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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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Michigan(s) Weekend Preview: BYU and Pitt

Big weekend for the Wolverines, as they return home after four consecutive home games. A rival squad visits Oosterbaan Fieldhouse, as well as a conference opponent.


Friday, 7PM, Oosterbaan Fieldhouse
v. Michigan State Saturday 7PM, Ultimate Soccer

Record: 8-0 (1-0 RMLC)
Rankings: 3 (adidas), 4 (Prodigy), 4 (LaxPower), 8 (Computer).
Common Opponents: Loyola Marymount (W, 16-12)
Previous Meeting: 2010 MCLA Tournament (16-11 M win, 8-13 Michigan State loss).


BYU has roared out to an 8-0 start to their 2011 season, with notable wins over Loyola Marymount (16-10), Simon Fraser (16-8), Minnesota Duluth (11-10), and Colorado (11-7). In between, they've treated the Sisters of the Poor like, well, the Sisters of the Poor.

They've played about an equally-difficult schedule to Michigan at this point, though the Wolverines haven't gotten quite as far into the easy portion of their slate. What's lacking from BYU's schedule so far? Away games. Though they won at Loyola Marymount (as did Michigan) and Claremont, they haven't played top-flight competition in a true road game.


The Cougars' roster has been wracked by attrition since last year. Midfielder Elliot Grow (the 2010 squad's leading scorer) and LSM Elliott Grow were 1st-Team All-Americans, and both have graduated, as has 3rd-Team All-american defender Dan Crawforth. Honorable Mention all-American Kent Mann (the team's second-leading scorer last year) is not listed on the Cougars' roster, though I don't know why - possibly an LDS mission.

So who is going to carry the torch for Brigham Young? Junior midfielder Andrew Harding was a 3rd-Team All-American last year, though he hasn't produced much in the scoring column this year. The Cougar offense is led by a trio of junior attackmen and a pair of senior midfielders. Junior attack Ted Ferrin was an Honorable Mention selection last year, and is the team's leading scorer so far this season, averaging 5.75 points/game, evenly split between goals and assists. His fellow attack Corey Gunderson is second on the team in points at just over 3/game, though he's more of a scorer than a distributor, and Drew Shumway is fourth on the squad just over 2ppg. Senior midfielders Tyler Monteath and Dan Cole have 3 and 2 points per game, respectively.

On the other end of the field, junior defenseman Jacob Houghton was 2nd-Team All-conference at midfield last season, but is listed on the current roster as a defenseman. Junior Neil Wallace was Honorable Mention All-Conference at short stick defensive midfield last year. Sophomore LSM Grayson Dahl is near the top of BYU's ground ball stats, along with junior defenseman Tyler Sabey.

In goal, the Cougars graduated a successful goalie in Will Hilton (a 2nd-Team All-Conference player in 2010), and redshirt freshman Wes Goar has gotten the majority of the time between the pipes. Goar is allowing just 4.625 goals per game with a .651 save percentage.

On faceoffs, Dan Cole is BYU's main guy, and he's winning around 65% of his draws so far this year. He was 2nd-Team All-Conference last year, and Michigan might struggle against him.


BYU v. Minnesota-Duluth highlights. BYU v. Colorado Highlights:

BYU vs. CU Lacrosse from megan houghton on Vimeo.


Saturday, 7PM, Oosterbaan Fieldhouse
Record: 2-1 (1-0 CCLA East)
Rankings: NR, 52 (Computer).
Common Opponents: None
Previous Meeting: 2008 Conference Tournament (24-3 M win).


Pitt has competed in just three games against MCLA D-1 competition, but that doesn't mean they haven't played much yet. They also have scrimmage "wins" over D2 Seton Hill, DIII St. Vincent's, and club teams from Youngstown State, Robert Morris, and Grove City (MCLA D2).

So what have they done against MCLA D-1 teams? CCLA East squad Toledo was an 11-1 victim of the Panthers, and Pitt split a pair of road games in Florida. They were crushed by UCF 9-22 and rebounded with a 10-8 win over South Florida.


Pitt didn't have a lot of individual honors last year, and their top two All-Conference selections (2nd-Team Attack Rob Musgrave and 3rd-Team Defender Andrew Stypula) are no longer on the roster - though Stypula is now an assistant coach. Honorable Mention Attack Peter Tumbas now plies his trade as the head coach of Indiana's MCLA squad, leaving Honorable Mention goalie Chris Gorham as the only All-Conference player left on the roster.

So, the junior is playing great, right? Well, he is saving 65% of the shots he faces, but that's only good enough for a GAA of 10 per game. The defense in front of him... it is not so good.

Speaking of that defense, a pair of defensive midfielders, juniors Nick Ruff and Elliott Clakeley, are near the team lead in ground balls (though Ruff takes faceoffs, so his numbers require a grain of salt), and junior defensemen Jordan Kepner and Cameron Mallory are right up there as well.

There's not quite the same mess offensively. Sophomore Attack Tyler Novotny leads the scoring with 4 points per game (with very few assists), and freshman attack Alex Powell and junior midfielder Chad Kinslow each average 2.25 points for game, with junior attack Chris Roy not far behind at 2.

On faceoffs, a number of Panthers have taken draws, with junior Matthew Pham the most frequent participant, and also one of the most successful, winning 66%.With Michigan's faceoff issues, there could be a liability there. On the other hand, the competition for Pham probably hasn't been great, so we'll have to wait and see.


Michigan hasn't faltered yet this year (though they came close against Oregon), and I doubt their return to Oosterbaan Fieldhouse against a big rival is going to be the game that it happens. BYU has put up good-not-great offensive numbers against teams that aren't nearly as good on defense as Michigan, and the road atmosphere isn't going to help. As for Pitt, they are unproven (or rather, they have proven to be not very good), and shouldn't even be competitive against a team of Michigan's caliber. Wolverines beat BYU 15-9 on Friday, and follow it with a 21-6 beatdown of Pitt the following night.

As for Michigan State, I think their program has made huge strides, but is not quite on BYU's level yet. If they can pull the upset, they'll be sitting in a great position to earn an at-large bid to the MCLA Tournament. 13-11 Cougars over Spartans.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lacrosse Waxing, Waning

Be forewarned: Some of this is only tangentially related to the state of Michigan.

If you've ever been around a lacrosse community on the internet (or even in real life), you're well-aware that most people firmly believe lacrosse is on the upswing at the varsity level in college. Well, that's not always the case. Within the past week, two schools have announced that they'll be shuttering their NCAA programs soon.

Going Down

I'll go in reverse chronological order, with NCAA Division-2 Grand Canyon ending its lacrosse program. The problem for the 'Lopes (yes, the abbreviated version is their official team name) is that they're between divisions:

The decision to eliminate men's lacrosse came amid discussions by the university to initiate a transition to the NCAA Division I level... "There is just really nothing out west in the Division I market besides the University of Denver and the Air Force Academy, so there was a really depleted field of competition for us," said Baker.

