The Rockford girls lacrosse team may have fallen a goal short of the finals, but that did not stop several members of the team from garnering post-season accolades. Earning Honorable Mention All-Conference in highly competitive Rainbow Division I conference were attack player Michon Moline, who was the Rams’ third leading scorer, and goalie Gabrielle Twiest, who had a gaudy 65 percent in saves for the season and allowed less than six goals per game in conference play. Earning First Team All-Conference for the Rams were leading scorer Andi Raymond, Meagan Emery, Abbey Neerken, and Lexi O’Connor. Raymond, Emery and Neerken were repeat honorees from 2008 as sophomores. At the state level, Raymond and Emery earned First Team Division I honors. Raymond led the Rams with 100 goals and 60 assists. She added 113 draws won and 39 caused turnovers. Raymond unofficially led the state in scoring in 2009. Emery-the Rams’ second leading scorer with 58 regular season goals, 28 assists, 93 ground balls, and 22 caused turnovers-is well-known for her blazing speed. Earning Second Team All-State is the Rams’ quiet worker Neerken. While not quiet as a person, Neerken quietly snuck up on the opponents to be top five in every category with the Rams’ offense while Emery and Raymond drew attention. She had 55 ground balls and 92 draws won while scoring 18 goals. Rounding out the honors for the Rams was O’Connor, who earned All-State Honorable Mention status as the Rams’ best pure defender. Always marked up on a strong attack player, she played well all year, never being assessed a yellow card penalty. All four state award winners for the Rams will return in 2010 to form the nucleus of a team that should challenge at the state level once again.
Rockford Girls Lacross
Defending Division II girls lacrosse champion Flint Powers traveled to Rockford to take on the Rams in a battle between two of 2009’s elite teams. The game went back and forth over both halves with the Rams trailing early 3-1, at the half by one, down 7-6, and midway through the second half 10-8. Each time, the Rams were able to answer as they kept their resolve. The Rams had to fight through back-to-back yellow cards that had them playing down two players for almost two minutes. The Rams’ defense held strong, only surrendering one goal during that time and scoring a short-handed goal of their own. Rockford Coach Neerken stated, “Our defense won that game with the play during the penalty, and with their smothering defense in the last two minutes preventing Powers from getting off the tying shot.” The entire defensive effort led by Alyssa Neumen, Lexi O’Connor, Roxy Rosema, Kelly McCabe, Jill Fowle and Emily Gray gave the potent Ram offense time to find their stride. Kelsei Streeter also played well off the bench, helping to kill the Ram penalties. Gabby Twiest continued her strong play in the nets for Rockford with 10 saves, including two penalty shot saves. The Powers defense tried to shut down the Ram attack, but the teamwork of Michon Moline,Abbey Neerken, Taylor Hiner and Taylor Balch drew the attention of the defense to open the scoring lanes for Andi Raymond and Meagan Emery. According to Coach Emery, “The level of teamwork did not show in the stat book tonight. The hard work keeping the ball in our scoring zone late in the game, and opening the lane for our give-and-go was a total team effort.” Raymond ended with seven goals and three assists. Emery had five goals and two assists, and Moline chipped in an assist to complete the Ram victory, 12-11.