Michigan Cannot Maintain Halftime Lead, Falls at Rutgers
Austin Swaney

April 21, 2012

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Site: Piscataway, N.J. (Yurcak Field)
Score: Rutgers 13, Michigan 9
Records: U-M (1-12), Rutgers (6-8)
Attendance: 2,483
Next U-M Event: Saturday, May 5 -- at North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 7 p.m.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team could not hold on to its 5-4 halftime lead and eventually fell to Rugters, 13-9, as the Scarlet Knights outscored the Wolverines 9-4 in the second half on Saturday (April 21) at Yurcak Field.

Junior Willie Steenland (Minneapolis, Minn./The Blake School), fifth-year senior Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) and junior Thomas Paras (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius) each netted a pair of goals to lead the Wolverines.

Rutgers got out to an early lead, tallying three goals in the first four minutes of the game. At the 10:22 mark, Steenland recorded Michigan's first score to make it 3-1. Rutgers found the back of the net once more with 9:53 to play in the first period before the Wolverines erupted on a 4-0 run. Yealy registered an unassisted goal with 1:05 on the clock.

In the second period, Michigan scored three unanswered goals in eight and a half minutes. Steenland struck again at the 13:07 mark on a feed from sophomore Jason Davis (Rocky River, Ohio/St. Edward's) from behind the cage. With roughly eight minutes remaining in the second, junior Zachary Dauch (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Lahser) entered the game for the first time and immediately evened the score, 4-4, with 7:29 to play. Will Meter (Beverly Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) connected with fellow freshman David McCormack (Terrace Park, Ohio/Mariemont) to give Michigan the 5-4 lead at the 4:38 mark, and Michigan carried the one-goal advantage into the break.

Paras opened the second half with a goal at the 13:48 mark to give the Wolverines a two-goal lead. Just eight second later, the Scarlet Knights scored their first of three consecutive goals in less than two minutes to take a 7-6 lead. With 11:35 remaining in the third quarter, Austin Swaney (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) scooped up a loose ball in front of the net and scored to even the score, 7-7.

The two teams traded a pair of goals, with scores by Yealy and Paras helping tie the game once again, 9-9, with 8:25 remaining in the game. However, Rutgers responded with four unanswered goals to close out the contest and secure the win.

Michigan freshman goaltender Emil Weiss (Cary, N.C./Apex) made 16 saves in net for the Wolverines.

The Wolverines will play the final game of their inaugural season on Saturday, May 5, against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.


• Fifth-year senior Trevor Yealy extended his goal streak to nine games with his pair of scores against Rutgers. Yealy, who has a team-best 24 goals on the season, also took over the team lead in points with 25.

• Senior Austin Swaney scored his first career goal at the 11:35 mark of the third quarter. It marked the first goal of the season for a Michigan long pole.

• The 16-stop effort for goalie Emil Weiss was one shy of a career high and marks the seventh time this season he has registered double-digit saves. He previously accomplished the feat against Jacksonville (15), Loyola (11), Mount St. Mary's (10), Harvard (13), Delaware (17) and Ohio State (12).

• Junior Zachary Dauch's two points (one goal, one assist) are a career high.

• Michigan led at the half (5-4) for the third time this season. The Wolverines also held a halftime advantage against Jacksonville (L, 9-8 OT) and Mercer (W, 14-4).


Michigan Head Coach John Paul
On today's game ... "The last four weeks we've come so far. We are playing at about our maximum capability right now. We just haven't been able to close games out, and I think that's just us learning to play at the Division I level. The fact that we've been competitive with some very good teams the last four weeks, I think we have a lot to be proud of. As disappointing as it is to lose, we really have to step back and take a big-picture snapshot of where we are right now. I think we have a lot to be proud of."

On maintaining possession and getting good offensive looks ... "It's certainly one of the things we have to do to be successful. At this level right now with this team, we're not going to be as talented as the other teams that we're playing so we have to limit possessions. One of the ways we do that is by having long offensive possessions and we don't do that by sitting in the corner and holding the ball, we're still attacking. But we're trying to be efficient and take very smart shots and make smart plays. That's something we've improved on a lot this year is that guys are executing better. They're able to pass and catch under pressure long enough to eventually get good shots."

On the team's resiliency and determination ... "I've heard from so many people who saw us play in the fall when we were out in Philadelphia. Towson gave us some really good lessons on what it means to play at this level. Now you watch us these last few weeks, we're a completely different team. It's the same people, but guys have learned what it takes to compete at this level and that's showing. One of the biggest compliments you can get as a coach is every team we've played, the comment I get from the other coach when we shake hands afterwards is 'man, you guys play hard' and I love to hear that and it really does show. We're 1-12 and our guys care so much. They're not going to quit."

On individual performances that stood out ... "Emil (Weiss) played great. I'm sure he'd like to get a couple of those clears back that he didn't execute that well. But Rutgers took 50 shots, and so anytime a team takes 50 shots on you, your goalie better step up or you're going to have a long night. He's been a big part of our ability to compete the last few weeks -- there's no question about it. He's gained so much confidence. In terms of our offense, we've been able to possess the ball, we've been able to execute, and when we're executing our offense, it's going to ultimately lead to opportunities for our top guys. Trevor (Yealy) capitalizes on those, Thomas Paras had a pretty good game today. We have some pretty good lacrosse players on this team, and when given the opportunity, they're going to step up and perform."

Contact: Scott Kemps (734) 763-4423