U-M to Kick Off Season on Saturday at No. 8 Penn State

Feb. 6, 2014

Saturday, Feb. 8 -- at No. 8 Penn State (State College, Pa.), 1 p.m.
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The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (0-0) will begin year three of varsity competition by taking on the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions (0-0) on Saturday (Feb. 8) at 1 p.m. from Holuba Hall, Penn State's indoor facility in State College, Pa.

The matchup will be the first against the Nittany Lions inside Holuba Hall, as the previous meeting in State College on Feb. 18, 2012, was held outside at Penn State Lacrosse Field. Michigan is 0-2 all-time against PSU, which is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Last Meeting
No. 15 Penn State11
February 9, 2013
Oosterbaan Field House
Wolverines Fall to No. 15 Nittany Lions in Season Opener
Michigan dropped its season opener, 11-6, to No. 15 Penn State. David McCormack (2), Kyle Jackson (2), Will Meter (1) and Thomas Paras (1) were U-M's goal scorers.

Previously against the Nittany Lions
Last season in Ann Arbor, 1,042 fans packed Oosterbaan Field House on Feb. 9 in an 11-6 loss, in which U-M trailed 5-3 at the half and was outscored 6-3 in the second quarter to put the game out of reach. Kyle Jackson led the U-M effort with two goals and an assist, while David McCormack had a pair of scores. Gerald Logan made 19 stops in the defeat, while close defender J.D. Johnson had seven ground balls.

Creator's Trophy
Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State are competing for the Creator's Trophy for the third season. The annual award goes to the team with wins against the other Big Ten schools that sponsor men's lacrosse.

Ohio State has claimed the first two Creator's Trophies, including beating Penn State, 10-9 in overtime, March 2 of last season and then clinching the trophy with the win over the Wolverines.

U-M Downs Marquette 18-9 in Lone Exhibition
The Wolverines downed Marquette, 18-9, on Feb. 1 in the team's lone exhibition. The Wolverines got off to a 6-0 start with a pair of goals from Ian King, while junior Andrew Portnoy had four second-half goals in a 10-0 run to close the contest and seal the victory.

Jackson's Double Dips
In his freshman year, Kyle Jackson scored a team-best 17 goals and scored exactly two goals in eight contests. The only game in which he scored a single goal was against High Point on March 6, while pairs of goals came against Penn State, Bellarmine, Johns Hopkins, Hobart, Colgate, Air Force, Ohio State and Saint Joseph's. He was held scoreless in four games.

Two-Year Starters Return
The Wolverines return three players who have been mainstays in the first two seasons of varsity play -- a pair of starting attackmen in juniors Will Meter and David McCormack, as well as fifth-year senior close defender JD Johnson.

Meter, who led the team in assists as a freshman with 15 and had five helpers last season, has started 25 of 27 contests on attack alongside McCormack, who has 19 career goals and four assists in 19 starts. Johnson, who missed a significant part of 2013 due to injury, is healthy after starting 14 games in 2012 and seven a year ago. He led Team One in ground balls with 40 and was tied for third on the team last year with 25.

Wolverines Welcome 13 Newcomers
The 2013 U-M squad will welcome 13 newcomers to the fold this season, highlighted by freshman goalie and projected starter Robbie Zonino, who was hailed as the No. 8 freshman goalie in the country by Inside Lacrosse prior to the season. Other freshmen who figure to contribute immediately are close defender Andrew Hatton, attackman Ian King and midfielder Mikie Schlosser. The class overall was hailed as the No. 18 class in the country, with Zonino, King and Schlosser named to the publication's Power 100 Freshman list.

The freshman class will also consist of a pair of redshirt freshmen in attackman Brendan Gaughan and close defender Cooper Charlton. Gaughan was ranked as the No. 7 attackman in the country by ESPN Rise as a senior, as well as the No. 27 player overall, while Charlton spent a postgraduate year at the Hill Academy prior to joining the Wolverines a year ago.

Starters Return
The Wolverines return virtually all of their offense from a year ago, losing only midfielder Willie Steenland, who scored one goal last season. The offense will be led by a pair of All-ECAC Rookie Team members in Kyle Jackson (17 goals, 9 assists) and Mike Hernandez (12 goals, 9 assists), as well as fifth-year senior midfielder Thomas Paras (13 goals, 6 assists). The attack unit will be guided by a pair of junior and three-year starters in Will Meter (10 goals, 5 assists) and David McCormack (11 goals, 2 assists). Defensively, the Wolverines will look to replace their top close defender in Rob Healy (15 ground balls), as well as 2013 All-ECAC Rookie Team goalie Gerald Logan, who is out for the year due to a shoulder injury.

U-M also returns its main faceoff man from a year ago in sophomore Brad Lott, who went 98-of-208 (47 percent) at the dot as a true freshman with 18 ground balls.

