UDM Improvement ’15: Turnovers

Detroit’s story has been relatively consistent in the time I’ve been covering the team: The Titans have been very good defensively, but subpar on the offensive side of the ball. Bringing that portion of the team (rankings in the past four years: No. 46, 51, 55, 56 nationally from 2011-14) more in line with the other (Nos. 17, 34, 23, and 22 in the same span) can see the team make rapid improvement.

The Problem

Detroit has been, how shall we say, not very careful with the ball. The 2011 Titans turned it over on 61% of possessions. The 2012 team improved to only 58% of possessions ending with a turnover, with incremental improvement to 57.8 and 55.8% of possessions in the past two years.

That’s still not good enough, of course. Even those slow-but-steady improvements (which are natural with a young and improving program), the Titans ranked No. 59 of 66 in terms of turnovers per offensive possession last year – Quinnipiac’s stats are messed up thanks to inaccurate record keeping so I’ve excised them.

Here’s a look at turnovers per offensive possession (y-axis) plotted against team pythagorean win expectation (x-axis). The causal relationship isn’t exactly portrayed in the traditional way, but I’m not an Excel whiz and this made the data easier to digest. Detroit’s point on the chart is highlighted.

Turnovers per possession v. Pythagorean win expectation

Turnovers per possession v. Pythagorean win expectation

As you can see, The Titans were actually more successful than the trendline would otherwise expect them to be based on the number of turnovers they commit (teams above the line). Going to the more direct comparison – offensive efficiency – makes the point just as clearly. Again, the axes themselves are flipped in that the X is not the causal factor, but the trend is clear once again.

Turnovers per possession v. Offensive efficiency

Turnovers per possession v. Offensive efficiency

Again, I’ve highlighted Detroit’s mark, and it’s above the line once more. That means more of their (lack of) offensive success was due to turnovers than the average team. Trimming those up to fall along the trendline – and hopefully move down it to the right – will really help.

With a .261 offensive efficiency and .558 turnover rate, only about 18% of Titan possessions ended with something other than a UDM goal or turnover. Decreasing that 18% is tough – the other teams have defenses and goalies, you know – but chipping away at the 55.8% can lead to rapid improvement.

Very long side note, how about Penn State hanging out as a huge outlier to the bottom in both charts? A ton of their offensive success was due to never turning the ball over. Is that sustainable due to their style of play, or will the Nittany Lions take a slight step back on that side of the ball simply due to regression to the mean (in addition to their personnel losses in Shane Sturgis and Kyle Vanthof, among others)? Could just be some Tambroni magic that keeps up. 


Now is the portion where blame is assigned. In some cases, that may be unfair (an offensive player who is asked to dominate the ball either offensively or as part of the clear is going to turn it over here and there), but the stats are the stats.

Player Turnovers
Alex Maini 43
Mike Birney 30
Brandon Beauregard 23
Shayne Adams 19
Scott Drummond 19
Tom Masterson 14

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

Alex Maini was very turnover-prone (though as mentioned above, there’s some give-and-take – he was the team’s leader in assists, and trying to make plays carries inherent risk). So too was Mike Birney, who was less important as a ball-carrier for the offense, but was involved in the Titans’ clear. That the clear itself was bad is its own issue, but turnovers played directly into it.

Speaking of that clear, 59 of the Titans’ 249 turnovers came on the clear (they had the fifth-worst clearing unit in the country). Those are doubly damaging because they not only rob the offense of a chance to score, but they also put the defense in a tough spot, opening them up to fast-break opportunities from the opponent. As good as the UDM defense was last year, it could have been even better if not for so many rideback opportunities for opponents (I count six direct rideback goals from the boxscores – by a pretty strict standard of a score coming within 15 seconds of the failed clear – including two in a one-goal loss to Quinnipiac).

