March 13, 2013
Coach Paul Podcasts: ESPN.com | WTKA
Thursday, March 14 -- at Fairfield (Fairfield, Conn.), 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 17 -- vs. Colgate - Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic at Citi Field (Flushing, N.Y.), 3 p.m.
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Follow the Colgate game: Tickets | TV: ESPNU | WatchESPN.com | Twitter Updates
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (0-6, 0-2 ECAC) plays its second two-game week of the season, first traveling to Fairfield, Conn., to take on the Fairfield Stags (3-3, 0-0 ECAC) from Alumni Field on Thursday (March 14) in an ECAC battle at 7 p.m. The Wolverines will then head to Flushing, N.Y., Saturday (March 16) to take on Colgate (5-2) in the Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The matchup is slated for a 3 p.m. start and will be broadcast live on ESPNU and be streamed on WatchESPN.com.
Saturday's contest 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.
Fairfield enters the contest coming off a 12-8 loss to No. 15 Yale on Saturday (March 9). The Stags' three defeats have all come against ranked opponents in No. 6 North Carolina, No. 10 Hofstra and Yale. The matchup against U-M will be the Stags' first ECAC game of the season. Offensively, they are led by Sam Snow (12) and Jordan Greenfield (13), who have combined to score 25 goals, nearly half of the team's total output on the season. Colin McLinden leads the team with eight assists. Overall, Fairfield has been outscored 55-51 this season.
The Stags have struggled at the faceoff X this season, as Louis DiGiacomo and Gary Davies have combined to win only 38 percent of faces. The backbone of the team has been goalie Jack Murphy, who owns a save percentage of 59 percent, good for No. 10 nationally, and is averaging 13 stops per game, which holds down the No. 11 spot. In addition, he holds a 9.17 goals-against average, which ranks 26th nationally, and he leads the team ground balls per game with 5.5.
The Raiders enter the contest with a 5-2 overall mark and are coming off a 12-5 win over Binghamton on Tuesday (March 12). In terms of common opponents, Colgate was defeated by Hobart March 5 by a 9-8 score in overtime.
The team is led by the reigning Tewaaraton Trophy award winner Peter Baum, who holds the team lead in goals (20), assists (9) and points (29). Ryan Walsh is second on the team in goals (17) and points (21). Overall, the Raiders have outscored opponents, 77-69, this season and average 11 goals per contest.
Robert Grabher is the squad's leading faceoff man, as he is 87-of-161 at the X this season, and leads the team in ground balls with 63. Longpole Bobby Lawrence is second on the team in ground balls with 25, while Kevin Boyle is third with 24.
Conor Murphy and Gordon Santry have split time in goal thus far, with Murphy getting the nod in goal on Tuesday. He made seven saves and allowed five goals in the victory. Murphy owns the team lead in save percentage (51 percent) and saves with 31.
Several Wolverines, including assistant coach Ken Broschart (Hicksville, N.Y.), return to their home state for the pair of contests. Freshman Charlie Keady, a Fairfield Prep graduate (Darien, Conn.), Peter Kraus (New Canaan, Conn.), Sam Martorella (Hewlett N.Y.), Mike D'Alessio (Eastchester, N.Y.), and Gerald Logan (Shoreham, N.Y.) all hail from Connecticut and New York.
Freshman Kyle Jackson leads the team in goals (9), assists (6) and points (15), while classmate Mike Hernandez is second in points (9) and in assists (4). For his efforts on the week, Jackson was named ECAC Rookie of the Week, giving U-M back-to-back honors for the first time in program history. Jackson earns the honor after an eight-point effort of three goals and five assists last week in defeats against High Point and Hobart.
In addition to his point total, the midfielder had 15 shots, 11 of which were on frame, and collected four ground balls. His four assists against High Point (March 6) established a new program record. Overall, Jackson leads the team in goals (9), assists (6) and points (15).
