Detroit 6, Manhattan 8

This game was a monumental disappointment. After establishing themselves as contenders for the MAAC title with a win over Marist last weekend, the Titans laid an egg against a bad Manhattan team. Fortunately for them, as long as they keep on winning, the conference championship’s one-seed is in reach.

Tempo Free

From the official box score, a look at the tempo-free stats:

Manhattan 2012
Detroit Manhattan
Faceoff Wins 6 Faceoff Wins 12
Clearing 20-26 Clearing 19-24
Possessions 37 Possessions 42
Goals 6 Goals 8
Offensive Efficiency .162 Offensive Efficiency .190

In a non-shocking turn of events, the Titans were outperformed on faceoffs. They were also a little bit worse on the clear, leading to a slight possession deficit for the day. In an average-paced game, a deficit of five possessions is not that serious.

What is serious is that offensive efficiency number. Woof. There are plenty of explanations for that – windy, rainy, weather and oh yeah not having the team’s primary offensive threat on the field. No matter what, you aren’t going to win a whole lot of games with an efficiency mark under .200. Manhattan will surely take it.

Notes

Ah, the mitigating factors. Joel Matthews didn’t play for the Titans (for as-yet undisclosed reasons, as far as I can tell). Although Shayne Adams was often able to get it done as a one-man show last year, the offense has been very reliant on Matthews – even after missing Saturday, he has scored or assisted on nearly 40% of Detroit’s goals – and missing him from the lineup was a blow.

The weather was also a mitigating factor, albeit one that affected both teams. It was a crummy day out, with plenty of wind if the twitters are to be believed. Detroit actually didn’t commit as many turnovers as Manhattan did, but it’s clear they were having a tough time finding their rhythm.

Shayne Adams and Scott Harris were the only Titans with multi-point outputs, scoring three goals and two assists, respectively. Adams took 10 shots to get there, and also committed four turnovers on the day. While he carried the team last year, it’s clear he’s far more effective with Matthews in the lineup.

Defensively, Jordan Houtby caused five turnovers and picked up seven ground balls. John Dwyer had three and two, while Jamie Hebden caused two turnovers and picked up four GBs.

A.J. Levell made 13 saves while allowing eight goals. Manhattan’s Rich Akapnitis made 19 saves while allowing six goals, but it’s unclear whether his stronger performance is a credit to himself or a subpar effort from the Detroit offense.

On faceoffs, both Brandon Davenport (3/10) and Tyler Corcoran (3/8) struggled. That’s going to be a recurring theme for this Detroit team, and until they get better faceoff play, they’re at risk of running big possession deficits in pretty much any game. Unless they can counter that with strong play in the settled offensive and defensive sets, there’s a loss or two to be had.

I might be belaboring a point here, but it is important to note how disappointing this loss was. The best team in the MAAC should not lose to the second-worst team in the MAAC (although Manhattan has now moved up to No. 4 in the conference on Laxpower after the win). They especially should not lose to a team that they pummeled 13-7 last year. Taking out a bit of anger on fellow conference front-runner Siena this weekend is the only way to rectify the situation.

Elsewhere

Official box score. Detroit recap. Manhattan recap.

Up Next

Michigan returns home to take on an up-and-down Delaware squad on Saturday at 1 p.m inside Michigan Stadium. The Blue Hens are just 3-7, but that includes a blowout win over Detroit and a couple big wins over Bucknell (on the road in overtime) and Villanova.

The following week, the Wolverines will welcome Ohio State into the Big House following the football spring game.

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13 Responses to Detroit 6, Manhattan 8

  1. AndyD says:

    Ouch.

    That is all.

  2. laxer says:

    Managed to see the game and both matthews and lehto were in sweats to begin the game. Lehto coming in near the end of the second and matthews didn’t move for 4 quarters. Any explanation? If it was a suspension why do you even bring matthews if you don’t use him?

    • Tim says:

      I didn’t realize Lehto was limited as well. Rough situation for the Titans in a huge spot.

      Fortunately, it sounds like Matthews’ absence was a one-game thing, and not an injury that might see him perform at less than 100% on Saturday.