With another year of experience for some of these guys, their should be more precision with their passing and decision-making, and hopefully stick skills overall. Again, it may be unfair to Maini – since he carried the team’s offense for much of the year – but if he’s simply as turnover-prone as it looks, maybe there’s a chance to replace his scoring and carrying ability with a bit more ball security, losing him may not hurt as much as the scoring totals (he was the team’s assist leader with 26, and second-leading scorer overall by adding 18 goals) would suggest.

Reasonable Expectations

There is something to be said for playing in the same system for two years (though less so in lacrosse, especially when promotions to offensive coordinator come from within the program than football or maybe even basketball). We’ve already seen Graham Adams work wonders with the UDM man-up – setting an NCAA record for success – last year. With more comfort in the way he does things, the Titans should be able to eliminate some of the first-year jitters.

While not directly related to offense, goalie Jason Weber also committed six turnovers last year. That’s not many for a goalie, but he was also a freshman, and one who missed the first three games. Another year of experience should help him clean even those limited mistakes up, or at the very least make it so they hurt both offense and his defense a little less.

As mentioned above, there are some other factors, such as graduating a couple of the more turnover-prone Titans, that could help to a degree. The Titans aren’t ever going to have the greatest sticks in the world, due to reliance on in-state recruiting, but they do have five incoming Canadians (two freshmen and three others coming off redshirts last year), and a hotbed player from DC Gonzaga available this year that they didn’t have last year that could help to a degree. That’s no hard-and-fast comparison – Midwest = good athletes, worse stick skills, Hotbed = better sticks – but as a rough estimation, it’ll do here.

Approaching the national average (.449 turnovers/offensive possession) is a reasonable goal. It probably means struggling mightily against the good teams but doing better in the MAAC. Since winning the league is the path to success for a mid-major team, that’s probably fine. 115 of the Titans’ 248 turnovers were unforced by the opposition, and simply getting that number below 100 would be a marked improvement.

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2015 Detroit Titans Lacrosse Schedule

After periodic checking by yours truly, the official Detroit lacrosse schedule has been posted on the UDM website. Right into the nitty-gritty:

Date Opponent Location
Feb. 7 Ohio State Home (Pontiac)
Feb. 14 Michigan Away (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Feb. 21 Robert Morris Home (Pontiac)
Feb. 27 Marquette Neutral (Louisville, Ky.)
March 1 Bellarmine Away (Louisville, Ky.)
March 10 Mercer Home (Pontiac)
March 14 Air Force Away (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
March 21 Quinnipiac Away (Hamden, Conn.)*
March 28 Manhattan Home*
April 4 Marist Away (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)*
April 11 Monmouth Home*
April 18 Siena Away (Loudonville, N.Y)*
April 25 Canisius Home*
May 1-3 MAAC Tournament Highest Seed*

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

Thoughts on thoughts on thoughts:

  • Starting at the end, because it’s not opposite day: Even if the Titans are the top seed in the league the MAAC website says “Highest Seeded Full MAAC Member” which implies that no associate members (Titans are the only non-full member in the league) can host. It makes sense geographically – basically all the other schools are a drive from each other, while UDM is a flight or long-ass bus ride for all – but stinks for the Titans’ purposes.
  • The way the schedule sets up with with six straight league games to end the season, all non-conference home games will be at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, and all MAAC home games will be at Titan Field. It’ll be in interesting transition of sorts, but one the Titans are used to – usually with a bit less defined a line, to be fair.
  • The non-conference slate includes winnable contests (Marquette, though UDM has had fits even in the first few years of the Golden Eagles’ program, Michigan, Robert Morris, Mercer) and some that will be tougher to win. A nice test, though for low-major lacrosse programs in the MAAC, it’s all about setting up for a conference run to get into the NCAA Tournament. This schedule sets the Titans up to do that as well as possible.
  • In the league, the two toughest tests in Siena and Marist are on the road, then the next two, Canisius and Quinnipiac, are a home/road split. Monmouth and Manhattan are both at UDM. Sweep the home games, do what you can on the road, and Detroit should have a good shot to make the MAAC Tournament even if the team isn’t much better than last year’s (another post for another day). In a seven-team league, three outfits will miss the championships, and if Manhattan and Monmouth are probably 6-7, beating out one of the other pair is the path, and Detroit has the schedule to be able to do it.

