April 16, 2013
Wednesday, April 17 -- vs. Detroit (Michigan Stadium), 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 20 -- vs. St. Joseph's (Michigan Stadium), 1 p.m.
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (0-12) wraps up its 2013 home slate with a pair of matchups, beginning with a date with the Detroit Titans (2-8) Wednesday (April 17) at 7 p.m. in what is the first night lacrosse game in Michigan Stadium history. The matchup will pit the only two Division I lacrosse programs in the state of Michigan against one another. The two teams will feature a combined 36 players from the state of Michigan, with 11 suiting up for the Wolverines and 25 for the Titans.
On Saturday (April 20), U-M will welcome the St. Joseph's Hawks (5-8) to Michigan Stadium at 1 p.m. in the final home game in the careers of seven seniors in Ryan Dutton-O'Hara, Willie Steenland, Thomas Paras, Zachary Dauch, Sean Sutton, Austin Swaney and Rob Healy.
Of the 75 goals the Wolverines have scored this season, 46, or 61. 3 percent, have come from a newcomer.
Sophomore Will Meter has a point in eight of the 11 games he has played in this season (8g, 5a) and has tallied at least one point in 23 of the 27 games he has played in during his Michigan career. Jackson and Hernandez have at least one point in nine games this season.
The Wolverines have played the 16th-most difficult schedule in the country thus far, according to LaxPower.com. U-M has squared off against a quartet of ranked opponents in No. 13 Penn State, No. 4 Johns Hopkins, No. 6 Loyola and No. 13 Ohio State. Following the Ohio State matchup, U-M's final ranked opponent will be Denver, which currently comes in a No. 1 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Poll.
Freshman Brad Lott is 82-of-177 in faceoffs this season, good for a 46.3 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).
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 nine of the 10 contests he has played in this season and has caused seven turnovers in the past three games.
In addition to Logan and Brown earning ECAC Rookie of the Week honors this season, Kyle Jackson earned the honor after an eight-point effort of three goals and five assists in games against High Point (March 6) and Hobart (March 9).In addition to his point total, Jackson had 15 shots, 11 of which were on frame, and collected four ground balls. His four assists against High Point established a new program record.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
Thomas Paras had four goals and an assist against Ohio State on Saturday (April 13), to tie a career high in goals, duplicating the most goals in program history in a single game. He scored four goals against Mercer last year in the first U-M win in program history (March 4, 2012). With the four scores, Paras joins Kyle Jackson (15) and Mike Hernandez (11) as double-digit scorers for the Wolverines this year. Hernandez had four goals against High Point earlier this season. The five points also tie a career high for Paras.
Against OSU, Michigan turned the ball over only seven times, marking the lowest number in program history in a single contest. Additionally, it was the first time in program history that the team has turned the ball over less than 10 times in a single contest.
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).
After stopping 10 shots against the Buckeyes, Logan has now recorded double-digit saves in 11 of 12 contests this season. He has stopped at least 15 shots in seven games this year.
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.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q: How does your captaincy of the program aid in your future as a business professional?
A:Being captain has offered me some very challenging and very rewarding experiences. I have faced a wide range of challenges, which readies me for the highly variable environment of business. I have made mistakes and had successes, and in both cases I've learned how to better react to different scenarios.
Q: You missed a few games earlier in the season due to injury. How difficult was that for you? How did you turn it into a positive?
A:My teammates and I pour a lot into this program. We spend countless hours making ourselves better and preparing ourselves for our opponents. To have all that hard work end up in injury because of a single misstep has the potential to really damage a player's demeanor. Initially, yes, I was upset. But when the next practice rolled around, I turned it into a positive by resorting to using my voice more. I had to stay positive on the sideline at practice and during games. Furthermore, the injury has made me especially grateful that I have another year of eligibility and intend to play out my fifth year. I want to contribute as much as I can to the team, and I know that I can only do that if I am healthy.
Q: What does it mean to you to play the first lacrosse night contest in Michigan Stadium history?
A: If the walls of Michigan Stadium could speak, I would love to sit and listen. Every single event in that venue is special. Whether it is a charity run or a Big Ten rivalry football game, the participants are all blessed to spend time there. That being said, a night game in Michigan Stadium carries with it an aura of prestige. I am honored to play under the lights in the Big House and will relish every moment of it.
Q: Although the record may not show it, talk about some of the positives the defense can take away from some of the other contests this year.
A: At the beginning of each year, we set certain goals that we strive for game by game. In our first few contests, we struggled to hit any of these. More recently, we've come closer and closer, and we have begun to hit most of these goals. Our man-down defense has been performing exceptionally well and our defensive proficiency has improved dramatically. I';m really proud of the direction the defense has been heading.
Q: What can the team do to finish the year on a positive note heading into next year?
A: First and foremost, we have to keep fighting. Many teams in our position would fold up and look to the next year. My teammates have never stopped fighting in any contest, and I don';t expect that to change. Second, we have to stay positive as a team. I know that once the season is over, everyone has their own 'coulda, woulda, shouldas,' but if we keep each other positive, after the season we can look forward to all of the positives in the years to come.
The Titans enter the contest with a 2-8 record with a 2-3 MAAC Conference mark, having defeated conference foes VMI by an 11-6 count on March 23 by an 11-6 count, and Manhattan 14-8 on April 6. Six of the eight defeats have come by one score or less, including a 9-8 overtime loss to Siena on April 13.
UDM is led offensively by Alex Maini and Mike Birney, who share the team lead in goals with 17, while Maini owns a team-best nine helpers for 26 points, which also pace the team. Overall, the Titans have been outscored 103-85 on the season, and outshot 341-304.
Defensively, the squad is led by Jordan Houtby, one of the top longstick midfielders in the country with 45 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers to go along with Jamie Hebden, who has collected 30 ground balls to go along with forced 28 turnovers.
Damien Hicks is the man at the faceoff dot for UDM, as he is 63-of-120 (53 percent) on the season, while A.J. Levell has been the prime option in goal this season, starting eight games. He has allowed 81 goals and stopped 89 shots for a save percentage of .520.
SCOUTING ST. JOE'S
The Hawks enter with a 5-8 record, with four of the wins coming against opponents with a combined record of 9-44, and are winless in road contests this season (0-5). The team's signature win of the season came against UMass on March 30, as the squad downed the Minutemen 7-6.
Pat Swanick leads the charge in all-three major offensive categories with 17 goals, six assists and 23 points, while Mike Dougherty and Matt Sarcona own 12 scores on the year. Dougherty leads the team in shots with 67 but is shooting only 18 percent. Overall, St. Joe's has been outscored by a 121-83 margin and a 65-35 margin in the first half.
Will Farrell is the top longstick for SJU, as he has 38 ground balls to go along with 21 caused turnovers. Will Abbott is the faceoff man, as he has gone 91-of-197 on the season for 46 percent.
The man in goal is Dustin Keen, who owns a 9.09 goals-against average, to go along with a save percentage of 55 percent. Keen has also allowed 110 scores on the season to 135 saves.
Saturday, April 24 -- at Denver (Denver, Colo.), 1 p.m. MDT