March 4, 2014
Wednesday, March 5 -- at High Point (High Point, N.C.), 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 8 -- at Furman (Greenville, S.C.), Noon
High Point: Live Stats | Live Video
Furman: Live Stats | Live Video
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (2-3), coming off a narrow 15-14 defeat at the hands of No. 15 Cornell on Saturday (March 1), embarks on its annual Spring Break Trip and will play a pair of contests. On Wednesday (March 5), U-M will take on High Point (3-2) at 7 p.m. and will follow with a Saturday (March 8) matchup against Furman (0-5) at noon in Greenville, S.C.
Scouting High Point
High Point enters the contest with a 3-2 overall record on the season and is in its second year as a varsity program. The team's three wins are over St. Joseph's, Sacred Heart and Jacksonville, which own a combined record of 2-9 on the season. The Panthers have won three straight contests -- most recently defeating Jacksonville, 8-7, on Saturday (March 1).
Offensively, High Point is paced by Dan Lomas (10g, 1a) and Matt Thistle (3g, 10a). Two players, Jamie Piluso (48 percent) and Chris Davila (49 percent), have split time at the faceoff dot this season and have combined to win 48-of-100 chances. Austin Geisler is the man in goal and is allowing 9.04 goals per contest and is stopping 58 percent of his shots faced.
As a team, High Point has been outscored, 45-40, this season and outshot, 190-147. Opponents are clearing at 91 percent this season against the Panthers and are converting at 28 percent on man-up opportunities.
Furman enters the Saturday contest with a 0-5 record in its first season of varsity competition, including defeats against ranked opponents Lehigh (No. 14) and North Carolina (No. 2). Most recently on March 1, the Paladins fell to ECAC opponent Bellarmine, 13-7, in Louisville.
Kenny Meisen leads the team in goals with four and shots with 28, while Graham Dabbs paces the squad in assists with five. Hil Blaze is the man at the dot, as he has won 34-of-73 faceoffs (46 percent) and has picked up 14 groundballs. Frazer Kinsley and Jake Gavin have split time in goal and share a goals-against average of 14.77 and 47 saves.
Furman has been outscored, 59-17, on the season and outshot, 163-85. They are led by legendary Navy head coach and current United States National Team coach Richie Meade.
Lott, Gembis Collect ECAC Honors
Mack Gembis and Brad Lott were named ECAC Defensive Player and Specialist of the Week, respectively, for their performances in a 15-14 loss to No. 15 Cornell Saturday (March 1).
Gembis, a junior close defender, takes home the honor for the first time in his career after causing three turnovers and scooping up a pair of groundballs against the vaunted Big Red attack. He is the first Wolverine ever to receive the defensive award.
Lott, a sophomore, is Specialist of the Week for the second straight week. He went 18-of-33 at the faceoff dot against the nation's No. 2 faceoff man, Doug Tesoriero. Lott also scooped up 10 ground balls in the matchup. Lott is winning 63 percent of his faceoffs (54-of-86) this season and has scooped up 30 groundballs.
This marks the first time Michigan has had multiple ECAC honorees in one week.
Jackson, King Pace Offense
Two players, sophomore Kyle Jackson and freshman Ian King, lead the team in scoring and shots on the young season. Jackson, who netted four against Cornell, owns 10 goals on the season with one assist. King has duplicated those numbers and had his best offensive output of the season with four scores against Detroit. King has also been a man-up assassin, scoring five of his 10 goals on man-up chances. Jackson has posted 33 shots, while King trails by one shot with 32.
Also providing offense for U-M is senior Doug Bryant, who has six goals on the season after scoring one a year ago as a junior.
Overall, U-M is ranked as the No. 16 offense in the country with 60 goals in five games (12 per contest)
Over the last three games, Jackson has scored eight goals. As a team over that span, U-M is shooting at 25 percent, outshooting opponents, 74-60. U-M is also clearing at 95 percent over the last trio of contests. Also, Michigan has started off hot, scoring 11 goals in the first quarter of action.
Balanced Scoring Leads Way
Six players have scored at least five goals this season, while U-M's quarter-to-quarter scoring has been balanced, scoring 16 goals in the first, 15 in the second, and 14 in both the third and fourth quarters (plus one in overtime).
Breakthroughs against Cornell
The one-goal loss against No. 15 Cornell marked the closest defeat U-M has suffered against a ranked opponent in program history. Previously, the closest defeat suffered was five goals against No. 15 Penn State on Feb. 9, 2013 (11-6 defeat). Michigan also held a lead against a ranked opponent for the first time since leading 2-1 against No. 4 Denver at the 2:12 mark of the first quarter on April 27, 2013.
Strength of Schedule, Strength
Michigan has played the No. 24 toughest schedule in the country thus far, featuring three ranked opponents in No. 9 Penn State, No. 5 Johns Hopkins and No. 16 Cornell.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday, March 15 -- at Bellarmine (Louisville, Ky.), 1 p.m.