March 28, 2017
Coming off a 10-7 win over the UMBC Retrievers on Saturday (March 25), the 19th-ranked University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (8-1, 0-0 B1G) opens up Big Ten Conference play Saturday (April 1) on the road at No. 9 Maryland (5-2, 0-0 B1G) from Byrd Stadium. The 2 p.m. contest will be broadcast nationally via ESPNU.
THINGS TO KNOW
» The Wolverines enter Big Ten Play with an 8-1 overall record, a win number that equals that of the combined win total from the past two seasons.
» Ranked No. 15 in the initial NCAA RPI and No.19 in the Maverik Media Poll, the Wolverines take on the No. 9 Maryland Terrapins in the conference opener, marking the first time that U-M has been ranked while facing a ranked opponent.
» With conference play opening this weekend, the league is a combined 44-8, with all six teams ranked in the consensus top 20 rankings. Additionally, U-M's five road victories are tied for the most in the country.
Last time out in a 10-7 win over UMBC, both senior Ian King and sophomore Brent Noseworthy registered hat tricks, while senior midfielder Mikie Schlosser had two goals and two assists. The defense was the story in the second half, allowing only three goals with junior/sophomore goalie Tommy Heidt making eight saves. As a whole, the U-M defense allowed a season-low 24 shots.
Coming off back-to-back hat tricks, senior Ian King leads the team in points with 33, as well as assists with 15. The assist number is two off his own single-season school record of 17, which he set a year ago. Sophomore Brent Noseworthy paces the squad in goals with 28 and has scored multiple goals in seven of nine contests on the year, including six hat tricks.
Both are on pace to shatter the U-M record for points in a season (36, Kyle Jackson in 2016), while King is one point off his own season high of 34, which he set it 2015. Additionally, King is four goals away from breaking Jackson's career goal record of 88.
As a whole, the attack unit has ranked as one of the top trios in the country, with senior Ian King, sophomore Brent Noseworthy and sophomore Rocco Sutherland combining for 51 goals and 29 assists for 80 points. All three are also a part of a man-up unit that has converted on 10-of-18 attempts (56 percent), which ranks No. 3 in the NCAA.
Ian King, a Tewaaraton Watch List member, ranks No. 5 in the conference in points per game at 3.67, while Brent Noseworthy leads the Big Ten and ranks No. 3 in the country in shooting percentage at 54 percent (28 goals on 52 shots).
U-M owns the nation's No. 23 offense, averaging 11.56 goals per contest. The Wolverines have outscored teams 104-75 this season, outdistancing teams in the first half by a 59-36 margin. U-M also owns a 28-11 margin in the third quarter but has been outscored 28-17 in the final stanza of quarter.
Senior captain Mikie Schlosser became one of the top two-way players in the Big Ten with added defensive and clearing responsibility. Additionally, he is third on the team with 13 goals and has added five assists for 18 points. With his four points (2g, 2a) against UMBC, he surpassed Peter Kraus (2013-16) for third in the U-M record books for goals in a career (44 goals).
Junior/sophomore goalie Tommy Heidt has been one of the top goaltenders in the Big Ten this season, ranking second in the conference in goals-against average (7.81) and tops the league in save percentage (61 percent), which is good for sixth nationally. Additionally, he is first in the league in saves per game (11.33). Heidt has eclipsed the double-digit save plateau in six of eight games this season.
Junior Michael McDonnell has been a crucial cog in U-M's efforts this season at the face-off dot, winning 58 percent of his draws (104-of-179), which ranks third in the conference and 21st nationally. Additionally, he is second on the squad in ground balls with 30. McDonnell has gotten off to a hot start in each contest, owning a win percentage of 64 in the first quarter of action (35-of-55).
Collectively, U-M's defense ranks as the No. 14 unit in the country, allowing 8.33 goals a contest. In comparison to this point of the season a year ago, the unit was ranked No. 63 in the NCAA and was allowing 12.75 goals a contest. Along with Heidt excelling in goal, longstick Nick DeCaprio leads the team in ground balls with 32, ranking him second in the Big Ten for non-faceoff men with 3.71 per game.
The No. 9 Terrapins open Big Ten play with a 5-2 overall mark and are coming off a 15-7 win over No. 15 North Carolina in a rematch of the 2016 National Championship. The 2016 NCAA runners-up started off the season with a 4-0 mark with wins over Navy, St. Joseph's, High Point and Yale before consecutive defeats against No. 1 Notre Dame in South Bend by a 5-4 score and a 13-12 overtime loss to Villanova in College Park.
The potent Terp attack is led by standout Matt Rambo, who leads the Big Ten in points per game at 4.57 (17g, 15a), and Colin Heacock, who is No. 10 in the league with three points a game (12g, 9a). Overall, the offense is averaging 13.29 goals per game to rank as the No. 2 unit in the conference and sixth nationally. Conversely, the defense is ranked fourth in the Big Ten (8.71 goals/game), with goalie Dan Morris is No. 2 in the league with 10.86 saves per game and No. 3 in save percentage at 56 percent.
Per usual, Maryland also sports standout defensive midfielder Isaiah Davis-Allen (20 gb), while face-off specialist Austin Henningsen has won 52 percent of his draws at the dot.
From a historical perspective, U-M is 0-2 all-time vs. the Terps, falling by a 13-4 count in College Park in the 2015 installment. Last season in Ann Arbor, the contest came down to the wire as the No. 5 Terps downed the Wolverines by an 8-7 score on April 2 inside the Big House.
Tweet of the Week
-- Michigan Lacrosse (@UMichLacrosse) March 27, 2017
Keep Up With the Wolverines -- Stay current with everything going on with the Wolverines by following Michigan men's lacrosse on Twitter & Instagram (@umichlacrosse), on Snapchat (@umichathletics) and "liking" the Wolverines on Facebook! Inside access can also be seen via the U-M Lacrosse managers Twitter handle (@UofMLaxManagers), and the team's YouTube page by searching 'MGoBlueLacrosse'.
Saturday, April 8 -- vs. Rutgers (Michigan Stadium), 11 a.m.
Communications Contact: Scott Kemps