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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Next Level - Feb 28, 2011

Your weekly roundup of how players from Michigan performed in Division-1 lacrosse.

Air Force 6, Vermont 9
  • Tommy McKee (Holt) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
Bellarmine 10, Delaware 11 (OT)
  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - Took 2 Shots.
  • Andrew Bulgarelli (Troy Athens) - Won 5 of 10 faceoffs and and picked up 2 GBs.
  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 1 GB.
  • Devin Peurach (Brother Rice) - Scored 1 Goal on 1 Shot and picked up 1 GB.
Mercer 4, Jacksonville 24
  • Recorded 3 Shots and picked up 1 GB.
Detroit 19, Mercer 3
  • Nick Garippa (Notre Dame Prep) - Caused 1 turnovers and picked up 1 GB. Also committed one penalty for 1 minute.
  • Scott Harris (Saline) - Started and scored 2 Goals on 9 Shots. Also added 2 assists. Picked up 3 GBs.
  • Adam Nolan (AA Pioneer) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Scored 1 Goal on 2 Shots. Also picked up 1 GB.
  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Picked up 1 GB and took 3 Shots.
  • Tyler Corcoran (South Lyon) - Won 4 of 5 faceoffs.
  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Won 0 of 1 faceoffs and picked up 1 GB. Also committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
  • Joe McLean (Country Day) - Won 5 of 7 faceoffs, picking up 4 GBs. Also took 1 Shot.
  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 2 Shots. Also picked up 3 GBs.
  • Adam Parrottino (De La Salle) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Jamie Hebden (Brother Rice) - Started, picked up 4 GBs, and took 1 Shot. Also caused 1 turnover, and committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
  • Danny Kransberger (Forest Hills Central) - Played 28:06 in goal. Saved all 6 Shots on goal he faced.
  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 4 Shots. Also recorded 1 Assist.
  • Mike Brown (Troy Athens) - Played 1:54 in goal, and made 1 Save.
  • Nick Schesnuk (De La Salle) - Took one shot on goal.
  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Started and took 3 Shots, all on goal. Also picked up 1 GB.
  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 7 of 11 faceoffs, picking up 3 GBs. Also scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots (all on goal).
  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Caused 1 Turnover.
  • Drew Schupbach (Orchard Lake Saint Mary's) - picked up 1 GB.
  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Scored 2 Goals on 2 Shots.
Mercer 3, Detroit 19
  • Anthony Seling (Detroit Catholic Central) - Took 2 Shots, and recorded 1 Assist. Picked up 4 GBs, and committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
Georgetown 8, Maryland 20
  • Stu Shannon (Country Day) - Picked up 1 GB.
Mount Saint Mary's 6, Virginia 22
  • Brendan Rooney (UD Jesuit) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Jonathan Marsalese (UD Jesuit) - Won 1 of 4 faceoffs.
Notre Dame 6, Penn State 2
  • Jake Marmul (Detroit Catholic Central) - Won 1 of 4 faceoffs.
Ohio State 9, UMass 11
  • Conor David (Brother Rice) - picked up 1 GB.
Penn State 2, Notre Dame 6
  • Nick Dolik (Brother Rice) - Started, and took 5 Shots (3 on goal). Also picked up 2 GBs.
  • Danny Henneghan (Brother Rice) - Started, and won 7 of 12 faceoffs. Picked up 2 GBs.
Sacred Heart 9, Marist 8
  • Tom Sardelli (ND Prep) - Recorded 3 Shots and 1 Assist. Also picked up 1 GB.
Stony Brook 10, Virginia 11 (OT)
  • Graham Adams (Brother Rice) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
If you have any suggestions for improving the format, or if I've missed on any Michigan native who played in the past week, drop a line in the comments.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Detroit 19, Mercer 3

Detroit 1-4. Photo from Official site.

As I said in the preview, this game ending in anything other that a Titan win would have been very bad news for UDM. They did me one better though, blowing out first-year program Mercer at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac.

It was a day of many records for UDM. Freshman Shayne Adams set a Detroit record with 7 goals in the game, and the team's 19 scores were the most in the program's brief history. Mercer's 3 goals were the fewest ever allowed to an opponent. Sophomore LSM Jordan Houtby set a program record with 11 ground balls.

It was an all-around pasting, so let's get straight to the...

Tempo Free

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

Mercer Detroit
Faceoff Wins 10 Faceoff Wins 16
Clearing 19-24 Clearing 19-22
Possessions 37 Possessions 43
Goals 3 Goals 19
Offensive Efficiency .081 Offensive Efficiency .442

Before looking at the box score, I had assumed that the Titans completely dominated possession, both at the faceoff X and in the ride/clear game. So, to look up the stats and see that this was not the case (they had only a slight advantage in possessions), but rather the Titans were ridiculously efficient in both ends of the field is a surprise.

Of course, just like it's expected for a nascent program to have problems in the possession game, poor efficiency is also a common characteristic of young teams. So, Mercer... yeah, they had that. Even as inefficient as Detroit was, they never even approached an efficiency of .100, much less well below that.


I mentioned the record-setting day in the opening paragraphs, but it's important to give credit where it is due: Shayne Adams and Jordan Houtby both had excellent individual days, leading to the best game ever played by a Detroit team. But yes, strength of competition plays a big role in that as well.

Aside from Adams, multiple-goal scorers for the Titans included Alex Maini (3), Scott Harris (2), and Chris Nemes (2). The Titans continue to score a lot of their goals unassisted, as only 8 of their 19 tallies came on a helper. Harris and Ty Maruyama were the only multiple-assist guys with 2 apiece.

The Titans broke out of a poor shooting streak by putting 37 of their 51(!) shots on the cage, and scoring on 19 of those, for a very good .373 shot percentage.

Remember, the Titans are without their best two offensive players from last season, who are sitting out this spring to focus on academics. If Joel Matthews and Tyler Staruch were available... would this actually be a kinda-good team? A horrifically inefficient performance against Ohio State probably could have swung the Titans' way with a couple more weapons.

Three goalies saw time in net for UDM, with AJ Levell getting the start and the win, allowing all three Mercer goals. Danny Kransberger came in at halftime, saving all 6 shots on goal he faced, and Mike Brown had 1 save in the 2 minutes of the game.

Up Next

The Titans are in action again next Sunday in their true home opener. They'll face Lehigh at 2PM, the second part of a double header, as the women take on UC Davis at 11AM. Lehigh beat Detroit 21-9 last season.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Michigan 9, Oregon 8 (2OT)

Michigan 2-0.

Phew. Oregon has had a rocky start to the year, and the Wolverines did not want to be the team that helped them turn it around (a la Colorado last year). The Ducks led by 4 goals at halftime and after the third quarter, and the Wolverines had to dig deep to complete the comeback.

They tied the game at 8 with three minutes left, and even had a chance to win it in regulation, but Tom Paras's shot couldn't find the net. Chad Carroll atoned for the miss in the second overtime period, scoring the game-winner on an assist from Joey Hrusovsky.

Tempo Free

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

Oregon Michigan
Faceoff Wins 6 Faceoff Wins 14
Clearing 13-24 Clearing 20-28
Possessions 38 Possessions 53
Goals 8 Goals 9
Offensive Efficiency .211 Offensive Efficiency .170

The Wolverines ended up with a hefty advantage in possession, but according to someone who was at the game, that wan't the case through three quarters. In the fourth quarter, they turned up the intensity and managed to control the ball without throwing it away in the rain.

Similar story on faceoffs. Edward Ernst was unavailable, so the Wolverines had to live and die by Brian Greiner. That didn't go so well to start the game, but he dominated the fourth quarter, which helped settle the team.

Michigan was inefficient despite their possession advantage (again, sounding a lot like last year's Colorado game), playing sloppy in bad weather. The 10-man ride was broken a few times, and I'm not sure whether Oregon's trouble clearing (they only finished .542 on clears, to Michigan's .714) came after Michigan switched away.


There's never a great excuse for a team of Michigan's caliber to struggle out of the gate, but if ever there was one, this was it. The Wolverines' bus got to the game site less than half an hour before the faceoff, so there was very little time for the team to warm up and get accustomed to the rainy conditions.

From the sound of things, Oregon could have built a bigger lead when Michigan was struggling early in the game, but their offense still hasn't quite hit a groove, and they don't have the easiest time putting the ball in the net. That follows from what we heard about the Ducks' struggles in their first two games. If they were a better offensive team, the lead could have been insurmountable.

The Ducks were able to keep Trevor Yealy from having a good day offensively, but Chad Carroll was able to step it up with four goals - including the overtime winner. I came away from the Florida game impressed with the power on his shot, and he was placing them in the corners last night as well. This Michigan team has so many offensive weapons that it's impossible to completely shut down the offense by taking away Yealy (which was possible last year). Carroll on the offense:

"Coach Paul told us to keep running our offense, you know, and keep doing things we’d been doing. He was really positive about the things we were doing on offense, we just weren’t necessarily capitalizing on our opportunities."