Freshman goalkeeper Gerald Logan established a new program record with 25 stops against the Black Knights on March 2 in Miami, earning ECAC Rookie of the Week honors. He is the second Wolverine ever to win the award, as Emil Weiss earned the award last year. Logan tied the previous 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. The Long Island native has made at least 12 saves in every game this season, and his 102 stops rank No. 1 in the NCAA in total saves, and he is No. 1 in the NCAA in saves per contest at 17 per game. He also carries a 12.68 goals-against average and a 58 percent save percentage, which is 17th in the NCAA.
After going 3-of-9 on man-up chances against High Point and Hobart, Michigan has scored at least a pair of man-up goals in back-to-back contests and is 5-of-13 overall on EMOs over that span. U-M is 8-of-27 on EMO's this season (30 percent).
The matchups against the Fairfield and Colgate mark the final contests 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. U-M took on Army on March 2 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami and will face 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.
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.
Freshman Brad Lott was an instrumental in U-M winning the faceoff battle for the first time this season, against Army on March 2, besting the Black Knight face-off unit by going 9-of-17 at the X. Lott, the No. 1 faceoff specialist in last year's recruiting class according to ESPNHS heading into the season, made his collegiate 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 is 30-of-69 on attempts this season, good for a 44-percent win rate.
Senior close defender J.D. Johnson had a game-high seven ground balls against Penn State on Feb. 9 and had a game-high six grounders against Army on March 2. Johnson now leads the team in ground balls with 19. Sophomore attackman Will Meter is second on the team with 14 pickups and has at least one pickup in every contest he has play in this season.
Two players in sophomore Andrew Portnoy and freshman Peter Kraus scored their first career goals against the Bellarmine, 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, 15 players have made their debuts in addition to, Paxton Moore, Charlie Keady, Dan Kinek, Sam Martorella, Chase Brown, Brad Lott, and Peter Kraus. Most recently, Brendan Riefberg and Kevin Wylie debuted against Hobart.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q: What are you looking forward to returning home this weekend?
A: I am very excited for my parents family and friends to be able to come out to the game and watch me play for the first time. Although Citi Field isn't Shea Stadium, where I've had a lot of great childhood memories, it is still a great privilege to be able to play in the facilities such as those of the New York Mets.
Q: Your father was a police officer and worked security at Mets games. Did you have any memorable experiences as a child? Meet any famous players?
A: Some of the most fun and memorable moments that I had at Shea Stadium was meeting Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine and being able to get their autographs. It was not every day that you get to see superstar pitchers like those two, and since I was especially a huge Mets fan at the time. Also having Family Day in Shea and being able to play baseball and have my father hit balls up against the fence so we could rob home runs is an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Q: What has it been like being the main man in net for the squad this season?
A: It's fun, but it's a lot of hard work and dedication, which unfortunately not a lot of people see. Even though it is only my first year here, I feel the defense coming around and being more connected and organized as a unit on the field and off the field.
Q: Goalies are known as unique personalities. Talk about your unit, as well as Coach (Keith) Euker, and how you all coexist.
A: Our goalie unit is extremely tight knit in that Dylan (Westerhold), Mike D' Allessio, and I are always there for one another and getting up for one another if we make a big save in practice. Coach Euker is one of the most positive guys that I know, and he is always doing his best and giving the best insight he has on the game for as long as he's played. From stick work to cutting down angels from dodgers from X, his experience of the game really helps me become a better play.
Q: What is your favorite part about playing for Michigan?
A: The excitement and intensity that everyone brings everyday at practice. It is a privilege to be able to play for a program such as Michigan and have the support and culture that surrounds our sport and the school.
Q: What did it mean to you to be named ECAC Rookie of the Week?
A: When I received ECAC honor, I felt that was a great honor to be named Rookie of the Week, especially with how many young talented player there are in the ECAC. It was nice to see some of my hard work and dedication finally payoff. Seeing Kyle (Jackson) get the award this week was great news for the team as well.
Saturday, March 23 -- vs. Loyola (Md.) (Michigan Stadium), 3 p.m.