Rockford girls lacrosse advances to 5-0

The Rockford girls lacrosse team has been as hot as the Caribbean weather since returning from spring break. The Lady Rams have outscored their opponents 104-19 while moving to 4-0 in non-conference action, and 1-0 in their OK Rainbow I conference.

The Rams got off to a quick start right after break, traveling to Lansing Waverly and coming away with a 25-5 victory. The Rams have really stepped up their defense this year with seniors Abbey Neerken and Lexi O’Connor leading the effort. Leading the scoring for the Rams was Meagan Emery with five goals, Erica Neumen and Kelsei Streeter with four each, with Taylor Hiner and Abbey Neerken each tallying three goals. This game also marked the return of senior Andi Raymond from an off-season injury.

Next up for the Rams was their conference opener at Forest Hills Eastern where the Rams made easy work of the Hawks on their home field. The scoring again came fast and furious for the Rams. The scoring was made possible by the stellar defensive effort again by O’Connor, Neerken, and senior Kelly McCabe and freshman Kelli Raymond, who limited the Hawk opportunities. Emery continued her scoring with seven goals, followed by A. Raymond with four, and Hiner and Taylor Balch each with a pair of goals. A great all-around game was played by junior Alyssa Neumen, as she caused several turnovers, scored a goal and had three assists.

Saturday, April 17, the Rams played host to Grosse Point South, who have been a strong lacrosse power for years. The Rams were very stingy on Saturday behind goalie Jenna Chaffee and the defensive stalwarts Neerken, O’Connor and A. Neumen only giving up three goals. The Rams played a very deliberate ball control offense and put up 12 goals on the visitors in what turned out to be a very physical game around each goal. A. Raymond, A. Neumen, Hiner and Neerken each scored two goals. Single goals were added by Emery, Morgan Stage, Streeter and Balch.

Finishing their 5-0 run, the Rams played host to the Panthers from West Ottawa in a cross-over game from the OK conference Rainbow II division. The Rams started quickly, claiming a 10-1 lead after 10 minutes of play. After that, the Ram coaches substituted freely to make sure all the girls saw action. The game ended with the Rams victorious, 24-5.

Chafee was strong again in net for the first half. Thirteen girls scored for the Rams. Leading the way was Neumen with four, Emery with three, Hiner, Streeter, Stage, E. Neumen, McCabe and Kenzi Groom with two each. Single goals were scored by Balch, Neerken, K. Raymond, Caleigh Christensen and Katie Bean.

Statistically, the Rams are led by Emery in goals and caused turnovers. Draw control leaders are A. Neumen, Emery and A. Raymond. Assists are led by Hiner, E. Neumen, and A. Raymond, and ground balls by Neerken, and E. Neumen.

The Rams are playing excellent team defense, but coaches Emery and Neerken stated, “Our best games are yet to come. We have to get better everyday if we are to earn a conference championship and challenge for a state title. Moving O’Connor and Neerken to low defense has really solidified our defensive effort.”

The Rams move in to the heart of their conference schedule this next week with games against Catholic Central and East Grand Rapids.

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