All things lax-related from the Maize and Blue today, a lot of news coming in from Ann Arbor.
First things first, the 2011 Season preview for Michigan was posted up on their blog yesterday, it looks to be another good year for the Wolverines as they will go for their 4th consecutive MCLA title. It doesn’t look to be an easy run though, playing a tough 14 game schedule with 3 scrimmages against Bellarmine (D1), Wittenberg (D3) and Kenyon (D3).
The Wolverines will have the benefit of playing 8 home games, only traveling to California to play Oregon, Loyola Marymount and Chapman then 3 away conference games versus Ohio University, Michigan State and Toledo.
Check out the full preview here: Michigan Lacrosse Preview 2011.
Michigan Head Coach John Paul was also recently interviewed for a podcast, discussing the three main focuses of the team coming back after Winter break, being gb’s, riding and their transition game. Coach Paul has his ducks in a row for sure, looking outside of the sport for new ways to push the team to become better.
Listen to the full interview here: Fundamentals with John Paul.
Lastly, the Wolverines kicked off their season last night.
Check out the full Press Release below:
Wolverines Can’t Rally Back against Bellarmine in Pre-Season Opener.
For Immediate Release
January 29, 2011
Event: Men’s Lacrosse
Score: Michigan 11, Bellarmine 18
Records: U-M (0-0, 0-0 CCLA), Bellarmine (0-0, 0-0 GLVC)
Next U-M Game: Friday, February 4, 7:30pm EST – Scrimmage vs. Wittenberg University – Ann Arbor, MI (Oosterbaan Fieldhouse)
Wolverines Can’t Rally Back against Bellarmine in Pre-Season Opener
Ann Arbor, Michigan – After a long, productive off-season the University of Michigan Men’s Lacrosse team hosted the Bellarmine Knights in their first pre-scrimmage of the season this Saturday night in Ann Arbor. The game opened with both teams performing well until the Knights took over in the second quarter, out-scoring U-M 9-3. The Wolverines battled back to even play in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as Bellarmine took home the 18-11 unofficial win.
The game started off with a back and forth battle with each team getting chances in the opposing offensive zones. The Knights drew first blood on a fast break as a result of an offsides call on the Wolverines. After scoring two more, Matt Asperheim (Grand Rapids, MI/East Grand Rapids) scored Michigan’s first on a man-up opportunity. Both teams’ performance set the stage for an exciting first quarter with high-tempo action and solid ball movement as Bellarmine led 3-1 after the first 15 minutes.
Bellarmine opened up the second quarter with a faceoff win, but Michigan eventually earned possession and drew within one on a goal from sophomore attackman Ryan Dutton-O’Hara (Mount Airy, MD – Urbana – St. John’s) on a feed from freshman midfielder Fernando Murias (Rockville, MD – Georgetown Prep). The Knights were tagged for a penalty on the goal, but Bellarmine was able to fight off the Michigan man-up offense and went on to score six unanswered goals to increase their lead to 9-2 with momentum clearly on their side.
Michigan finally answered when junior midfielder Brian Greiner (Grosse Point, MI – Grosse Pointe South/RPI) won a faceoff and pushed into the offensive zone to assist Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, Penn./Upper St. Claire) for Michigan’s third goal on a dunk out front. After Bellarmine scored two more unanswered goals, U-M came back with a goal from Dutton-O’Hara with the assist from sophomore midfielder Joe Hrusovsky (Lake Forest, IL – Lake Forest). Bellarmine earned possession down the stretch and scored a quick-stick goal from just outside the crease as the second quarter came to an end with the Knights leading 12-4.
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders in the third with even keeled exchanges until Michigan started the scoring with a tally from Doug Bryant (Princeton, NJ – Princeton). After what looked like a momentum change for the Wolverines, Bellarmine responded with three of their own over the next five minutes. Michigan went on a run of their own however to close out the third quarter, scoring three of the final four. The Wolverines found their stride, dominating possession, and showing poise on offense with great ball movement, a number of shots and eventually, back-to-back goals from senior attackman Chad Carroll (Cincinnati, Ohio/St.Xavier High) as the Wolverines trailed 16-8 going into the final frame.
