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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On the Move

SITE UPGRADE ALERT: Now plying my trade at a new url. Change your bookmarks to greatlaxstate.com, tell all your friends, etc.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Next Level - March 21, 2011

Rounding up the performances of Michigan natives in Division 1 ball.

Air Force 8, Loyola 6

  • Tommy McKee (Holt) - Scored 1 Goal on his only shot. Also picked up 1 GB.
Bellarmine 9, VMI 8
  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - Took 3 Shots.
  • Andrew Bulgarelli (Troy Athens) - Won 3 of 7 Faceoffs, collecting 2 GBs in the process.
  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Committed 1 penalty for 1:00.

Bellarmine 10, Robert Morris 18

  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - Scored 1 Goal on 4 Shots. Also picked up 1 GB.
  • Andrew Bulgarelli (Troy Athens) - Won 7 of 11 faceoffs, collecting 4 GBs.
  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
  • Devin Peurach (Brother Rice) - Scored 1 Goal on his only Shot.
Detroit 13, VMI 9
  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 1 of 9 faceoffs.
  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 1 GB.
  • Nick Garippa (Notre Dame Prep) - Caused 1 turnover, and collected 3 GBs. Also committed 2 penalties for 1:30.
  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Started, and scored 1 Goal on 5 Shots. Also recorded an assist, and caused 1 turnover.
  • Scott Harris (Saline) - Scored 1 Goal on 9 Shots, and recorded 2 Assists. Aso committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
  • Jamie Hebden (Brother Rice) - Started, and caused 3 turnovers, picking up 3 GBs in the process.
  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Caused 3 turnovers and picked up 1 GB.
  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Started, and took 5 Shots. Caused 1 turnover and picked up 2 GBs.
  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Joe MacLean (Country Day) - Won 3 of 15 faceoffs, collecting 1 GB. Also forced 1 turnover and committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Scored 3 Goals on 8 Shots.
  • Adam Nolan (AA Pioneer) - Picked up 1 GB.
  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots.
  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Started, and picked up 1 GB.
  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
Georgetown 14, Providence 5
  • Stu Shannon (Country Day) - Took 3 Shots.
  • Grant Fisher (Brother Rice) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
Maryland 15, UMBC 6
  • Joey Fontanesi (Brother Rice) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.

Maryland 11, St. Joseph's 5

  • Joey Fontanesi (Brother Rice) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
Mercer 17, Carthage 13
  • Anthony Seling (Detroit Catholic Central) - Recorded 1 Assist.
Mount Saint Mary's 9, Drexel 15
  • Conor Carey (UD Jesuit) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Brendan Rooney (UD Jesuit) - Committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
Penn State 8, Massachusetts 7
  • Danny Henneghan (Brother Rice) - Won 6 of 17 faceoffs, collecting 2 GBs in the process.
Quinnipiac 9, Hartford 10
  • Mike Gast (Forest Hills Central) - Took 1 Shot.
Sacred Heart 12, Denver 13
  • Tom Sardelli (ND Prep) - Recorded 1 Assist. Also caused 1 turnover and picked up 1 GB.
Stony Brook 9, St. John's 4
  • Graham Adams (Brother Rice) - Scored 1 Goal on 2 Shots.

Stony Brook 8, Towson 9

  • Graham Adams (Brother Rice) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.

If you want to share stats from any other divisions (or if I've forgotten anyone), feel free to do so in the comments.

BYU's Trip to the Mitten

The Cougars of Brigham Young University came to the state of Michigan expecting to build a strong resume for seeding in the MCLA Tournament, but things haven't gone as expected for the men from Provo. Sure, they may not have expected to get a win on Michigan's home turf, but losing by 10 goals probably wasn't what they were looking for. And maybe they were expecting a hard-fought battle with Michigan State, but they were probably also predicting they'd come out on top.