The goalies split time in the net, with Stone allowing 7 goals and collecting 5 saves. Fowler only allowed the Ducks to find the back of the net once, while making 6 saves. Without seeing the game, it's hard to say whether Fowler played that much better, if Oregon's finishing attempts on him were worse, or if the Michigan defense just stepped it up bigtime in the second half. Probably a mix, as the e-mailer who was in attendance said Oregon got "a few bad goals from outside" in the first half, and the defense was "completely shut down in the fourth. Oregon barely got looks on cage." Coach Paul on the official site:

"We made a planned goalie change, and Fowler just happened to have a great second half. Stone had a pretty good first half too."

At the end of the day, every team is going to have a game here and there where they struggle. This seemed like a perfect storm (no pun intended) for the Wolverines, and it's far better to struggle in a win than to lose the game.


The official site has your game recap and boxscore, in addition to a travel blog from days 1 and 2.

Up Next

According to the official site, today is the team's only day off from lacrosse on this trip. They'll get back to the grind tomorrow, and next take the field on Wednesday against Loyola Marymount. I'll preview the Lions as that game approaches.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Detroit Weekend Preview: Mercer

The Titans have started 2011 0-4, and look to turn things around against first-year Division-1 program Mercer at Noon Saturday at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac. The Bears have had struggles of their own early this season, as they've lost lopsided games to Ohio State, VMI, and Bellarmine, no titans of the sport themselves (though the Buckeyes impressed in a victory over North Carolina last weekend).

All told, this should be the easiest win of Detroit's entire season (fingers crossed). Neither team is particularly good at lacrosse, but Mercer is far, far worse.


The Bears are led offensively by Alex Baird (4G), Cole Branch (3G, 2A), Brett Eisenmann (3G), and John Avent (2G, 1A). Branch has scored his 3 goals on 16 shots (.187 shooting percentage) which is pretty awful, but much better than teammate Joey Ugast who has just one goal on the same number of shots (.062).

On faceoffs, the Bears are terrible. Shockingly bad. They are winning a god-awful 22% of their draws. I... I can't even describe how bad that is. Jake Polo has emerged as their best man at the X, winning 40% (he also leads the team with 13 GBs). With Detroit's competence on faceoffs, they should win a comfortable number against Mercer.

Justin Bateman has gotten the lion's share of time between the pipes, but Dillon Volk is coming on strong, and has better numbers than Bateman three games into the year. He played the entire second half against Bellarmine, and don't be surprised if he gets his first start on Saturday.


So, in case I haven't made it clear, Detroit should win this game. If they don't, they're getting deeeeep into "fire the coach" territory, and I'm very much not a "fire the coach" kind of guy. That's how embarrassing this loss would be. Titans should earn their first victory of the season, and I think they'll do it by a 12-7 score.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2012 MCLA Tournament

Those who follow the MCLA know that 2011 is the last year the National Tournament will be held at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver. The MCLA is accepting bids for the next three tournaments, and you can view their Request for Proposals here (pdf link).

MCLA Fan has started running down some potential candidates, and you can see where I'm going with this...

Detroit - Hmmmm…geographically not awful, but are there any sites? No


In downtown Detroit, no, there probably aren't any great sites (we'll come back to this in a moment). HOWEVA, metro Detroit, particularly Oakland County and Washtenaw County, is home to one of the nation's fastest-growing lacrosse areas, including one of the country's all-time most successful high school programs not on the East coast in Birmingham Brother Rice.

The Prelims

Here are the requirements for facilities, per the MCLA (relevant points only):

III.1 Fields (Preliminary Games)

- 6, full-size contiguous fields (4 game fields and 2 practice fields)

- Lined in accordance with NCAA standards

- Additional warm-up space

- Team Benches for each team side

- Bleachers for spectators on each field (capacity minimum: 400)

- One field set up in a stadium configuration for feature games

- All-weather fields preferred

- On-site lighted fields required

- Electronic scoreboard on each field is required

- Raised and covered scoring table

The only true problem I can see with a metro Detroit bid is that the fields in question would not be contiguous. However, take a hypothetical Birmingham bid into account.

Brother Rice, Seaholm, Groves, and Country Day are all within a couple miles of each other (the furthest, Country Day and Seaholm, are 1.9 miles apart), with Cranbrook-Kingswood and a couple Southfield schools not far away.

All of them meet all the relevant requirements with turf fields (though Brother Rice is not lighted), and have multiple other fields on-campus that could serve as practice areas. The "stadium configuration" would certainly be no problem, as most competition could be in high school football stadiums.

As for an Ann Arbor-area bid, the same ideas apply. Pioneer, Gabriel Richard, Huron, Greenhills, and UM's Soccer Stadium all meet the requirements, though they're a little further apart than are the schools in Birmingham/Bloomfied Hills.

The Finals

Here are the MCLA's requirements for the semi-final and final venue:

III.2 Stadium (minimum 4,000 seats, used to host semi-finals & finals)

- Located on the same site of the preliminary round fields or within ten (10) miles from the field complex or accommodations.

- Lined in accordance with NCAA standards

- Electronic Scoreboard & PA System

- Locker Rooms

- Press Box and Lights

- Raised covered scoring table

- Wireless internet accessibility

- All-weather field preferred

- Permanent restrooms or portable toilets

- Complimentary parking for up to 500+

Pontiac Silverdome and Michigan Stadium are the obvious venues for each respective location, and either would be the coolest thing since sliced bread. Or even cooler. They would not only meet every requirement, but go above and beyond. A hypothetical Ann Arbor bid would have a couple other options (including UM Soccer Stadium - an absolutely magnificent venue, though it's on the smaller side), and I wouldn't be surprised if the same held true for Birmingham.

Much more than this, the venues are convenient to the burgeoning lacrosse communities in their areas, which could bring out a much better fan contingent than we've seen in the prior two Championship venues:

(Photos from The Athletic Image)

A third option is on the table, though it would require some relaxing of this "10 mile" stricture: Ford Field. An NFL-caliber stadium (despite its lack of an NFL-caliber team HEYOOOOO!) that is accustomed to hosting high school and other smaller events, its field is plenty big enough, and since there's no football in the spring, might even be able to get a full line job with no football markings (for the right price, of course). That does, however, open you up to the possibility of an empty stadium like those above.

Overhead Requirements

A Vendor village, game management staff, concessions, etc. should be easy to come by either with volunteers from the community or contracted out to local companies. There are plenty of local businesses that support the lacrosse community.

Hotels may have to be spread out across the community (475 rooms are needed at the peak occupancy for the tournament), but Southeast Michigan is familiar with hosting big events, and there are plenty of options nearby. In Ann Arbor, of course, the hotel infrastructure is well-equipped to hold 100K eight times every fall, so no issues there.

As for transportation, well, part of Detroit's original lure to MCLA Fan was that its airport is a Delta hub - and DTW is less than 30 miles from Birmingham and 20-some miles from Ann Arbor.


Aside from those mentioned above (preliminary fields not being all at the same site), there are a couple drawbacks to the plan. Particularly Ann Arbor, I'm not too sure how keen the MCLA would be at having a member school hosting tournament events in its own facility.

That's no problem with a Birmingham bid, of course, but the availability of the Silverdome or Ford Field (and the distance problem with Ford Field) could be a hindrance.

Either way, I think an enormous boost in attendance over the past couple sites is definitely possible - though not guaranteed - and the increase in revenue and exposure for the league and its programs could wash out many drawbacks.

In Conclusion

Anybody who's more connected in the lacrosse community than I am, I encourage putting together at least a prospective bid (due to the MCLA by April 1st). Even though landing the tournament may be a longshot this time around, it could help lay the groundwork for future tournaments.

And it would definitely be a boost to a local economy that could definitely use it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Michigan Weekend Preview: Oregon

Just one game for the maize-and-blue this weekend, as they take on a struggling Oregon team on Friday at 6:00 PM at Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, CA (Google map, if you're in the L.A. area and interested in going).


I talked a bit about Oregon's early-season struggles in last week's season preview on Mgoblog, but I'll expand in them here.

The Ducks have started 0-2, but also have a win against a UNLV team that was kicked out of the MCLA after a player refused to serve a suspension for fighting, and his coach allowed him to play in the next game. The Rebels were already a weak team, and losing their league affiliation has done little to strengthen them, I'm sure. Either way, that game counts as nothing more than a scrimmage for the Ducks.

The first loss came against Cal, and though the Bears are a respectable team, losing to them by a 2-10 score is not something a team with Oregon's recent history of success should do. Despite returning plenty of talent, the Ducks seem to be playing poor team offense and shooting the ball terribly. Once the Ducks get their offense running smoothly, they're capable of turning the season around in a hurry.