The high-energy play continued into the fourth with well-executed plays and hard-hitting action but it took over five minutes for someone to find the back of the net. Bryant opened up the fourth-quarter scoring with a nice shot at the top of the box at the 9:56 mark. Following more back-and-forth play, Bryant scored his third on a great effort with another shot from far outwith just 39 seconds left as Bellarmine earned the 18-11 scrimmage win.
The Wolverines will be back in action on Friday, February 4th, 2011 as they take on Wittenberg University in Ann Arbor at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse for their second pre-season scrimmage. For more information on Michigan Men’s Lacrosse, please visit mgobluelacrosse.com.
● Senior goaltenders Mark Stone (Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek) and Andrew Fowler (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Hotchkiss CT) split time in net with Stone starting the game and recording five saves while Fowler stopped four shots in the final thirty minutes.
● Michigan only won five of 16 faceoffs in the first half but battled back in the second, winning 11 of 14. Greiner won 13 of 18, while sophomore faceoff specialist Harrison Silver (South Salem, N.Y./John Jay) went 3-11.
● Greiner also paced the team with nine groundballs.
● Bryant led the team in scoring with three goals.
Head Coach John Paul
On his general impressions: “It was obviously a better second half than the first. It’s going to be a challenge for us not having the dominant face off guy that we’ve had the last 7-8 years. We got destroyed on face offs the first half and Edward Earnst was out, so we put a lot of pressure on our defense. Bellermine is a good team and our defense wasn’t really ready for that kind of pressure. We changed to Brain Greiner in the second half. He’s just switched back to facing off in the last couple of weeks. He’s rusty and we changed the technique he was using.”
On what the team learned from the game: “Ultimately we’ve got to get out ride going, it’s really not at the place it needs to be. Part of that is not having Harry Fried in there. Harry is kind of the heart of our ride and we’ve got to be playing better defense. If anything was exposed today it was that our defense needs a lot of work and our face-offs need more consistency. I was really happy overall with our offense—when we got possession our offense executed very well. Their Goalie had a couple of huge saves in the first quarter, so I think the first half might have been a little bit closer, even without more possession. In the second half, we were getting some quality looks up the middle.”
On the goals of the second half: “It’s hard to say because we’re not really looking at it as a comeback because it’s just a scrimmage, so we’re not really playing it that way. We’re just trying different things. I wanted to get through our man up plays, not necessarily going to the one that’s working. It’s a scrimmage, so were doing things a little bit differently. We want to execute our man up better, our goal is to be over 40%, but man up is always a work in progress as the guys get used to playing together. So much of man up is a feel—knowing where people are going to be and what works.”
On the team’s up-tempo practice style and its impact on the field: “We didn’t get to go that deep today because we had a lot of guys out and we had some guys who had to be a bit of an iron man today. It was an up and down kind of game and we were on defense a lot so I think the conditioning did help. The guys were certainly pushed to their limits today. I think we also played closer to the kind of pace we’re looking to play and we really got the ball up-field fast. We were getting into our sets quicker as well and that’s something we’re emphasizing more this year.”
On the focus going into the week: “From what we saw tonight, I think it’s going to be a lot of work with the ride and with the defense this week. We really need to figure some things out in both of those areas. I was talking with Coach Broschart after the game, and we wanted to point to some certain things on defense that hurt us and certain things we did well but we just couldn’t.It was a bad game overall. Part of that will also be limiting their possession because they were very good at pressuring us tonight.”
Senior midfielder Brian Greiner.
On getting back into the fray: “Coach didn’t feel comfortable letting me jump right in and start because I’ve been out for a year with a torn ACL and haven’t actually played in a college game in over a calendar year. It was a big step coming back. I transferred here and immediately tore my ACL and all I’ve ever wanted to do was play a sport here at Michigan; now I finally get to be healthy and live that dream.”
On the importance of the scrimmages: “For the team as a whole it’s good to see where we can improve with these scrimmages. It really helps balance out our lineups and get the best team dynamic we can going into the season.”
Contact: Joe Hennessy – firstname.lastname@example.org – 734-276-8493