April 24, 2013
Saturday, April 27 -- at No. 5 Denver (Denver, Colo.), Noon MDT
The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (1-12, 0-6 ECAC) concludes its 2013 season with a trip to take on the No. 5 Denver Pioneers Saturday (April 27) at noon MDT from Peter Barton Stadium in Denver, Colo. The trip to the Rocky Mountains will be a homecoming for U-M sophomore face-off specialist Kevin Wylie, who hails from nearby Aurora, and it will be the second time U-M has ventured to the state in the program's varsity history.
Last season, the Wolverines were defeated at No. 11 Denver, 17-5, on Feb. 25. Doug Bryant posted two goals, scoring once in the second and third quarters, while midfielder Alex Vasileff, Thomas Paras and Jeff Chu had U-M's other goals. Denver's Eric Law led all players with four goals, while Mark Matthews and Alex Demopoulos had three apiece. Dylan Westerhold had 10 saves in the losing effort for U-M.
The Pioneers have outscored opponents 165-126 on the campaign and lead the ECAC in goals, assists and shooting percentage. Eric Law is No. 1 on the team in points with 54 (29g, 25a), while Wesley Berg is No. 6 with 48 points (37g, 11a). Overall, the team is 4-2 in one-goal games this season and are coming off an upset defeat by unranked Fairfield (10-9) on April 20 in Denver.
Chase Carraro is winning 55 percent of his faceoff chances this season to go along with two goals on 20 shots and 42 ground balls. Chace Calkin is the No. 2 faceoff man, winning 46 of his tries. Kyle Hercher is the team's top long stick, as he has 14 caused turnovers and 23 ground balls.
Ryan LaPlante has saved 199 shots and is saving 56 percent of his shots with a 9.87 goals-against average.
Ryan Dutton-O'Hara Q&A
Q: What has it meant to you to be a member of the men's lacrosse team here at Michigan?
A: It's been an unbelievable experience playing here. It is an honor to be a part of such great athletic tradition as well as such a great university. It has been an awesome opportunity to be a part of building a program that will be great for years to come.
Q: Club and varsity and included; what is your favorite memory of being on the squad?
A: Having the chance to play at Johns Hopkins this year was a great memory. Growing up in Maryland, I had the chance to watch a lot of games at Homewood Field, so it was pretty cool to get a chance to play there.
Q: What did the win over St. Joe's mean for the program as a whole?
A: The win over St. Joe's was a big step in the right direction for our program. They have some wins this year, and it was good for our program to beat a team with winning experience.
Q: What are your future plans after graduating?
A: My hope after graduating is to attend law school, but I will be back here at U of M finishing up my degree next year.
Q: Talk about some of the friendships you have developed on the team...
A: My roommates and I are extremely close. I live with Zach Dauch, Sean Sutton, Thomas Paras, Willie Steenland, and J.D. Johnson. We are a pretty tight-knit group as a senior class in general.
Q: What are you most looking forward to for the Denver trip?
A: Having an opportunity to play a great team in Denver with a chance to compete and get a win is what I look forward to most. Denver is a great team with a great coach so it gives us a great opportunity.
The most-recent win for U-M over St. Joseph's is the second in program history, as U-M previously defeated Mercer for its first win on March 4, 2012, by a 14-4 score. Thomas Paras led the scoring charge with three goals and a pair of assists and now has seven goals and four assists (11 points) in the two U-M wins as a varsity program. Gerald Logan was a main key in the victory, as he stopped 15 shots (eight in the fourth quarter alone). U-M won the ground ball battle 31-22, was 10-of-11 on clears and outshot St. Joe's, 45-32, on the game.
Paras had four goals and an assist against Ohio State on 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). Since returning to the lineup on a full-time basis on against Air Force (March 30), Paras has eight goals and four assists for 12 points in the four-game stretch, including a four-point (3g, 1a) effort against St. Joseph's in the program's first win this season on April 20.
Over the past two games, U-M has turned the ball over a total of 14 times (seven versus Ohio State & St. Joe's). Prior to those games, U-M was averaging 16.5 per contest. The two contests mark the only occasions in program history U-M has turned the ball over fewer than 10 times. The St. Joes contest also marked the second time this season that the Wolverines have won the ground ball battle, (31-22) and was the third time they have outshot an opponent. The five assists (Paras and Jackson, 2, and Riley Kennedy) tied a season best, which was matched on three previous occasions.
Kyle Jackson continues to lead the Wolverines in goals with 17 and is tied for the lead in assists (9) to lead the team in points with 26. Paras is second on the team in goals with 13, while Mike Hernandez, who holds nine assists, is third on the team in goals with 12. Sophomores Will Meter and David McCormack are the other Wolverines in double-digit goals with 10 apiece. Brad Lott has upped his faceoff percentage to 48 percent and is 94-of-147 on faceoffs. Two close defenders in Chase Brown (13) and J.D. Johnson (12) are in double digits in caused turnovers, while Logan leads the team in ground balls with 34, while Brown is second with 29.
In the NCAA Rankings, Logan is No. 2 in saves per game (14.92) and total saves (194). He is also No. 16 in save percentage at 56 percent. U-M's man-down defense is No. 8 in the nation, as it has allowed 12 goals against 47 chances.
Of the 75 goals the Wolverines have scored this season, 46, or 59. 3 percent have come from a newcomer.
Sophomore faceoff specialist Kevin Wylie returns to his home state for the contest after playing his freshman season as Colorado College. He hails from Aurora, located 10 miles west of Denver.
Meter has a point in nine of the 12 games he has played in this season (10g, 5a) and has tallied at least one point in 24 of the 28 games he has played in during his Michigan career. Jackson and Hernandez have at least one point in 10 games this season.
After stopping 15 shots against the Hawks, Logan has now recorded double-digit saves in 12 of 13 contests this season. He has stopped at least 15 shots in eight 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.
Michigan has played the No. 22 hardest schedule in the country, 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. U-M's final ranked opponent is Denver, the No. 5 squad in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Poll.
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.