March 26, 2013
Saturday, March 30 -- vs. Air Force (Michigan Stadium), 3 p.m.
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (0-9, 0-4 ECAC) continues its homestand with another ECAC matchup against the Air Force Falcons Saturday (March 30) at 3 p.m. inside Michigan Stadium. The matchup is U-M's third home game of the season and second in the Big House. The contest will be broadcast via the Big Ten Student U network, with Mike DeWitt on the call.
Freshman Kyle Jackson leads the team in goals (11) and points (18) while being tied in assists with seven. Classmate Mike Hernandez is tied for first in helpers (7), while sophomore David McCormack and freshman Peter Kraus are No. 2 on the team in scores with eight.
Kraus has at least one point in the last three games, and he has one point in seven of the eight games he has played in this year, while Hernandez has at least five shots in four of the last five contests for U-M. The freshman long stick has now had back-to-back contests where he has caused a pair of turnovers.
Michigan was hailed as a 'Top 10 Social Media program' by Inside Lacrosse's Quint Kessenich in his midseason roundup.
The Wolverines have played the 17th-most difficult schedule in the country this far, according to LaxPower.com. U-M has squared off against a trio of ranked opponents in Penn State Johns Hopkins, and Loyola.
Michigan's man-down and man-up units have excelled this season, as the Wolverines are killing off 75 percent of opponent opportunities this year, allowing eight goals in 32 chances to rank No. 2 in the conference. U-M is No. 5 in the ECAC in man-up goals with 10, averaging 1.11 per contest.
Freshman goalkeeper Gerald Logan established a new program record with 25 stops against the Army Black Knights on March 2 in Miami and is the top save maker in the NCAA. For his efforts, he took home ECAC Rookie of the Week. 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.
The Long Island native has made at least nine saves in every game this season and leads the NCAA in total saves with 143 and is No. 1 in the nation in saves per contest at 15.89. Additionally, he is No. 2 in the ECAC in save percentage and No. 14 in the NCAA (58 percent). He also leads in ground balls with 25 after a seven ground-ball output on Saturday.
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 0-7 against ranked opponents all-time and has been outscored by a 105-44 margin against those opponents.
Freshman Brad Lott was instrumental in U-M winning the faceoff battle for the first time this season, besting the Black Knight faceoff 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., against Bellarmine, going 8-of-18 on faceoffs, including a 7-of-11 mark in the first half. Against Fairfield and Colgate, he went 25-of-40 at the X in the two contests (63 percent). He is now 61-of-126 on the season, good for a 48.4-percent mark, which is No. 9 in the ECAC and No. 46 nationally.
U-M went 17-of-17 on clears against Colgate (March 17), marking the first time in program history the Wolverines were perfect on clears in a contest as a varsity program. It is also believed to be the first time a team coached by John Paul has gone perfect in the clearing game dating back to the team's club lacrosse days.
Against Fairfield on March 14, both Charlie Keady and Lott each had the first assists of their careers. Keady's assist was the first point for a U-M long pole this season, and the second in program history, as Austin Swaney scored a goal versus Rutgers last season.
Logan leads the team with 25 ground balls, while 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. After missing the last four games due to injury, he is second on the team in the category with 19, as well as caused turnovers with nine. Freshman long pole Chase Brown is third on the team with 17 pickups, and attackman Will Meter has 17 pickups, with one coming in every game he has played in this season.
U-M took on Colgate Sunday at Citi Field in what was the third 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. The attendance number in the 10-7 defeat to the Raiders of 15,656 is the 26th-most fans to ever watch regular-season NCAA lacrosse contests
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, Riley Kennedy and Peter Kraus. Most recently, Brendan Riefberg and Kevin Wylie debuted against Hobart.
SCOUTING AIR FORCE
The Falcons are coming off an 11-10 overtime defeat at the hands of No. 4 Denver in a rescheduled contest that was played on Tuesday night. On the season, the Falcons have outscored opponents by a 91-90 margin and are outshooting opponents, 378-313.
In terms of common opponents, the Falcons defeated High Point, 14-4, on Feb. 16 and lost to Bellarmine, 11-10, on March 9 and to No. 8 Loyola, 13-7, on March 16.
Offensively, the Falcons are led by Michigan native Tommy McKee, who leads the team with 22 goals, while Mike Crampton leads the team in points (21g., 6a.) and shots with 77. Keith Dreyer paces the squad in helpers with 14.
Erik Smith is the Falcon faceoff man, going 55-of-114 (48 percent) at the X this season and is leading the team in ground balls with 42. Smith is a two-way middie, scoring 12 goals and adding six helpers for 18 points. Bryan Price has also taken faces for Air Force and is 41-of-72 on chances this year. Two players are in double-digit caused turnovers -- close defenders Alex Warden (14) and Matt Puleo (12).
Austin Fox is the man between the pipes for the Falcons, starting eight games. He has stopped 88 shots on the season to go along with a save percentage of 51 and owns a goals-against average of 10.15.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q: After a tough two-game stretch against top-25 opponents, what is the team morale like heading into another ECAC matchup against Air Force?
Although our last pair of games vs. Colgate and Loyola didn't turn out the way we had hoped, we are definitely moving in the right direction. The coaching staff puts a lot of stress on interleague play, and it is clear that this is a great opportunity for us. The morale of the team is very high as we are ready for the challenge in front of us. The guys understand that we have shown glimpses of greatness, and if we put all facets of our game together for 60 minutes, we have a great shot against Air Force.
Q: What does it mean to you to be named the team's Weight Room Warrior award?
Being named Weight Room Warrior along with Rob Healy last year was a huge honor. We spend a lot of time lifting and put great importance on becoming as strong as possible to gain an edge in the physicality of the game. To be recognized as a leader in this area feels great, but each and every member on this team works extremely hard in the weight room. The advances in strength that all the players have made are remarkable.
Q: How was your trip 'home' to Connecticut?
Going to Connecticut and New York a couple weeks ago was well needed for me. It was one of only a couple times I have been able to go out east to play lacrosse in college and being so close to home allowed for a lot of family and friends to come. I had about 20 family members who had never seen me play lacrosse at the game at Citi Field, which was awesome. I'm glad they got a chance to for my last season at Michigan.
Q: What games are you most looking forward to this season?
Fairfield and Colgate were two memorable contests for me because I got to go home. Besides that, I am very much looking forward to the Ohio State game. I think our meetings will shape up to be a huge rivalry in years to come. We came up short in a hard-fought battle last year, and I am excited to get another shot at them, again at home. Air Force is another game I am excited for. I didn't think we played how we were capable of playing last year. This time around I'm looking forward to putting one of our best games together against a strong ECAC opponent.
Q: What has been your most memorable Michigan lacrosse moment?
My most memorable Michigan lacrosse moment was our win last year vs. Mercer. Our first win as a varsity program is a very historic moment, and it was a great feeling to be a part of it. We worked very hard last year and got better as the season went on. It was very satisfying when our hard work paid off and we got our first W.
Saturday, April 6 -- at Delaware (Newark, Del.), Noon