It's a shame that a school trying to go Division-1 would cause them to have to drop a lacrosse program, but it is what it is until there are more programs west of the Mississippi, much less the Rockies. As a new entrant to the lacrosse community (first season: 2008, as an MCLA program), hopefully a smooth transition to Division-1 will be followed by another shot at lax - as of now, they're exploring fielding a partially-funded MCLA program.

The other school dropping its lacrosse program is Division-1 Presbyterian. Though most lacrosse fans are focused on D-1 expansion, contraction is a real factor as well.

Presbyterian College is a member of the Big South Conference, which does not include men's lacrosse as a conference sport and, according to officials, is not expected to add it in the future. This was the overriding reason that the college decided to drop men's lacrosse as a varsity sport, Reese said.

That's disappointing, especially since there had been lots of recent talk about restructuring conferences in Division-1 to form a sort of Southern Conference, with the likes of Jacksonville, Mercer, High Point, Bellarmine, and VMI combining with Presbyterian to form a geographically-sound league (High Point and VMI also happen to be Big South-affiliated schools).

Presbyterian's current players will continue to receive their grants-in-aid until the end of their now-hypothetical NCAA eligibility, or they will be free to transfer to another Division-1 institution without penalty.

Coming Up

On the other end of the spectrum, there is still expansion happening (i.e. Marquette) and possible (Nobody in particular) in Division-1. The coach of one of Division-1's most recent additions, Detroit's Matt Holtz, took part in an Inside Lacrosse podcast about program-building.

In it, he talks about what it was like for the Titans as they started their program, the response from the community, and how it feels to be the new kids on the block (Not Those New Kids On The Block). There's also some good discussion on growth in the midwest and Michigan specifically. I would be remiss not to mention what Holtz says about the potential of Michigan joining the ranks of Division-1 in the near future:

Holtz: "It'd be absolutely phenomenal for the sport in the State of Michigan. You're right, I am a Michigan State guy; I'd love to see Michigan State bring back their NCAA program, but [Michigan going varsity] is a first step."

"For us, we're excited: I think it'd be great. You know, I think Coach Paul's done a phenomenal job with his MCLA team down there, and you know, he deserves it, and it's just a matter of 'can they pull the trigger,' can they get the money together is the biggest issue right now. And obviously adding another... adding a BCS school would be phenomenal. The last BCS school to add was Notre Dame."

While I'm on my podcast-linking game: of course Michigan coach John Paul talking about the potential for the very same thing (relevant portion transcribed here). In other IL podcasts relating to nascent programs, the head men of Jacksonville and High Point Universities talk about what it's like to be new programs - not unlike Holtz's interview.

Don't forget, of course, that Marquette will expand the sport's footprint in the midwest, starting with the 2013 season.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Next Level - March 14, 2011

I'll be following these guys over the course of the year. I'd love to cover all divisions (and even the MCLA), but there are only so many hours in the day. If you want to share stats from other divisions, feel free to do so in the comments.

Air Force 4, Fairfield 6
  • Tommy McKee (Holt) - Started, but only committed one turnover.

Air Force 6, Hofstra 11

  • Tommy McKee (Holt) - Scored 1 Goal on 1 Shot.
Bellarmine 8, Maryland 12
  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - Scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots.
  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Picked up 1 GB.
  • Andrew Bulgarelli (Troy Athens) - Won 4 of 5 faceoffs, and committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
  • Devin Peurach (Brother Rice) - Recorded 1 Assist and took 1 Shot. Also picked up 1 GB.
Bellarmine 10, Harvard 21
  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - Took 2 Shots, picked up 2 GBs, and caused 1 turnover.
  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Andrew Bulgarelli (Troy Athens) - Won 6 of 14 faceoffs, collecting 3 GBs. Also caused 1 turnover.
  • Devin Peurach (Brother Rice) - Scored 2 Goals on 7 Shots, and picked up 1 GB.

Bellarmine 9, Hartford 14

  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - Took 2 Shots.
  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 3 GBs.
  • Andrew Bulgarelli (Troy Athens) - won 5 of 13 faceoffs, picking up 6 GBs. Also took 1 Shot and recorded 1 Assist.
  • Devin Peurach (Brother Rice) - Scored 1 Goal on 2 Shots.
Detroit 8, Mount St. Mary's 12
  • Nick Garippa (Notre Dame Prep) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Scott Harris (Saline) - Started and scored 4 Goals on 12(!) Shots. Also recorded 1 Assist.
  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Collected 1 GB.
  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Started and took 1 Shot.
  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Lost his only faceoff, but collected 2 GBs. Also recorded 1 Assist and took 1 Shot.
  • Joe MacLean (Country Day) - Lost his only faceoff.
  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Played but only committed 1 turnover.
  • Jamie Hebden (Brother Rice) - Started and picked up 6 GBs. Also caused 4 turnovers and committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Scored 1 Goal on 2 shots, and recorded 1 assist. Lost all 3 faceoff attempts, and picked up 1 GB.
  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Scored 1 Goal on 4 Shots, and recorded 1 assist. Also picked up 1 GB.
  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 4 of 15 faceoffs, collecting 2 GBs. Caused 1 turnover and committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Started, but only committed 1 turnover.
  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Caused 2 turnovers and picked up 1 GB.
  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Started and recorded 4 Shots. Picked up 1 GB.
Detroit 13, Robert Morris 14 (OT)
  • Nick Garippa (Notre Dame Prep) - Took 1 Shot.
  • Scott Harris (Saline) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 7 Shots, and recorded 3 Assists. Caused 3 turnovers and picked up 2 GBs.
  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots.
  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 2 Shots, and recorded 1 Assist.
  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 3 GBs. Also committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
  • Joe MacLean (Country Day) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 2 GBs.
  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Caused 2 turnover and picked up 1 GB.
  • Jamie Hebden (Brother Rice) - Started and picked up 3 GBs.
  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Scored 1 Goal on 4 shots, and recorded 1 assist. Lost his only faceoff attempt. Caused 1 turnover and picked up 3 GBs. ALso committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Score 3 Goals on 12(!) Shots, and recorded 1 assist. Also picked up 1 GB.
  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 16 of 29 faceoffs, picking up 2 GBs. Scored a Goal on 1 Shot.
  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Started and caused 1 turnover.
  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Caused 2 turnovers and picked up 4 GBs. also committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Started and recorded 1 Shot.
Hofstra 11, Air Force 6
  • Michael Hamilton (Brother Rice) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 1 GB. Also committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
Maryland 12 Bellarmine 8
  • Joe Fontanesi (Brother Rice) - Played, but only committed 1 turnover.

Maryland 8, Towson 4.

  • Joe Fontanesi (Brother Rice) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
Mercer 7, Sacred Heart 17
  • Anthony Seling (Detroit Catholic Central) - Took 2 Shots and picked up 2 GBs.

Mercer 5, Duke 18

  • Anthony Seling (Detroit Catholic Central) - Took 1 Shot.
Mount Saint Mary's 12, Detroit 8
  • Brendan Rooney (UD Jesuit) - Started and picked up 3 GBs.
  • Conor Carey (UD Jesuit) - Took 3 Shots.