Going 3-4 in the non-conference and taking care of business in the league (a 4-2 or 3-3 mark) seems most likely at this point. That would be a solid season, and a nice debut for new head coach Chris Kolon. Better than that, and it’s clear that the coaching change on The Mile is one that worked out.

There is some significant unknown with the coaching change. Though there’s stability that comes with promoting from within, a new man in charge is a change nonetheless. The Titans have been building as a mid-major program in the past few seasons with positive blips (taking Notre Dame to the brink after winning the MAAC a couple years ago) and some negative. This schedule provides the opportunity to maintain consistency there, and the Titans have a chance to move up the pecking order a bit, as well.

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Lax Links: Nov. 14, 2014

Straight to the links…


One of the best lacrosse facilities in the state is coming… up north? Boyne Mountain plans to add a nine-field lacrosse complex to its… ski resort? Strange times in the mitten:

Development will occur in stages and several of the new fields will open in 2015. The complex will eventually total nine fields…

Petoskey Lacrosse used the initial field built this summer, according to a release from the resort. The complex will primarily cater to lacrosse events, but Boyne plans to add soccer and other field sports events later.

Boyne hopes the complex will become a training ground for Midwest teams. Kentwood-based True Lacrosse plans to begin hosting events there next year.

It’s notable that lacrosse is the priority for Boyne when it comes to field constructions. That’s certainly something that you wouldn’t have heard even just a few years ago. It’s not exactly in a hotbed for lacrosse – three hours from Grand Rapids – but can certainly be a destination in itself.

I’d love to see training-oriented stuff make its way to Michigan.

Big Ten

The Big Ten has record books for lacrosse. Unsurprisingly, neither the men’s nor women’s edition has a lot of U-M representation, but there is a bit of love for both… as well as some Michigan State action from the ol’ D-1 days.

In 1928 there was a three-way split for the national championship… between Hopkins, Maryland, and Rutgers. B1G!

Michigan has named Mack Gembis, David McCormack, Will Meter, and Thomas Orr team captains for this spring.

If your child wants to meet the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams at Michigan, tomorrow is their opportunity. Since I’ve been derelict in my duty as a blogger, there’s a good chance you’ve missed registration.


The Titans are hosting their prospect experience Dec. 6. Cool opportunity for high school players in the 2015-18 classes hoping for some recruiting action.


It’s signing week, so in a yearly tradition, you can shoot your photos of players from Michigan signing (or out-of-state players signing with Michigan schools) to the inbox via e-mail or Twitter.

2015 Clarkston defenseman Dayne Rogers committed to MCLA Michigan State, as did attack teammate Andrew Williamson.

2017 Brighton faceoff specialist Jack Aigner committed to Bryant.

2018 midfielder Luke Summers of Allentown (Pa.) Central Catholic committed to Michigan.

Local press on Forest Hills Northern trio Bobby Pelton, Peter Fisk, and Grant Lardieri picking Marquette, UMass, and UMass-Lowell, respectively.

Uncommitted 2016 Brother Rice faceoff specialist Evan Dennis was King of X at the Can-Am Showcase last weekend at Country Day. Player reaction to the event.

Fall Ball

Michigan coach John Paul fall recap. U-M fogo Brian Archer gives his take on the fall activities (and meals). Junior midfielder Mike Hernandez documents Victors Week on video.

Not the most exciting time of year, but lacrosse is lacrosse. Grand Valley 13, Olivet 3. Grand Valley also beat Davenport 11-8. Photos from the latter game. Adrian beat Grand Valley 11-10.

U-M Dearborn had a successful fall session.

I… I don’t know. Detroit’s post-Halloween activities were far less weird, and more community-oriented.

High School/Club/youth/Etc.

Jake Seiler is the new head coach at Forest Hills Central.

