April 2, 2013
Saturday, April 6 -- at Delaware (Newark, Del.), Noon
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (0-10, 0-5 ECAC) hits the road to take on Delaware (2-8) of the Colonial Athletic Association on Saturday (April 6) at noon from Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del.
Freshman Kyle Jackson leads Michigan in goals (13) and points (20) and is tied for first in assists with seven. Classmate Mike Hernandez is tied for first in helpers (7) and is No. 2 on the team behind Jackson in goals with nine. Sophomore Will Meter has a point in seven of the nine games he has played in this season (8g, 4a) and has tallied at least one point in 22 of the 25 games he has played in during his Michigan career.
In the 10-6 loss against Air Force (March 30), U-M outshot the Falcons by a 37-36 margin and beat them 29-28 in ground balls. It marked the first time this season the Wolverines have won a ground ball battle and the second time they have outshot an opponent (Colgate). Three players accounted for the six scores, as Jackson, who had a career-high 12 shots, joined Meter and Hernandez with two scores apiece. Freshman Evan Glaser earned his first career point in the contest, assisting on a Jackson goal in the fourth quarter. U-M also tied a season high with 11 caused turnovers, matching its total against Penn State (Feb. 9).
Freshman longstick-middie Chase Brown took home ECAC Rookie of the Week honors for his efforts against Air Force. Brown picked up four ground balls and caused a trio of turnovers. The true freshman is second on the team in ground balls with 21, and he leads the team in caused turnovers with 11. He has at least one ground ball in eight of the nine contests he has played in this season and has caused seven turnovers in the past three games.
The Wolverines have played the 18th-most difficult schedule in the country thus 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 76 percent of opponent opportunities, allowing eight goals in 34 chances to rank No. 3 in the conference. U-M is No. 4 in the ECAC in man-up goals with 11, scoring on 28 percent of its chances.
Freshman goalkeeper Gerald Logan established a new program record with 25 stops against Army on March 2 in Miami. It is the top save number in the NCAA this season. For his efforts, he took home ECAC Rookie of the Week honors. He was 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 Penn State (Feb. 9), keeping U-M in the game in an 11-6 loss.
Gerald Logan leads the NCAA in total saves with 154 and in saves per contest at 15.40. Additionally, he is No. 2 in the ECAC and No. 11 in the NCAA in save percentage (57.2 percent). Logan, who has made at least nine saves in every game this season, also leads Michigan in ground balls with 28, including 10 in the last two games.
The loss against Johns Hopkins (Feb. 23) 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 is 68-of-146 in faceoffs this season, good for a 46.6 percent mark that is No. 10 in the ECAC and No. 50 nationally. The No. 1 faceoff specialist in last year's recruiting class according to ESPNHS, he went 25-of-40 at the X (63 percent) during Michigan's road games against Fairfield and Colgate (March 14-17).
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. In total, U-M is clearing at an 84.3 percent success rate this season.
Against Fairfield (March 14), Charlie Keady and Brad Lott 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 vs. Rutgers last season.
Gerald Logan leads the team with 28 ground balls, while freshman long pole Chase Brown is second with 21 pickups after four ground balls against Air Force (March 30). Senior close defender J.D. Johnson, who returned to the lineup against Air Force after missing four games due to injury, is third on the team in ground balls (19) as well as caused turnovers (9). Attackman Will Meter has 18 pickups, with at least one in every game he has played this season.
The Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic (March 17) featured Holy Cross vs. Navy followed by Michigan vs. Colgate at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The attendance number of 15,656 is the 26th-most fans to ever watch regular-season NCAA lacrosse. The Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic was the second men's lacrosse event in history played at a Major League Baseball stadium. The first was Navy vs. Johns Hopkins in 1971 at the Houston Astrodome, then the home of the Houston Astros.
Sophomore Andrew Portnoy and freshman Peter Kraus scored their first career goals against the Bellarmine (Feb. 16), as Portnoy scored the fastest goal to begin a game in Michigan history, 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.