In the second game, the Ducks fell to Santa Clara University. BHSVideoDad brings the evidence:

The Ducks return last year's 3rd-Team All-American selection, Nick Johnston, at goalie, and another 3rd-Teamer, Steven Brizie, in their defensive unit. They are a pretty strong defensive team, but it's been scoring goals, not preventing them, that they've struggled with this year.

On the offensive end, they don't have a lot of production, so it's tough to say who their big scorers will be this season. Senior middie Kevin Clark was an Honorable Mention All-American last year, and he's scored one of the Ducks' 8 goals. Junior midfielder Spencer Robertson is the only Duck with multiple points, scoring a goal in each of UO's first two games.

At the end of the day, it's production that matters. The Ducks don't have much yet, and they're facing the best team at the club level. This is a matchup that the Wolverines should be able to take - perhaps easily so.


UMGoBlog's Josh Hagerman interviews a couple members of Oregon's coaching staff in his preview.


I think the UNLV scrimmage has helped Oregon snap out of their offensive funk a little bit, but this will be the best team they've faced - on both sides of the ball - so far this year. Michigan plays away from Oosterbaan Fieldhouse for the first time this spring, which might require some adjusting. At the end of the day, the Wolverines will emerge with a 19-7 victory.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Michigan in the Media

The Wolverines have gotten some mention on not only local radio lately, but also national TV. ESPNU's The Experts: College Lacrosse spent a few minutes in its season premiere discussing the possibility of Michigan going varsity in the (possibly near) future, and what impact that michigan have on the Division-1 landscape. Since I have no way to capture the video, here's a transcript of the relevant portion:

Paul Carcaterra: I'm waiting for that signature school to get a men's lacrosse program. A Michigan - there's been rumblings about that stuff... [The existing recent additions to D-1 lacrosse] are all great, and I think Joe Amplo is a fabulous hire, he's going to do a great job at Marquette.

Matt Ward: And with the way the high school game is booming, where kids are playing all over the country now. More talent everywhere in the country, it's a great time for these programs to go, because they're going to be able to start being able to develop these players and maybe a lot of kids going D3 are playing in the MLL now, [will instead go] to a Marquette, or at a Michigan.

Sounds like ESPN's experts are among those openly stumping for Michigan to join the ranks of D-1 varsity lacrosse.

The Wolverines also got some talk on Ann Arbor's very own Sports Talk 1050 WTKA on Monday's morning show. TKA's Ira Weintraub (a Maryland native) fielded a question about whether Michigan's team could compete against the "big boys" of D-1. You can listen here by clicking through to the podcast page on WTKA. Ira calls it a "Brian Cook question" which I find hilarious because I cover lacrosse for him. Next time they talk lacrosse, I'll try to chime in.

My take (with which you'll become very familiar if you're a regular reader) is that Michigan, should they form a varsity Division-1 program, would be in a better position to compete than most programs, because the club program is well-structured, has pretty good institutional support, and has more talent than any other club in the country.

This is something I talk about a lot, so I'll keep it brief today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekly MCLA Roundup

Since the MCLA is the league I follow the most closely, I'll run down the performances of MCLA-1 teams from Michigan on a weekly basis. I'll be spending less time on Michigan (and occasionally Michigan State), since I cover them regularly.

Michigan 26, Florida 6

Game recap here.

Michigan State 12, Florida 6

The Spartans took a little bit of the luster of Michigan's enormous victory over Florida by beating the Gators comfortably themselves. I had planned to make it out to this game (which took place at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac), but the weather got reallllly crappy in Southeast Michigan on Sunday afternoon, and I didn't make it out. Official site recap.

The Spartans have the weekend off before traveling out west for a trio of games in 4 days.

Central Michigan 20, Purdue 5
Central Michigan 18, Toledo 7
Central Michigan 14, Ferris State 11

The Chippewas got their season started a week before Michigan and Michigan State, and have been impressive in their first three game. They pasted both Purdue and Toledo, though MCLA-2 squad Ferris State managed to give them a pretty good game. Are the Chippewas out to prove that Michigan State won't own the CCLA West?

The Chippewas play again Wednesday against Oakland (MCLA D2), then they have a month off(!) before facing BYU, per their schedule on LaxPower.


Western Michigan hasn't kicked off their season yet, so stay tuned.

The Next Level - Feb 21, 2011

Your weekly roundup of how players from Michigan performed in Division-1 lacrosse.

Mercer 9, VMI 15
  • Anthony Seling (Detroit Catholic Central) - Recorded 1 Shot and picked up 1 GB.
Bellarmine 20, Mercer 6
  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - Scored 1 Goal on 2 Shots. Caused 1 Turnover and picked up 1 GB.
  • Andrew Bulgarelli (Troy Athens) - Scored a Goal on 2 Shots. Went 6-7 on Faceoffs, collecting 5 GBs. Caused 1 turnover.
  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Devin Peurach (Brother Rice) - Scored 2 Goals on 3 Shots. Caused 2 Turnovers and recorded 2 GBs.
Mercer 6, Bellarmine 20
  • Anthony Seling (Detroit Catholic Central) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
Detroit 4, Maryland 16 - Game recap.
  • Tyler Corcoran (South Lyon) - Won 1-6 faceoffs, and collected 1 GB.
  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 4-17 faceoffs. Picked up 1 GB, and committed 1 Penalty for 1:00.
  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Nick Garippa (Notre Dame Prep) - Caused 1 Turnover and picked up 3 GBs.
  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Started, and scored 1 Goal on 1 Shot.
  • Scott Harris (Saline) - Started and took 4 Shots. Also picked up 1 GB.
  • Jamie Hebden (Brother Rice) - Started, and caused 2 Turnovers. Also picked up 3 GBs.
  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Won his only faceoff, and committed 1 Penalty for 1:00.
  • Danny Kransberger (Forest Hills Central) - Played 7:59, and gave up 1 goal. Picked up 2 GBs.
  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Started, and took 2 Shots. Also picked up 1 GB.
  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Took 1 Shot.
  • Joe MacLean (Country Day) - Caused 1 Turnover.
  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots.
  • Adam Nolan (AA Pioneer) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Took 1 Shot and collected 1 GB.
  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Started and picked up 1 GB. Also committed 1 Penalty for 1:00.
  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Picked up 1 GB.
Sacred Heart 6, Hofstra 10
  • Tom Sardelli (ND Prep) - Took 2 Shots and picked up 1 GB.
Ohio State 13, North Carolina 8
  • Conor David (Brother Rice) - Caused 1 Turnover and picked up 2 GBs.
Penn State 9, Binghamton 7
  • Nick Dolik (Brother Rice) - Scored 1 Goal on 8 Shots. Also picked up 8 GBs.
  • Danny Henneghan (Brother Rice) - Won 16-19 faceoffs, collecting4 GBs. Took 2 shots.
Villanova 9, Lehigh 8
  • Joe Payne (Brother Rice) - Committed 1 penalty for :30.
Air Force 6, Siena 10
  • Tommy McKee (Holt) - Started and took 2 Shots. Also picked up 4 GBs.
Notre Dame 12, Duke 7
  • Jake Marmul (Detroit Catholic Central) - Won 6 of 11 faceoffs and picked up 1 GB.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Michigan 26, Florida 6

Michigan 1-0. Photo from Official Website.

The final score is not the scary part. We're used to seeing Michigan put up gaudy numbers, even against good competition. What is scary is how easy it looked for the Wolverines. They spent much of the second half emptying the bench, trying to run set plays for defensemen and freshmen, and playing a 5-4 sophomore in the net (love you, Cy). This game could have much more easily been 35-3 than 20-10.

If Florida's half as good as they were expected to be this season, this is easily the best Michigan team I've seen in the past four years. And it's not close. Aside from one area of potential weakness (faceoffs), the Wolverines are as good as they've ever been.

Let's get down to the...

Tempo Free

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

Florida Michigan
Faceoff Wins 9 Faceoff Wins 26
Clearing 11-24 Clearing 16-21
Possessions 39 Possessions 60
Goals 6 Goals 26
Offensive Efficiency .154 Offensive Efficiency .433

If Florida's faceoff specialists are even half-competent (and somebody with insider information suggests that may not be the case, so don't get too excited), Michigan dominated a good squad in terms of possession. Florida was held under .500 on their clear, whereas the Wolverines succeeded on more than 75% of their own attempts.

The Wolverine defense was pretty impressive too, and I can't even count how many excellent effort pays I saw to check from behind and gain possession, or perfectly-timed slides, or... I'm getting ahead of myself here. Florida was held to .154 offensive efficiency, which is in the vicinity of the best numbers the Wolverines put up against top-25 competition last year.