The Great Lax Bay Classic will be a qualifying event for the Dicks Tournament of Champions next summer.

Anything I missed? News tips, press releases, etc. can go to my e-mail or Twitter inbox.

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Lax Links: Oct. 25, 2014

Let’s hop into the links…


TopLaxRecruits discusses Central Michigan commit Clare Laughery.

The Chippewas also picked up a pledge from St. Louis (Mo.) Ladue Horton Watkins 2015 midfielder Jane Nelson.

Prior Lake (Minn.) midfielder Ally Barian will play for Grand Valley State (keep in mind that unlike the men, the women field a varsity program in Allendale).

Howell goalie Alex Moyer will play at D-2 Lake Erie College.

2015 Farmington Hills Mercy midfielder Brooke Ottaway committed to Rollins College.

Clarkston 2015 midfielder John McLennan will play at Grand Valley.

Recruiting Rundown ranks the top 75 2015 prospects nationally. Michigan commit Decker Curran at No. 48 is the only prospect of interest to our territory. Two more Wolverines, Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga defenseman Michael Borda and Northport (N.Y.) attack Rocco Sutherland, make the watchlist, which stretched the whole deal to a top-100 list.

The 2016 Top75 list is even more populated with future Wolverines (though still no homegrown products from within our own borders. No. 35 Cali attackman Christian Ford, No. 37 Colorado attack Henry Adams, No. 54 Texas LSM John Michael Priddy, and No. 68 Missouri goalie Matthew Trowbridge, are all Ann Arbor-bound. The watchlist – a bit bigger for this class at 40 prospects – includes future Wolverines Curtis Alexander (a defenseman from Massachusetts) and Avery Myers (a midfielder from DC Gonzaga).

More of the same with the 2017 class, though I’m surprised – after reading how loaded the group sounds in composing last week’s Lax Links post – that U-M is actually only represented by four top-75 players. Manhasset (N.Y.) LSM Ben Cirella is the high man at No. 35, followed by Nevada goalie Zion Dechesere, N.Y. faceoff middie Connor Cronin, and Connecticut attack Alex Buckanavage. Mssr. Xanders conveniently ranks the classes for us, and the Wolverines come in at seventh.

Recruiting Rundown evaluates 2018(!!) Michigan commit John John Lombardi, and talks to him about his pledge.

“He reminds me of when I used to coach against Matt Rambo, a kid who just brings it every game and doesn’t care who we’re playing. You get him angry, you better watch out,” Martin says. “He’s intense and makes sick decisions and is extremely coachable. The bottom line is that he’s going to be a very special player in college.”

Matt Rambo? Is that good? I think it’s good. He was only the eighth-leading goal scorer among freshmen this spring, while playing for a loaded Maryland team.

Project 9 took place last weekend with three future Wolverines in attendance. Pingry (N.J.) 2015 midfielder JC Sorenson, Northport (N.Y.) 2015 A Rocco Sutherland, and Cherry Creek (Colo.) 2016 attack Henry Adams represented the Maize and Blue.


Detroit has gained a transfer from Rosemont College midfielder Rasool Smith. Smith was the second-leading scorer for the D-3 program that finished 4-11 and as LaxPower’s No. 183 squad in the division last year.

‘Twas a beautiful day on The Mile when Detroit scrimmaged Adrian Saturday.

Lacrosse Magazine looks at the impact the Big Ten Conference and Big Ten Network can have on the game. The big news out of that is it sounds like BTN is planning to significantly ramp up lacrosse coverage, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Gotta make room for all the Purdue Campus Programming, ya know?

Inside Lacrosse provides (text) highlights of Michigan’s fall ball scrimmages (video highlights for the UMBC/Navy game only) against UMBC and Navy. There’s a little bit of discussion of the Fairfield scrimmage on the LaxPower forum, the only place I’ve seen anything substantive.