Mount St. Mary's 16, Jacksonville 9

  • Conor Carey (UD Jesuit) - Took 2 Shots.
Notre Dame 10, Denver 9
  • Jake Marmul (Detroit Catholic Central) - Won 9 of 14 faceoffs, collecting 3 GBs.
Ohio State 11, Lehigh 7
  • Conor David (Brother Rice) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.

Ohio State 9, Albany 11

  • Conor David (Brother Rice) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 2 GBs.

Penn State 5, Villanova 17

  • Nick Dolik (Brother Rice) - Recorded 1 Assist and took 3 Shots.
  • Danny Henneghan (Brother Rice) - Won 5 of 20 faceoffs, collecting 2 GBs.

Penn State 11, Rutgers 6

  • Nick Dolik (Brother Rice) - Took 3 Shots,
  • Dany Henneghan (Brother Rice) - Started and won 12 of 21 faceoffs, collecting 8 GBs.
Sacred Heart 11, Manhattan 6
  • Tom Sardelli (ND Prep) - Took 1 Shot and picked up 2 GBs.
Stony Brook 14, Delaware 9
  • Graham Adams (Brother Rice) - Took 2 Shots and picked up 1 GB.
Villanova 17, Penn State 5
  • Joe Payne (Brother Rice) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
Georgetown 8, Syracuse 9 (OT)
  • Stu Shannon (Country Day) - Recorded 1 Assist and took 3 Shots.

Georgetown 15, Harvard 16

  • Stu Shannon (Country Day) - Started, and scored a Goal on 3 Shots, also recording an assist. Caused 1 tunover and picked up 1 GB.

Robert Morris 14, Detroit 13

The Titans continue to show serious signs of a breakthrough, with a pair of 1-goal losses (including one to ranked Ohio State) on the season. However, as they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. You don't play for the moral victory, you play to win the game. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it out to this game, although I had been planning to do so.

The Titans almost pulled off the feat against Robert Morris, coming from three goals behind in the fourth quarter to tie the game with more than seven minutes to go. However, they squandered opportunities to end the game in regulation (including a 2-man advantage), and allowed a Colonial goal with 1:35 left in overtime to end the contest.

I get the feeling that this is going to be a particularly painful tempo free section...


From the official box score, your tempo-free breakdown:

Robert Morris
Robert Morris Detroit
Faceoff Wins 14 Faceoff Wins 16
Clearing 16-24 Clearing 18-22
Possessions 42 Possessions 46
Goals 14 Goals 13
Offensive Efficiency .333 Offensive Efficiency .283

Actually, that wasn't truly painful at all. Where the Titans have been getting owned on possession all year long, they managed to have the advantage both at the faceoff X and in the clear/ride game. The only place they lacked was efficiency, but in a 1-goal game, the small-ish sample size is going to make the stats look much more skewed than they actually are. Had the Titans gotten the goal in overtime, they would have had an efficiency advantage.

In such an evenly-matched game, nothing is going to jump out from the raw efficiency numbers (aside from from the fact that Detroit didn't get destroyed in a few of the metrics), but the pace of the game was pretty quick, especially since both teams had pretty good success on the clear.


Scott Harris and Shayne Adams (predictably) led the team in scoring, along with Tim Lehto. All had 4 points, with Adams and Lehto doing it on 3 goals, whereas Harris had 3 assists. A much more well-rounded offensive production than we've seen in the past couple weeks. 7 other Titans had a single goal each.

Defensively, Jordan Houtby caused the most turnovers for UDM, which we're accustomed to seeing by this point. He caused 4 Colonial turnovers, and scooped up an outstanding 10 GBs. Harris was the only other Detroit player to cause multiple turnovers, with a career-high 3.

AJ Levell went the distance between the pipes, making 11 saves and allowing 14 goals in 62:25 for the overtime loss.

The Titans should continue riding Brandon Davenport on faceoffs, as he was a pretty good (for the low expectations, at least) 16/29. He's going to keep struggling when he faces top competition, but there probably won't be too much of that from here on out.


Official site recap. Box score. Robert Morris site recap.

Up Next

The path becomes much easier for Detroit from here on out, as they enter MAAC play. They'll take on VMI on Saturday at home to kick off conference play.

Michigan 15, Ohio 5

The Wolverines didn't play well in Athens, Ohio on Saturday, but as is often the case when playing CCLA opposition, that didn't prevent them from getting a win against the Ohio Bobcats.

The bench was (sort of) emptied early in the game, and a 9-2 Michigan lead at the half only grew to 15-5 by the end of the game. Trevor Yealy led the team with 6 goals. Let's get on to the...


From the official recap, here's your tempo-free breakdown.

Ohio Michigan
Faceoff Wins 6 Faceoff Wins 19
Clearing 9-34 Clearing 13-21
Possessions 48 Possessions 65
Goals 5 Goals 15
Offensive Efficiency .104 Offensive Efficiency .231

As expected against teams without an established strength on faceoffs, the Wolverines were able to get the vast majority of draws against OU. Part of that seems to be due to playing Trevor Yealy on the wing, as he's not just a finisher, but (like a great crease attackman should be) also very skilled at picking up GBs in traffic.

The ride generally has success against all levels of competition, but is designed to dominate the less-skilled opposition - basically the non-Chapman, BYU, Arizona State, Michigan State-types of the world. Dominate it did, allowing the Bobcats to clear barely more than a quarter of their attempts.

By definition, then, Michigan dominated the ball, with nearly 60% of the possessions in a very fast game (113 total possessions). Of course, part of the reason for that speed was sloppy play, as both teams turned it over a ton - Michigan's 37 giveaways was a season high. A poor clearing rate against a bad team is a little worrisome, but it can hopefully be chalked up to a 1-game struggle.

Lots of possessions and only a meager goal total means that Michigan's efficiency is not very high, though they also held Ohio to a very poor efficiency themselves. Lower efficiency isn't a big concern in games where the 3rd and 4th lines are getting time, as long as it means there's no threat of losing the game. The efficiency margin (offensive efficiency minus opponent's offensive efficiency) was still a healthy .127.


Oh, hai Trevor Yealy. 6 points on 6 goals certainly looks like he's settling back into the familiar "finisher" role after spending much of the early season working on other aspects of the game, playing the wing and working as a dodger/distributor more than in the past. Tom Paras added 4 goals of his own.

According to someone who was in attendance, the lack of playmakers in the midfield is going to be a struggle this year. For all of Michigan's very talented attackmen (especially with Ryan Dutton-O'Hara back to full health), they really need someone to step up from the first couple midfield units. Jeff Chu is a full-time midfielder now, and maybe the little jitterbug can open things up with dodging ability.

Defensively, Michigan's defense got caught ball-watching for a couple of Ohio's goals, giving up the backside post for the Bobcats to get an easy finish. I'm not sure whether the top couple D-lines were guilty of this, or whether it was mainly backups. Either way, that's something that can't happen against more skilled teams, because BYU and Arizona State, for example, will be able to consistently turn those looks into goals.