  3. John Lamarche says:

    Heard it was a suspension for undisclosed reasons. Would have been nice to serve against a non-MAC foe rather than this game…Mercer, G’Town etc… Hindsight is always 20/20, but hopefully the Titans can get it behind them… No matter what happens the rest of the way, Detroit will have regrets about losing to Manhattan….Detroit still should have found a way… Need to get better on Man Up… did not cash in on those opportunities and we have beat the face off thing to death….Still plenty of offense, too much standing around on offense though… Big chance to rebound against the Saints! Go Titans!

    • Reg Hartner says:

      The official suspension for Matthews was violation of team rules. I’ve been told that it’s not drugs/drinking/attitude/criminal/grades or anything else like that. It was the coaches call and that he just wasn’t doing the things he was supposed to do as a student-athlete.

      • Jason says:

        Good for coach Holtz. Sticking to a team rule and not making exceptions even for the best players will set a great precedent. It may have hurt for one game, but you can bet other players in the future will be following the rule, whatever it is. Who knows, it could be as silly as being late to practice.

        Not all coaches are man enough to sit a star player as they think they might need them to win, but in the long run I think that hurts those teams. College athletics are about more than just wins and I have a lot of respect for coaches who see that.

        • Tim says:

          He also did the same thing last year when Joel’s academics weren’t up to snuff (though I’m not sure if Holtz’s hand was forced by outside factors on that one).

          He’s definitely shown he has what it takes to sacrifice a little bit in order to ensure that the team – and the things even more important than the team – are priorities.

  4. LaughAttack says:

    And here i thought they were going to get rolling… their D played better against Marist, their O better the two games prior. Faces were better the past 3 games.

    And then this.

    Beat Siena. Hope to see some other posters at the game this saturday at 11.

    • Tim says:

      The only thing they can do is forget about it and move on. There are a lot of mitigating factors (most notably Joel Matthews’ absence) that will hopefully allow them to shrug it off as an anomaly and not lose confidence.

  5. John Lamarche says:

    Tim, I have said it before, and I will say it again… Thanks for all your coverage around the state of Michigan … you do a hell of a job… Quick question… Get in your time machine and tell me where you think this sport will be in Ten years… How many D1 teams will there be?

    • Tim says:

      Ten years down the road? I think you could start to see some of the wealthier big-time athletics programs or those with other compelling reasons to add the sport – Texas, USC, Colorado State, etc. – start to add teams. That could include a school like Boston College with an ACC tie-in – they would be the sixth school once Syracuse switches over from the Big East – and a couple local schools to compete with.

      Of course, you’ll see more smaller D-1 schools (the Monmouths and Furmans of the world) also add the sport. Hopefully overall growth, particularly outside the East, will inspire schools like Michigan State and Butler (and the ephemeral Presbyterian) to re-add lacrosse, and you might see a domino effect of sorts.

      In ten years, I think you could probably see something like 80 programs playing or announced. There are currently 61 teams playing, and five announced additions (Marquette, High Point, Monmouth, Boston U, and Furman). About 14 more announcements in the next ten years seems feasible.

      As mentioned earlier, I think USC, Colorado State, and Texas might not be far off.

  6. CKLaxalum says:

    Tim, I admire your optimism, but given the economy, Title IX, and the assumption that the current pace of team additions remains steady….7 more teams (for a total around 70) in the next 10 years seems more realistic in my opinion.

    As you noted, I’d expect schools in California, Texas, and Colorado to add teams. I’ll also add Florida. Given the success of their women’s team, I’d love to see Northwestern as well, but I also realize that they’d need a big jump start (major donors). Also, keep your eye on Oregon (given Nike and the recent addition of a women’s team).

    • Tim says:

      I don’t think it’s a big stretch to say 14 more are possible – keep in mind that I said announced, not necessarily playing. The leap from 66 to 73 is not so different from 66 to 80. With an economy on the rebound and the sport continuing to grow outside of traditional areas, momentum is in the right direction.

      Oregon and Florida definitely fall in that USC/Texas category, and with women’s teams, it’s clear they’re interested in the game. Keep in mind though that when a women’s team is added without a men’s, it often makes the Title IX calculus a little tougher down the road. There’s no longer an obvious women’s counterpart to add simultaneous to a men’s team.

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