April 9, 2013
Saturday, April 13 -- vs. No. 13 Ohio State - Battle at the Big House (Michigan Stadium), 3:30 p.m.
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (0-11, 0-5 ECAC) will take on the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-3, 2-2 ECAC) Saturday (April 13) in the second Battle at the Big House at 3:30 p.m. inside Michigan Stadium. The matchup follows the annual U-M Spring Football game, which commences at 12:30 p.m.
The game is part of the Victors Trio. Fans that go to the football, men's lacrosse and baseball games this Saturday receive one $5 M-Den gift card, one free hot dog & one free hot chocolate and one entry to win two tickets to the Michigan vs. Notre Dame football game next season.
Kyle Jackson continues to lead the team in goals with 13 and in points with 20, while Mike Hernandez leads the assist category with eight. Both Hernandez and Jackson also pace the team in shots, as Jackson has 64 to 53 for Hernandez. Gerald Logan leads the team in ground balls (28), while Chase Brown has caused 11 turnovers to lead the squad. Sophomore Will Meter has a point in seven of the 10 games he has played in this season (8g, 4a) and has tallied at least one point in 22 of the 26 games he has played in during his Michigan career.
Against Delaware (April 6), two players, Evan Glaser and Tom Sardelli, had their first goals in Maize and Blue. Glaser is a freshman, and Sardelli is a transfer from Sacred Heart who arrived prior to the 2013 season, giving U-M 13 players with at least one goal this season. Michigan's three-goal fourth quarter output tied a season best; the number was previously set against High Point (March 6).
Logan had 15 saves against the Blue Hens to mark the seventh game this season he has stopped at least 15 shots, and he holds a save percentage of 57 to go along with 169 saves. He leads the nation with 15.36 stops per contest and is No. 2 in total saves.
He 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.
The Wolverines have played the 20th-most difficult schedule in the country thus far, according to LaxPower.com. U-M has squared off against a trio of ranked opponents in No. 13 Penn State, No. 4 Johns Hopkins and No. 6 Loyola. Ohio State will enter the contest as the No. 13 team in the country. Following the Ohio State matchup, U-M's final ranked opponent will be Denver, which currently comes in at No. 3 in the poll.
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).
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.
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 72-of-162 in faceoffs this season, good for a 47.5-percent mark and No. 49 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 83.9-percent success rate 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.
Overall, 16 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, Chris Walker, Charlie Keady, Dan Kinek, Sam Martorella, Chase Brown, Brad Lott, Riley Kennedy and Peter Kraus.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Beverly Hills, Mich.
Q: You have been one of the most consistent offensive players for the team since forming as a varsity program. What do you attribute that to?
A: I think that this comes from being one of the few freshmen that were called upon to have a significant role in the first season at the varsity status last year. It was not always consistent, but being in this situation was a great learning experience, and it helped me mature on the field right away. After last year, we graduated our two offensive captains, and this forced some of the younger but more experienced guys, such as myself, to step up in a big way. Although only a sophomore, there are times this year that I am the oldest guy on the field, and being placed in this leadership role has really forced me to step up and be more consistent.
Q: Talk about the Ohio State rivalry. What is it like playing in the second Battle at the Big House?
A: The Michigan/Ohio State rivalry is unlike any other in sports. It is the one game that both teams circle at the beginning of their seasons. This is the biggest game of our season, and therefore there is always something different about Ohio week. Having the opportunity to play in the second ever Battle at the Big House is a great honor for all who are involved. There is such a rich history with the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry in all sports, and everyone understands that the lacrosse rivalry will grow to that point one day. We are some of the first people to ever take part in this rivalry, and it is something that we will certainly never forget.
Q: What are your family connections to U-M?
A: I have very strong family connections with the University of Michigan and the athletic program in general. My uncle, Jerry Meter, was a linebacker for the great Bo Schembechler from 1976-1978. In his senior season, he was elected co-captain, and recovered the fumble in the famous phantom touchdown play during the 1979 Rose Bowl. He would later return as an assistant coach for the Wolverines for eight years.
Q: The team is heading into the final stretch of the season. What are you looking to get out of the final contests of 2013?
A: Although there are only four games remaining in our 2013 season, we still have an outstanding opportunity in front of us. As I alluded to earlier, the Ohio State game is the biggest game of our season, and a win against the Buckeyes would change our entire season. We have been so close throughout the entire season, and in every game we are just off in one area. As a team, we are looking to put together some complete games and finish our season off on the right foot with a couple of wins for Team Two.
Q: Yourself, as well as several other teammates, met Mike Tyson in the airport on the way home from Delaware. What was that experience like?
A: It was crazy meeting Mike Tyson at the Detroit Airport. We had just landed and a few of us were headed to baggage claim to meet up with the rest of the team. As we were walking we were kind of caught off guard as we looked up and saw Mike quickly passing us. To our surprise, he stopped us and asked what team we were apart of, and thankfully he was willing to pose for a picture with myself and a few other teammates.
SCOUTING THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State enters the contest with a 7-3 overall record and is 2-2 in ECAC play. Most recently, the Buckeyes knocked off Hobart on April 6 by a 10-6 score. The Buckeyes have started the season off with a 4-0 record and have alternated wins and losses over the last six contests. OSU is 1-3 against ranked opponents this year, beating No. 11 Penn State, 10-9, in overtime on March 2.
Offensively, the Buckeyes are led by Teewaraton Trophy candidate Logan Schuss, who has 22 goals and 14 assists for 36 points, which leads in all three categories. Schuss is also No. 2 in the ECAC in man-up goals with five. Freshman Carter Brown, one of the favorites for ECAC Rookie of the Year along with Logan, is second on the team in goals (16), assists (13), and points (29).
Trey Wilkes is the man at the faceoff dot for the Buckeyes and is No. 3 in the ECAC in the category at 57 percent (95-73). The goalie spot is in flux, as Scott Spencer stepped up and beat Hobart in the team's most-recent contest against the Statesman, making 12 saves in the win. Greg Dutton started the nine previous contests, making 80 saves and holds a save percentage of 52. The team also boasts a superior close defender in Joe Meurer, who has 19 ground balls and has caused 14 turnovers.
Ohio State enters the game in the driver's seat to earn the Creators Trophy, which is decided between the three men's lacrosse programs at Big Ten Conference schools -- Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, with the school that goes 2-0 claiming the prize. OSU is 1-0 with a win over defending champion Penn State, while the Nittany Lions were 1-1 with a win over Michigan earlier this season.
Last season in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines were downed by the Buckeyes, 12-9, on April 14, 2012. Senior Alex Vasileff tallied a trio of scores, while classmates Trevor Yealy and Brian Greiner scored twice. Goalie Emil Weiss made 12 stops in net. Ohio State led by as many as five goals in the fourth quarter and closed the gap 12-9 prior to the final whistle sounding. Schuss had three goals and two assists for five points, while Dutton made nine stops in the win.
Saturday, April 17 -- vs. Detroit (Michigan Stadium), 7 p.m.