Offensively, this was a well-oiled machine. Michigan finished with a .433 efficiency, and it probably could have been even higher if the Wolverines hadn't spent a good portion of the second half running set plays for long sticks and freshmen. Florida's goalie Matt Rivers also performed very well.


There's this fellow with whom you may be familiar. He goes by the name Trevor Yealy, and is one of the most prolific scorers in MCLA history. Yealy's been a ruthless finisher over his first three years, but when teams schemed to take that away, he could be shut down - often at the expense of Michigan's offense on the whole. Kids, he's a one-trick pony no more. Instead of playing almost exclusively on the crease, he dodged from X, he dodged from the wing, and he even matched his career high in assists (with 2). He played one of the wing midfield positions on faceoffs... he did it all. And looked really good doing it. Plus he had a backwards, between the legs goal, which is both hilarious and awesome.

Now that I'm done fawning over Yealy - because let's be honest, it's hardly original - let's talk some other offensive players. Chad Carroll is new to the team, but you wouldn't have guessed it with the comfort he showed, or the production (6 goals and an assist). A 2-handed shooter, his lefty(?) shot looked to me like it was probably one of the hardest on the team. He's got great size and good athleticism - which he was more than willing to display on the ride. Plenty of other guys scored their first goals in the maize-and-blue, with freshmen Jeff Chu, Fern Murias, and LSM Brett Moscati finding the back of the net. Chu and Murias are speedy little dodgers who are going to be a serious pain for opposing defenses down the road.

Defensively, it was easy to see how much Michigan missed Harrison Freid in their first two scrimmages this spring. He was super-physical, and Florida's offensive players (who had mostly had good height, but probably weighed a combined 60 pounds) couldn't handle his play. Austin Swaney also impressed me with a number of good stick checks. LSM Matt Asperheim is always going to be impressive going forward with the ball, as he has excellent stick skills for a long pole. I wasn't impressed by Florida's speed, either, a testament to Michigan's team speed all over the field.

One thing I found notable was Freid playing attack on Michigan's 10-man ride in the second half. Not sure if it was a strategic decision, or just trying to help him score an easy goal by breaking up a Florida clear. I would guess it's the latter, since it doesn't make sense to employ a secret tactic with a huge lead in the first game.

Brian Greiner (21/27) started on faceoffs, and Edward Ernst (5/8) came in later in the game. I thought Greiner looked pretty good, and I wouldn't be surprised if he can play his way into good form during the early season - especially since these are his first games that count in over a year - and make the faceoff a strength. Sure, it won't be as good as it has been over the last 3 seasons, but doing 50% or slightly better against decent teams is certainly an attainable goal.

...Speaking of goal (how's that for a segue?), Mark Stone started the game, and was replaced at halftime by Andrew Fowler. Stone seems to be the better natural goalie, in terms of quick reactions to shots, as well as being a vocal leader for the defense. Fowler is more comfortable playing outside the net in the clearing game. Cy Abdelnour played the final five minutes of the game, and saved the only shot he faced.

Up Next

Michigan's annual Spring Break trip kicks off on Friday in Los Angeles, as the Wolverines take on Oregon at 6PM (Pacific Time?) at Harvard Westlake High School. The Ducks have started the season on a disappointing note, getting blasted 2-10 by Cal in the opener, and dropping a 6-7 decision to Santa Clara.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Maryland 16, Detroit 4

Detroit 0-4. Photo from Detroit Website.

Detroit's 3-game head start on Maryland paid dividends early for the Titans, as they scored the game's first goal and even carried a 2-1 lead into the second quarter. After that, it was all Terps, as Maryland scored all seven goals in the second quarter, and outscored UDM 8-2 in the second half to emerge with a comfortable 16-4 victory.

This outcome was... well, not that far off expectations. Maryland is an established program in a hotbed for talent, and we're all familiar with where Detroit is as a program. The Terps eventually dominated in nearly every statistical measure, and that's one way to win a ballgame.


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

Maryland Detroit
Faceoff Wins 18 Faceoff Wins 6
Clearing 20-20 Clearing 15-18
Possessions 41 Possessions 24
Goals 16 Goals 4
Offensive Efficiency .390 Offensive Efficiency .167

So. When you get dominated on faceoffs, and don't have a single successful ride all game, you're going to have maaaaany fewer possessions than the opponent. When they're a team as talented as Maryland, they're going to take advantage of them. The Terps scored 16 goals on just 36 shots, while the Titans used 17 shots to score just 4.

As we saw against another top-25 team in Delaware, the majority of Detroit's scoring production came on the man-up, with UDM's first two goals scored on the man advantage. Their other two were at even strength, but both came with the game well in hand for the Terps.


Four different Titans scored, with Scott Harris, Alex Maini, Matt Gregson, and Chris Nemes each finding twine. Only one goal was assisted, as Chris Nemes's game-opener came from Wes Steen. On the other side, 14 of Maryland's 16 goals were scored. That speaks to not only talent but a smooth-functioning offense. In fact, I'd say the less-talented team should have MORE assists per goal, as they are unlikely to have the athletes to dodge and score.

The Titans had their naughtiest game yet, with 6 penalties for 5:00. Their previous high was 5 infractions for the same amount of time against Ohio State. Elsewhere in sloppy play, they committed 20 turnovers, though most of them (14) were forced by Maryland.

LSM Jordan Houtby was the Ground Ball champion of Detroit with 4. A pair of Terps tied his GB total.

Freshman goalie Danny Kransberger got his first action as a Titan, playing the final 7:59 and allowing 1 goal with 0 saves.

As noted above, Detroit played well in the first quarter before Maryland overpowered them. They were even in shots (6) and almost even in GBs (8-10) in the first frame, but Maryland dominated nearly every stat from there to the end.

Up Next

Detroit will likely get their first win of 2011 on Saturday, and they host Mercer at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac. Mercer is a first-year program, and the Bears have been on the wrong side of three grisly games, with an average score of 5.6-18.3. If the Titans don't come away with a win (maybe even if they don't come away with a BIG win), that doesn't bode well for this season.


Detroit recap. Maryland recap.

Friday, February 18, 2011

UM Lacrosse Set To Face Off

Season opens tomorrow night at 7PM against Florida. The Gators have started their season 3-0.

More detail on the season opener (and the early season for the Wolverines) is up on the mothership. Season preview was here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Inside Lacrosse Preseason High School Power Rankings

Inside Lacrosse has released its first set of power rankings for the 2011 high school season, and - surprise, surprise! - no Michigan teams were present. In fact, no midwest teams were in the top 25, and every team came from one of just 6 states: Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

This comes as no surprise, and it's unlikely that any Michigan team can get into the rankings any time soon - Brother Rice notwithstanding. The Warriors don't kick off their schedule until the end of March (as with the rest of Michigan high schools - it appears the first game is March 22), but they play a few out-of-state teams (from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio), so a strong season could result in making the year-end rankings.

Talent may be down for Rice, as they've had a few years in the recent past with several Division-1 recruits on the roster, so we'll see how the season shakes out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Michigan State University Season Preview

Michigan State reached new heights as a club program last year, earning the #9 seed in the National Tournament. However, reaching the tournament is only the first step, and the Spartans fell to BYU in the first round.

In their third year under coach Dwayne Hicks, the Spartans look to take the next step by securing a top-half tournament seed, and advancing out of the opening round.


(All-Americans here, All-Conference here)


Key Returners: Tony Maccio, Atwood Smith.

Key Losses: Dean Hall (1st All-Am, 1st All-CCLA)

I saw Dean Hall play in person a few times last year, and every postseason honor he received was well-deserved. Replacing him will be a tall task for the Spartans. Tony Maccio got more playing time than fellow backup Smith Atwood last season, and he should step into the starting role - but still be a step down from Hall.


Key Returners: Brendan Hunt (2nd All-CCLA), MIke Schneider (HM All-CCLA)

Key Losses: Matt LaCasse (2nd All-Am, 1st All-CCLA)

Matt LaCasse was the most-celebrated member of MSU's defense last year, in addition to proudly rocking some epic flow. The Spartans have a couple other players who received postseason honors, so they have a nice core to their... corps. WORDPLAY. Still, some younger players are going to have to step up for the Spartans. Brendan Hunt and Mike Schneider have been named team captains, and should lead a strong defense.


Key Returners: Connor Bush (1st All-CCLA), Alex Gage (HM All-CCLA), LSM Ben Daiek

Key Losses: Justin Ward (2nd All-CCLA), LSM Brad Crimmins

The Spartans should be really strong in the midfield, despite the loss of Justin Ward and long-stick Brad Crimmins. They return a 1st-Team All-Conference selection in Connor Bush, who will serve as a team captain this year - though he's listed at attack on MSU's official roster. That's a curious decision, because as you'll see, they lose way more in the midfield than they do in the attack unit.


Key Returners: Pat Nemes (3rd All-Am, 1st All-CCLA), Michael Baily (3rd All-CCLA), Connor Bush, Dan Witt

Key Losses: None.