In goal, the top two guys played the first half, with Mark Stone allowing no goals (though from the sound of things, Ohio hardly even got the ball into the box in the first quarter), and Andrew Fowler allowing a pair in the second. Sophomore Cy Abdelnour played the entire second half, and let in 3 goals with 3 saves.

JP talked about the team's substitution pattern with the official site:

On a lot of young guys seeing action: “We played everyone that was healthy and Cy got to play the entire second half. We gave guys an opportunity to faceoff who haven’t had that chance this year and they did well. We went deep beginning in the second quarter, so it’s not like anyone got garbage time. Everyone had a real chance to show something and get some quality time.”

Playing deep into the bench leads me to believe that there's no reason to be concerned with some of the problems noted above.

As for those faceoffs, Brian Greiner won 5/6, while Joey Hrusovsky(!?) and Andrew Hayden each were a perfect 3/3. Edward Ernst continues to struggle a bit, winning only 8 of 13 draws (.615). That's no terrible number, but considering what the others were able to do, it's no great shakes either.

Up Next

Michigan has a pair of home games this weekend, welcoming rival BYU to Oosterbaan Fieldhouse Friday at 7, and Pitt on Saturday at the same time. If you aren't headed down to Jow Louis Arena, you can catch almost all of Friday's lacrosse game before catching the CCHA semifinals on TV.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Michigan Weekend Preview: Ohio

Since the Ohio University is new to the MCLA this year, we don't have a recent history to draw upon to know how good the Bobcats will be. Thus, the entire Ohio University body of work in the MCLA is as follows:

Ohio University 2011
Opponent Result
@ Georgia W 9-5
@ Auburn L 12-13

They had a game against Tennessee canceled, and have also lost to Ohio State's club team (an NCLL - i.e. non-virtual-varsity team). Those results are good enough to land them at #21 in Laxpower's computer rankings.

Tennessee is winless in 5 games this year, mostly against bad competition, while Auburn has racked up a 5-2 record against poor competition themselves. The SELC - composed mostly of SEC and ACC teams - is a traditionally very weak conference outside of a few strong teams at the top.

Players to Watch

The Bobcats have six players averaging two points/game or better through their first two MCLA games, led by junior midfielder Harrison Hess (3G, 4A) and senior attack Jon Hoelzel (3G, 3A). Senior attack Brett Killian is a designated finisher, with 4 goals but no assists so far on the year.

The Bobcats' page on MCLA.us has no stats outside of scoring, so it's tough to say who the important defensive players are for OU, and how they've performed on faceoffs.

Their goalie is junior Michael Moretti, who has 18 goals against and 39 saves, for a .684 save percentage.


Like most CCLA conference games (against teams other than Michigan State) have been in the recent past, this should be nothing short of a cakewalk for the Wolverines. Ohio allowed more goals to Auburn than any other other MCLA team has aside from a pitiful LSU squad, and scored fewer on Georgia than anybody else. This is not a good team.

The Bobcats are due for a rude awakening against the poster boy for well-oiled virtual varsity squads, with the best offense, best defense, most frustrating ride, etc., of any team they'll see this season.

This should serve as little other than a tune-up for Michigan's top couple lines, before the Wolverines welcome BYU and Pitt to Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. At least four Michigan players will get hat tricks, and Ohio won't get on the board until the game is well in-hand late in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats will finish less than .500 on their clears, as Michigan cruises to a 28-2 victory.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Penn 7, Lafayette 6

I was in Philadelphia last weekend, so although I wasn't able to cover the world of Michigan lacrosse, I was able to tae in my first-ever Division-1 game. Allow me a self-indulgent post for some pictures and thoughts.

On a cold night at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, the Quakers took on Lafayette. The boys from the Ivy league built a decent lead in the first couple quarters (I believe it was 6-2 at one point) before Lafayette made a comeback, and kept the game close in the end.

Franklin Field is such a cool facility - it's the former home of the Philadelphia Eagles and current home of Penn's 1-AA football team - though I'd been there before, so that was no surprise. It's not going to win any awards for modern or efficient design, but considering that it was built in 1895, I won't nitpick. Couple interesting notes: 1) The game was free, and I'm certain that the security guard was confused as to why I was asking him where to put my money 2) The press box is open not only to the elements, but also the upper concourse on the West side. I'm sure Eagles fans were throwing batteries at their least favorite journalists back in the 60s (pictured at right).

There were fewer people at this game than your standard (or even sparsely-attended) Michigan game, though I'm sure the chilly weather had something to do with that. Still, when the opponent is less than 1.5 hours away driving, I'd expect a little more fan presence.

As for what I noticed about the players, I was surprised to see a top-25 team (Penn was ranked #9 at the time) composed almost entirely of players that were smaller than most of Michigan's guys.

Size isn't everything, of course. Every short stick had better stick skills than all but the best of Michigan's guys - and maybe even better than some of them. Also, basically every player on Penn's team had a harder shot than all but the best (for my money, it's Carroll) on Michigan's team.

The athletic ability was about even with Michigan's team, I'd say. Their quickest guys weren't the tiny jitterbug types that Michigan's are, so they maybe had a better size/speed combo at some positions.

In all, a fun experience.

Mount St. Mary's 12, Detroit 8

Detroit 1-6. Photo from Official Site.

The Titans went down early, but showed moxie to mount (no pun intended) a comeback on the road, bringing the game to a 6-all tie in the third quarter at The Mount yesterday afternoon.

However, it was all Mountaineers from there, as they closed out the third with three straight goals, and outscored UDM 3-2 in the fourth to earn their first win of the season.

As MSM hadn't won a game on the year, and is far behind Detroit in Laxpower's computer rankings even AFTER the win, this can be qualified as nothing less than a bad loss at this point in the season.

Without further ado,


From the official box score, your tempo-free breakdown:

Mount St. Mary's
Mount St. Mary's Detroit
Faceoff Wins 18 Faceoff Wins 4
Clearing 10-15 Clearing 12-19
Possessions 40 Possessions 28
Goals 12 Goals 8
Offensive Efficiency .300 Offensive Efficiency .286

By now, you know the story. Especially in recent games, the Titans have been adequate or better on the efficiency margins, but have been absolutely destroyed in terms of possession.

The faceoff spot, which looked like it would be at least decent to start the year, has devolved into a horrorshow against competent competition. Prior to this game, Mount St. Mary's was winning at a .521 clip. They won 81.8% against Detroit. That is not good enough to win lacrosse games.

The clear game is also a weakness for UDM, particularly lately. That needs to turn around if they want to get wins against competent opposition (and I imagine they do).

Fortunately, good competition will be scarce for the rest of the year, so there's a good chance to pad the win column, especially in-conference against MAAC teams.


Scott Harris did the Shayne Adams thing, pouring in goals (4), and also notching an assist. For his own part, Adams scored a single goal on 8 shots. Matt Gregson and Tim Lehto each scored a goal and an assist for multi-point performances.