2014 Slate
In total, U-M's 2014 opponents had a combined record of 117-96 a year ago. For the team's eight road games, the Wolverines will travel 4,092 miles.

2014 Schedule Boasts Prominent Matchups
The 2014 slate boasts seven preseason top-20 teams in No. 6 Maryland, No. 7 Penn State, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 11 Albany, No. 12 Yale, No. 13 Johns Hopkins and No. 18 Cornell. Of the seven matchups, four of them will be played in Ann Arbor. The Cornell (March 1) contest will be played inside Oosterbaan Field House.

Diversity for U-M
Of the players that make up the 2014 squad, members of the team hail from 13 states and provinces, highlighted by eight from Michigan and five from New Jersey, Ohio, California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

California: 5 (Gaughan, Hernandez, Johnson, Schlosser, Simor)
Canada: 1 (Jackson)
Colorado: 1 (Wylie)
Connecticut: 5 (Francia, Hatton, Keady, Khoury, Kraus)
Florida: 1 (Stauffer)
Maryland: 4 (Brown, Glaser, Mosko, Roswell)
Michigan: 8 (Archer, Gembis, Kennedy, Meter, Orr, Sardelli, Walker, Zwolan)
New Hampshire: 1 (Wolter)
New Jersey: 5 (Bryant, McPeters, Portnoy, Riefberg, Weichert)
New York: 2 (D'Alessio, Logan)
Ohio: 5 (Charlton, Joseph, King, McCormack, Paras)
Pennsylvania: 5 (Bergman, Chu, Kinek, Moore, Zonino)
Virginia: 1 (Biagi)

Special Matchups on Tap
For the third straight season, U-M will host the Battle at the Big House following the U-M Football Spring Game. This year's opponent for the traditional matchup will be the Fairfield Stags, and the April 5 game will commence at 3 p.m. The following Saturday (April 12), U-M will take part in the Showdown at the Shoe against Ohio State at 11 a.m. in Columbus.

Underclassmen Domination
The squad will carry strong underclassmen feel, as 30-of-46, or 65 percent, of the team will be either freshmen or sophomores.

Class Breakdown
Freshman: 13 (Archer, Bergman, Biagi, Hatton, Khoury, King, McPeters, Roswell, Schlosser, Simor, Weichert, Wolter, Zonino)
Redshirt Freshman: 2 (Charlton, Gaughan)
Sophomore: 15 (Brown, D'Alessio, Glaser, Hernandez, Jackson, Keady, Kennedy, Kinek, Kraus, Logan, Lott, Moore, Riefberg, Stauffer, Walker)
Redshirt Sophomore: 1 (Joseph)
Junior: 8 (Francia, Gembis, McCormack, Meter, Mosko, Orr, Portnoy, Wylie)
Redshirt Junior: 1 (Zwolan)
Senior: 4 (Bryant, Chu, Sardelli, Sherman)
Redshirt Senior: 2 (Johnson, Paras)

Number Changes
Four returning players from last season have switched numbers for U-M: Evan Glaser (No. 25 from No. 40), Dan Kinek (No. 9 from No. 38), Will Meter (No. 15 from No. 45), Dakota Sherman (No. 50 from No. 17).

Logan Out for Season
Sophomore goalie Gerald Logan will miss the 2014 season with a shoulder labrum tear that required surgery.

Last season, Logan was selected to the All-ECAC Rookie Team and was named the team's MVP. Logan was No. 2 in the NCAA with 211 saves and ended his freshman campaign averaging 15-plus saves per contest. He recorded double-digit stops in 13 of 14 contests and stopped at least 15 shots in nine games. Logan compiled a 56.3 save percentage, faced 565 shots and led the team with 36 ground balls.

Freshman Nothing New
For the third straight season, the Wolverines will run a freshman goalie out between the pipes, as Robbie Zonino appears to be the man in the cage this season. In 2012, Emil Weiss was the primary goalie, playing in 10 games with an 11.80 goals-against average. In 2013, Gerald Logan played the majority of minutes.

In the two years U-M has been a varsity program, freshmen have played 84 percent of the minutes in goal. The departed Dylan Westerhold is the other netminder who saw action in both seasons, playing 252 minutes in 2012, and a little more than five minutes in 2013. Cy Abelnour made a cameo appearance in 2012, playing 10 minutes as well.

U-M is the only team in the country that will have started a different freshman goalie in each of the past seasons. The Albany Great Danes are the last team to accomplish that feat, as a freshman was in net for the 2011, '12 and '13 seasons.

Martin Added to Staff
Prior to the season, U-M added Casey Martin to the staff as volunteer assistant coach, replacing the departed Keith Euker, who took an assistant coach job at Denison. Martin was previously an assistant coach at Vassar College in 2012 and served as an assistant at Wagner from 2010-11.