As mentioned above, the Spartans' attack unit doesn't lose anyone who was a serious contributor last year, and may add Connor Bush, depending on how he's deployed by Coach Dwayne Hicks. Patrick Nemes was the best player on Michigan State's team not named Dean Hall, and it could be a high-scoring year in East Lansing.


Key Returners: Scott Wisniewski

Key Losses: Derek Baynton

I'm having a hard time figuring out whether Baynton or Wisniewski was MSU's starter at the faceoff X last year, but Wisniewski is listed as taking more draws per the MCLA's incomplete stats. Either way, the Spartans will probably be a good-not-great team on draws.


Michigan State opens up with Florida at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac on Sunday, before going on a road trip to the Pacific Northwest to play Simon Fraser, Sonoma State, and Oregon.

Following that, they have a homestand (opening in Ultimate Soccer again) against BYU, UC-Santa Barbara, Boston College, Colorado State, Arizona State, and Minnesota-Duluth.

They then travel to Urbana, Illinois to take on the University of Illinois (side note - great interview with their head coach in two parts here and here) and then host Central Michigan in East Lansing.

The following game gets its own paragraph, because it's by far the most important game on Michigan State's schedule each and every year. In the Great Lakes Lacrosse Classic, they'll take on rival University of Michigan, this year at Birmingham Seaholm High School. Michigan has won the past seven contests, and even regularly beat the Spartans when MSU was fielding a D-1 varsity squad.

They close out their regular season schedule at Western Michigan and home against Ball State, before likely facing Michigan in the CCLA tournament finals. If they put together a strong enough regular season schedule (or, god forbid, beat Michigan in the conference tournament), they'll finish the year at the MCAL Tournament in Denver.

The Projection

Michigan State should be able to make the MCLA Tournament again this year, but under Coach Hicks, that's no longer the goal. They're aiming for a top-half seed, and at least one win in Denver. I think they should be able to do that, barring any upsets. They should be favored in most games except those against Michigan, Minnesota Duluth, and maybe another one or two.

Michigan State is on an upward trajectory, especially since Hicks is the coach of one of the premier high school club teams in the state. If they're looking to break through to the next level, this should be the year.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Next Level - Feb 14, 2010

Weekly roundup the performances by Michigan natives in D-1 ball.

Detroit 5, Delaware 13 - Game Recap.

  • Tyler Corcoran (South Lyon) - Won 1/5 faceoffs and collected 1 GB.
  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 5/16 faceoffs, and picked up 2 GBs.
  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Caused 1 turnover.
  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots.
  • Scott Harris (Saline) - Started, and scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots. Also recorded 2 Assists, and picked up 1 GB.
  • Jamie Hebden (Breother Rice) - Started and caused 2 turnovers. Picked up 2 GBs.
  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Picked up 1 GB.
  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Took 5 Shots and picked up 2 GBs.
  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Joe MacLean (Detroit Country Day) - PLayed but did not accrue any stats.
  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Started and took 3 Shots.
  • Adam Nolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Took 3 Shots and picked up 3 GBs.
  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Started and caused 2 turnovers, and picked up 2 GBs.
  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 1 GB.

Detroit 3, Ohio State 4 - Game Recap.

  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 5/11 faceoffs and collected 4 GBs. Took 1 Shot.
  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Picked up 1 GB.
  • Nick Garippa (notre Dame Prep) - Committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots.
  • Scott Harris (Saline) - Started and took 3 Shots.
  • Jamie Hebden (Brother Rice) - Caused 3 turnovers and pick up 3 GBs. Committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Picked up 1 GB.
  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 3 Shots. picked up 1 GB and committed 1 penalty for 0:30.
  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Joe MacLean (Detroit Country Day) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Took 1 Shot.
  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Played but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Started and committed 1 penalty for 2:00.
  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Started and picked up 2 GBs.

Ohio State 4, Detroit 3 - Game Recap.

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

Bellarmine 9, Detroit 6 - Game Recap.

  • Ted Avendt (Brother Rice) - 2 Goals on 3 Shots
  • Andrew Bulgarelli - won 3/9 faceoffs, collecting 3 GBs. Took one shot.
  • Patrick Ellis (UD Jesuit) - Started, but but did not accrue stats

Detroit 6, Bellarmine 9 - Game Recap.

  • Brandon Davenport (Grosse Point North) - Won 11/19 faceoffs, and picked up 4 GBs.
  • John Dwyer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Committed one penalty for 0:30.
  • Nick Garippa (Notre Dame Prep) - Played, but did not accrue stats.
  • Matt Gregson (Flint Powers) - Started and scored 1 Goal on 6 Shots. Also collected 1 GB
  • Scott Harris (Saline) - Started, recorded 1 assist and 0 G on 7 shots. Picked up 3 GBs.
  • Jamie Hebden (Brother Rice) - Started but did not accrue any stats.
  • Brad Janer (Detroit Catholic Central) - Picked up 2 GBs.
  • Tim Lehto (North Farmington) - Started and took 3 Shots. Caused 1 Turnover and picked up 1 GB.
  • Matt Lining (Troy Athens) - Scored 1 Goal on 1 Shot.
  • Chris Nemes (Detroit Catholic Central) - Scored 1 Goal on 2 Shots.
  • John Nowicki (De La Salle) - Tallied 1 Assist and 1 Goal on 1 Shot. Picked up 1 GB.
  • Tim Shoemaker (Rochester) - Started and picked up 2 GBs. Also caused 1 Turnover. Committed 1 penalty for 1:00.
  • Max Zwolan (Ann Arbor Pioneer) - Played but did not accrue any stats.
Ohio State 20, Mercer 2
  • Conor David (Brother Rice) - Caused 1 turnover and picked up 1 GB.

Mercer 2, Ohio State 20

  • Anthony Seling (Detroit Catholic Central) - Picked up 2 GBs.

If you have any suggestions for improving the format, or if I've missed on any Michigan native who played in the past week, drop a line in the comments.

Bellarmine 9, Detroit 6

Detroit 0-3.

Well, this one is going to sting. Detroit held an early 2-1 lead, but gave up a three-goal run to Bellarmine and never led again. The Titans kept the game close late into the third quarter at 6-5, but Bellarmine scored the first three goals of the fourth, and a last-minute Detroit goal only served to keep the score respectable at 9-6.

In my season preview for the Titans, I classified this game as a toss-up, and honestly, I expected Detroit to come away with the win, even on the road. Playing Ohio State close only upped that confidence, but at the end of the day, UDM will have to wait another couple weeks (4 weeks into their season) for their next realistic shot at a victory.


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

Bellarmine Detroit
Faceoff Wins 8 Faceoff Wins 11
Clearing 12-13 Clearing 9-14
Possessions 26 Possessions 26
Goals 9 Goals 6
Offensive Efficiency .341 Offensive Efficiency .231

In a very slow game, Detroit did very well at the faceoff X to level up the number of possessions despite some struggles in the clearing game.

HOWEVA, it's the efficiency, stupid. Detroit's defense was terrrrrrrrrrible, allowing goals on nearly 35% of Bellarmine possessions. The offense actually wasn't too bad, but when your defense is going to struggle to that level, the offense needs to step it up to compensate.


As hinted above, Brandon Davenport performed pretty well on faceoffs (don't forget, this Bellarmine team handled Michigan on faceoffs just a couple weeks ago), and I think he's probably locked down the starting job there for the remainder of the year.

The Titans had their first multi-goal performer on the year, with attackman Shayne Adams netting a pair (on nine shots, for a .222 shooting percentage). Junior midfielder John Nowicki matched his point total by notching a goal and an assist.

It was a poor shooting day for several Titans, as Matt Gregson found the back of the net once in six shots, while Tim Lehto, Scott Harris, and Dennis Troy all went 0-fer on multiple shots. Harris at least put up an assist to partially make up for his 0/7 shooting day.

LSM Jordan Houtby tied a program record with 10 ground balls on the game.

AJ Levell made 7 saves while allowing 9 goals. I assume a big part of the blame goes on a porous Titan defense, but without seeing the game, it's hard to say for certain.

Bellarmine's 9 goals came on just 27 shots (.333) and Detroit took 33 shots to score 6 goals (.182).


Detroit recap. Bellarmine recap. Box Score.

Up Next

Detroit serves as a sacrificial lamb at Maryland next Saturday at 1, before likely earning their first win of the season the following week in Pontiac against first-year program Mercer.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Michigan Scrimmage: Wittenberg

The Michigan Wolverines defeated D-III Wittenberg 13-9 in a scrimmage last week, and since it's been so long, I won't break down the game in any detail. No official boxscore means no tempo-free stats, either.

Stephen Levitt with the lefty dodge

Here are some snippets of what the official site had to say:

Yealy netted a hat trick and was 100 percent shooting-wise, scoring the three goals on three shots.