The Next (and Next Next) Level

Brother Rice alum and Notre Dame sophomore Sergio Perkovic had a big day against Team USA in the Seatown Classic. Perkovic’s statline – just one goal to go along with six assists – leads 412 Lax to wonder if he can be an elite feeder.

Two lady Titans are on the shortlist for Team Canada’s U-19 team heading into next summer’s FIL World Championships in the UK.

High school, Club, Clinics, etc.

313 Lax’s fall and winter training sessions are starting up soon. For more info and to register, visit the website.

Registration is open for the 2015 Great Lax Bay classic.

Less than a week to register for the winter session(s) at All-American Lacrosse.

Blue Crew Lacrosse director and Friend of the Blog Ty McGuire is the new varsity coach at Dexter High School.

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2015 Michigan Wolverines Lacrosse Schedule

Michigan’s spring schedule is here! With a few dates filled in thanks to our ability to assume things using our deductive reasoning:

Date Opponent Location
Jan. 31 Marquette, Denison (Exh.) Home (Oosterbaan)
Feb. 7 Bellarmine Home (Oosterbaan)
Feb. 14 Detroit Home (Oosterbaan)
Feb. 21 Notre Dame Home (Oosterbaan)
Feb. 28 Canisius Home (Oosterbaan)
March 3 Jacksonville Away (Jacksonville, Fla.)
March 8 Brown Home
March 14 St. Joseph’s Away (Philadelphia)
March 21 Drexel Home
March 26-29 Maryland Away (College Park, Md.)*
April 2-5 Ohio State Home*
April 9-12 Rutgers Home*
April 16-19 Johns Hopkins Away (Baltimore)*
April 23-26 Penn State Home*
April 30-May 2 B1G Tournament College Park, Md.*

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

Thoughts on thoughts on thoughts:

  • It’s a lot of home games on the docket. Only four away games (two of them conference games), and a whopping four regular season games in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse – as best as I can recall, U-M has not played more than one per year in the first three seasons of the program. Oosterbaan was considered a big advantage during the club days, and although the varsity squad plays on a regulation-width field rather than the narrower football lines of the old days, it’s still an environment that not a lot of opposing teams are used to. That Bellarmine, Detroit, and Canisius are potentially winnable games, and will be played with a U-M advantage, that’s a boost to start the season.
  • I included the Big Ten Tournament at the end there, but let’s be honest with ourselves here: a six-team conference means Michigan almost certainly has to win two games to make a four-team field (or win a nice little tiebreaker), and they’re probably another year from pulling that one off.
  • Speaking of the conference schedule, the dates are still in flux (though the weekends appear to be set), thanks to – hopefully – the Big Ten Network’s ramping up of the sport’s coverage. According to Lacrosse Magazine, primetime Sunday games on BTN are in play… which means not a whole lot of Michigan action on Sundays, most likely (the Hopkins game should be on ESPNU, per the Blue Jays’ existing contract with that network). Either the Ohio State or Rutgers game should be prior to Michigan’s football spring game – more likely the latter contest, if my football spidey sense is accurate. In other things falling into the “hopeful, but unrealistic” category, maybe the U-M administration will finally realize it only makes sense to play the lacrosse game before the football practice, not after it.
  • Michigan will play back-to-back Philly teams, one away and one at home. The Drexel matchup is particularly interesting, because U-M swiped Dragons offensive coordinator Conor Ford in the offseason. Drexel may be familiar with his schemes, but he’ll also be familiar with theirs – and their personnel. Nice little intrigue to the coaching chess match.
  • The spring break trip is interesting in that it’s not as comprehensive as previous years, when two or three games would happen over the break. There’s no midweek game (there aren’t any on the schedule at all, actually), and even the start of spring break sees the Wolverines playing a home contest against Canisius, rather than getting their travel on.

I see about 6-ish winnable games (counting, say, Rutgers and Drexel for about half apiece), so this is a schedule at least as difficult as last year’s at the top. There’s not as much pulpy bottom to exploit, either. Michigan will have to take strides as a program to put together a record that looks like progress. Given the tough nature of Big Ten play, Michigan will take its lumps this year. They’ll also take some lumps in the non-conference (welcome home, Sergio Perkovic, please don’t score eight goals on us), but they should be able to win some games.

