Brother Rice/New Trier Heads April 8-11 Boys' Games

Two of the Midwest Region's most storied boys' lacrosse programs go head-to-head this weekend when New Trier (IL) and Brother Rice (MI) take to the field. The match-up is just one of many highly anticipated inter-regional battles on the high school schedule. The slate even features a handful of showdowns between top teams from California and New York intriguing meetings of traditional and emerging lacrosse powers.

One of the weekend's top games pits defending state champions as Michigan's Brother Rice takes on Illinois juggernaut New Trier on Friday. One of the region's most consistent programs, Brother Rice won its eighth-straight state title in 2010. With a deep, skilled lineup back in '11 that includes the likes of Bennett Packer (Delaware), the Warriors (3-0) will be the favorites once again to win it all. Meanwhile, New Trier is coming off its sixth consecutive IHSLA title last season, and fifth in a row over rival Loyola Academy.

The match-up becomes even more interesting now that both lacrosse titans have a history. Most recently, the squads met last year in a similar early-season contest that saw New Trier (currently 2-2) pull off a thrilling 13-11 victory. With both teams loaded again in '11, expect another exciting contest that proves close from start to finish. Mick Parks (Virginia) is a ground ball machine for the Trevians and will look to control the midfield for his unit and help sustain some methodical possessions late. On the other side, Riley Kennedy and Will Meter lead an explosive offense for Brother Rice.

Longtime Ohio power Worthington Kilbourne heads east this weekend and will face two of the Philadelphia area's most potent programs. On Friday, the Wolves (5-1) who most recently won the Ohio Division I state title in 09 take on defending state champ Conestoga (5-0) before going up against Malvern Prep (4-1) on Saturday.

Conestoga has already defeated formidable squads St. Joseph's Prep (PA) and Boys' Latin (MD) this year and will likely give Worthington Kilbourne all it can handle this weekend. While Malvern Prep has posted back-to-back campaigns with mixed results, the squad still routinely plays one of the toughest schedules in Pennsylvania and is loaded with Division I talent. The Wolves will need to find a way to score goals this weekend, as both Malvern Prep and Conestoga sport shutdown defenses. Behind current senior Brian Dailey (Duke), the Pioneers held opponents to five goals or less in 21 of their 26 contests in 10.

Meanwhile, Mercer Island (WA) heads all the way to Massachusetts for a tune-up before league play heats up back at home. On Friday, the Islanders take on Cole Fisher and a tough Concord Carlisle team before having a showdown with Lincoln-Sudbury on Saturday. Earlier on Wednesday, the Islanders downed Duxbury, 7-6 in overtime, to commence their road trip with authority. Brian Bernstein made 17 saves while teammate Connor Bernal tallied the game-winner in the extra session. The result is arguably the most impressive out-of-state victory in Mercer Island's history, also proving that the gap may be getting smaller between East Coast and West Coast lacrosse powers.

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