Instead, the Spartans took care of BYU 10-7 on Saturday night in Pontiac, leaving the Cougars with just a game at Central Michigan to salvage their road trip. Though the Chippewas are untested, they bring an undefeated record into the game - something BYU can't say. Wouldn't it be wild if the Chips rode their momentum (and BYU rode theirs) to a win tonight?

Both Michigan and Michigan State have taken advantage of top-flight competition visiting their home (or semi-home, in the Spartans' case) fields this weekend. It could be great for lacrosse in the state of Michigan if CMU can do the same.

It is at this time I wish more MCLA teams would keep and publish full stats like Michigan does, so I could break down the Spartans' win over BYU.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Michigan 20, Pitt 1

Michigan 7-0 (2-0 CCLA). Photo from Official site.

In the MCLA, there's a cavernous gap between the top teams and the rest of the pack. That was on full display last night in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse as the Michigan Wolverines took PIttsburgh to the woodshed, keeping the Panthers off the board for the first 47 minutes of play while running up an 18-goal lead en route to a 20-1 victory.

Any team that visits Ann Arbor is likely to leave with a loss, unless it's a top, top squad. BYU missed their opportunity Friday night, and it's looking like Colorado State and Arizona State (BIG first weekend of April) will be the last teams with a chance to hand Michigan defeat on their home field.


From the game recap, your tempo-free breakdown:

Pitt Michigan
Faceoff Wins 9 Faceoff Wins 16
Clearing 6-23 Clearing 16-19
Possessions 35 Possessions 52
Goals 1 Goals 20
Offensive Efficiency .029 Offensive Efficiency .385

Hide ya kids, hide ya wife, this was an all-around pasting. That defensive efficiency number is the best Michigan has put up this year or last. The offensive efficiency is good-not-great for the Wolverines, but when you win by 19 goals, maybe the precision wanes a bit during the game.

Greiner (9/14) and Ernst (7/11) were both successful on faceoffs, and like I said in the BYU recap, my Official Concern in that aspect of the game is gone until we see a really bad performance. Michigan cleared the ball good-not-great, but they rode the living hell out of the Panthers. A .261 success rate on clears is not just bad, but bordering on obscene.


If not for a slow-paced Michigan offense (which is probably the right thing to do when you can seemingly score at will), this one could have been even uglier. They took their time breaking down the Pitt D.

Ryan Snyder blew up, scoring 4 in his first career multi-goal game. He was playing the Trevor Yealy role on the second line, finishing on the crease. The two players couldn't be much different in stature, with Yealy standing 6-4 and Snyder at 5-7, but Snyder plays a much more physical game than you'd expect from a 155-pounder.

All three goalies played, with Fowler letting in the lone Pitt goal. The Panthers didn't threaten a whole lot, so it's tough to get a read on keeper play.


Official site recap.

Up Next

Wolverines have another weekend double-dip coming up, with #16 Boston College on Friday and #9 UC-Santa Barbara on Saturday. Both games are at 7PM in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse.

Detroit 13, VMI 9

Detroit 2-5 (1-0 MAAC).

The Titans got back into the win column yesterday afternoon by knocking off VMI in the MAAC conference opener. UDM got balanced scoring, with 9 different players finding twine.

The win give the Titans a good start in conference play, and keeps NCAA Tournament hopes in the "realistic possibility" category.


From the box score, your tempo-free breakdown.

VMI Detroit
Faceoff Wins 20 Faceoff Wins 4
Clearing 11-17 Clearing 13-17
Possessions 41 Possessions 29
Goals 9 Goals 13
Offensive Efficiency .220 Offensive Efficiency .448

As I predicted in the game preview, the Titans were killed on faceoffs by a very good VMI faceoff man in Stephen Robarge. Brandon Davenport actually didn't take the majority of the draws for UDM, as Joe Maclean went 3/15.

The Titans sliiightly made up for the struggles on faceoffs by doing a pretty good job on the ride, holding the Keydets to a 65% success rate. However, Detroit didn't win this game because they were able to have about the same number of possessions.

