The Wolverines are Great Lakes Lacrosse Classic champions yet again, as they knocked off in-state rival Michigan State 14-10 at Birmingham Seaholm last night. Michigan improved their all-time record against State to 21-1.
From the official recap, your tempo-free breakdown:
|Faceoff Wins||21||Faceoff Wins||7|
|Offensive Efficiency||.255||Offensive Efficiency||.238|
As I predicted, Michigan acquitted themselves well on faceoffs, winning 75% of the draws. Though there were plenty of long scrums before anyone emerged with the ground ball, more often than not, it was a player in blue ending up with it.
Both teams were really bad on clears. That was partially a product of weather (there was a misty rain through the first half, and intermittent heavier precipitation after halftime), but there was also some sloppy play. While seeing Michigan’s opponent at .565 clearing success rate, the Wolverines all the way down at an even .500 is almost unheard of.
Since there were so many failed clears, there were plenty of possessions in this game: 97 of them between the two teams, in fact. Most of those were not able to generate legitimate scoring chances.
Trevor Yealy put up 6 goals and Thomas Paras had 4 assists on the day. Ryan Dutton-O’Hara actually did some of each(!), with 2 goals and an assist. One of Yealy’s goals was an awesome athletic play as he got tripped, and he ended up going head-over-heels but still beating Smith Atwood.
Speaking of big Yealy goals, he scored one as time expired in the first half (making the score 9-4), which I thought would break the Spartans’ backs, especially given late-game collapses against the likes of Colorado State and Arizona State. Major credit to Michigan State for not throwing in the towel in the face of adversity.
Patrick Nemes was nowhere to be found early in the game (along with most of the Spartan offense, to be fair), but he really stepped it up after halftime, and really helped State make this contest competitive.
Speaking of which, the play got pretty sloppy in the second half, due in part to both the intensity of the game, and the weather getting worse. Regardless of game intensity, throwing punches isn’t OK. I hope Coach Hicks disciplines his player who tried to start a fight (especially since the officials didn’t seem to find reason to penalize it).
Michigan executed the standard halftime goalie switch, and Fowler faced a lot more action than Stone. In that respect, I thought he looked pretty good (and both keepers made a couple great saves for the Wolverines). However, even with State’s improved offense in half 2, if they’d been able to put more shots on target, this could have come down to the wire.
All photos by Paul Nelson for GreatLaxState.com:
The Wolverines play another neighbor, as they’ll head down US-23 to face Toledo on Saturday at 7 PM. Michigan State has a week off before taking on Ball State in Grosse Ile on April 30th.