Brandon Davenport got killed on faceoffs, but unlike the other four guys who took a draw, at least he won 1 (all the way up to 4!). Something is just not right with faceoffs. They've tried cycling through a few FOGOs, does something need to be done on the wings? Anything?

Jamie Hebden led the team defensively with four caused turnovers and 6 ground balls. Jason McDonald caused 3 turnovers and picked up 1 GB. Jordan Houtby tied for the team lead with 4 caused turnovers, but also led the team with 4 penalties for 4:00. I've never seen anyone foul out of a lacrosse game, but he was close.

No surprise, AJ Levell went the distance between the pipes. He made 7 saves and let in 12. I imagine he wasn't getting a ton of help on D - especially considering 3 Mount St. Mary's goals came on the man-up.

For the opposition, Andrew Scalley had a 6-point day, split half-and-half between goals and assists. 5 other Mountaineers had multi-point games.


Detroit recap. Mount St. Mary's Recap. Box Score.

Up Next

As mentioned above, the rowing gets a little easier for UDM going forward. They face another Northeast conference team on Sunday, but this time at home. It's another Sunday doubleheader for the Titans, as the women face off at 2.

After Sunday, all of UDM's remaining games are against MAAC competition.

Lehigh 13, Detroit 9

Detroit 1-5.

This game happened more than a couple days ago, so I won't preface it too much: The Titans lost to Lehigh in their home opener. We'll figure out why by starting with the...


From the box score, here's your tempo-free breakdown.

Lehigh Detroit
Faceoff Wins 18 Faceoff Wins 6
Clearing 9-12 Clearing 10-26
Possessions 46 Possessions 35
Goals 13 Goals 9
Offensive Efficiency .283 Offensive Efficiency .257

The Titans seem to have found some things that work on the offensive and defensive ends of the ball. They're improving in efficiency, and doing so against teams that are not only competent, but actually good.

So, it's the possession that sucks. Detroit got pasted at the faceoff X, and put up what is probably the worst clearing rate I've seen in a single game (Michigan games against the Purdues of the world notwithstanding). They managed 11 fewer possessions in a game played at only slightly above-average pace.

As previously noted, they did almost as well with those possessions as Lehigh did. You can't win games if you can't control the ball.


Brandon Davenport was pretty bad on faceoffs, winning only 5 of 16... but that made him the best of the 6 guys who took one (aside from maybe Matt Gregson, who won 1 of 3, but sample size definitely comes into play there). I think it might have been a mistake to go away from him, and almost certainly a mistake to cycle through so many guys instead of trying to let your #1 play into form.

Shayne Adams has emerged as an excellent scoring threat, putting in 4 goals against Lehigh. Having a regularly dangerous offensive threat will help the Titans pull themselves out of the depths of terrible efficiency.

Defensively, Jamie Hebden and Max Zwolan each caused 2 turnovers, but Hebden more made up for it by committing 4 of his own. It seems like he was a big part of UDM's troubles clearing.

A lot of the reason the game was close had to do with Lehigh taking its foot off the gas (the Titans scored 5 of the final 6 goals), so don't read toooo much into an ultimately competitive score.


Detroit Recap. Lehigh Recap. Box Score. Also: I recently noticed this, so apologies for not doing so quicker. UDM has a Youtube channel. NO highlights from this game up yet, but there is an interview with Jordan Houtby and Shayne Adams after their MAAC player of the week honors from a week ago.

Up Next

The Titans next played Mount St. Mary's (last night). Recap forthcoming ASAP.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Michigan 11, Chapman 8

Michigan faced their toughest test of the young season on Saturday night, facing a top-5 team in Chapman. This game also took place in "Chapman Stadium" which, believe it or not, is on the campus of said Opponent. So: Toughest opponent of the year, check. Toughest environment of the year, check. Hail to the Victors sung at end of game, check.

The game streamed on CollegeLax.tv, but I was getting about 2 frames per second at best, which is useless (I assume this was a traffic issue, because I watched most of the Michigan State v. Sonoma State game the next day, and a game with much less national interest streamed fine). In addition - and this is well beyond CollegeLax's control - the guy announcing the goals was far more interested in honing his awful radio voice than, you know, saying the score of the damn game.

Basically what I'm trying to get at here is that I didn't watch the game live. I got a chance to re-watch, and my comments are after the...

Tempo Free

From the Michigan recap, your tempo-free breakdown:

Chapman Michigan
Faceoff Wins 15 Faceoff Wins 8
Clearing 13-20 Clearing 18-19
Possessions 36 Possessions 34
Goals 8 Goals 11
Offensive Efficiency .222 Offensive Efficiency .324

Obvious things first: Michigan got destroyed(-ish) on faceoffs, winning barely more than a third of their draws. Chapman's faceoff specialists is purported to be one of the nation's best, so if this is how the Wolverines perform against the best, very few will give them such a tough time.

Brian Greiner (6/15) had considerably more success than Edward Ernst (2/8), confirming what I think we've already seen so far this year: Greiner is the starter on faceoffs. I think he also brings a little bit more to the table offensively on won faceoffs, as well.

So, Michigan gets killed on faceoffs, but doesn't have so many fewer possessions than Chapman? Chalk it up to the ride, which held Chapman to 65% success, while Michigan's clearing game was near-perfect on the day. Against a skilled team like Chapman, that's a definite win.

With approximately even total possessions, Chapman's 3 fewer goals is obviously going to mean their efficiency isn't very high. Someone who was in attendance told me that was mostly due to some poor decisions to shoot from the outside.


In case you haven't noticed by the fact that they're abusing some solid defensive teams (the Wolverines' best efficiency number against a top-25ish team last year was .404 against BYU in the tournament, but that's the only time they cracked .300), this is a very good offense. There's the obvious talent of players like Yealy, Carroll, and Paras, but also insane depth. Alex Vasileff stepped up and played really well against the Panthers - and a number of other players could do the same if called upon.

As for that depth, Ryan Dutton-O'Hara has been limited with injuries, but there has been very little dropoff. It sounds like the coaching staff is experimenting with some different lineup options to find the right one - and possibly make the offense even more potent on the whole.

The defense is verrrry solid. I wish other MCLA teams kept official-type stats with better regularity and consistency, so I had something to compare to. However, with people telling me "Chapman took bad shots," I'm willing to chalk at least some of that up to the Wolverine D being tough to figure out and/or just beat man-to-man.

Perhaps the biggest problem defensively was Chapman's success on faceoffs: The Panthers won a number cleanly, giving them a quick fast break. Once again, that's a bigger problem in the faceoff department than defensively.

From the sounds of things, Stone had a great first half. Fowler came in for the standard 3rd-quarter substitution, and didn't have quite the success, saving only 4 while letting in 6 goals (including a bad one or two). Since the keepers have been trading off with a better performance, I don't expect the rotation to end any time soon - and with a couple weaker opponents up next, don't be surprised if Cy Abdelnour gets some time between the pipes as well.