They won it, in fact, because they were brutally efficient on offense, scoring on almost half of their possessions. Considering VMI had 59% of the possessions in the game, holding down their efficiency (they scored on fewer than a quarter of the possessions) was a big key as well.


As noted above, the scoring was spread across several UDM players. Chris Nemes led the team with 3 goals, and Ty Maruyama and Shayne Adams had two apiece - with Adams also contributing a pair of assists to lead the team with 4 total points. Scott Harris had a goal and a pair of assists.

Jamie Hebden and Brad Janer led the team with 3 caused turnovers, and LSM Jordan Houtby was the GB king with 6 ground balls. In goal, AJ Levell went the distance saving 14 shots and allowing 9 goals.

As noted above, I predicted Detroit would struggle on faceoffs, and they came through for me. Brandon Davenport went 1/9 and Joe Maclean won 3/15 draws. Without seeing the action, it's tough to say whether wing play or the faceoff specialists are behind the struggles.


The official site's recap lives here, and the boxscore is here. A couple postgame videos. Coach Holtz:

Player of the game Ty Maruyama

Usually such videos aren't posted until much to late to make the recap. Hopefully this new trend will hold up.

Up Next

The Titans will travel to Jacksonville to take on the Dolphins on Saturday. JU is 3-5 on the year, and opened conference play with a 12-8 victory over Canisius.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Michigan 16, BYU 6

The Wolverines faced by far their stiffest competition of the young season last night, and walked out of Oosterbaan with a 16-6 pasting of rival BYU - despite not having played that well.

Par for the course for your annual National Champions.


From the game notes, your tempo-free breakdown.

Brigham Young
BYU Michigan
Faceoff Wins 10 Faceoff Wins 16
Clearing 12-25 Clearing 16-26
Possessions 45 Possessions 55
Goals 6 Goals 16
Offensive Efficiency .133 Offensive Efficiency .291

Michigan played a good faceoff man, and Brian Greiner mostly owned him. There were many more scrambles for the loose ball than there were clean wins, but I would guess Greiner had a marked advantage on both kinds. Michigan's play on the wings (primarily by Yealy and A-heim) was outstanding.

In the clearing game, Michigan's ride continued to prove that nobody has "figured out" the 10-man ride, or any of the Wolverines' other riding schemes. Michigan's clear was shaky early in the game (both teams had trouble getting settled offensive possessions through most of the first quarter), but managed to get settled as the game wore on.

In efficiency terms, Michigan's offense was decent-not-great, which is very good when considering the quality of opposition. The BYU offense sputtered all game, and aside from a few times when Michigan's defense got a little sloppy with a big lead, they were going to get maybe 2 or 3 quality scoring chances.


The offense was led by the usual suspects, with Chad Carroll (3-1-4), Joey Hrusovsky (2-2-4), and Trevor Yealy (3-0-3) near the top of the leaderboard. A little more surprising was the presence of freshman Doug Bryant tied for the lead in points with 3-1-4. Bryant opened the scoring with a nice lefty bull dodge and a solid finish, and recorded his first hat trick as a Wolverine. Carroll and Yealy both showed off more speed than I'm used to seeing from them, with Carroll outrunning the entire BYU midfield and defense on an unsettled situation, and Yealy continuing to impress starting as a wing midfielder on faceoffs.

So, with all the talk about the attack, the lack of top-end talented depth in the midfield might stick out like a sore thumb, but... 16 goals against one of the nation's best defenses. Q.E.D. If the young midfield progresses over the course of the season, they should complement an already-potent Michigan offense by the time the tournament rolls around.

As for the defense... newsflash: it is really good. The 2nd- and 3rd lines played better than they did against Florida (in my opinion), though the top line wasn't the terrorbeast we know it's capable of being in any given game. I'm willing to bet, based on 3+ years of evidence, that it was just an aberration. For all the (deserved) accolades that Harry Freid gets, I actually thought Austin Swaney was the best player on the field for either team. The fact that Michigan gets to have both on their team is just unfair.