Prior to joining the Wagner staff, Martin was the men's head lacrosse coach and player for the Manchester Wasconians in Manchester, England, for the 2009-10 season.

Martin will be primarily responsible the goalie unit and running the box during games. He will also be responsible for developing the program's new iPad-based systems for distributing information, scouting reports, playbooks and video.

Paul Chosen for U.S. Lacrosse Michigan Chapter Hall of Fame
Head coach John Paul was inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse Michigan Chapter's Hall of Fame on June 17 and was formally inducted on Oct. 26.

Paul built the Michigan men's lacrosse club team into a national powerhouse, compiling a 241-44 record in 14 seasons as head coach (1998-2011) and leading Michigan to three straight Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association national championships from 2008-10. The team was 76-2 the final four seasons as a club program, helping drive the addition of men's lacrosse to the school's Division I varsity sports programs prior to the 2011-12 school year.

Paul was chosen to lead the varsity program in June 2011, and he was named Lacrosse Magazine Person of the Year in November 2011 for the role he played in Michigan's becoming the first BCS school in 31 years to add varsity lacrosse. Paul also previously served on the US Lacrosse board of directors (2002-07) and on the board of the Michigan Chapter of US Lacrosse.

Michigan to Join Big Ten Conference for Lacrosse in 2014-15
The Big Ten Conference announced June 3 the formation of a men's lacrosse conference, in which the University of Michigan men's lacrosse team will begin competition during the 2014-15 academic year.
In addition to Michigan and affiliate member Johns Hopkins, the men's conference will also feature Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland.

Big Ten rules allow for a conference championship when six institutions sponsor a program in any given sport.

Paul and the Wolverines will enter their third year as a varsity program in 2013-14 and continue competing in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) before joining the Big Ten for the 2015 season. Ohio State is the only other current ECAC team that will also transition to the Big Ten.

With the addition of men's and women's lacrosse, the Big Ten will now sponsor 28 varsity sports.

Brandon Earns Inaugural IMLCA Extra Man Award
Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon was presented with the inaugural Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association Extra Man Award on Dec. 13 at the association's annual convention at Baltimore's Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

The newly created award is presented annually to a university or college administrator who displays the highest level of support for the growth of lacrosse.

Brandon was a key component in the elevation of men's lacrosse from club to varsity status on May 24, 2011. The move allowed Michigan to become the first BCS school in 31 years to add varsity lacrosse.

U-M Supports Friends of Jaclyn, vs. Cancer
The Wolverines adopted nine-year-old Miles Root of Tecumseh, Mich., through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ), a charitable, non-profit organization that strives to enhance and strengthen the support system built around children with pediatric brain tumors. Through the program, adopted children become part of the team and build unique friendships. Children also gain an incredible group of caring role models to look up to when they need the extra support. FOJ places children with teams according to geographical proximity, as his primary healthcare facility is the University of Michigan Hospital.

Miles was diagnosed with a brain tumor on April 26, 2010, at the age of five. The tumor was fully resected on April 28, but he suffered from posterior fossa syndrome with cerebellar mutism a few hours after his tumor removal, resulting in him being unable to move the right side of his body and leaving him unable to speak.

FOJ's programs are based on love, support and friendship between the child, the child's family and his or her "adopted" team. FOJ has completed more than 400 adoptions in more than 20 different sports. They currently have more than 1,000 schools on a waiting list, as FOJ grows from a small organization into a larger one.

On Jan. 25, more than 30 members of the team shaved their heads in support of Miles, as well as Chase Jones, a leading member in the vs. Cancer Organization based out of North Carolina.

2015 Recruiting Class Takes Shape
Michigan inked 12 standout prep student-athletes to the 2015 squad on Nov. 22. The class is highlighted by goalie Tommy Heidt (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick School), who comes in at No. 39 in the Inside Lacrosse Top 50 Young Gun rankings heading into his senior year. The publication also ranks him as the No. 1 senior goalie in the country.

Others slated to join the Wolverines will be attackman PJ Bogle (Culver, Ind./Culver Military), longstick midfielders Liam Bourke (Ross, Calif./Redwood) and Jackson Kinley (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge), attackmen BJ Mattheiss (Owings Mills, Md./St. Paul's School) and Sean McCanna (The Woodlands, Calif./The Woodlands), midfielder Parker McKee (Dedham, Mass./Noble & Greenough), long pole Hugh Mosko (Bethesda, Md./Boys Latin), attackman Will Reynolds (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand/Choate), long pole Eric Smith (Dover, Md./Taft School), and midfielders Shawn Smith (Cross River, N.Y./John Jay-Cross River) and Chase Young (Ambler, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep).

Friday, Feb. 14 -- vs. Mercer (Oosterbaan Field House.), 7 p.m.