Overall, 15 Wolverines have made their debuts this season, most recently Brendan Riefberg and Kevin Wylie against Hobart (March 9). Five newcomers have found themselves in the starting lineup for U-M: sophomore Mike Francia, junior Tom Sardelli, and freshmen Gerald Logan, Kyle Jackson and Mike Hernandez. Others who have played their first games for the Wolverines include Paxton Moore, Charlie Keady, Dan Kinek, Sam Martorella, Chase Brown, Brad Lott, Riley Kennedy and Peter Kraus.
The Blue Hens enter the contest with a 3-8 record and are coming off an 8-7 victory over Marist on Wednesday (April 3). The win also snapped a three-game losing streak. In terms of common opponents, UD fell to then-No. 1 Loyola 9-8 (Feb. 16) and defeated High Point 12-10 (Feb. 2).
Midfielder Nick Diachenko leads the team in goals (24) and points (26), while Eric Smith has 14 goals and nine helpers on the season. Connor McRoy leads the team in assists with 11. Tyler Barbarich has been the man at the faceoff dot this season; winning 129-of-227 tries for 57 percent, and leads the team in ground balls with 63. Chris Herbert and Conor Peaks have split time at net, holding a 9.97 goals-against average to go along with 127 saves and a save percentage of 54.
Opponents have outscored the Blue Hens 110-97. Additionally, UD holds a 372-324 ground ball advantage over the opposition and are clearing at 84 percent.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q: What has the process been like working your way back in your customary midfield line from your hamstring injury?
A: Well I've gotten to know our athletic trainer Jeremy Marra really well this last month and it's definitely been a long process. With an injury like this, we wanted to make sure I didn't jump back into things too quickly and reinjure myself but I'm really starting to feel good and back to my old self. A lot of the process has just been getting back to playing speed and getting my confidence back when I'm out there running and cutting. The guys haven't missed a beat out there and made the transition back into playing pretty seamless.
Q: You have been a consistent member of the man-up unit this year, which has seen great success. What makes an EMO unit successful?
A: Coach Paul always stresses quick ball movement and I think that's been something that has helped us out a lot this year. We've been put in good positions to get finishes and we've been staying patient and working our plays so the results have been showing.
A: Kyle and Mike are great guys to be around on and off the field and as their play has shown, they're both extremely talented. It's been a lot of fun playing with them this year and they continuously push the rest of us to keep elevating our games. They each bring different playing styles to the table and they work really well within the offense and are only going to get better over time.
Q: What is it like being one of the key players in helping the Wolverines build a program?
A: It's been an honor and a very memorable experience. Having the opportunity to be on these early teams will be something I'll look back on for the rest of my life. One of the things that makes Michigan so special is the camaraderie and the kids that come through this program. My teammates have made these last four years unforgettable and the transition to DI has been everything I've hoped for.
Q: Talk about taking on the Blue Hens. What challenges do they present?
A: Like all the teams on our schedule, Delaware is extremely talented and does a lot of great things on the field. Last year they really beat us in transition and dictated tempo of the game. Because of our early road swing to start the season, the team is used to these away games and we're looking forward to a great atmosphere at Delaware. We're expecting a very talented Delaware team and the guys are really looking forward to getting out to Newark this weekend.
Q: Jumping ahead to Ohio State, touch on what you learned after last season's Battle at the Big House.
A: It's a really unique experience playing Ohio State. Having the chance to play them in the Big House for the second consecutive year is something the team is looking forward to. The rivalry adds a whole other level of excitement and it's a great opportunity for us to be a part of this historic rivalry. It's important for the team to embrace the emotions of the game but when the time comes, we need to stay focused solely on our play on the field. That being said, we have a big game against Delaware this weekend and we'll start preparing for Ohio State next week.
Saturday, April 13 -- vs. Ohio State - Battle at the Big House (Michigan Stadium), 3:30 p.m.
Contact: Scott Kemps (734) 763-4423