seven-inch ally take it the length of the “halo” of an opposing player’s field and score. head is a major penalty. I saw it happen Friday durAnd these brushes happen ing the Pioneer-Huron game. pretty frequently. Is that how games should be How could they not? decided? And every time it happens the Fastest player wins? whistle blows and play stops. I don’t think so. The flow of the game suffers I think this idea that female tremendously. It makes the athletes are like delicate flowgame so much harder to take in. It’s like watching some kind of riveting action movie, only somebody hit’s the “pause” button every 17 seconds. I believe the lack of contact actually hurts the game. Are girls really that fragile? Go watch a high school girls’ soccer game and try to tell me with a straight face that high school girls aren’t capable of banging around on the lacrosse

ers needs to be tossed. They aren’t made of glass; they aren’t going to fall apart if they get bumped. These girls are tough and they are capable of playing a contact sport at a high level. The game as it is now is disjointed and defective. But it can be fixed. All it’s going to take is some simple rule changes and a few helmets with holes in the back for pony tails. Mike Larson can be reached by email at Mlarson@A2Journal. com. Check out his page on Facebook at www.facebook. com/A2SportsGuy and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter. com/A2JournalSports.

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