Detroit will take part in two fall ball games Saturday, and also participate in some community service in the Chicago area. First up: Bellarmine at 8:30 a.m.
8:30 a.m. CST Oct. 6, 2012
Franciscan Hale High School, Chicago
4-8 (0-6 MAAC). #39 Laxpower, #40 Tempo-Free.
Raw numbers are from last year, and the strength-of-schedule adjusted numbers come from the Tempo-Free database.
|Faceoff Wins||128||Faceoff Wins||146|
|Offensive Efficiency||.272||Offensive Efficiency||.296|
Bellarmine was poor on faceoffs, which led to a below-average performance in the possession game, despite being good at both clearing and riding. The Knights frequently ran a 10-man ride last year, but unlike Michigan (which was one of the best riding teams in the country despite a lack of talent), it didn’t give them exceptional numbers.
The offense and defense were both just below-average – coming in at No. 40 and No. 33 nationally, adjusted for schedule strength.
The full profile, via TempoFreeLax.com:
Bellarmine had two scorers that stood above the rest last year in finishing specialist attackman Michael Ward and balanced midfielder Colton Clark. Ward is back (and now a senior), but Clark is gone. The team’s other leading finisher (13 goals) is also gone in the form of attack Austin Bright.
Midfielder Cameron Gardner – mostly a shooter last year – is now a junior, and could see an increased role in the offense at large with the losses at other spots. The only other double-digit scorers returning other than that are attack Lance Robinson and midfielder Will Cary. Both were mostly balanced last year, with an edge toward goals.
The offense on the whole last year assisted on less than half its scores, which was terrible. Feeder numero uno is gone, so Bellarmine will have to find some passers (they also turned it over on 46% of their possessions last year, a pretty bad mark) if they want to take another step offensively.
More likely, the offense isn’t quite as good this season.
Only two Knights caused double-digit turnovers last year (actually only three other guys notched more than five), so this was clearly not a high-pressure unit, designed to strip the ball away – they play an opposite style to Detroit, it seems. The really bad news for Bellarmine? Both of those guys – Arden Wipf and Ross Doan – are gone. Even worse, so is the third starter, Matt Silvia, also graduated, along with reserve Austin Powell.
That leaves… a lot of question marks. LSM Bobby Schmitt, who started most of last year as a freshman, is back. The other regularly used LSM, Michael Bender, is also back. With a dearth of close defenders, I bet one of them moves in this year. Collin Hart, who was also a freshman – it seems like just about everyone on this team last year was either a freshman or a senior – played in nearly every game last year, and is another good guess to start this season.
Last year’s starting goalkeeper returns in the form of 6-5 Dillon Ward. He saved a poor .510 of shots faced (No. 31 nationally, behind a defense with three seniors starting), and allowed 10.41 goals per game. Even if he improves this year – possible – the defense in front of him should be worse.
One player took nearly all of Bellarmine’s faceoffs last year: Troy Athens product Andrew Bulgarelli. He has graduated, and taken his .488 win rate with him. He was best on the team, and replacing him should not be easy, since it appears Bellarmine was bad in general.
Departed defenseman Austin Powell was the only other Knight to take double-digit draws, so it will be entirely starting from scratch for BU. The best guess in that instance is to assume a .500-ish mark, though slightly worse (to account for wing play and coaching – they’ve actually been well below average every year of the TFL database) is more likely.
As mentioned at the top, the ride/clear were both pretty good. It’s tough to know if that will continue with all the personnel losses, but the ride specifically is often attributable to schematic design, so that should be fine.
Bellarmine played a pretty clean brand of ball last year, with teams combining for fewer than seven penalties per game. BU actually finished almost twice as many of their chances as opponents, so they were strong in that respect.
These two teams met in the 2012 regular season, with Detroit missing a great opportunity to get a win (stumbling to an 8-9 loss at home). The Titans led by four goals with four minutes to play, and gve up five quick goals to lose in regulation.
There may be a bit of added motivation for UDM, even though it’s a new year – and just a fall ball scrimmage. The loss last year still has to sting, especially the way it happened.
That said, this Bellarmine team should be a good amount worse than last year’s, while the Titans should be better. There’s little to prove in a fall ball scrimmage for the team who is presumed the favorite, and UDM should be able to test some new strategies or personnel in the game.
Detroit should be as good or better than last year, Bellarmine should take a big step back. With the typical caveats about fall ball, etc., I see that resulting in a 12-7 Titan win.