Game #14: Wolverines to Finish Up 2012 Season at No. 5 UNC Saturday

April 30, 2012

Coach Paul Interview

Saturday, May 5 -- at No. 5 North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.), 7 p.m.
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The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team (1-12) will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., to wrap up its inaugural season on Saturday (May 5), taking on the No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels at 7 p.m. at Fetzer Field. The game will be streamed live on

After being shut out the last two contests, junior Thomas Paras broke his scoreless streak with a pair of scores against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on April 21, with both goals coming in the second half and unassisted. Prior to the scoring draught, Paras led the team in points for the majority of the season and has a season high of six points in the Wolverines' lone win of the season against Mercer on March 4.

Offensive coordinator Judd Lattimore returns to his alma mater as a Tar Heel 2001 graduate. As a player, he was a four-year letterwinner as an attackman/midfielder and was named a preseason All-America selection in 2000. He returned to UNC as an assistant for the 2007-08 seasons after stints at SUNY Geneseo, Delaware and Penn. Lattimore served as UNC's offensive coordinator during that time period.

Against Rutgers, senior Austin Swaney became the first long pole in program history to score a goal. Swaney's score came off a ground ball off a faceoff win by Brian Greiner at goal line extended.

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 (4,458 fans). The previous record of 915 was set against Delaware on April 7. The Wolverines have averaged 1,521 fans per home contest to rank No. 17 in the country.

Against Ohio State on April 14, fifth-year senior Brian Greiner scored goals off faceoff wins at the 5:05 mark in the second quarter 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 three games.

Senior Alex Vasileff ranks No. 43 in the country in shooting percentage, as he has 15 goals on 40 shots (38 percent). As a team, the Wolverines are ninth in the country with a 32-percent mark (106 goals on 334 shots) and are No. 2 in the ECAC in the team statistic behind Denver.

Fifth-year senior Trevor Yealy extended his goal streak to nine games with his pair of scores against Rutgers. Yealy leads the team in points with 25 and has a team-best 24 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 on Feb. 25).

Junior d-pole J.D. Johnson tops U-M defenders with 39 ground balls on the season, while faceoff specialist Brian Greiner leads the squad with 45 after collecting six against Rutgers. Johnson has at least five ground balls in four of the last eight games, highlighted by as season-high eight against Harvard.

After assisting on a Michigan score with 4:38 left in the second quarter against Rutgers, freshman Will Meter has a team-leading 14 assists and is the one of two Wolverines to sit in double digits in the category, along with Willie Steenland. His 14 helpers in 13 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 (twice). Additionally, he has found Alex Vasileff, Thomas Paras, Willie Steenland and Ryan Dutton-O'Hara once apiece. Meter has registered a point in 12 of 13 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 four 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.

Former Apex High School standout Emil Weiss stopped a career-best 18 shots against Rutgers, breaking his previous high of 17 (10 in first half) that he collected against Delaware. Additionally, he registered the first assist of his career on a Trevor Yealy goal against the Blue Hens, making him one of seven goalies in the country to assist on a score this season. The Cary, N.C., native has 70 saves in the past four contests. After missing the first three games of the season, he has started the last nine games between the pipes for U-M.

U-M scored first against Harvard, marking the seventh time in 11 games that Michigan has opened the scoring. The Wolverines have been outscored by narrow margins in the first and fourth quarter, as opponents have outscored U-M 37-27 in the opening stanza. In the fourth quarter, U-M has been outscored 36-29.

Michigan will play four ranked teams this season. Thus far, U-M is 0-3 against ranked teams. U-M will face No. 5 North Carolina in the final game of the season. Loyola is currently ranked No. 3 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 five times this season -- against Detroit (L, 13-9), Penn State (L, 16-9), Bellarmine (L, 13-9), Ohio State (L, 12-9), and Rutgers (L, 13-9). Additionally, the squad has lost a trio of contests by a score of 13-9.


North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels enter the contest ranked as the No. 5 team in the nation with a 10-5 overall record and are 3-2 at home this season. The squad is coming off a 12-9 defeat against No. 7 Duke in the ACC Tournament Championship on April 21. Prior to the defeat, the Tar Heels defeated No. 4 and top-seeded Virginia at UVA's Klockner Stadium by an 11-9 count to advance to the championship.

The offense is led by Tewaaraton nominee Marcus Holman, who is No. 17 in the nation in points and leads the team in goals (27), assists (29) and points (56). Additionally, linemates Jimmy Bitter has 24 goals and 12 helpers, while Joey Sankey has 21 scores and 18 assists. As a team, UNC has outscored its opponents, 174-147, and owns a fourth-quarter scoring margin of 51-40.

Defensively, UNC is allowing 9.80 goals per game and has caused 96 turnovers, while the team's top close defender Mark Staines paces defenders with 37 ground balls. Steven Rastivo has been the man in the cage this season and owns a goals-against average of 9.96 and is stopping 51 percent of shots on cage. He is also second on the squad in ground balls with 50. The Tar Heels are also the No. 4 ground ball team in the nation, averaging a shade under 35 ground balls per contest as a squad.

R.G. Keenan ranks as the No. 7 faceoff man in the country. The senior is winning faceoffs at a 62-percent clip and also leads the squad with 91 ground balls on the year.


April 21: Rutgers 13, Michigan 9
The Wolverines led 5-4 at the half but were unable to hold the advantage in the second half of action and fell to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 13-9. Willie Steenland, Trevor Yealy and Thomas Paras all had a pair of scores in the defeat.

Michigan fought back after a shaky start to the second half to knot the contest at 9-9 with 8:25 left, but the Scarlet Knights went on a 4-0 run to secure the victory. Freshman goalie Emi Weiss made a career-high 19 saves on the season.

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.

The Wolverines held their first annual season celebration banquet on April 26. Trevor Yealy took home the team's Most Valuable Player award as well as Offensive MVP, while Rob Healy won the Defensive MVP Award, Most Improved Player and the Weight Room Warrior Award. [ Complete List ]

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