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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.

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