April 16, 2014
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (4-9) hosts the No. 13-ranked Yale Bulldogs (7-3) on Saturday (April 19) at 4 p.m. from Michigan Stadium. The matchup will follow the Michigan women's lacrosse game against Vanderbilt that begins at 1 p.m.
Saturday is also lacrosse day at Michigan, as the U-M cheer team will be on hand and a single ticket will yield attendance to both the men's and women's games.
Freshman Ian King continues to lead the team in goals with 25 and is now two away from breaking Trevor Yealy's (2012) school record of 26. He has scored at least one goal in 12 of 13 games this season and has scored multiple goals in six of those eight contests.
Kyle Jackson is second on the team in goals (18), points (23) and shots (62), while Thomas Paras leads the squad in helpers with 10, closely followed by Dan Kinek with nine helpers. Paras (12), David McCormack (11) and David Joseph (10) are the other U-M players with double-digit goals.
Both Jackson and Joseph have scored five goals in the last two games.
Chase Brown leads the team in caused turnovers with 15 and also owns 23 ground balls from his longstick position. At close defense, Chris Walker is the top ground ball man with 23 to go along with eight caused turnovers, while Mack Gembis has collected 15 GBs to go along with 12 caused.
Brad Lott leads the ECAC in faceoffs, winning 55 percent of his chances this season (134-of-205), as well as ground balls per game (6.82) for a total of 75 on the year.
Freshman goalie Robbie Zonino is No. 1 in the conference in saves per contest at 9.92
Over the last three games, U-M has been outscored, 33-15, in the first half and is outshooting opponents, 55-52, in the opening half of action.
Scouting The Bulldogs
The Bulldogs enter Saturday's contest with a 7-3 overall record and have won three straight contests, with the most-recent victory coming in overtime against Brown by a 7-6 count on April 11. All three of Yale's defeats this season have come by two goals or less -- against Fairfield, Cornell and Penn -- while three of the seven wins are of the one-goal variety.
Conrad Oberbeck leads the team in goals with 23 and points (31), while Brandon Mangan leads in assists with 12 and is second in points with 27. Colin Flaherty is the other Bulldog on the squad in double-digit goals with 10.
Dylan Levings is the man at the dot for Yale and is No. 15 in the NCAA in ground balls per contest at 7.20 a game. In all, the Bulldogs are the No. 15 faceoff team in the country, winning 125-of-215 chances (58 percent).
Michael Quinn leads the team and is second in the Ivy League in caused turnovers per contest (1.67), while the Bulldog defense is ranked as the No. 9 unit in the country, allowing only 8.10 goals per contest. Goalkeeper Eric Natale ranks No. 20 nationally with a save percentage of 54 percent and has allowed only 8.08 goals per contest.
Tournament Berth Clinched
By virtue of Bellarmine's 9-3 loss to Fairfield (Saturday 29), The Knights fall to 0-4 in ECAC action with the loss, allowing U-M to secure its first-ever postseason berth.
Ohio State is the lone team with two conference games left, as the Buckeyes take on Air Force this weekend followed by a tilt with Fairfield on April 26.
With five teams remaining the ECAC Lacrosse conference in its final season of existence, four of them will make the ECAC Tournament May 1-3 in Columbus, Ohio, with the winner earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan has won five ECAC Weekly Awards in the month of March. Most recently, Brad Lott took home the Specialist of the Week honor, while Ian King and Chris Walker took home Rookie and Defender of the Week awards on March 8.
Walker, a close defender, scooped up 10 ground balls and caused three turnovers across two games for the Wolverines. The highlight came against the Paladins, as he collected five ground balls and caused a trio of turnovers.
King takes home the honor after collecting back-to-back hat tricks against High Point and Furman. He tallied 18 shots, and two of his six goals were of the man-up variety.
Prior to King and Walker's honors, Mack Gembis and Brad Lott were named ECAC Defensive Player and Specialist of the Week, respectively, for their performances in a 15-14 loss to No. 15 Cornell Saturday (March 1).
