Wolverines Overrun at No. 12 Denver in Face-Off Classic Opener
Thomas Paras

Feb. 25, 2012


Site: Denver, Colo. (Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium)
Event: Denver Face-Off Classic
Score: #12 Denver 17, Michigan 5
Records: Michigan (0-3), DU (1-1)
Attendance: 2,191
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 26 -- vs. Air Force - Denver Face-Off Classic (Denver, Colo.), 11:30 a.m. MST

DENVER, Colo. -- The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team was defeated by Denver (No. 12 USILA, No. 11 Nike/Inside Lacrosse), 17-5, on Saturday (Feb. 25) at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The Pioneers controlled the flow of the game thanks to their prowess at the faceoff X, winning 19 of 26 draws, and collecting 43 ground balls to U-M's 23.

The Pioneers won the opening faceoff and scored 42 seconds in. DU led 2-0 three minutes into the first quarter and 5-1 after 15 minutes. Denver had a 4-2 scoring advantage in the second stanza to earn a 9-3 halftime advantage. DU's lead ballooned to 15-5 after three quarters and it tacked on two more late goals.

For the third straight game to start the season sophomore midfielder Doug Bryant (Princeton, N.J./Princeton) posted two goals, scoring once in the second and third quarters. Senior midfielder Alex Vasileff (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm), senior attackman Thomas Paras (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius) and sophomore attackman Jeff Chu (Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga) had U-M's other goals. Denver's Eric Law led all players with four goals, while Mark Matthews and Alex Demopoulos had three apiece

Denver jumped ahead early with goals at 14:18 and 12:01 of the first quarter. Paras bounced a shot through the DU goalie's five-hole at 7:45 to make it 2-1. The Pioneers responded just 42 seconds later and poured in two more goals in the final minute of the first quarter.

The Pioneers and Wolverines traded goals throughout the second quarter until Denver finished the frame with back-to-back goals for a 9-3 halftime lead.

Denver made it a four-goal run with two tallies to begin the second half. Bryant's second goal of the day made it 11-4. DU deposited four straight goals to take a double-digit lead, 15-4. Chu scored on a pass that ricocheted into the Denver goal to cap U-M's scoring with eight seconds left in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was scoreless until DU tallied at 3:28 and 1:04.

Michigan concludes the DU Face-Off Classic tomorrow (Sunday, Feb. 26) against Air Force. Game time is 11:30 a.m. MST. Air Force lost to Robert Morris earlier in the day on Saturday.


Michigan Head Coach John Paul
On today's game ... "Obviously, Denver is an elite team and an elite program. In a lot of ways they are what we want to become. I wasn't really happy today. I thought there were some things today that we did well. There were things that we didn't execute that we thought we were heading in the direction with and had been improving week to week and we took some steps backward in those today. Then in other instances, ground balls for example, we just got out-athleted. That's something that we talk to them about all the time where there are things we can control and some of those controllables we didn't control today: turning the ball over too much, making mistakes on the clear. Those are parts of the games that we can win and we just didn't get that done today."

On Michigan's performance on face-offs ... "Our faceoff strategy worked exactly the way we wanted it to work. Brian Greiner did a great job tying up (Chase Carraro); I think he only went forward on (Greiner) twice. We had our wings in the right positions. We had an opportunity to win face-offs today and we just got killed on ground balls. It's a huge issue for us. Part of that is athleticism. Part of it though is there were times when the ball was in front of guys sticks and we're not picking them up and we have to make those plays. I thought Greiner did a great job today."

On preparing for Air Force tomorrow ... "It's really important that we forget about this and put it behind us. This is pretty rare occurrence in Division I lacrosse to play the next day, so it's really important to put this behind us and focus on Air Force as soon as we get out of the locker room today. We'll get something to eat and then we're watching Air Force film. The coaches already have the game plan put together. We'll tweak some things and get ready. We're going to have a lot of adversity this year and we knew that coming into the season. So much of this year is about the guys handling the adversity, getting over it, whether that's a missed ground ball or a loss. We have to move on, continue to improve and build what we're trying to build and that's what Air Force is about tomorrow."

Contact: Matt Trevor (734) 763-4423

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