2012 ALL-NORTH OAKLAND AREA GIRLS LACROSSE TEAM: Spots hard to come by on postseason teams as talent level still on the rise
BY DAN STICKRADT
Less than a decade ago, girls lacrosse was just an afterthought in this region of the country. Few schools even offered the sport and the ones that did had to often just play in a small circle or go out of state for games.
Times have changed.
Girls lacrosse has continued to grow not only in the coverage area for www.northoaklandsports.com, but in Oakland County and across Michigan as well. Several other states have seen similar growth.
There are more teams in the state than ever before — 67 teams suited up in 2012, more than double than 2002 — and the expansion is expected to continue as youth lacrosse, camps and awareness of the sport is helping lacrosse carve its own niche for athletes wishing to play a spring sport in Michigan.
In northern Oakland County, there were nine varsity programs this season and only two existed a decade ago, as Troy and Troy Athens gained their start back in the 1990s. Since then, Clarkston, Lake Orion, Oxford, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Rochester, Rochester Adams and Rochester Stoney Creek have all joined the fold in recent years.
The talent levels of these programs overall and the amount of talented individuals has increased each year. We can see that on the 2012 All-North Oakland Area Girls Lacrosse Team.
The All-Area squad, selected by NOS staff in conjunction with area coaches’ opinions, includes several players that earned all-conference honors and five that landed a spot on one of the coveted All-State squads. It’s not an easy accomplishment for quality players to earn postseason honors as it was a few years ago.
Below are the profiles of the 19 members on the first team:
MARY EICHER, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep: This senior led the Fighting Irish in scoring and had multiple games of three or more goals. She had four tallies in the CHSL Division II finals against Livonia Ladywood, a 15-12 loss. Eicher earned All-CHSL status this season.
DANIELLE DUNN, Clarkston: One of eight players to earn repeat All-Area First Team honors, Dunn finished second for the Wolves in scoring this season. The junior found the back of the net 35 times and added five assists for 75 total points in her third season as a starter. Her totals were third best for a team that scored 248 goals.
JESSICA LEININGER, Rochester: The Falcons have graduated the all-time top-two leading scorers in program history each of the past two years in Sarah Mattingly (2010) and Maggie Ng (2011), but Leininger came through and filled the shoes as Rochester’s go-to player on offense this season. The All-OAA White Division honoree collected 47 goals, a Rochester record for a freshman, with one assist for 95 points. She scored 3.1 goals a game with 11 hat tricks, including seven games with at least four goals. Leininger was Rochester’s Offensive Player of the Year.
KYLIE GRAY, Rochester: The Falcons became the 14th best offense statewide, thanks to scoring 13.19 goals a contest over 16 games, and Gray was big part of that. A three-year starter, Gray was second on the team in scoring with 38 goals, six assists and 82 total points. She recorded six hat tricks and 2.93 goals a game while winning 35 draw controls. She earned the Falcons’ Most Improved Player award.
KRISTINE BARLOW, Troy: Barlow is one of many Colts who inherited bigger roles this season and stepped up her level of play this season to help fill in for players lost by graduation and finished among the area’s top 10 scoring leaders. Barlow collected 42 goals, 14 assists and 98 points offensively while contributing 23 ground balls. Barlow, who was also honorable-mention all-area in swimming last fall, will attend Division I Brigham Young University in the fall and will attempt to compete in both lacrosse and swimming.
HALEY BURNS, Troy: A repeat member for the first team, Burns earned All-State Second Team honors in Division 1 along with being named All-OAA Red Division. This season she took over for a team that graduated much of its offense from the previous season and scored 40 times with seven assists for 87 points. She also scooped up 23 ground balls with 14 takeaways for a team that finished 7-1 in league play and shared the league crown with Birmingham United and Bloomfield Hills Unified.
STEPHANIE DELLINGER, Clarkston:The Wolves posted the state’s second-best offense, scorching the nets for 16.53 goals a contest. Dellinger, a four-year varsity veteran, was a hug part of that. The All-OAA Red Division and Division 1 All-State Honorable Mention selection led the Wolves and the entire area with 68 goals and 17 assists for 153 total points.
LARUEN SHARKEY, Clarkston: Part of the Wolves’ high-scoring offense that amassed 248 goals in only 15 games, Sharkey helped Clarkston reach the Elite Eight in Division 1. The talented junior rang up 60 goals and 12 assists for 132 total points, Sharkey earned All-OAA Red Division and All-State Honorable Mention honors.
MALLORY DEMOTT, Lake Orion: The Dragons moved up to the OAA Red Division this season and despite slipping to 9-13-1 overall, still fielded a vaunted offensive attack. Lake Orion scored 199 goals with DeMott leading the way with 45 goals and eight assists this season on 98 shots. A senior, DeMott also contributed 27 ground balls defensively and earned All-OAA Red Division accolades for her efforts.
MACKENZIE SOMA, Rochester Adams: A two-year starter after the Highlanders broke off from Rochester United in 2011, Soma earned All-OAA White Division accolades this season. She led Adams in scoring this season and is a repeat performer on the first team.
RACHEL CECH, Lake Orion: Cech finished third on team in scoring out of the midfield, racking up 32 goals and nine assists for 73 points over 23 games. The junior attempted 61 shots and held a .525 scoring percentage. She earned All-OAA Red Division honors.
JORDIN PARDOSKI, Rochester: After playing defense the past three years, Pardoski moved up into the midfield and was quite a presence both offensively and defensively. Sitting back and helping the play develop, Pardoski finished with 17 goals and two assists, while she caused 24 turnovers, 11 ground balls and 18 draw controls before an injury slowed her at the end of the season. The versatile Pardoski helped Rochester yield only 7.75 goals a game, seventh best in the state. She will be attending Penn State on hockey scholarship.