With Michigan moreso than other programs, it’s tough to know how much improvement to expect year-to-year, because the roster is still in the middle of transforming from a fully MCLA club talent base to a fully NCAA varsity recruited talent base. The third year of that transition (Team One wasn’t a transition at all) – but with yet another new offensive coordinator – should be the best yet.

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Lax Links Catchup: Not recruiting

All the other stuff that’s gone unaddressed since… uh… April. Recruiting was covered Friday.


U-M video productions continue to set a high bar:

Michigan-OSU rivalry video.

Detroit gets in the video action with a look at fall ball.

The Michigan Daily covered the contributions of two of Michigan’s best players last spring… and how they made an impact without seeing the field. Goalie Gerald Logan and LSM/defenseman Charlie Keady will be redshirt sophomores this spring.

Five members of the UDM team played in Ontario’s senior A box league.

The Next Next Level

UDM program alums Jordan Houtby and Joel Mathews played in the NLL this winter.

Grand Valley alum Cam Holding is seeing pro success (and won a world championship with Team Canada) after his career in Allendale.


Calvin College hired Kyle Hofstaedter to coach its program.


Grand Valley State won the Division-2 MCLA national title. Yay!

Conference Things and Honors

Detroit set an NCAA record this spring in man-up offense. UDM converted 34 of 48 opportunities for a .708 mark, albeit facing the No. 65 (Marquette, against whom they converted 5 of 8 opportunities), No. 63 (Canisius, 2-for-2), No. 61 (Quinnipiac), No. 66 (Siena) man-down defenses nationally. Goalie Jason Weber also led the Association in save percentage and saves per game.

UDM D-midfielder Troy Dennis participated in the USILA North-South All-Star game, and was a Senior CLASS first-team All-American.

Titans also crushed it in the classroom, with a league-best 26 All-MAAC academic selections.

In the team’s first year of existence, the Michigan women placed freshman midfielder Anna Schueler on the ALC all-conference second team.

The Big Ten: now a thing! The league announced its plans for the first two conference tournaments on both the men’s and women’s side:

The 2015 men’s tournament will be held from April 30 to May 2 at Maryland, while the 2015 women’s event will be hosted by Rutgers from April 30 to May 3. The 2016 men’s tournament will take place from May 5-7 at Johns Hopkins, while Northwestern will be the site of the 2016 women’s event from May 5-8.

So there you go. They’re sticking to the established/powerful programs as hosts for the first couple years. If Michigan’s facilities are done by then, I’d bet a dime on one or the other taking place in Ann Arbor in 2017.

The Big Ten Network will have Marylander Joe Beninati on the call for lacrosse coverage starting this spring. Maybe the channel will cover more than a couple games a year going forward! (But probably not).

High School

Rice’s era of dominance – despite the first-ever loss to an in-state program since MHSAA sanctioning – continued with a dominant win over Detroit Catholic Central.

Not directly Michigan-related, but it brings up a lot of the same issues as state sanctioning presents in the Great Lax State. Some Illinois high schools resisted going under the state’s high school governing body. The article is strongly pro-IHSA, but the gripes of the holdout coaches are the same ones that have been issues under MHSAA control in our state.

Not trying to get into day-to-day coverage from several months ago, but the human interest story on Bay City Central’s team of the week selection was a good one about program founder Larry Hyland‘s battle with cancer, which he lost prior to the 2014 season. The team broke a two-year winless streak this spring.

Forest Hills Central also lost longtime assistant Randy Lundblad to cancer. The RamGer benefit game against Rockford raised $8,000 for cancer research.

Forest Hills Northern’s Christian Carlson (now a freshman at Marquette) set the single-game goal record in the state this spring. He scored 11 in a victory over Cranbrook. FHN junior midfielder Bobby Pelton had a huge year.

