April 22, 2014
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (4-10) hosts the Robert Morris Colonials (5-8) Saturday (April 26) at noon from Michigan Stadium. The day will serve as Senior Day for the team, as the squad will honor its seven seniors.
Freshman Ian King, coming off a two-goal game against Yale which saw him break the Michigan single-season record for goals (Trevor Yealy, 2012), continues to lead the team in goals with 27 and in points with 28. His 88 shots are No. 2 in the ECAC. Additionally, King has scored goals in 13 of 14 games this year, including multi-goal games in 10 contests.
In the last three games, David Joseph leads the team in points with seven (6 shots, 1 assist), while Ian King (four goals) and Kyle Jackson (three goals, assist) each have four points. Mack Gembis and Andrew Hatton have caused five turnovers apiece, while Hatton has collected six ground balls. Freshman goalie Robbie Zonino has stopped 48 percent of his shots faced while turning away 33 shots over that span.
Brad Lott leads the ECAC in faceoffs, winning 54 percent of his chances this season (141 of 264) as well as ground balls per game (6.42) for a total of 77 on the year.
Gaughan Catches Fire in Fourth Against Yale
Sophomore/freshman Brendan Gaughan earned his first extended action of his career in the fourth quarter against the Bulldogs, scoring a pair of goals in a little more than three minutes. That marks the eighth time this season that a U-M player scored a pair of goals in a quarter, as King leads the way in the category after accomplishing the feat on four occasions this season, including twice against Detroit (Feb. 14).
Scouting the Colonials
Robert Morris enters the contest with a 5-8 overall record and is 1-4 in its last five contests, most recently knocking off Wagner, 12-7, on April 5. Robert Morris is 1-3 against common opponents, as the Colonials defeated Detroit, 11-7, on Feb. 23 and suffered defeats against Bellarmine (10-7), St. Joe's (11-8) and Maryland (19-6). The squad is 0-4 vs. ranked opponents this year as well as 2-3 in road games.
Eric Rankel, Luke Lasziewicz and James Rahe lead the offense, as all three have eclipsed the 20-goal plateau thus far. Rankel has 14 helpers and leads the squad in shots with 99.
Defensively, Sean Meager leads the nation in caused turnovers (three per contest), while the team is No. 2 in the NEC in caused turnovers per game and fifth nationally (9.85 per contest) as well as ground balls per game (28.92) and man-up offense (40 percent).
Brian Bohn and Matt Bukovac have split time the past two games, but Bohn has been the starter the entire season, starting all 13 contests. He owns a save percentage of 49 and has stopped 110 shots with allowing 10.92 goals per contest. Bukovac has seen time in relief, playing a little less than 100 minutes and has stopped 18 shots (52 percent).
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.
The lone ECAC contest of the season remaining is Ohio State at Fairfield, which will be contested at 1 p.m. on Saturday (April 26). Following the contest the seeding pairs for the upcoming tournament.
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 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
Offensively, U-M's offense comes in at No. 40 in the country, averaging 9.50 goals per contest, which is No. 4 in the ECAC. U-M ranks in the top two in the ECAC in caused turnovers (7.64), man-down defense (68 percent) and faceoff winning percentage (49 percent) and is No. 1 in the conference in ground balls per game (29.43) and in saves per game at 10 per contest.
Lott is ranked No. 33 in the NCAA in faceoffs and No. 1 in the ECAC at 54 percent, and No. 18 nationally and No. 1 in the ECAC in ground balls (6.42). Zonino leads the conference in saves per contest at 9.93.
Balanced Scoring Leads Way
U-M has been extremely balanced in quarter-by-quarter breakdown, with 30 in the first and 37 in the second quarter. In the third, U-M has marked 31 scores, as well as 33 goals in the fourth period of action (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. 20 schedule (according to LaxPower.com) in the country, featuring six ranked opponents in No. 9 Penn State, No. 5 Johns Hopkins, No. 16 Cornell, as well as No. 1 Maryland and No. 15 Fairfield and No. 13 Yale.
Chu Collects Community Service Award
Senior co-captain Jeff Chu was awarded with the 2013-14 Rachael Townsend Award, given in memory of Wolverine field hockey team member, Rachael [Geishardt] Townsend (1992-95) for demonstrating a passion for serving the community, especially in the area of mentoring and coaching area youth, both during and after her time at Michigan. After Rachael passed away at the age of 29, the Rachael Townsend Community Service Award was created as a way to honor her life and the positive impact that she had throughout the community.
This year's award winners were nominated by their teammates and peers and then selected by a diverse group of athletic staff and fellow student-athletes. Each recipient has made significant and selfless contributions to the community through their time, talent and dedication throughout the year. The award winners were invited to a private dinner at the home of Dave and Jan Brandon and will receive a Ginsberg Center Service Cord in honor of their community involvement to be worn at graduation.
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, upping the total of initial appearances to 15 thus far this season.
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 just 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.
Thursday, May 1 -- vs. Opponent TBD - ECAC Tournament (Columbus, Ohio), 5/8 p.m.