As opposed to the last couple years, when Yealy played exclusively on the crease and was a finisher, all three of his goals (the first three Michigan tallies of the game) came from dodges on the left wing.

The Wolverines won less than 50 percent of faceoffs in the first half but rallied to win the faceoff category in the second half. Senior Brian Greiner (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Grosse Pointe South / RPI) finished 4 for 12 on the night, while junior Edward Ernst (Washington, D.C./Sidwell Friends) was 4 of 9. Sophomore Harrison Silver(South Salem, N.Y./John Jay) won 5 of 8.

As I've mentioned in the past, faceoffs are going to be a serious question mark for Michigan this year. Since they've been an important factor in Michigan's continued success over the past three seasons, that could be a problem. In my unofficial stats, I had Ernst winning 5 of 9, not 4, and regardless of what goes into the official scorebook, I thought he was the most impressive.

Senior goaltenders Mark Stone (Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek) and Andrew Fowler (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Hotchkiss (Ct.)) split time in net. Stone saved 4 of 11 in the first half while Fowler stopped 6 of 14 in the second.

Stone seems like a much better traditional goalie, whereas Fowler is more willing to come out of the net a little bit, either in the clearing game or to force action occasionally on D (specifically when the opponent is on the break).

This was the first time I'd seen St. John's transfer Ryan Dutton O'Hara play, and I thought he was decent, with a good lefty shot. From what I saw though, he was almost all left (hey, sounds like me playing basketball!).

Michigan went to the bench really early in this game, mixing up personnel in the second quarter and going with mostly backups in the second half. In the official site recap, John Paul mentioned getting a few guys in early on attack, and I was more impressed by Jeff Chu than Ryan Snyder of the guys he mentioned.

The defense was much better than the 9 goals allowed seems, both because of the liberal subbing and because Harry Freid still hasn't played due to injury. The two-time 1st-Team All-American is expected to get into the lineup tonight. I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it to tonight's scrimmage, so don't expect a full recap here.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Ohio State 4, Detroit 3

Detroit 0-2. Photo from Detroit website.

Coming off a big loss to Delaware on Saturday, Detroit looked to rebound last night against Ohio State. My preseason prediction was a likely loss, so going down by a single goal may be something of a moral victory, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and allowing a late winner on the road is heartbreaking.

Whereas all five of their goals against Delaware came on the man-up, UD's extra man unit was shut out in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, and the clearing game was a bugaboo for the Titans.


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

Ohio State
Ohio State Detroit
Faceoff Wins 6 Faceoff Wins 5
Clearing 20-22 Clearing 14-21
Possessions 35 Possessions 28
Goals 4 Goals 3
Offensive Efficiency .114 Offensive Efficiency .107

With such a small sample size, it's hard to say Detroit was thaaaaat much less efficient than were the Buckeyes, and the number of possessions was a bigger factor in the loss for the Titans.

Both teams had a lot of struggles offensively, as Ohio State couldn't hit the broad side of a barn (their .173 shot percentage was lower than any team's season total last year, and only half their attempts were on net), and Detroit couldn't even generate shots in the first place (they only generated a shot on 57.1% of their possessions).

Per Ohio State's stats, Detroit committed 11 turnovers in the 4th quarter, when it mattered most, and that lack of poise in the clutch could have helped cost them the game.


Faceoffs were NOT a problem for Detroit on this day. Brandon Davenport was shut out in the third quarter, but managed to finish one draw short of .500 at 5-11. It's too early to say the struggles in Delaware were an aberration against a very good opponent, but there's definitely evidence that may be the case.

On offense, it was a dodging day for the Titans, as they had no assists on their three goals. Midfielders Tim Lehto and Alex Maini and freshman attack Alex Maini got on board.

In goal, it's hard to say whether AJ Levell had an excellent day saving 8 of 12 shots, or if the poor offensive play helped by giving him easy looks. I'll side on the side of optimism for the Columbus native, and say WOOO LEVELL.


Highlights from Ohio State (requires Microsoft Silverlight):

Detroit recap. Ohio State recap.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Delaware 13, Detroit 5

Detroit 0-1. Photo from Delaware photo gallery.

So. I certainly wasn't expecting a win in this game, but a 13-5 smackdown probably wasn't in line with my prediction of an improved Detroit squad this season, either.

Delaware was up 2-0 before UDM even got on the board, and led 12-2 before a late Titan rally made the final score look closer than the game actually played out. The Titan's even-strength and man-down teams struggled, as the Titans scored all five of their goals on the man-up.


From the box score, let's bust out the first-ever(!) individual game tempo-free breakdown:

Delaware Detroit
Faceoff Wins 15 Faceoff Wins 6
Clearing 22-27 Clearing 21-30
Possessions 51 Possessions 41
Goals 13 Goals 5
Offensive Efficiency .255 Offensive Efficiency .122

First things first, this was a blistering-fast game with 92 possessions between the two teams. Last year's Robert Morris (100 possessions) and Wagner (92 possessions) games were the only ones to reach that pace. According to Orange:44, the home of tempo-free lacrosse stats, 70 total possessions is about average for NCAA Division-1 games. Considering Delaware was playing backups and likely slowing things down in the second half, this was a very up-and-down game.

The Titans were pretty good defensively, with a much better efficiency number than their average last year (.309). Offensively, the performance was pitiful, especially considering the only UDM goals came in 6-on-5 offense.

Like we learned all about looking at least year, Detroit got pummeled on faceoffs, and did poorly in the clearing game, which led to a significant advantage in possessions by the opponent.


Ah, the faceoffs. This was a horrible area for Detroit last year, and it looks like it might not be a huge improvement this year (boding ill for the rest of the season). Brandon Davenport went a poor 5-16 and Tyler Corcoran was a dismal 1-5 in the third and fourth quarters.

Offensively, the unexpected loss of last year's offensive leaders is likely to be a theme throughout the year, but attack Scott Harris made an early play for filling the void by notching a goal and two assists, while freshman attack Shayne Adams was the team finisher with three of the five Titan goals. Adams had a .500 shooting percentage with his goals coming on six shots, and Harris and midfielder Matt Gregson each shot .333.

On defense, LSM Jordan Houtby led the team with 9 ground balls and six turnovers forced. Sophomore goalie AJ Levell faced 30 shots on goal and made 17 saves. For an offensive comparison, the Titans didn't even have 30 shots total, and only 18 of their 27 shots were on goal.

The Other Side

Out of curiosity, I took a look at Delaware's faceoff man, Dan Cooney. He went 14-17 on Saturday, for a ludicrous .823 success rate. Cooney went .547 last year, so he's a pretty good faceoff man, but that's a terrible performance no matter what. Brandon Davenport took both draws against Delaware's backup, Andrew Rohacik, splitting the pair.

The Blue Hens had rather even scoring, with three different players notching a pair of goals, but nobody scoring a hat trick. That means seven other guys had a lone goal, for 10 different players putting the ball in the back of the net.

Delaware committed plenty of penalties (6 for 4:30), which led to every single Detroit goal. Nobody committed more than one no-no.

Delaware's backup goalie, Ryan Smith, played the final 3 minutes of the game, and allowed 2 goals on 3 shots faced. If you were to (unwisely) extrapolate that over an entire game, it would mean 40 goals on 60 shots faced.


Delaware site recap. Photo gallery.

Detroit site recap.

Michigan Women's Lax

I'm not going to cover women's lacrosse in any depth on this site (aside from the occasional blurb like this), but I'd be remiss to mention that Michigan Men's Lacrosse isn't the only top-level club team in Ann Arbor.

The women were ranked #12 by Lacrosse Magazine (HT: 412 Lax) in preseason in the WCLA, the top-level women's club league. They opened their season on Sunday with a 20-2 scrimmage pasting of Central Michigan, and scrimmage NCAA D-III Ohio Wesleyan this Saturday at 1. The men face off against Kenyon at 7 in their final scrimmage, so if you're going to be around for the latter, might as well make it a double-header.

Later this season, the women will face off against top-20 WCLA squads in # 1 Colorado State, # 2 Santa Clara, #4 UC Davis, # 5 Lindenwood, #6 UC Santa Barbara, # 9 BYU, # 11 UCLA, # 13 Georgia, # 16 Pittsburgh, and # 18 Minnesota. Quite the murderers row of opponents, so best of luck to the women this season.

Friday, February 4, 2011

University of Detroit-Mercy Season Preview

As the only Division-1 lacrosse team in the state, the University of Detroit carries the torch for the State of Michigan in the lacrosse world. Sadly, that hasn't gone so well over the past few years, as the Titans have failed to come within spitting distance of a .500 record in their first two season of existence (even going winless in their 2009 debut).