National, ECAC Ranks
U-M's offense comes in at No. 38 in the country, averaging 9.69 goals per contest. U-M is also No. 2 in the ECAC in caused turnovers, ground balls per game, man-down defense and faceoff winning percentage.
Balanced Scoring Leads Way
U-M has been extremely balanced in quarter-by-quarter breakdown, with 30 in the first and 34 in the second quarter. In the third and fourth quarter, U-M has marked 30 goals in each period (plus two overtime scores).
Breakthroughs against Cornell, Fairfield
The one-goal loss against No. 15 Cornell marked the closest defeat U-M has suffered against a ranked opponent in program history. Previously, the closest defeat suffered was five goals against No. 15 Penn State on Feb. 9, 2013 (11-6 defeat). Michigan also held a lead against a ranked opponent for the first time since leading 2-1 against No. 4 Denver at the 2:12 mark of the first quarter on April 27, 2013.
U-M equaled the closest defeat against a ranked team on April 5 against Fairfield, falling 9-8 in the Battle at the Big House.
Strength of Schedule, Strength
Michigan has played the No. 24 toughest schedule (according to LaxPower.com) in the country thus far but has been top heavy, featuring six ranked opponents in No. 9 Penn State, No. 5 Johns Hopkins and No. 16 Cornell, as well as No. 1 Maryland and No. 15 Fairfield, in addition to Saturday's matchup vs. No. 13 Yale.
Mike DeWitt, who has called U-M games the past two seasons on Big Ten Student U and the Michigan Stadium in-house feed on MGoBlue.com, will return for his third season as the voice of Michigan lacrosse as the play-by-play man. Joining him as color commentator will be 2012 U-M graduate Brian Greiner, a member of Team One and U-M's primary faceoff man in the initial season as a varsity program. He was also a member of the teams 2010 MCLA National Championship squad.
In the 2012 season, he won the Team Spirit Award, and went 128-of-302 at the faceoff X (42 percent). He led the team in ground balls, with 48, and scored four goals on the year, including two against Ohio State in the first Battle at the Big House.
Nine players made their debuts for the Wolverines against Penn State in Josh Stauffer and Mike D'Alessio (sophomores) as well as freshmen Mikie Schlosser, Ian King, Peter Khoury, Will Biagi, Stefan Bergman and Christian Wolter and goalie Robbie Zonino. Against Mercer, Andrew Roswell, Charlie McPeters, Cooper Charlton and Brendan Gaughan made their debuts. Most recently, Andrew Hatton make his first appearance -- against Detroit -- at close defense and earned his first start of the season against Johns Hopkins.
Two-Year Starters Return
The Wolverines return three players who have been mainstays in the first two seasons of varsity play. Featuring a pair of starting attackmen in juniors Will Meter and David McCormack, as well as fifth-year senior close defender JD Johnson.
Meter, who led the team in assists as a freshman with 15 and had five helpers last season, has started 25 of 27 contests on attack alongside McCormack, who has 19 career goals and four assists in 19 starts. Johnson, who missed a significant part of 2013 due to injury, is healthy after starting 14 games in 2012 and seven a year ago. He led Team One in ground balls with 40 and was tied for third on the team last year with 25.
In total, U-M's 2014 opponents had a combined record of 117-96 a year ago. For the team's eight road games, the Wolverines will travel 4,092 miles.
