Game #13: U-M to Play Season's Penultimate Game at Rutgers

April 18, 2012

Coach Paul on WTKA Insider

Saturday, April 21 -- at Rutgers (Piscataway, N.J.), 7 p.m.
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In the second-to-last game of the season, the University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (1-11) will travel to the Garden State for the first time in program history to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Saturday (April 21) at 7 p.m. from Yurcak Field.

Following the Michigan football spring game on April 14, the Wolverines hosted the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Battle at the Big House. The Wolverines shattered their home attendance as 4,458 fans saw Michigan battle the Buckeyes. The previous record of 915 was set the previous week against Delaware on April 7.

Fifth-year senior Brian Greiner had the best game of his career against Ohio State (April 14), as the FOGO scored goals off faceoff wins in the second quarter at the 5:05 mark and the 5:49 mark of the third quarter. Greiner also won 12 faceoffs, two off his season high, and had three ground balls in the defeat. After scoring against Delaware in the team's previous game, Greiner now has three goals in the past two games.

Senior Alex Vasileff ranks No. 36 in the country in shooting percentage, as he has 16 goals on 39 shots (40 percent). As a team, the Wolverines are No. 13 in the country with a 32-percent mark (97 goals on 308 shots) and are No. 3 in the ECAC in the team statistic.

Fifth-year senior Trevor Yealy extended his goal streak to eight games with his pair of scores against Ohio State. Yealy leads the team in points with 23 and has a team-best 22 goals on the season. His hat trick against Delaware was his third of the season, and he scored a season-high four tallies against Jacksonville in a 9-8 defeat on March 2. He has scored at least one goal this season in all but one game (Denver).

Junior d-pole J.D. Johnson tops U-M defenders with 38 ground balls on the season and is one shy of faceoff specialist Brian Greiner. Johnson has at least five ground balls in four of the last seven games, highlighted by a season-high eight against Harvard.

After assisting on Michigan's final score against Ohio State with 7:38 left in the contest, freshman Will Meter has a team-leading 13 assists and is the one of two Wolverines to sit in double digits in the category, along with Willie Steenland (12). Meter's 13 helpers in 12 contests put him just outside of the top 10 in the ECAC rankings in assists per game (1.08). He has connected with fellow attacker Trevor Yealy eight times, as well as David McCormack, Alex Vasileff, Thomas Paras, Willie Steenland and Ryan Dutton-O'Hara once apiece. Additionally, Meter has registered a point in 11 of 12 contests this season as a true freshman.

Junior Willie Steenland sits second on the squad with 12 assists and has five helpers in the past three contests. Against Harvard, Steenland racked up helpers in the second half on Thomas Paras' score and a David McCormack man-up goal. Steenland matched the feat with two assists against Delaware, connecting with McCormack twice within 1:46 of the second quarter to cut the Blue Hen advantage to 6-3 just prior to the half. The streak continued in the second quarter against Ohio State, as he assisted on a McCormack score at the 5:16 mark.

Emil Weiss stopped a career-best 17 shots against Delaware (10 in first half) and registered the first assist of his career on a Trevor Yealy goal. The Cary, N.C., native has 51 saves in the past four contests after a 12-stop effort against Ohio State in the Battle at the Big House. After missing the first three games of the season, he has started the last eight games between the pipes for U-M.

U-M scored first against Harvard, marking the seventh time in a 10-game span that Michigan opened the scoring. The Wolverines have been outscored by narrow margins in the first and fourth quarter, as opponents have outscored U-M 33-25 in the opening stanza. In the fourth quarter, U-M has been outscored 31-27.

Michigan could play as many as four ranked teams this season. Thus far U-M is 0-3 against ranked teams. U-M will face North Carolina, currently in the top 10, in the final game of the season. Loyola is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Poll.

Feb. 18 -- #17 Penn State (L, 9-16)
Feb. 25 -- #12 Denver (L, 5-17)
March 7 -- #9 Loyola (L, 8-15)

Michigan has tallied exactly nine goals in a game four times this season -- against Detroit (L, 13-9), Penn State (L, 16-9), Bellarmine (L, 13-9) and Ohio State (L, 12-9).


Rutgers Scarlet Knights
The Scarlet Knights return home to host the Wolverines riding a three-game losing streak and are 5-8 overall. Most recently, Rutgers was defeated 19-6 by Syracuse on April 14 on a neutral field in Charlotte, N.C.. The last two contests have not been kind to Rutgers, as the squad was knocked off by a 13-4 score on April 10 against the Princeton Tigers.

Will Mangan and Nick DePoalera lead the Rutgers scoring attack, as Mangan has 26 goals and nine assists to DePaolera's 15 goals and 15 helpers. Scott Klimchak and Michael Diehl round out the Scarlet Knight scoring punch with 19 and 18 goals, respectively.

There has been a revolving door in the cage for Rutgers this season, with Steven Lusby and Joe Donnelly seeing time recently. Lusby is 2-5 on the year with an 11.62 goals-against average and is stopping 49 percent of his shots faced for 64 saves, while Donnelly holds an 11.48 goals-against average and has 20 stops on the year in four games (three relief) played.

Joe Nardella has been the faceoff man for the Scarlet Knights, as he is won 103 of 294 attempts for a 54-percent clip and is No. 28 in the country in the X, while Blake Burkhardt has won 34 of 66 attempts for a 52-percent winning percentage.

Overall, Rutgers has been outscored 138-104 on the season, has been outshot 450-414 and has allowed 20 goals on 50 man-down opportunities.


April 14: Ohio State 12, Michigan 9
Alex Vasileff had three scores, while Brian Greiner scored twice off of face off wins as the Wolverines dropped a 12-9 decision in the inaugural Battle at the Big House on April 14 at Michigan Stadium.
The Wolverines trialed 6-2 with less than six minutes remaining in the second quarter but rattled off three of the next four goals to bring the Buckeye lead to 7-5 at the half. Coming out of the half, Ohio State outscored U-M 3-1 in the third, before a Vasileff score cut the lead to 10-7. Michigan could not cut the gar, however, as Ohio State held off the Michigan charge.
Trevor Yealy added to his team-high 22 scores, while Emil Weiss had 12 saves.

The 11-7 loss to the Blue Hens marks the fourth four-goal defeat of the season for the Wolverines. Additionally, it was the second straight occasion on the season that Michigan has lost a contest by an 11-7 score, as the Wolverines were defeated 11-7 by Harvard on March 31.

Saturday, May 5
-- at North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.), 7 p.m.

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