I mentioned above that the faceoff performance exceeded my expectations, and it's worth pointing out again that I think Brian Greiner is rounding into really good form. Michigan isn't going to dominate like they have in the past, but any worries I had about faceoffs being a liability are completely gone. Trevor Yealy and Matt Asperheim are exceptional at picking up the GBs in traffic, as well.

I mentioned earlier that Michigan struggled early on clears - though both teams did in the first quarter, due to some seriously physical play. A couple unforced turnovers hurt the numbers quite a bit, but Michigan should be able to clean those up. Making smarter decisions under pressure is where further improvement will come from.

BYU had a midfielder who was easily the biggest lacrosse player I've ever seen in person. He was listed on the roster as 6-6 235, but I wouldn't be surprised if his actual weight was closer to 260. As for other observations of the Cougars, it was definitely interesting to see a team totally unused to struggling do so. It was clear they hadn't faced any serious level of adversity in 2011 yet. If they had, maybe Michigan's opening run would have been more like 3-0 or 4-0 than 9-0.

Up Next

Pitt Panthers. 7PM tonight. Oosterbaan Fieldhouse.

Get it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Detroit Weekend Preview: VMI

The Titans return to action tomorrow, opening up conference play against Virginia Military Institute. Everybody is 0-0 in MAAC play, so an NCAA Tournament bid is still possible for the Titans, despite a disappointing start to the season.


Saturday 1PM, Titan Field
Record: 2-4 (0-0 MAAC)
Rankings: #46 (Computer).
Common Opponents: Mercer (W 15-3), Bellarmine (L, 8-9).
Previous Meeting: 2010 Regular Season (11-8 UDM win).


The Keydets have started 2011 2-4, with the lone wins coming over a pair of completely hapless programs in Mercer and Presbyterian. Most of their losses, on the other hand, have come against very good competition (aside from an 8-9 loss to Bellarmine).

The problem is, aside from the Bellarmine loss, the Keydets haven't really been competitive in any game. They lost 8-14 to Navy, 6-12 to Army, and 6-22(!) to Virginia. Based on what we've seen out of this team so far, they are not very good.


Keith Long is by far the most important player to the VMI offense. He has 20 points, leading the team in both assists (11) and goals (9). Tied atop the goal standings is Leonard Drew, with 9 of his own, but only 3 assists. The team's third-leading point-getter is Mickey Hofmeister, who only has 2 goals, but has dished out 9 assists - in only 3 games.

Defensively, Rory Dillon is a key player for VMI. He leads the team with 10 caused turnovers this season, though he only had 12 ground balls to go along with that. Kyle Hofstetter and Chris Kitchen have also started every game. Hofstetter is something of an enforcer, leading the team in penalties committed.

In goal, Kelly McMinn has started every game, and played all but about an hour between the pipes. He sports a .521 save percentage, and allows 11.5 goals per game.

Faceoffs are a strong point for VMI, as everybody who's taken even a single draw for the Keydets has won more than half of his attempts. Stephen Robarge has taken the most faceoffs, and has won nearly 65% of them.


Detroit hasn't been a terribly inefficient team with their possessions this year, and it seem like VMI is a pretty weak squad defensively, and just OK offensively. There should be the opportunity for Shayne Adams and Scott Harris (the conference's reigning Offensive Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively) to find twine a few times. The defense should be able to, at the very least, keep a non-potent offense in check enough to give the team a chance to win. While we're talking Adams and Harris, check out a Titans video interview with Scott:

It's not efficiency that's killed UDM in most games this year, however, it's getting possession. VMI is an excellent faceoff team, though they haven't yet faced a team winning at a greater than .500 clip this season (nor will they against the Titans). That makes the ride/clear game very important, and the Keydets are bad on the ride, and quite good on the clear.

Taking advantage of the clearing game and not getting obliterated on faceoffs are going to be huge keys for Detroit in this game. Finishing the opportunities they do get shouldn't be an issue with the talented offensive players.

I think Detroit will emerge victorious, 13-9.