Feb. 26, 2014
Coach Paul on WTKA Insider
Saturday, March 1 -- vs. No. 15 Cornell (Oosterbaan Field House), 1 p.m.
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The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (2-2), coming off a 1-1 week, returns home after a pair of road contests to host the No. 15 Cornell Big Red (2-0) from at 1 p.m. Oosterbaan Field House. The matchup between the two sides is the first ever in the all-time series and will feature a live audio stream, with Mike DeWitt and Brian Greiner '12 calling the action.
The Big Red enter the contest with a 2-0 record and are coming off a 14-8 win over Binghamton on Tuesday afternoon. In the Big Red's first game of the season on Feb. 22, Cornell defeated Hobart, 12-8.
Dan Litner leads the team with 10 goals on 20 shots and is a part of a unit looking to replace former attacking standouts Rob Pannell and Steve Mock. Litner is joined by Matt Donovan, who has six scores and three assists. The biggest threat to U-M will be faceoff ace Doug Tesoriero, who is 34-of-47 (72 percent) at the dot on the young season. Brennan Donville has been the man in goal, as he has stopped 16 shots and has a save percentage of .500.
In total, Cornell has outscored opponents, 26-16, on the season and outshot teams, 89-50. The Big Red are also clearing at 94 percent.
Lott Garners ECAC Specialist of the Week honors
Following a 1-1 week where Brad Lott won 36-of-53 (68 percent) faceoffs and collected 20 ground balls, the sophomore took home ECAC Specialist of the Week honors.
A faceoff specialist, Lott went 22-of-30 in the win over Detroit, to go along with 11 ground balls. He followed up the effort on Saturday (Feb. 22), against Johns Hopkins, winning 14-of-23 attempts at the dot, including going 8-of-14 against one of the top faceoff men in the NCAA heading into the game in JHU's Drew Kennedy. Lott added nine groundballs in his standout performance against the Blue Jays.
Wolverines Head Home After 1-1 Week
Against Detroit, five players scored multiple goals, led by Ian King, who tied the Michigan record with four as the Wolverines beat Detroit, 14-13, in the second overtime (first win) game in program history. King also tied the U-M record with 12 shots, while Kyle Jackson, who netted the game-winner at the 2:47 mark of the extra-session, joined the freshman in double digits with 11 shots. Jackson had three scores on the game, all in the second half.
In addition to Lott's excellence, Robbie Zonino made eight saves (two in each quarter) to aid the defense. Michigan also had a team-record 52 shots on the night, eclipsing the previous mark of 45 vs. St. Joseph's on April 20, 2013.
Later in the week, U-M took on lacrosse royalty in No. 8 Johns Hopkins, falling to the Blue Jays 14-5. Five different players scored one goal, while Michigan outshot the Blue Jays, 41-36, and owned the ground ball advantage at 36-31. Lott was once again excellent, going 14-of-23 on faceoffs and 8-of-14 against Kennedy.
King Paces Squad in Goals
For the second consecutive season, a freshman is leading the team in goals four games into the season, as Ian King is pacing the squad with eight goals. Against Detroit, he tied the program record (held by three other Wolverines) with four scores and has netted a pair of tallies in two other games (Penn State, Mercer).
Last season, Kyle Jackson led the team in scores through four games with six goals and seven points (6 goals, one assist).
Michigan has scored 46 goals this season through four games. Last season, U-M had 21 goals through four games and did not reach 46 until the seventh game of the season (March 14 against Fairfield). Also through four games, U-M's shooting percentage is up from 19 percent to 27 percent this season and is converting man-up opportunities at 44 percent this season compared to 22 percent a year ago. Also vastly improved is the team's clearing percentage, from 84 percent to 88 percent this year.
Balanced Scoring Leads Way
Five players have scored at least five goals this season, while U-M's quarter-to-quarter scoring has been balanced, scoring 12 goals in the first quarter and 11 goals in the second, third and fourth quarters (plus one in overtime).
Mike DeWitt, who has called U-M games the past two seasons on Big Ten Student U and the Michigan Stadium in-house feed on MGoBlue.com, will return for his third season as the voice of Michigan men's lacrosse as the play-by-play man. Joining him as color commentator will be 2012 U-M graduate Brian Greiner, a member of Team One and U-M's primary faceoff man in the initial season as a varsity program. He was also a member of the team's 2010 MCLA national championship squad.
In the 2012 season, Grenier won the Team Spirit Award and went 128-of-302 at the faceoff X (42 percent). He led the team in groundballs, with 48, and scored four goals on the year, including two against Ohio State in the first Battle at the Big House.
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.
So far this season, U-M has faced three top-15 squads and boasts the No. 13 strength of schedule in the country thus far.
Nine players made their debuts for the Wolverines against Penn State in Josh Stauffer and Mike D'Alessio (sophomores) as well as freshmen Mikie Schlosser, Ian King, Peter Khoury, Will Biagi, Stefan Bergman and Christian Wolter, as well as goalie Robbie Zonino. Against Mercer, Andrew Roswell, Charlie McPeters, Cooper Charlton and Brendan Gaughan made their debuts. Most recently, Andrew Hatton make his first appearance against Detroit at close defense and earned his first start of the season against Johns Hopkins, upping the total of initial appearances to 15 thus far this season.
Two-Year Starters Return
The Wolverines return three players who have been mainstays in the first two seasons of varsity play. Featuring a pair of starting attackmen in juniors Will Meter and David McCormack, as well as fifth-year senior close defender J.D. 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 freshman 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 freshman 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.
The Wolverines return virtually all of their offense from a year ago, losing only midfielder Willie Steenland, who score 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 redshirt senior midfielder Thomas Paras (13 goals, 6 assists). The attack unit will be guided by a pair of junior-and three-years 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 gb.), 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 face-off 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.
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.
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.
The squad will carry strong underclassmen feel, as 30-of-46, or 65 percent, of the team will be either freshmen or sophomores.
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)
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, freshman 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 just over 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 2011-12-13 seasons.
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.
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, over 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 goalieTommy 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).
Wednesday, March 5 -- at High Point (High Point, N.C.), 7 p.m.