2011 should represent another step forward for UDM. In the program's third year, the Titans have a chance to hit new heights, with plenty of returning players just about everywhere except the attack.

That means the attack should be a weakness in 2011, as a couple of sophomores won't participate this spring. Midfield, defense, and goalie, on the other hand, should improve markedly as there's another year of seasoning in most of the lineup.



Key Returners: AJ Levell, Mike Brown

Losses: Vince Diana

AJ Levell started almost the entire 2010 season as a true freshman, before he was spelled against Canisius by Vince Diana, who went on to start the final two games of the year. It's unclear whether the replacement was performance or injury based, but Levell was between the pipes for the first two victories in program history, and should be improved in his second year at the college level.

Mike Brown is a career backup who has played other positions in his time at UDM, and the Titans also added Danny Kransberger from Forest Hills Central. He may see some playing time as a true freshman.

Official site goalies preview.


Key Returners: Jason McDonald, Adam Nolan, Jamie Hebden

Losses: Chris Butts, Matt Clugston, Andrew Khalil, Nick Hoye

Junior Jason McDonald and sophomore Jamie Hebden started every game last year, and junior Adam Nolan was also a letterwinner for the Titans, and that trio should form a solid defensive unit that is improved from last year.

The only returning backup is sophomore John Dwyer, but there are three incoming freshmen (Nick Garippa, Max Zwolan, and Brian Smith) hoping to compete for playing time.

Official site defense preview.


Key Returners: Matt Gregson, Tim Lehto, Ty Maruyama, LSM Tim Shoemaker, LSM Jordan Houtby

Losses: Austin Keefer, Mike Fields, Joshua Summers, Jon Bemben, John Hogan, Vince Wigdahl

Matt Gregson and Tim Lehto return from the top offensive midfield line, but the third spot will likely fall to a freshman, per the official site. The second line is a pair of juniors, Ty Maruyama and John Niwicki, along with sophomore Chris Nemes (whose older brothers played at Syracuse and Michigan State).

Tim Shoemaker is a returning starter at LSM, and had XXX last year. Other defensive midfielders include Brad Janer, a team captain whose younger brother Jeff is a freshman at Michigan.

There are plenty of other midfielders on the roster, and it looks like midfield depth should be one of the strengths of the roster.

Official site midfield preview. LSMs covered in defensive preview.


Key Returners: Scott Harris

Losses: Joel Matthews, Tyler Staruch, Matt Arb.

The Titans are going to be without the services of their only All-Conference performer from 2010, as sophomore Joel Matthews will sit out the season to focus on academics, as will his classmate Tyler Staruch. Matthews led the team with 37 goals and also chipped in 11 assists, so his loss is a substantial one.

Junior Scott Harris is the lone upperclassman in the attack unit, and one of the few returning players with much experience. Chris Nemes might play some in the attack with the lack of returning playmakers, because the other options are almost exclusively freshmen. Ty Maruyama also played both attack and midfield last year.

Attack should be an area of weakness with little proven talent on the roster with the loss of last season's leading scorer and leading assist man.

Official site attack preview.


Key Returners: Brandon Davenport, Tyler Corcoran

Losses: None

Brandon Davenport and Tyler Corcoran took the majority of Detroit's faceoff draws last year, with mixed results. Redshirt sophomore Danny Preston wasn't much better in 2009, and he missed last season with injury.

The addition of experience and healthy bodies should improve the faceoff percentage in 2011, which could be a big boon to the team overall. As I mentioned in the Tempo-Free Breakdown, faceoffs were often a big weakness in UDM's game last year, even playing a big role in a few losses. For the Titans to improve this year, they'll have to do better at the centerfield X.

Official site faceoff preview.

The Schedule

@ Delaware

Feb. 5, 1PM. Newark, DE

2010: 10-7 (4-2 Colonial) #16 LaxPower

The opening game of the season should be a very tough one for the Titans. On the road against a top-25 team is not a pleasant situation for a program still trying to find its feet. Inside Lacrosse #24 Delaware preview.

Prediction: Auto-loss.

@ Ohio State

Feb. 10, 7PM. Columbus, OH

2010: 7-8 (3-4 ECAC) #28 LaxPower

The Titans stay on the road, and face another tough opponent as Ohio State is also ranked in the top-25 by some experts. Though Detroit was nearly doubled up by the Buckeyes last season, I think the Titans are the more improved team. Inside Lacrosse #23 Ohio State preview.

Prediction: Likely Loss.

@ Bellarmine

Feb. 12, 1PM. Louisville, KY

2010: 9-6 (3-4 ECAC) #47 LaxPower

Bellarmine's team is rebounding from the loss their long-time coach Jack McGetrick, but the Knights should be improved from last year. Their scrimmage victory over Michigan (after getting pasted by the Wolverines last year) shows that they're moving in the right direction. Still, Detroit is improved at well. Last year, the teams played a 4-goal game in the season opener. Inside Lacrosse #37 Bellarmine preview.

Prediction: Toss-up.

@ Maryland

Feb. 19, 1PM. College Park, MD

2010: 12-4 (1-2 ACC) #4 LaxPower

Maryland is a consistent power, and the Terrapins are expected to continue their string of successful seasons in 2011. Detroit's program is a long way from beating ACC opponents on the road. Inside Lacrosse #6 Maryland Preview won't come out until next Friday.

Prediction: Auto-loss.


Feb. 26, Noon. Pontiac (Ultimate Soccer Arenas)

New to Division-I

If Detroit wants to prove its team belongs on the biggest stage, winning a home(ish) opener against a team that's in its first year of varsity lacrosse is absolutely necessary.

Prediction: Auto-win.


Mar. 6, 2PM. DH

2010: 8-7 (2-4 Patriot) #44 LaxPower

By playing their first "home" game outside of Detroit, the Titans get the benefit of two home openers. However, the true home opener matches them up against a team that handed them their worst loss of last season, a 21-9 drubbing. That game was marked by horrible defensive efficiency, and the improved Detroit D should hold down the offense a bit. Inside Lacrosse #36 Lehigh preview.

Prediction: Toss-up.

@ Mount St. Mary's

Mar. 9, 1PM. Emmitsburg, MD

2010: 12-5 (7-1 MAAC) #32 LaxPower

Struggles on the faceoff (.333) against Mount St. Mary's last year helped lead to a 3-goal Titans loss. With an improved team (especially on faceoffs), Detroit should perform better. However, this game is on the road, and I'm not sure UDM is ready to compete with a team like the Mount. Inside Lacrosse #33 Mount St. Mary's preview.

Prediction: Likely Loss.

Robert Morris

Mar. 13, 11AM. DH

2010: 10-5 (Independent) #31 LaxPower

Robert Morris got the best of Detroit last year, as the Titans turned in a remarkably bad .120 offensive efficiency. RMU should be a pretty solid team this year, so this will be a tough win for UDM. Inside Lacrosse #21 Robert Morris preview.

Prediction: Likely loss.


Mar. 19, 1PM.

2010: 2-13 (0-8 MAAC) #57 LaxPower

When your program has only won three games in its existence, and one of them came against VMI, you have to expect that your improved 2011 squad will be able to repeat the deed at home.

Prediction: Likely win.

@ Jacksonville

Mar. 26, 1PM. Jacksonville, MI

2010: 6-7 (Independent) #33 LaxPower

Jacksonville was a first-year program in 2010, and still managed to be much, much better than second-year Detroit. Now that Jacksonville's players have two years in the system, it's likely that they'll be even more improved than the Titans.

Prediction: Likely loss.

@ Siena

Apr. 2, 1PM. Loudonville, KY

2010: 12-5 (8-0 MAAC) #37 LaxPower

The Titans lost a 1-goal heartbreaker to Siena last year, partially because they had slightly worse performance on faceoffs and clears (although their efficiency was actually higher). Since Detroit is so improved, I think they stand a decent chance on the road. Inside Lacrosse #40 Siena preview.

Prediction: Toss-up.


Apr. 9, Noon.

2010: 7-9 (5-3 MAAC) #50 LaxPower

Detroit played Manhattan close last year, but a slight disadvantage in possessions and efficiency led to a defeat. With a greatly improved Detroit team, and this game at home, it should be a strong chance for a Titan win.

Prediction: Likely win.


Apr. 16, 3PM. DH

2010: 6-7 (5-3 MAAC) #54 LaxPower

Detroit lost to Canisius in a 1-goal game last year, as a last-second shot for the Titans hit the pipe. Faceoff struggles were the name of that game (shockingly), and an improved Detroit team should be able to come away with a win at home.

Prediction: Likely win.

@ Marist

Apr. 30, 1PM. Poughkeepsie, NY

2010: 8-7 (5-3 MAAC) #51 LaxPower

Marist took UDM behind the woodshed last year, more than doubling up the Titans. With an advantage in possessions, Detroit couldn't make the most of them (while allowing Marist to do just that) led to an ugly loss. Though the Detroit defense should be improved, it probably won't be enough to get a road victory.