I was out of town all weekend, but I promise Detroit recaps are coming later this week as well.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Next Level - March 7, 2011

Light on content early this week, as I'm out of town. Hopefully I'll get caught up with the weekend's MCLA/NCAA action when I get back home.

Air Force 16, Manhattan 10

  • Tommy McKee (Holt) - Led the team in scoring with 6 Goals on just 7 Shots. Also collected 5 GBs.

Air Force 7, Jacksonville 10

  • Tommy McKee (Holt) - Started and recorded 1 Shot. Also picked up 2 GBs.

Bellarmine 6, Loyola 9

  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - Started and took 1 Shot. Also picked up 1 GB.

  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Picked up 2 GBs and committed 1 penalty for 30 seconds.

  • Andrew Bulgarelli (Troy Athens) - Won 5 of 9 faceoffs, picking up 1 GB.

  • Devin Peurach (Brother Rice) - Played, but only committed two turnovers.

Detroit 9, Lehigh 13

  • Nick Garippa (Notre Dame Prep) - Committed 2 penalties for 1:00.

  • Adam Nolan (AA Pioneer) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.

  • Attack Scott Harris (Saline) - Started, and scored a Goal plus 2 Assists. Caused a turnover, picked up a GB, and committed 1 penalty for 0:30.

  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Scored 1 Goal on 1 Shot. Also picked up 1 GB.

  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Started and took 1 Shot on goal. Also picked up 1 GB.

  • Tyler Corcoran (South Lyon) - Took (and lost) one faceoff.

  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Recorded 1 Assist and 1 Shot. Also picked up 3 GBs.

  • Joe MacLean (Country Day) - Took (and lost) one faceoff. Also picked up 2 GBs and recorded 1 Shot.

  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Took (and lost) one faceoff. picked up 1 GB.

  • Jamie Hebden (Brother Rice) - Started and led the team with 6 GBs. Also caused 2 turnovers and committed 1 penalty for 1:00.

  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Won 1 of 3 faceoffs, picking up 1 GB. Also took 2 shots (both on goal).

  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Scored 1 Goal on 4 Shots. Caused 1 turnover.

  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 6 of 16 faceoffs, collecting 3 GBs.

  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Started, and caused 2 turnovers. Also picked up 2 GBs.

  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Caused 1 turnover.

  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Scored 1 Goal on 5 Shots.

Mercer 1, Yale 22

  • Anthony Seling (Detroit Catholic Central) - Picked up 1 GB.

Mount Saint Mary's 3, Towson 11

  • Brendan Rooney (UD Jesuit) - Caused 2 turnovers and picked up 1 GB.

  • Jonathan Marsalese (UD Jesuit) - Took (and lost) 1 faceoff.

  • Conor Carey (UD Jesuit) - Took 2 Shots.

Notre Dame

  • Jake Marmul (Detroit Catholic Central) - Won 3 of 5 faceoffs, collecting 2 GBs.

Ohio State 6, Penn State 5 (3OT)

  • Conor David (Brother Rice) - Caused 1 turnovers and picked up 2 GBs.

Penn State 5, Ohio State 6 (3OT)

  • Nick Dolik (Brother Rice) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 7 Shots. Also picked up 2 GBs.

  • Danny Henneghan (Brother Rice) - Won 6 of 17 faceoffs, collecting 4 GBs.

Sacred Heart 7, Dartmouth 9

  • Tom Sardelli (ND Prep) - Took 2 Shots.

Stony Brook 13, Marist 7

  • Graham Adams (Brother Rice) - Started, scoring 1 Goal and 1 Assist.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Detroit Weekend Preview: Lehigh

The Titans open their stadium against Lehigh tomorrow at 2:00, the second half of a double-header (and part of a can drive organized by team parents), as the women take on UC-Davis at 11AM. The Titans technically had a home game in their 19-3 win over Mercer last weekend, but it took place at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac.

Following the game against Mercer, freshman attack Shayne Adams and sophomore LSM were named the MAAC offensive and defensive player of the week, respectively.

The Schedule

The Mountain Hawks have started out 2-1, losing the game they were expected to, and winning the two games against lesser competition. Alas, there are very few schools out there for whom Detroit does not qualify as "lesser competition."

Lehigh started off with a 16-7 victory over St. Joe's (winless on the season), before falling on the road at Villanova, by a narrow 8-9 score. Villanova is a pretty strong team out of the Big East, so the close margin is encouraging for Lehigh.

In their most recent game, the Mountain Hawks beat a 1-3 Navy team at home, by a 14-10 score. The Midshipmen's three losses are all against good competition, and all by close scores.

Players to Watch

Lehigh is led in scoring by sophomore attack Dante Fantoni, with 7 goals and 6 assists on the year. Not far behind is senior midfielder Jonathan Stmupf, with 5 goals and 4 assists on the season.

Next, the Mountain Hawks have a trio of players who are primarily finishers, in junior attack Adam Johnston (7 goals, no assists), sophomore attack David DiMaria (6 goals, 1 assist), and junior midfielder Cameron Lao-Gosney (5 goals, 1 assist).

Defensively, Lehigh is led by senior Richard Bradley and sophomore Baxter Lanius, tied for the team lead with 3 caused turnovers. Bradley is joined by junior Blaise Fullen and Freshman Ty Souders on the starting D.

Sophomore Dan Carr is the primary starter between the pipes. He has a .469 save percentage on the year, and has played all but 44 seconds for the Mountain Hawks.

Lehigh is an excellent faceoff team, with sophomore Ryan Snyder (not that Ryan Snyder) winning an incredible 73.9% of his draws. He should abuse UDM's faceoff men all game.


Though the on-campus home opener might provide an emotional boost for the Titans, the competition they're facing is much better in almost every facet. They will get destroyed on faceoffs, and perform worse than the Mountain Hawks in the clear/ride game, too.

On top of that, Lehigh has some very skilled players on offense, as well as a solid defense. They should be a more efficient team than the Titans as well.

In the end, I see Detroit doing well early in the game, but as the excitement of the home opener wears off, they'll struggled, and eventually be dominated. 14-6 in favor of Lehigh.

Michigan Updates

First things first, collegelax Oregon cult hero BHSvideodad has put up his video recap of the Michigan-Oregon game:

Oregon vs Michigan Lacrosse 2011 from Claude Lyneis on Vimeo.

From the looks of things, the Ducks were beneficiaries of a couple goals that you could either consider "lucky" or "soft" in the second quarter. The Michigan D was giving a whole lot up, and a couple less-than-staller shots from the porch managed to find their way into the net.

The Michigan comeback looked a lot like business as usual. My lack of extreme concern following the game seems to be warranted.

Equally important News

I shared this on Twitter, but the Michigan-Chapman game (definitely the biggest non-conference away contest of the regular season) will be streamed like on collegelax.tv tomorrow at 1PM PST. That's 4:00 real-life time, which means if you're posted up on your couch watching the Michigan State-Michigan basketball game, fire up the laptop when it's over and see a marquee MCLA contest.