Diversity for U-M
Of the players that make up the 2014 squad, members of the team hail from 13 states and provinces, highlighted by eight from Michigan and five from New Jersey, Ohio, California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
California: 5 (Gaughan, Hernandez, Johnson, Schlosser, Simor)
Canada: 1 (Jackson)
Colorado: 1 (Wylie)
Connecticut: 5 (Francia, Hatton, Keady, Khoury, Kraus)
Florida: 1 (Stauffer)
Maryland: 4 (Brown, Glaser, Mosko, Roswell)
Michigan: 8 (Archer, Gembis, Kennedy, Meter, Orr, Sardelli, Walker, Zwolan)
New Hampshire: 1 (Wolter)
New Jersey: 5 (Bryant, McPeters, Portnoy, Riefberg, Weichert)
New York: 2 (D'Alessio, Logan)
Ohio: 5 (Charlton, Joseph, King, McCormack, Paras)
Pennsylvania: 5 (Bergman, Chu, Kinek, Moore, Zonino)
Virginia: 1 (Biagi)
Five returning players from last season have switched numbers for U-M:
Evan Glaser (No. 25 from No. 40)
Dan Kinek (No. 9 from No. 38)
Will Meter (No. 15 from No. 45)
Dakota Sherman (No. 50 from No. 17)
Thomas Paras (No. 11 from No. 39)
Freshman Nothing New
For the third straight season, the Wolverines will run a freshman goalie out between the pipes, as Robbie Zonino appears to be the man in the cage this season. In 2012, Emil Weiss was the primary goalie, playing in 10 games with an 11.80 goals-against average. In 2013, Gerald Logan played the majority of minutes.
In the two years U-M has been a varsity program, freshman have played 84 percent of the minutes in goal. The departed Dylan Westerhold is the other netminder who saw action in both seasons, playing 252 minutes in 2012 and a little more than over five minutes in 2013. Cy Abelnour made a cameo appearance in 2012, playing 10 minutes as well.
U-M is the only team in the country that will have started a different freshman goalie in each of the past seasons. The Albany Great Danes are the last team to accomplish that feat, as a freshman was in net for the 2011-12-13 seasons.
Michigan to Join Big Ten Conference for Lacrosse in 2014-15
The Big Ten Conference announced June 3 the formation of a men's lacrosse conference, in which the University of Michigan men's lacrosse team will begin competition during the 2014-15 academic year.
In addition to Michigan and affiliate member Johns Hopkins, the men's conference will also feature Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland.
Big Ten rules allow for a conference championship when six institutions sponsor a program in any given sport.
Paul and the Wolverines will enter their third year as a varsity program in 2013-14, and continue competing in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC), before joining the Big Ten for the 2015 season. Ohio State is the only other current ECAC team that will also transition to the Big Ten.
With the addition of men's and women's lacrosse, the Big Ten will now sponsor 28 varsity sports.
U-M Supports Friends of Jaclyn, vs. Cancer
The Wolverines adopted nine-year-old Miles Root of Tecumseh, Mich., through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ), a charitable, non-profit organization that strives to enhance and strengthen the support system built around children with pediatric brain tumors. On Jan. 25, over 30 members of the team shaved their heads in support of Miles, who passed away on March 6, 2014. The Wolverines continue to honor Miles by donning "Super Miles Strong" wristbands, as well as "MR" stickers on the back of their helmets.
"One of our core principles is Family, and Miles was definitely part of our family," said head coach John Paul. "He brightened up our day when he was around, and he brought some perspective to us whenever we were facing whatever small adversities we had to overcome. He was taken far too soon. We'll miss him. We all hope that his three brothers, Skyler, Ian and Seth, will continue to be involved with our program. The Roots will always have a home with us.
Through the program, adopted children become part of the team and build unique friendships. Children also gain an incredible group of caring role models to look up to when they need the extra support. FOJ places children with teams according to geographical proximity, as his primary healthcare facility is the University of Michigan Hospital.
Miles was diagnosed with a brain tumor on April 26, 2010, at the age of five. The tumor was fully resected on April 28, but he suffered from posterior fossa syndrome with cerebellar mutism a few hours after his tumor removal, resulting in him being unable to move the right side of his body and leaving him unable to speak.
FOJ's programs are based on love, support and friendship between the child, the child's family and his or her "adopted" team. FOJ has completed more than 400 adoptions in more than 20 different sports. They currently have more than 1,000 schools on a waiting list, as FOJ grows from a small organization into a larger one.
Saturday, April 26 -- vs. Robert Morris - Senior Day (Michigan Stadium), Noon