Feb. 2, 2012
Saturday, Feb. 4 -- vs. Denison - exhibition (Oosterbaan Field House), 1 p.m.
Live Stats | Free Admission, Poster Giveaway
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team tunes up for its inaugural season of varsity action with an exhibition game against Division III Denison on Saturday (Feb. 4) at Oosterbaan Field House. Admission is free to all fans. "Team One" schedule posters will be given out at the door.
U-M opens up regular-season play next Saturday (Feb. 12) against Detroit Mercy at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich. Then the Wolverines hit the road for five consecutive games leading up to the home opener on March 7 (vs. Loyola [Md.]).
Welcome to the Big Show
Men's lacrosse became the 28th varsity sport at the University of Michigan on May 25, 2011. Women's lacrosse was also announced as a varsity sport that day by athletic director Dave Brandon. Women's lacrosse will begin play in 2013-14. The last time U-M added varsity sports was during the 2000-01 school year, when men's soccer and women's water polo commenced play.
There are 61 NCAA Division I lacrosse programs spread over eight conferences. The Wolverines are affiliate members of the ECAC in 2012 and achieve full-fledged status in 2013.
Meet the Coaches
John Paul was installed as U-M's first head coach on June 3, 2011, just one week after the program earned varsity status. Paul was the club team's head coach for 14 seasons, earning a mark of 241-44 and three straight club national titles from 2008-10.
"John Paul has been an integral part of our lacrosse program over the years," said U-M athletic director Dave Brandon. "He has built the club program to a championship level and will help us make the transition to varsity status. We look forward to his leadership and guidance of our program."
Assistant coach Judd Lattimore directs the U-M offense. A two-year starter at North Carolina, he has spent the last 10 years coaching at the NCAA level, most recently at Bucknell (2009-11).
Assistant coach Ken Broschart leads the Wolverine defense. He spent the last four years as an assistant for U-M's club team. Broschart was a three-year All-America defender at New York Institute of Technology.
Goalie coach Keith Euker spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the Missouri club team. He played collegiately at Loyola.
Scouting the opponent: Denison Big Red
Based in Granville, Ohio, Denison is a talented Division III program that went 11-4 in 2011 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. For 2012, DU is preseason No. 11 in Lacrosse Magazine's D-III poll and No. 13 in Inside Lacrosse's D-III poll. Head coach Mike Caravana is entering his 19th season.
Twenty-one players return from U-M's club team from the 2011 season. Among that group are five veterans who were named captains by Coach Paul in the fall: fifth-year senior attackman Trevor Yealy, junior midfielder Sean Sutton, senior midfielder Alex Vasileff, junior defender J.D. Johnson and junior attackman Thomas Paras.
In 19 games last season, Yealy led Michigan in goals (63) and shots (137). Paras (38 goals) and Vasileff (18 goals) were steady contributors on the offensive end.
On Nov. 17, 2011, U-M announced the signing of 18 recruits who will bolster the 2012-13 roster. Two players ranked among the ESPN HS Top 100, while three more were rated as Top 25 players within ESPN HS positional ratings. Additionally, Inside Lacrosse rated one player as the No. 2 Canadian prospect for the Class of 2012.
Chase Brown LSM
(Annapolis, Md./Severn School)
Cooper Charlton D
(Hudson, Ohio/The Hill Academy [Ont.])
Graham Conlan D
(Mohnton, Pa./Hill School)
Brendan Gaughan A
(Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon)
Evan Glaser A
(Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh School)
Matt Graham M
Michael Hernandez M
Kyle Jackson M
(Sarnia, Ontario/The Hill Academy)
Charles Keady LSM
(Darien, Conn./Fairfield College Prep)
Riley Kennedy A
(Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice)
Daniel Kinek M
(Macungie, Pa./Avon Old Farms [Conn.])
Peter Kraus A
(New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan)
Gerald Logan G
(Wading River, N.Y./The Hotchkiss School [Conn.])
Brad Lott FO
Paxton Moore LSM
(Haverford, Pa./The Haverford School)
William Perkins A
(Dallas, Texas/Saint Mark's School of Texas)
Brendan Riefberg D
Chris Walker D
(Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice)
Season Preview Quick Quotes
John Paul on the Team's Goals
"We've set our team mission, and it's very clear -- our mission here is to build an elite Division I culture. The coaching staff is all on board with that 100 percent, the players understand that's our mission and have accepted that as our mission. Are we there yet? No. The key words there are 'build' and 'elite,' and 'build' implies that we're not there yet and we need to build it and that's what we're doing every day. And 'elite' implies that we don't just want to be a run-of-the-mill program, we want to have an elite culture."
Ken Broschart on the Defense
"We will be led by J.D. Johnson and Rob Healy. Those two will probably be our book ends on D. Then we have a couple of guys who are younger, like Dakota Sherman and a couple others. We're going to move Austin Swaney to long-stick midfield, so he's going to be our starting long stick. He'll be very strong. I would say our one D-midfielder is Sean Sutton. He's a benchmark guy. Those four guys are going to be the nucleus of our D."
Judd Lattimore on the Offense
"Trevor Yealy is a captain for us. He does a fantastic job as a captain. He's a fifth-year senior so he's a great leader. He's also a great player. He's a very skilled inside player, he makes incredible plays inside. If you give him the ball in there, there's a good chance it'll end up in the net. He can have guys all over him and still score. I think in the midfield right now, Doug Bryant is our strongest middie -- he's playing extremely well. He's got a very hard shot on the run, quick release.
"Alex Vasileff is a strong midfielder for us, very strong physically. He's got a strong shot, both right-handed and left-handed. Jeff Chu is another guy who is a very skilled player; arguably our smartest player. Willie Steenlend is a tremendous midfielder for us right now. He's got very good skills, very high IQ, and puts a lot of pressure on the defense."
Keith Euker on the Goalies
"It looks like it's a race between both Dylan Westerhold and Emil Weiss. We're going to try both of them and see not only who does a better job in cage but also who our defense responds better to because that's a big thing that you need to be aware of. Who is the defense going to rally behind more and who are they going to follow more and look for that leadership from and who will they be more comfortable with that leadership. So it's going to take us some time to figure that out."
John Paul on Faceoff Specialists
"Right now the starting faceoff guys are Brian Greiner and Alex Marcus, Andrew Hayden, and it's always good to have a long stick who can face off as well for defensive purposes usually. Some long sticks are actually pretty good offensive faceoff guys, but usually you throw that in if you're not having a good faceoff day. And Austin Swaney will have that role for us if we need him."