Apparently Also Important News

The team got new helmets last night:

As a non-gear dude, I'm all like "whateva," but according to 412 Lax, this is A Big Deal. The main thing I noticed is that the side vents screw up the iconic winged pattern:

I guess I'm just no fun. Hey, the team apparently really likes them (per the Twitter machine), so more power to them.


On my way out of town last night, I ran across the Michigan State lacrosse team waiting to board their flight to Portland. I fired off a quick "beat Fraser," but I think those who heard me were mostly surprised that someone at the airport 1) knew who they were and where they were going and 2) would wear a block-M jacket and also wish them luck. They were in the process of getting onto their plane, and I was magically floating past them on a moving walkway, so I didn't get a chance to stop and chat.

Potentially going to my first-ever Division-1 game tonight (Lafayette @ Penn), so I'm pretty excited for that.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Michigan State Weekend Preview: Simon Fraser, Sonoma State, Oregon

Big set of games this weekend for the Spartans, as they try to prove their season-opening win over Florida was no fluke (though with a 1-goal win over Georgia and a loss to Tennessee, the Gators may just be out to prove it themselves). Michigan State wants to continue making strides after earning an at-large bid to the MCLA tournament in 2010, and this weekend can go a long way to taking that next step.

Simon Fraser

Simon Fraser has had plenty of success in recent years, but this season hasn't gotten off to a great start. The Clansmen are 1-2 with the sole win coming over MCLA-2 side Western Washington (who is 0-5). Historically weak Utah earned a win against SFU last weekend, and BYU pounded the Canadians in Provo, 16-8.

A pair of sophomores lead Simon Fraser in attack Colton Dow and midfielder Stuart Miles. Junior midfielder Rick Bezuidenhout joins those two in averaging over 3 points per game. 5th-year Ben Johnson and freshman Max Weselowski split time on faceoffs, with Johnson having more success to date. Sophomore Kyle Middletown is the starting goalie.

Simon Fraser has a tiny roster, with only 19 guys on the squad. Michigan State has developed some decent depth over the past few years, and if they can tire out the Clansmen they have an excellent shot at victory.

Sonoma State

The Seawolves have started 3-0 this season, but haven't really impressed, outside of a 19-1 pasting of Portland State. This is the sort of game Michigan State must have if they want to prove they're ready to take the next step.

Sonoma State only has stats up from their first game (which you may recall was a 19-1 victory), so it's tough to say who their real key players are. Four different Seawolves put up at least four points against Portland State, including senior attack Casey Wood, who had 3 goals and 5 assists.

The Seawolves will take on Oregon Saturday before the game against the Spartans on Sunday. This game will be streamed on Collegelax.us if you want to watch it.


At this time, it's tough to say what the Ducks will do from here on out. They should be able to get into the win column on Saturday against Sonoma State, but does that mean they were playing weak competition, or that they are turning around their season? Since the Michigan game, they've lost to Chapman. They play Sonoma State on Saturday.

For more previewin' of the Ducks, take a look at what I wrote when Michigan was about to play them.


As I'm writing this, it feels like every paragraph about MSU starts with "if Michigan State wants to take the next step..." but at this juncture, that's the storyline for a Spartan program that wants to prove it's on the rise, not content to always (and forever) be Little Brother.

So, If Michigan State wants to take the next step, a 3-0 record this weekend would be a huge boost toward achieving that goal. As it is, I can see them dropping a game that they probably shouldn't, as well. Allowing them one loss this weekend (probably against Oregon) is fair, and I see the Spartans coming out 2-1 on their trip to the Northwest.

Michigan 12, Loyola Marymount 2

The Wolverines were back in form in Los Angeles last night, keeping Loyola Marymount off the board for the first 59 minutes while putting up 12 of their own to get the 10-goal win.

LMU hasn't been a high-scoring team so far this season, but for the Wolverines' top two defensive units to keep a perennial top-25 squad completely off the board is impressive in itself.

Someone who was in attendance let me know that, had this game been played on better field conditions (apparently Leavey Field's grass was pretty torn up), it could have easily been double the score. Another contributing factor was a slow pace of offense by LMU, possibly to keep the margin a bit more respectable.

Tempo Free

From the Michigan recap, here's your tempo-free breakdown:

Loyola Marymount
Loyola Marymount Michigan
Faceoff Wins 5 Faceoff Wins 12
Clearing 10-20 Clearing 17-22
Possessions 30 Possessions 44
Goals 2 Goals 12
Offensive Efficiency .067 Offensive Efficiency .273

The Wovlerines haven't faced an elite faceoff specialist yet (as far as I know), so it might be a little early to say, but... they certainly are going to hold their own, if not dominate. Brian Greiner (10/12) has been a huge revelation there. Edward Ernst (2/5) was OK, but it sounds like he didn't play until late in the game.

In the ride/clear game, it seems like Michigan's ride is up to its old tricks. LMU had a terrible time getting the ball out of their own end, and though Michigan didn't get many of their goals on broken clears, it certainly helped them dominate possession.

In terms of efficiency, Michigan wasn't particularly good (though certainly better than they were against Oregon), but they just destroyed the Lions' offense on the other end of the field. Truly a dominating performance.


Starting on the offense, it was a more balanced effort than the first couple games have been. Tom Paras led with a 2-1--3 scoring line, while Trevor Yealy and Willie Steenland each potted two goals, and Joey Hrusovsky and Chad Carroll had a goal and an assist each.

The Wolverines made the standard halftime switch of the keepers, with Stone getting the start and making four saves, while Fowler let in both goals, but made 8 saves. Someone who was in attendance let me know that Fowler looked VERY good, making several excellent saves before the final minute. "They deserved the shutout," said he of the goalies.

As mentioned above, Michigan's depth players got a fair amount of time. Second and third units were in the game before halftime, as this one was never in doubt.

I mentioned him above, but Brian Greiner deserves a shoutout for not only his excellence on faceoffs, but also a great goal. He scored the GB on one of his many faceoff wins, charged past a couple defenders, and finished the play by putting it in the net.

Up Next

The Wolverines play their biggest game of the young season at #3/5 Chapman. Though the Panthers lost Connor Martin from last year's team, they're a strong squad, expected to be a national contender this spring. This game may be streamed on Collegelax.tv, so keep an eye out.

If Michigan can get the road win, they're set up to have a very good shot at the #1 seed in the MCLA tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Michigan Midweek Preview: Loyola Marymount

After escaping with a double-overtime victory against Oregon on Saturday, the Wolverines are bound to rebound with a better performance against Loyola Marymount. There should be many fewer distractions for Michigan, and I don't think the opponent will be as hungry.

This brings us to Loyola Marymount. The Lions were ranked #16 in the preseason, moved up to 15th after winning their first game, but dropped down to 21st following a 2-game losing skid. They rebounded with a victory, but have not re-entered the polls. The game takes place tonight at Leavey Field (Google Map) on the Loyola Marymount campus.