Prediction: Likely loss.

The Total

In 14 games, that's one auto-win, three likely wins, three toss-ups, five likely losses, and a pair of auto-losses. With the toss-ups, let's err on the side of optimism, predicting a 2-1 record in those games. That adds up to a 6-8 record prediction for Detroit in 2011.

Don't forget to check out yesterday's tempo-free post on the Titans.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Detroit Lacrosse 2010: Tempo-Free

Before going into the details, I missed out on a photo gallery from Carthage, who was one of the teams that scrimmaged Detroit last Saturday (HT: 412 Lax). Check them out if you're interested.

A reminder from the Michigan version of this same feature:

  • Possessions = Faceoff wins + clearing attempts + opponent failed clears.
  • Efficiency = Goals/Possessions.
Bellarmine Detroit
Faceoff Wins 16 Faceoff Wins 8
Clearing 8-10 Clearing 10-12
Possessions 28 Possessions 22
Goals 12 Goals 8
Offensive Efficiency .423 Offensive Efficiency .364

Bellarmine owned the faceoff 'x,' leading to many more possessions than the Titans had. They were also more efficient, and came away with a comfortable win.

Ohio State
Ohio State Detroit
Faceoff Wins 11 Faceoff Wins 13
Clearing 20-24 Clearing 19-29
Possessions 45 Possessions 46
Goals 16 Goals 7
Offensive Efficiency .356 Offensive Efficiency .152

The Buckeyes didn't have nearly as many clearing opportunities, but had much more success on them, to draw just below even in number of possessions. There, they also made much more of their opportunities, more than doubling efficiency and score.

Quinnipiac Detroit
Faceoff Wins 14 Faceoff Wins 10
Clearing 11-13 Clearing 10-11
Possessions 28 Possessions 23
Goals 13 Goals 8
Offensive Efficiency .464 Offensive Efficiency .348

The Titans had a rather efficient day, but their struggles on faceoffs led to fewer possessions, and Quinnipiac took advantage of porous defense to come away with the comfortable win.

Robert Morris
Robert Morris Detroit
Faceoff Wins 9 Faceoff Wins 16
Clearing 26-35 Clearing 19-25
Possessions 50 Possessions 50
Goals 15 Goals 6
Offensive Efficiency .300 Offensive Efficiency .120

In their fastest game to-date, the Titans had a dismal day offensively (this is a theme, you'll see), scoring on a mere 12% of possessions. Robert Morris emerged with the easy win.

Lehigh Detroit
Faceoff Wins 23 Faceoff Wins 9
Clearing 14-17 Clearing 10-20
Possessions 50 Possessions 32
Goals 21 Goals 9
Offensive Efficiency .420 Offensive Efficiency .281

Bad defense? Check. Bad offense? Check. The anomaly here is that UDM got absolutely crushed in number of possessions, due to both a horrible day clearing the ball, and similarly-epic struggles on faceoffs.

Manhattan Detroit
Faceoff Wins 12 Faceoff Wins 11
Clearing 22-24 Clearing 18-23
Possessions 41 Possessions 36
Goals 11 Goals 8
Offensive Efficiency .268 Offensive Efficiency .222

The Titans were sliiightly worse on faceoffs, a decent amount worse on clears, and less efficient. It's no surprise, then (necessary, given the definitions of the stats), that they were handed a loss by Manhattan.

Presbyterian Detroit
Faceoff Wins 14 Faceoff Wins 19
Clearing 16-21 Clearing 18-22
Possessions 39 Possessions 46
Goals 12 Goals 16
Offensive Efficiency .308 Offensive Efficiency .348

Ladies and gentlemen, are you sitting down? The University of Detroit-Mercy, for the first time in program history, left the field victorious - albeit over 1st-year program Presbyterian. A better day on faceoffs and a slightly better clear/ride game gave the Titans a handful more possessions, and they used them more efficiently than the opponent (for the first time all year) to get UDM's first-ever W.

VMI Detroit
Faceoff Wins 15 Faceoff Wins 8
Clearing 13-16 Clearing 13-18
Possessions 36 Possessions 29
Goals 8 Goals 11
Offensive Efficiency .222 Offensive Efficiency .379

Can you say... win streak? Despite getting crushed on faceoffs, and having a worse clear/ride than the Cadets, Detroit turned in their most efficient offensive game of the year AND their second-best defensive game of the year en route to program victory #2.

Siena Detroit
Faceoff Wins 12 Faceoff Wins 8
Clearing 19-20 Clearing 18-20
Possessions 34 Possessions 29
Goals 9 Goals 8
Offensive Efficiency .265 Offensive Efficiency .276

The Titans fell juuuust short of their third win, as they were more efficient than Siena, but were once again done in by struggles on the faceoff (and a clear/ride game that was slightly worse).

Yale Detroit
Faceoff Wins 13 Faceoff Wins 10
Clearing 20-25 Clearing 19-21
Possessions 40 Possessions 36
Goals 12 Goals 8
Offensive Efficiency .300 Offensive Efficiency .222

Detroit lost the faceoff battle yet again, but performed better in the clearing game to stay close in number of possessions. The Bulldogs were more efficient though, and were able to get a comfortable win.

Mount St. Mary's
Mount St. Mary's Detroit
Faceoff Wins 16 Faceoff Wins 8
Clearing 11-15 Clearing 15-21
Possessions 37 Possessions 33
Goals 12 Goals 9
Offensive Efficiency .324 Offensive Efficiency .273

Being on the wrong side of a domination at the faceoff X again contributed to a loss for the Titans. They also had a worse ride/clear game and were less efficient.

St. Joseph's
St. Joseph's Detroit
Faceoff Wins 7 Faceoff Wins 13
Clearing 17-22 Clearing 10-18
Possessions 37 Possessions 36
Goals 10 Goals 7
Offensive Efficiency .270 Offensive Efficiency .194

The complete lack of consistency on faceoffs over the course of the season is such a question mark to me (and I'll have to do a bit more research writing the preview to figure out why). On this day, Detroit was on the good side of a domination. Their ride/clear game was bad, though, and their offensive efficiency was just pitiful.

Canisius Detroit
Faceoff Wins 11 Faceoff Wins 8
Clearing 17-20 Clearing 15-20
Possessions 36 Possessions 31
Goals 9 Goals 8
Offensive Efficiency .250 Offensive Efficiency .258

Detroit was slightly more efficient than Canisius, but still managed to lose based on having fewer opportunities. That's due to (say it with me now) slight struggles on faceoffs and a worse ride/clear game.

Marist Detroit
Faceoff Wins 12 Faceoff Wins 11
Clearing 17-22 Clearing 19-22
Possessions 37 Possessions 38
Goals 13 Goals 6
Offensive Efficiency .351 Offensive Efficiency .158

A horrible day in efficiency both offensively and defensively led to a blowout loss on a day that Detroit actually had more possessions than the opponent.

Wagner Detroit
Faceoff Wins 13 Faceoff Wins 11
Clearing 20-28 Clearing 26-29
Possessions 44 Possessions 48
Goals 7 Goals 14
Offensive Efficiency .159 Offensive Efficiency .292

In their most dominant game in program history, Detroit overcame a worse faceoff percentage by riding Wagner to a 71.4% success rate on clears, while nearing 90% success on their own. With more possessions, they nearly doubled up in terms of efficiency, for a big win.

What it all Means

The Titans rotated between being horrible, merely bad, and decent. They had varying amounts of success in all three factors of efficiency, with good and bad days on faceoffs, ride/clears, and efficiency. Let's take a look at the season totals.

Season Totals
Opponents Detroit
Faceoff Wins 198 (.548) Faceoff Wins 163 (.451)
Clearing 251-312 (.804) Clearing 239-311 (.768)
Possessions 582 Possessions 535
Goals 180 Goals 133
Offensive Efficiency .309 Offensive Efficiency .249
Final Efficiency Margin

Aside from overall offensive efficiency, Detroit's most consistent struggle (despite occasional flashes of brilliance) was on faceoffs. That's also a much more discrete issue to fix than "hey put the ball in the goal when you have it," (though putting the ball ON the goal might be a good start - Detroit was in the bottom third of Division 1 in shot percentage) so improving on faceoffs is a simpler fix for improvement - if not necessarily an easy one.

The ride/clear game was fairly even throughout the year, though opponents got the best of the Titans there as well. You can't score on a possession if you can't bring it into the offensive restraining box (INCISIVE ANALYSIS!).

The overall story is... Detroit can improve all over. As a young program entering just its third year of existence, there's definitely a possibility that it can happen.

Coming Soon

Now that I have some baseline numbers to work with, I'll try incorporate this stuff into a season preview of the Titans. Look for that tomorrow, in advance of their regular season opener on Saturday at Delaware.