FHC attack Andrew Kransberger was good, too. Grand Rapids All-area team is heavy on Forest Hills standouts.

Comstock Park High School added to the MHSAA ranks this spring.

Zach Schwartz, just a sophomore last year, was the Ann Arbor Newsplayer of the year. The midfielder/attack is committed to Michigan’s Class of 2016.

Former Michigan commit (now a Yale football player) Jason Alessi was the MLive Detroit player of the year.

Michigan High School Boys Lacrosse Coaches’ Association All-State picks. Same on the girls’ side.

Grow The Game

Kalamazoo College’s nascent women’s varsity program will be led by Vincent Redko. The D-3 program will play its first season in spring 2016.

Northern Michigan is adding a Division-2 women’s team.

Not specifically growth-related (but conference realignment fits closest here), Air Force will join the Southern Conference starting in spring 2016. The Falcons were left without a home after the creation of the Big Ten, Denver’s defection to the Big East, and other realignment, but they’ll join the “hey, we’re geographic outliers” club after one year as an independent.


The Detroit Turbos youth teams will have their tryouts Nov. 2 at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac. Visit their website for more info.

The annual Michigan Chapter of US Lacrosse fall 7-on-7 tournament Nov. 1 and 2. Registration and information here.

Student Sports Lacrosse looks at some of the standouts from the Cranbrook Lax Jam.

A few Michigan girls won the Brine NLC championship with Team Maryland.

The Can-Am Showcase takes place at Detroit Country Day Nov. 8-9.

Keepin’ it short. For any news items, commitments, press releases, etc., you can e-mail t.w.sullivan1@gmail.com or tweet @greatlaxstate.

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Lax Links Catchup: Recruiting

It’s been a minute, yeah? Breaking up Lax Links posts by topic. First, recruiting.

More generally related, if you’re a high school player looking to be recruited, stop everything and read this. Former Michigan assistant and current 3D Lacrosse director Ryan Danehy breaks down how (and how not) to send college coaches an e-mail. Lacrosse Playground also talked to U-M headman John Paul about the recruiting process.


UDM announced the remainder of its 2014 class over the summer.

Farmington (Minn.) 2015 defender Mitch Grengs will be a Titan. He had a wide range of school of interest, including MArquette and even some non-varsity programs.

Okemos 2015 attack Blake Turner committed to the Titans. TopLaxRecruits talks commitment.

Harborfields (N.Y.) 2015 Terrence Haggerty will take his attack skills to Detroit. UDM was the only D-1 school under consideration.

Detroit Catholic Central 2016 faceoff specialist Alex Jarzembowski committed to Detroit. Jarzembowski looked at some Patriot League programs.

Carmel (Ind.) 2016 attack Seth Mendell committed to Detroit.

The Titans made a big statement with a pledge from 2017 (the first ever public Titan pledge from a player yet to start his sophomore year that I can recall) midfielder Brennan Kamish of Detroit Catholic Central.


U-M yanked a 2015 verbal from Maryland in the form of Northport (N.Y.) attack Rocco Sutherland. LaxLessons breaks down his game and decision. A big snag for the Maize and Blue.

Future Wolverine Decker Curran led his Greenwich (Conn.) team to its first-ever state title. He’s Recruiting Rundown’s No. 47 player in the 2015 class:

No matter the spot of the field or release point, when he gets his hands free with his 100 mph cannon, the goalie’s only option is to turn and rake the ball out of the back of the net. Uses some ridiculously crafty moves when dodging and is always producing in transition.

Sounds like the type of player Michigan (also: anyone) can use.

Student Sports Lacrosse (which I believe is now defunct) broke down the game of 2016 Michigan LSM commit John Michael Priddy out of Dallas (Texas) Jesuit.

Duxbury (Mass.) 2016 midfielder Shane Sullivan will be a Wolverine.