The Schedule

LMU's first game was a 9-3 victory over San Diego State. The Aztecs are 1-3 on the season, and haven't yet cracked double-digit goals. Against their most comparable competition to Michigan, they lost 23-5 to Arizona State. For LMU to play them as close as they did is no impressive feat.

LMU first ended up on the wrong side of the ledger this year in a 10-16 loss to BYU. The Cougars, unlike SDSU, are a very strong team, off to a 5-0 start. Loyola Marymount is the only team to hit double-digits against BYU so far this season, but it sounds like most of the Lions' goals came against the backup BYU D.

In their following game, the Lions dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Santa Clara, 8-9. The Broncos are 5-1 to start the year, though LMU is by far the the biggest pelt in their trophy case (they also beat Oregon, but we're already familiar with the Ducks' struggles around here). This game played out like the Michigan-Oregon game, with Santa Clara playing the comeback role.

LMU finally rebounded against USC, earning a 9-7 win on the road. However, the Trojans are 0-5 on the year, and that's the closest margin of defeat they've been dealt all season.

So, what does LMU's schedule to-date tell us? They're an OK team, but they probably aren't going to challenge for any serious honors this year unless they can improve over the course of the season. Early in the year is probably a good time for Michigan to catch them.

Players to Watch

Magnus Karlsson (!!!!) is LMU's primary offensive threat. He's averaging a hat trick per game, along with an assist. The senior midfielder had his best all-around game against LMU's best competition, nothing 3 goals and 2 assists against BYU.

Junior attack Chase Parlett is a serious scoring threat, as he has 9 goals on the season - but he only has one assist to go along with it. Based on the stats, he's more of a finisher than anything. UPDATE 2:35PM: Parlett is out for this game anyway.

Sophomore midfielder Nolan Smith averages a goal and an assist per game. Attacks Max Zeff and Evan Snively and midfielder Travis Abraham are the other Lions averaging at least 1 PPG.

On the other end, seniors Nick Roessler and Marc Napp are the cornerstones of the LMU defense. Napp was a third-team All-American last year. It appears that freshman Michael Hanover plays an important role in the defensive midfield, based on stats alone.

In goal, senior Henry Bradley has gotten some time, but it appears that freshman Connor DeVane is The Guy. He's averaging 9 goals against per game, with a save percentage of .650.

No word on the faceoff situation for LMU, which should be a key for many Michigan games this spring. From the sounds of things, the Lions' clear hasn't performed well in the early season, and that's an area Michigan is always keen to take advantage.


UMGoBlog's Josh Hagerman previews the game. The official site's blog of the trip is up to day 5.


I'd almost go so far as to give the team a mulligan for the Oregon game, as they had transportation issues and weird weather to contend with - and the Ducks had more to prove than maybe any team in the nation. Of course, the coaching staff and players aren't going to give themselves a mulligan for a questionable performance, and they've undoubtedly been preparing as though that game was a loss.

Because of that, I don't think we're due for a second letdown game in a row. LMU seems to have its fair share of issues, and Michigan's coaching staff and players are more than capable of taking advantage. I expect to see a 17-4 Wolverine victory.

High School Pre-Previews Drop

Lax.com recently published "Midwest Maturing," a mini-preview post of high school lacrosse in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio (HT: 412 Lax). Of course, part of this is relevant to us. Their top three teams in the state:

Brother Rice

Can anyone in Michigan stop the Warriors? In 2010 Brother Rice cruised to an 8th straight state title and are the front-runners once again. The Warriors’ dominance in their home state alone is quite an accomplishment in itself, but don’t forget that the 2010 season also brought them another Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Association championship, a conference which includes some of the best teams from Michigan, Ohio, and western Pennsylvania. The rest of the state will have to step their game up, considering no one in Michigan has beaten Brother Rice since 2002.

Detroit Central Catholic

The Shamrocks are heading into 2011 after finishing last season with a loss to Brother Rice in the state championship. While Brother Rice might be the best tem in Michigan right now, Central Catholic has the best chance at upsetting the Warriors this season. The Shamrocks will be tested early on in the season with match ups against Western Reserve Academy of Ohio and Culver Academy from Indiana.

Forrest Hills Eastern

The Hawks close out the pre-season top three in the state of Michigan. An early exit in last season’s state playoffs will still be lingering as they try to climb to the elite ranks of Michigan high school lacrosse. While a lighter schedule should favor them when it comes down to playoff seedings, the Hawks will need to stay focused to avoid another disappointing finish this season.

They go further than that, also pointing out a trio of players to watch:

Bennet Packer, M, Brother Rice MI, Committed to Delaware, Sr.

Alex Van Slyke, A, Forest Hills Eastern MI, Not Committed, Sr.

Mitch Burgin, A, Detroit Central Catholic MI, Not Committed, Sr.

"Bennet" Packer thinks Lax.com needs to invest in some proofreading staff, for what it's worth. As does Detroit Catholic Central. And anyone who's ever been near a forest.

Without taking alllllll of Lax.com's content, here are the top three teams in each state:

Ohio - Upper Arlington, Worthington Kilbourne, Dublin Jerome.

Indiana - Culver Academy, Saint Joseph's South Bend, Indianapolis Cathedral

Illinois - New Trier, Loyola Academy, Stevenson

Michigan teams will have a few chances to prove their mettle against these teams, and earn respect across the midwest. Brother Rice, Catholic Central, and Country Day all have games against some of this competition.

From another publication, Inside Lacrosse's preseason Midwest Power Rankings have Brother Rice #1 and Detroit Country Day (!?!?!?!?!) at #9. I'm somewhat new to following high school lacrosse in the state, but judging by the minor meltdown on the MLive forums, something's wrong with the Jackets that high.

Special thanks to Clark Bell for the oh-so-appropriate photo. If you're interested in in purchasing lacrosse photos from him, you can do so at his smugmug site.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Birmingham Lacrosse Shorts

This is far from a gear blog, but when a local team is going to wear something unique, I'd be remiss not to mention it. Check out the shorts Birmingham will be wearing this spring, from Lacrosse Playground (HT: 412 Lax):

Prettay, prettay sharp, though some people are well over the argyle trend. Click through to Lacrosse Playground to see Seaholm's (er... Birmingham's) King 3 gloves as well.

Poll Watchin' - March 1, 2011

Detroit is (rather obviously) not included in the Division 1 polls (Nike/Inside Lacrosse and USILA Coaches'), but a couple opponents are:

Team Nike/IL USILA
Ohio State 14 12
Maryland 3 3

UDM lost to the Buckeyes by a slim 3-4 margin, and Maryland blew the Titans out 4-16. Those are the only opponents, past or future, listed, so UDM will likely have an easier go of things as the season goes on.

Onto the MCLA polls. This is a little kinder to teams from Michigan. The adidas MCLA Lax Mag poll has the Wolverines at #1 and Michigan State at #7. The Prodigy MCLA Poll (the one used to determine the field for the MCLA tournament) has the teams in the same order.

There's some (legitimate) griping about Oregon's inclusion on 412 Lax. The Ducks moved into the top-25 thanks to losing competitive game to Michigan and Chapman - probably not the way things should work.