Rams open conference play with win over East Grand Rapids
The Rockford girls lacrosse team picked up where they left off as they returned to action April 15 after spring vacation. The Rams took on the previously undefeated team from Lansing Waverly (combined Waverly, Lansing Catholic and Grand Ledge) at the Rams’ home field at East Rockford Middle School. The night belonged to the Rams from the onset, as they scored early and often, leading 6-0 at the half and 14-1 as the final buzzer sounded.
Giving up one goal in the game of lacrosse means the Rams were relentless with their defense all night . When Waverly did manage to get off a shot, it was vacuumed up by the goalie tandem from Rockford, senior standout Gabrielle Twiest and sophomore Sydney Gray.
Rockford out-shot Waverly 44-7 as the Rams moved the ball at will. Andi Raymond was the Rams’ leading scorer with six goals, and two assists. Meagan Emery scored four goals, and Michon Moline had a goal and a team-leading four assists which helped Raymond keep the pressure on the Waverly goalie all game. Kelsei Streeter added two goals for the Rams, and Abbey Neerken tallied one.
The Rams controlled the game from the initial draw, winning 14 of the 17 center draws in the game, frustrating the opposition and preventing them from having any ability to get in the flow of the game. Neerken won nine draws and Raymond five. Ram stalwarts Roxy Rosema, Raymond, Emery and Neerken were aggressively controlling every loose ball, handily winning the ground ball battle.
Coach Jeff Neerken stated, “This was our best team effort of the year and will give us something to build on as the conference season gets underway.”
The Rams traveled to East Grand Rapids (EGR) to open conference play on Friday, April 17. The scrappy team from EGR hung tough and kept the game scoreless for the first few minutes, but then the Rams found their stride behind an offensive onslaught from leading scorer Raymond and Emery. The Rams led 12-2 at the half and the game ended 22-4.
The Rams’ defense remained tough even though they played shorthanded due to the illness of defensive leader Shelby Smith. Rockford’s playing team defense has limited opponents to six goals over the last 100 minutes of play. Ram goalies Twiest and Gray only faced six shots all night long, and most were after the game had already been decided. Alyssa Neumen, Lexi O’Connor, Jill Fowle and Emily Gray were strong again for the Ram defense.
Neerken had an excellent all-around game for the Rams with two goals, one assist, 11 draws won, and three caused turnovers. Raymond and Emery continued to burn up the nets with their scoring. All-American candidate Raymond again led all scorers with six goals and six assists. Emery followed with five goals and three assists. In addition, senior Moline continued her fine play with three goals and an assist, Taylor Balch had three goals and an assist, Neerken had two goals and one assist, Neumen had a goal, Streeter had a goal, and Rosema added an acrobatic quick stick goal to wrap up the scoring.
The Rams traveled to West Ottawa on Monday, April 20, and then host Forest Hills on Wednesday night, April 22. Watch next week’s Squire for results.