Feb. 26, 2013
Saturday, March 2 -- vs. Army - Orange Bowl Classic (Miami, Fla.), 7:30 p.m.
Follow the Game: Live Blog | Twitter | TV: Sun Sports (tape delay, March 3, 5:30 p.m.)
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (0-3) will travel to Miami, Fla., to take on the Army Black Knights (2-2) in the Orange Bowl Classic Saturday (March 2) at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start time. Sun Sports (Channel 653 Direct TV, 714 Comcast) in Ann Arbor will be airing the game on tape delay on Sunday (March 3) at 5:30 p.m. Larry Vettel and M.C. McFadden will be on the call.
The Black Knights enter the contest with a 2-2 overall mark, with wins over Manhattan and VMI, each coming by an identical 14-8 score line. The two defeats have come against top-20 squads in No. 5 Massachusetts by a 16-9 score on Feb. 10 in their season opener and most recently No. 18 Syracuse on Feb. 24 by a 6-2 count.
Offensively, Army is led by a pair of outstanding short sticks -- preseason All-America selection and attacker Garret Thul (12g., 2a.) as well as middie John Glesener (6g., 8a.), both of whom are Tewaaraton Award Watch List members. The squad has outscored opponents by a 39-38 margin and holds a 98-83 shot advantage. Alex Daly is the team's top faceoff man at 52 percent and is 27-of-52 on attempts this season. Brendan Buckley, another preseason All-America selection, is the team's top close defender with six ground balls and six caused turnovers.
Two goalkeepers, Sam Somers and Bobby Sincero, have split time in the cage, allowing 9.50 goals per game, and have made a combined 45 saves to go along with stopping 54 percent of shots faced.
Freshman Kyle Jackson leads the team with six goals and an assist for seven points on the season, as he has scored a pair of tallies in each of the first three U-M games this season. The freshman from Sarnia, Ontario, also paces the team with 18 shots and two man-up goals.
The matchup against the Black Knights marks the fourth game in a seven-game road swing for the Wolverines, as five of the games will be true road contests (Bellarmine, Johns Hopkins, High Point, Hobart and Fairfield), while two of the games will be neutral-site contests, with U-M taking on Army on March 2 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami and against Colgate on March 17 at Citi Field in Queens. Overall, the road trip will cover 4,438 miles, before U-M returns home to host the national champion Loyola Greyhounds on March 23 at Michigan Stadium.
Freshman goalkeeper Gerald Logan tied a U-M record with 19 stops against the Nittany Lions, keeping U-M in the game in an 11-6 loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions on Feb. 9. In the 12-6 loss against Bellarmine on Feb. 16, Logan made 17 saves and stopped 12 shots against No. 4 Johns Hopkins on Feb. 23. His 48 stops rank No. 4 in the NCAA, and he is No. 1 in the ECAC with a 16-save per-contest average.
The loss against Johns Hopkins featured U-M going up against the No. 4 Blue Jays, the highest-ranked opponent U-M has ever faced. After being outscored 11-3 in the first half, U-M rallied in the second stanza and was outscored by a 6-5 margin. Michigan is now 0-6 against ranked opponents all-time and has been outscored by a 95-41 margin.
Against the Blue Jays, a trio of U-M newcomers scored their first career goals in Mike Hernandez, Dan Kinek, and David Joseph. All but one of U-M's eight goals was scored by newcomers; David McCormack was the lone returner to put a goal on the scoreboard for the Maize and Blue.
Freshman Brad Lott made his season debut in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., going of 8-of-18 on faceoffs, including a 7-of-11 mark in the first half. Lott was ranked the No. 1 faceoff specialist in the country by ESPNHS heading into his freshman season.
Senior close defender J.D. Johnson had a game-high seven ground balls against Penn State on Feb. 9. Johnson is second on the team in ground balls with 11, while sophomore attackman Will Meter leads the team with 12, as he has scooped up four groundballs in all-three contests.
Two players in sophomore Andrew Portnoy and freshman Peter Kraus scored their first career goals against the Knights, as Portnoy scored the fastest goal to begin a game in Michigan history to open a contest, finding the back of the net 39 seconds into the contest. Kraus scored his first tally of his Maize and Blue career with 1:50 left in the first half of action. Both were of the unassisted variety.
Five newcomers have found themselves in the starting lineup for U-M in sophomore Mike Francia, junior Tom Sardelli and freshmen Gerald Logan, Kyle Jackson, and Mike Hernandez. Overall, nine players made their debuts in addition to the five some, Paxton Moore, Charlie Keady, Dan Kinek, Sam Martorella, Chase Brown, Brad Lott, and Peter Kraus.
Later this season (March 17), U-M will take on Colgate at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, in what will be the second men's lacrosse game in history being played at a Major League Baseball Stadium. The first was Navy vs. Johns Hopkins in 1971, a contest that was played at the Houston Astrodome, then the home of the Houston Astros.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q: What can the squad take away from the Johns Hopkins loss?
A: I think that we learned a great deal from the Hopkins game. We were able to recognize the mistakes being made on the field at half and adjust to have a solid remainder of the game. Having the ability to adapt and learn in a game is key to getting a win. Our coaches talk about handling adversity all the time; the game this weekend was no exception. Gerald (Logan) had a hurt shoulder all week and was still able to tough it out and produce for us, which was pretty impressive. We struggled with the transition game again this week. If we are able to get the ball into a settled situation, we can prevent teams from gaining momentum on multiple goal runs. I think that it was great for our team to get a glimpse of what it is like to play against a powerhouse program and realize that if we control the tempo and focus on our fundamentals, we can play with anyone.
Q: How do you have to change your game when you are called on to face off, as well as be a key factor on close D?
A: When I am called up to faceoff, I usually work on stepping down the line to avoid a fast break. Instead of going for the clamp, I put very little weight on my hands so I can stand up quickly and get on the opponent's hands. If I am feeling confident, I will usually try and push the ball forward to the wingman or myself.
When I am at close, I try to be very vocal, calling out the sets or rotations of the offense. I also make sure that I have the appropriate stance and spacing when approaching the ball in order not to give up top side.
Q: What are you, and the team, looking forward to the most heading into spring break?
A: In addition to having the opportunity to play Army at Sun Life Stadium, I think that the team is definitely looking forward to some sunshine and a change of scenery heading into spring break. It is always "70 and sunny" in Oosterbaan, according to our strength coach Bo Sandoval, but it is going to be nice to experience the real thing.
Q: For you personally, what has been the biggest adjustment coming into NCAA lacrosse?
A: I think the biggest adjustment coming into NCAA lacrosse has been the tempo of the game. With the new rules in place, you really don't have time to catch your breath and think about the play. You must be able to recognize the adjustments you need to make on the fly.
Q: How has this large freshman class meshed with the upperclassmen this season?
A: The older guys have been extremely welcoming to the freshman class. We spend a lot of time together on and off the field. I definitely appreciate their guidance in school and in sport. Whether they are helping us with class work or explaining a new scheme, they have been very supportive. I definitely enjoy the juxtaposition of personalities of the older guys.
Q: What are your favorite keys in Coach Broschart's defensive philosophy?
A: My favorite key about our defense is that we are encouraged to be very aggressive and physical. As a defenseman I like to pressure the opponent and look for a takeaway. Our defense has the ability to do this because we know that we will always have a quick slide ready to go if we get beat. There is nothing better than getting a nice "chunk" check on an opponent.
Wednesday, March 6 -- at High Point - Vert Stadium (High Point, N.C.), 7 p.m.