MONIQUE THAKUR, Troy Athens: While the Red Hawks suffered through a major rebuilding season, which included multiple injuries and a 2-13-0 record, Thakur still had a solid season. The junior finished second on the team in scoring and earned All-OAA Red Division honors.
PAIGE MILLER, Clarkston: The Wolves faced much better league and non-league competition this season and thus yielded 170 goals while scoring 248 times. This senior still shined as one of the area’s best defenders in her third season as a starter.
CLAIRE JOHNSTON, Troy: The Colts registered the state’s fourth best defense this season, giving up 7.14 goals a contest over 18 games and Johnston was big part of that effort. She contributed just one goal and one assists offensively, mainly sitting back on the Colts’ side of the field to thwart the opposing team’s attack. The All-OAA Red Division pick won 12 ball controls, scooped up 33 ground balls and caused 22 turnovers.
RACHEL MANSOUR, Clarkston: Another rock in the Wolves’ backfield, Mansour made opposing team’s offensive talents work extra hard just to get off a shot. Although Clarkston finished fourth in the OAA Red Division, Mansour was at her best in the postseason, leading the Wolves to their deepest run to date which ended with a 13-11 setback to Hartland in the regional finals, one win shy of the Final Four.
EMMA KIMMEL, Oxford: The Wildcats migrated from club status to varsity status in 2012 and finished with a 5-10-0 record. Kimmel emerged as Oxford’s best player, leading her team in scoring with over 30 goals and earning All-OAA White Division honors.
RACHEL SACCO, Troy: A rising star, Sacco earned All-State First Team Division 1 and All-OAA Red Division accolades this season for one of the state’s better defensive teams. Playing in 17 of her team’s 18 games, Sacco finished 13-4-0 in net. She faced 355 shots, made 246 saves, yielded 109 goals, recorded a .690 save percentage and allowed 6.42 goals a game.
ALY ROSENAU, Rochester: A four-year starter, Rosenau graduates with almost every single-game, season and career goalkeeping records at Rochester. Honored on the All-OAA White Division and All-State Honorable Mention Division 2 lists as a senior, Rosenau played in 15.5 games for the 13-3-0 Falcons. She surrendered 123 goals and posted a 7.94 goals-against-average. The Falcons’ Team MVP also faced 312 shots, made 189 saves and posted a .606 save percentage. She will attend the University of Michigan.
COACH OF THE YEAR
DAVE HAMEL, Rochester: Seven years ago, Hamel began coaching with the Rochester United program. Now the district has three teams and Hamel has made Rochester High one of the area’s top teams. The Falcons captured their first-ever league title as a stand-alone program this season, going 6-0-0 in OAA White Division play. Rochester also posted a 13-3-0 overall record, a school record for wins.
2012 ALL-NORTH OAKLAND GIRLS LACROSSE TEAM
Mary Eicher Pontiac Notre Dame Prep Senior
Danielle Dunn Clarkston Junior
Jessica Leininger Rochester Freshman
Kylie Gray Rochester Senior
Kristine Barlow Troy Senior
Jordan Pardoski Rochester Senior
Mackenzie Soma Rochester Adams Senior
Haley Burns Troy Junior
Stephanie Dellinger Clarkston Senior
Lauren Sharkey Clarkston Junior
Mallory DeMott Lake Orion Senior
Rachel Cech Lake Orion Junior
Monique Thakur Troy Athens Junior
Paige Miller Clarkston Senior
Claire Johnston Troy Junior
Rachel Mansuur Clarkston Senior
Emma Kimmel Oxford Junior
Rachel Sacco Troy Junior
Aly Rosenau Rochester Senior
COACH OF THE YEAR
Dave Hamel Rochester Seventh Season
Clarkston: Brittany Jaynes, jr. D/M; Kylie Cohu, jr. G; Lake Orion: Emily Hendrix, jr. A; Laura Gonda, jr. M; Kailyn Tweedie, sr. M; Melissa Harcourt, jr. A; Tiffanie Smrtnik, jr. G; Oxford: Jordan Pieczynski, jr. M; Pontiac Notre Dame Prep: Tia Jurkiw, Mara Maclean; Rochester: Michaela Penberthy, sr. D; Natalie Prisciandaro, sr. M; Katie Krako, sr. A; Samantha Blair, sr. M; Rachel Gendich, sr. D; Tara Kenny, sr. A; Rochester Adams: Emily Deane, soph. A; Greta Meloff, sr. A; Olivia Salmon, sr. M; Emily Burns, sr. D; Rochester Stoney Creek: Emily Woods, sr. D; Hannah Norton, sr. M; Kenda Gill, jr. G; Troy: Theresa Burcs, jr. A; Cara Burns, fr. D; Troy Athens: Jill Dougherty, soph. A; Becca Chen, jr. A.
TEAM RECORDS FOR 2012
Lake Orion 9-13-1
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 8-8-0
Rochester Adams 7-10-0
Rochester Stoney Creek 6-7-0
Troy Athens 2-13-0
2011 ALL-AREA TEAM: http://northoaklandsports.com/2011/07/18/2011-all-area-girls-lacrosse-rising-stars-abundant-in-state%E2%80%99s-fastest-growing-sport/
2010 ALL-AREA TEAM: http://northoaklandsports.com/pages/posts/all-area-girls-lacrosse-talent-level-is-fast-rising-1777.php
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