Based on the way people reacted, Michigan’s landing 2017 goalie Zion Dechesere of Henderson (Nev.) Coronado was a capital-B capital-D Big Deal. LaxLessons shares that the other schools considered include Maryland and some middle-tier program. His reasons for picking Michigan are familiar by now – and something that U-M is really pushing to get kids away from national powers:

Why did you choose the school? “The reason I chose the University of Michigan is because when I first visited the school I fell in love. The academics are second to none, and the athletics are amazing as well.”

Not many schools can provide the Big Ten education experience (five of them, in fact).

West Chester (Pa.) 2017 defenseman JD Carroll committed to Michigan.

Brunswick (Conn.) 2017 attackman Alex Buckanavage committed to Michigan. Penn State, UVa, and Ohio State were other finalists, so that’s another big grab.

Manhasset (N.Y.) 2017 attackman Kevin Mack picked Michigan as well. LaxLessons has the breakdown.

2017 faceoff specialist Connor Cronin was another commit to elicit a wow (technically a “wow-ski”) reaction from former U-M assistant Ryan Danehy. TopLaxRecruits and LaxLessons both take a look at the product of Northport (N.Y.) High School.

2017 midfielder Hunter Batesko committed to Michigan (though we’ve gotta hook Joe Lombardi up with the info that “Big Blue” is Kentucky). The 6-2 two-way player also considered Maryland, UVa, Notre Dame, and North Carolina.

New Canaan (Conn.) 2017 midfielder Ryan O’Connell also picked Michigan, over MAryland and others.

Manhasset (N.Y.) 2017 long-stick Ben Cirella “touted by many as the best LSM in the class” picked Michigan.

If most of the Wolverines’ commits live up to the hype, that 2017 class should be a monster. U-M’s 2014 class cracked the IL top 20, and the groups only appear to be improving going forward. Both 2016 and 2017 sound awesome, and the Wolverines should have the talent to really turn the corner on the field soon.

On the ladies side, Kent Denver (Colo.) 2016 attack Erin O’Shaughnessy picked Michigan.

Central Michigan Ladies

There’s a new Division-1 squad in town! Er, uh, state! Central Michigan is putting together its first couple recruiting classes, and doing so with a heavy emphasis on in-state and Western recruits.

CMU gained a commitment from Rockford 2015 defender Kelly Spehar.

Cydney VanHoven, 2015 midfielder from East Grand Rapids, will head to Mount Pleasant as wellMore info on her from TopLaxRecruits.

Breaking up the Grand Rapids-area party is Okemos 2015 attack Natalie Bloniarz, another in-state pledge for the Chips.

Clare Laughery of Aliso Niguel High School in California will be a Chippewa.

The Chippewas also picked up a commitment from Mountain Vista (Colo.) 2015 attack Holly Billett.

2016 Rockford goalie Katie Elwell committed to Central Michigan.


Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 2015 goalie Ben Barrick will play at Grand Valley. Clayne Frazier, a 2015 defenseman from South Lyon, will join him.

High School/Club Links

Didn’t post many 2014 commitments above (because, like, they’re already in college), but True Lacrosse did post a rundown on several guys, so I find that to be useful.

Forest Hills Northern 2016 attack Peter Fisk committed to UMass. Forest Hills Northern 2015 goalie Grant Lardieri will play at UMass Lowell.

Rockford 2016 midfielder Alex Vander Molen will be a lady Buckeye.

Brother Rice 2015 A/M John Lockwood committed to Dickinson.

Grosse Pointe South 2015 FO/Mid Mac Carroll picked Manhattan.

Walled Lake Northern’s Alaina White will play at Pace. She is a 2015 defender. All Lacrosse Michigan talks about the pledge.

Detroit Country Day 2015 attack Emilio Sosa committed to Kenyon.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 2015 defenseman Sam McClain will head to Rollins.

2016 Brother Rice LSM/D Brian Cosgrove committed to Fairfield.

As always, feel free to use this thread for questions, comments, etc. If I missed anything, you can drop it here or shoot me an e-mail: t.w.sullivan1@gmail.com or Tweet: @GreatLaxState.

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