By Scotty Bentley
Special to The Detroit News
Girls lacrosse regionals are also in full swing, and the field is set.
Two of the bigger matchups in round one are in Division 2, with Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook facing Detroit Country Day and Farmington Hills Mercy facing Dearborn Divine Child.
“Our first-round matchup we’re really excited about,” Mercy coach Steven Schimpke said. “They won the other division in our Catholic League, so it’s a great opportunity to take on another league champion.”
Mercy won its Catholic League division this year for just the second time in school history and the first time since 2006.
“Most people had pretty low expectations for us this year,” Schimpke said. “I’m a first-year coach, we graduated an All-American, and certainly no one expected us to win the Catholic League. Everything from here is just building more of a legacy.”
This Mercy team that will go down as one of the best in school history is led by Kate Brady and Julia Rea, who are both captains.
“(Rea) is the valedictorian and is also our second-leading scorer,” Schimpke said. “To have the leader in the classroom that’s also a leader on the field has been big. Our junior captain, Kate Brady, has led the offensive attack. She’s our most explosive player and has been huge.”
Brady is leading the team in scoring with an incredible four goals a game in her 12 games played this year, and Rea is second with 23 goals.
Mercy also has a senior core on defense that has been the rock for this team. The group is led by Teagan Vaughn.
“(Her) stats won’t stand out, but she’s our top defender who always guards the other team’s best player,” Schimpke said. “One of the best defenders in the state.”
Mercy has one of the more impressive storylines of the season with Mackenzie “Mac” Conway locking down the goalie position as a freshman, showing that they’re getting great production all over the roster.
“We have a freshman goalie who has turned into a star in net,” Schimpke explained. “We have a pretty deep team.”
Conway has an unreal save percentage of almost 60% on the season.
This will go down as one of the most successful seasons in school history for Mercy, and Schimpke already views the season as a success, but the girls aren’t satisfied.
“I think we’re already there,” Schimpke said. “I’ve told my girls this. And they’re the kind of group that’s going to keep fighting even though I told them that.”
Mercy’s highly anticipated game against Dearborn Divine Child is Wednesday.
Scotty Bentley is a freelance writer.