Feb. 29, 2012
Friday, March 2 -- at Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Fla.), 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 4 -- vs. Mercer (Jacksonville, Fla.), 10 a.m.
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (0-4) caps its spring break trip in Florida with a pair of games this weekend at D.B. Milne Field in Jacksonville. Michigan will face Jacksonville University (1-2) -- in its third year of varsity existence -- on Friday (March 2) at 3:30 p.m. before playing Mercer (0-4) -- in its second year of existence -- on Sunday (March 4) at 10 a.m.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
A member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Jacksonville was picked to finish fourth in its league. The third-year Division I program holds a 1-2 record in 2012, earning a win over Navy and losses to Towson and Duke. JU lost 16-7 to the Blue Devils last week.
Guy Van Arsdale is in his first season as the Jacksonville head coach. The Dolphins returned both of their top two scorers from 2011. Midfielder Cameron Mann scored 18 goals and added 19 assists a season ago. He has five goals and three assists thus far in 2012. TJ Kenary had a team-best 21 goals and 28 points in 2011. The attackman has five goals and an assist through three games. Additionally, freshman Ari Waffle has contributed five goals and three assists. The Dolphins are averaging 10.0 goals per game while permitting 11.67 goals per game.
Mercer, an independent program, is off to a 0-4 start in its second year as a Division I squad and is 1-16 since the start of 2011. Head coach Jason Childs is in his second year at Mercer, which is the first Division I lacrosse program in Georgia (Macon). The Bears' losses have come against Ohio State, North Carolina, Bellarmine and Detroit Mercy. Most recently, Mercer lost to the Titans, 16-7, on Feb. 25. The Wolverines fell to Detroit, 13-9, on Feb. 12.
Zach Ward and Cole Branch lead the Bears in scoring with 11 and nine points, respectively. Ward has seven goals and four assists, while Branch has five goals and four assists. Mercer averages 6.75 goals per game and gives up 16.00 goals per game.
Feb. 25: No. 12 Denver 17, Michigan 5
Michigan was defeated by Denver, 17-5, at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The Pioneers controlled the flow of the game thanks to their prowess at the faceoff X, winning 19 of 26 draws, and collecting 43 ground balls to U-M's 23.
The Pioneers won the opening faceoff and scored 42 seconds in. DU led 2-0 three minutes into the first quarter and 5-1 after 15 minutes. Denver had a 4-2 scoring advantage in the second stanza to earn a 9-3 halftime advantage. DU's lead ballooned to 15-5 after three quarters and it tacked on two more late goals.
For the third straight game to start the season sophomore midfielder Doug Bryant posted two goals, scoring once in the second and third quarters. Senior midfielder Alex Vasileff, senior attackman Thomas Paras and sophomore attackman Jeff Chu had U-M's other goals. Denver's Eric Law led all players with four goals, while Mark Matthews and Alex Demopoulos had three apiece.
Feb. 26: Air Force 15, Michigan 6
Michigan lost to Air Force, 15-6, at Denver's Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. Michigan led 3-0 in the first quarter prior to yielding nine straight Falcon goals over the first and second stanzas.
Air Force won 14 of 25 faceoffs, including seven of 10 in the decisive second period, when it scored seven goals in less than six minutes. Additionally, Air Force nearly doubled-up U-M in ground balls, 25-13.
Junior midfielder Willie Steenland and senior midfielder Alex Vasileff had two goals each for the Maize and Blue. Air Force's Pat Harrison led all scorers with four goals, and Keith Dreyer had three tallies. The Falcon goalies combined for 11 saves.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Michigan Head Coach John Paul
On the Denver game ... "Obviously, Denver is an elite team and an elite program. In a lot of ways they are what we want to become. I wasn't really happy today. I thought there were some things today that we did well. There were things that we didn't execute that we thought we were heading in the direction with and had been improving week to week and we took some steps backward in those today. Then in other instances, ground balls for example, we just got out-athleted. That's something that we talk to them about all the time where there are things we can control and some of those controllables we didn't control today: turning the ball over too much, making mistakes on the clear. Those are parts of the games that we can win and we just didn't get that done today."
On the Air Force game ... "There were a lot of things we were doing well in the first quarter. Ultimately it's about limiting total number of possessions in a game. First quarter we did that. The rest of the game we didn't; their run we didn't. They were scoring a lot of those goals in 30-second spans. We just started making some poor decisions. We executed some things better today. We cleared the ball really well today. They threw about four different rides at us. We made some adjustments and we cleared very well. We faced-off better today. There were things that we did better. But again, for us every little lapse, whenever we get off track, we pay for it. That's the team we have right now. We have to start fixing some of those lapses."
BRYANT MAINTAINS GOAL LEAD
Sophomore midfielder Doug Bryant posted two goals in each of U-M's first three games and kept his goal streak alive with a single marker against Air Force to give him a team-best seven goals. He is one of two players (Alex Vasileff) to have scored in all four games this season. Bryant also leads the team in shots (22), eight more than the next closest player.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Senior midfielder Alex Vasileff, a captain, was Michigan's top performer last weekend, scoring three times and adding an assist to earn all-tournament honors at the DU Face-Off Classic. Vasileff has taken over the team lead in points (9) with six goals and three assists through four games. Against Air Force, he became the fifth Wolverine to notch three points in a game (2g, 1a) this season.
Fellow captains Trevor Yealy and Thomas Paras are tied for third on the team in goals with four goals. Last weekend, Paras scored at Denver and Yealy tallied versus Air Force.
Six Wolverines have tallied two goals in a game a total of nine times. Junior midfielder Willie Steenland was the latest to join the club by scoring his first and second career goals against Air Force to establish a 2-0 lead for U-M. Michigan is still awaiting its first hat trick. Doug Bryant has a trio of two-goal games; Alex Vasileff has a pair of pairs. Trevor Yealy, Thomas Paras and Will Meter have scored two goals once each.
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 and will begin play in 2013-14 as the 29th sport. The last time U-M added a varsity sport 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 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-American 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.
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)
Wednesday, March 7 -- vs. Loyola (Md.) (Oosterbaan Fieldhouse), 7 p.m.