Detroit 8, Marist 11

The short-handed Titans actually put up a bit more fight than I thought they would (the opposite of what happened when they lost their best offensive threat last year), but didn’t manage to pull an upset win against Marist. This is going to shape up to be a really tough year unless the team rallies.

Tempo Free

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

Marist 2013
Detroit Marist
Faceoff Wins 6 Faceoff Wins 15
Clearing 20-29 Clearing 21-24
Possessions 38 Possessions 48
Goals 8 Goals 11
Offensive Efficiency .211 Offensive Efficiency .229

This was a game that was very close on a possession-to-possession basis, but one team’s ability to dominate the ball ultimately decided the game. Marist was dominant on faceoffs, and rode the Titans very well for an advantage overall.

It’s tough in those instances to steal a win, especially on the road, and especially with an offense that hasn’t shown up much at all this season.

Notes

As expected, Shayne Adams did not play in this one. It’s tough to say how much Detroit missed him though, since the offense has been dysfunctional no matter who’s in the lineup.

Surprisingly, Alex Maini was not the offensive player who stepped up with Adams out of the lineup. He had a single goal and just two shots. Mike Birney scored two goals and added an assist, Tom Masterson scored his first two goals of the season, and a pair of freshmen – Northville product Nick Melucci and Brother Rice alum Andy Hebden – had a goal and an assist apiece.

While the offense wasn’t good (and hasn’t been, and likely won’t be with any consistency this season), the defense’s identity is simply not where it had been in previous years, either. The Titans forced just seven turnovers in 48 opponent possessions. That’s a far cry from where things have been in the recent past. Jordan Houtby and Jamie Hebden were (unsurprisingly) the only Titans with more than one caused turnover.

A.J. Levell was your starting goalie in this one, and he saved 50% of shots faced. When the defense doesnt’ seem to be limiting good looks or causing a parade of turnovers, it’s going to be tough for a keeper. That seems to be the case. At this point, I’m not sure what the competition is like between Levell and Chris Kelly.

Connor Rice and Jack Doherty each had five total points and led the Red Foxes (as expected). Joseph Radin, Jim Marks, and Aedan Herman also had multi-point games for Marist.

Moving along to faceoffs… I’m not sure what to think. The stats can only tell you so much when a faceoff unit that had been performing pretty well all year goes against what looks to be an equally talented one and simply gets clowned. Tyler Corcoran and Damien Hicks both struggled to get any wins, and Brandon Davenport only attempted one faceoff.

The final score is close, and the Titans had opportunities to steal one here, but really the flow of the game looks as though they didn’t seriously threaten, but for a few minutes here and there. After taking a 2-0 and 3-1 lead to start the game, the Titans gave up four straight and eight of the next nine to give Marist momentum. Though they drew back within 9-7 after a mini-rally late in the third, Marist was able to slam the door and take the relatively comfortable win.

Elsewhere

The official boxscore. Detroit recap. Marist recap.

Up Next

This weekend brings the best chance so far this season for the Titans to get a win. As bad as UDM has been, VMI has been much (much) worse. The game is at home, so there will be chances to build on momentum, etc.

This is probably the last game the Titans will be favored in this year (especially since the Manhattan game is on the road), so if they don’t get the win, it could be time to put them on serious Reverse Survivor watch.

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10 Responses to Detroit 8, Marist 11

  1. DCLaxFan says:

    Tim: this sounds like you’re predicting that UM will be a favorite over UD when they meet later this spring.

    • Tim says:

      At this point, absolutely. Neither team has covered itself in glory so far this season, but the numbers say Michigan is right there with UDM (and when the numbers are updated to include close calls against Fairfield and Colgate, it’ll get even closer if the Wolverines don’t pass UDM). With the home turf advantage – and accounting for the apparent loss of Shayne Adams – Michigan should be a decent favorite.

  2. AndyD says:

    I personally think it’s hard to make Michigan a favorite in anything. When it comes down to it, experience almost always trumps youth in close games. It’s been a given since day 1 that Michigan will eventually pass Detroit, but I don’t think that day is here yet even if the Titans are really struggling. Can UM beat them? Absolutely. They kept it close last year in their first game ever and with a goalie who struggled (understatement of the year) in the games he played. But the difference between close and winning is big.

    • Tim says:

      The difference between keeping things close and winning may be big, but… neither team has won this year, so I don’t know how much of an edge the Titans have there at all. The numbers say they’re the worse team this year (even with Adams), and far less tested. The game is at Michigan Stadium (home teams have about a 7% home field advantage, based on the aggregate numbers).

      Sure, there are going to be some intangible advantages for the Titans (most of their team haaaaates Michigan, whereas the Wolverines are far more likely to view it as just another game), but by the time that game rolls around, the numbers are almost certain to be even more tilted in favor of the Wolverines, and I’ve learned to trust the numbers.

      • Jason says:

        I’m thinking though that as UDM gets their first win this week against VMI, perhaps gets another before Michigan like maybe Manhattan, and somewhere along the line gets Shayne back and healthy they could be picking up some momentum and confidence to make them a favorite.

        Michigan has 4 pretty tough teams before UDM, so they may face some challenges staying focused on getting better and playing their best. The one thing Michigan has going for it is that their freshman will have 4 more games experience to get better before then.

        • Tim says:

          Adams had surgery; he’s out for the year (though I believe UDM may be planning to petition for a redshirt this season, not sure).

          Confidence is one thing, but unless Michigan gets absolutely blasted in their next few games, I don’t see that as an issue. What’s more likely to build confidence? Beating the two worst teams in the country (which, it must be noted both beat a much better Titans squad last year, so nothing is guaranteed) or playing tough against some of the nation’s better teams?

          I think an argument could be made for either side, though there’s no debating that playing tougher opposition better prepares a team to play at a high level than the alternative. Whether that hinders building a winner’s mentality (because the Wolverines won’t be doing a whole lot of winning this year), is up for debate, but playing at a high level tends to lead to wins, so…

  3. CKLaxalum says:

    A few weeks ago I had this game as a toss-up. As of now, I’m going with Michigan winning 14-9. All signs point towards the Wolverines at this point. Home game, UDM’s best player out, and the numbers (as has already been pointed out by Tim). Midfield play (including faceoffs) will be the difference. Bottom line, UofM is trending upwards against better competition.

    • Tim says:

      One thing to note is that the Titans actually performed pretty well against a decent Marist team. If that’s an indication of turning things around, this one goes back to a toss-up or slight Titan advantage. We won’t know for a couple weeks what the result actually says about their long-term form, however.

  4. CKLaxalum says:

    Tim, I took UDM’s close game against Marist into consideration, however I think that the Red Foxes’ 5-1 record is inflated. All of their wins have been close games against bad teams and their biggest (name) victory was against an average (so far this year at least) Stony Brook squad.

    • Tim says:

      TempoFreeLax.com had Marist as the No. 27 team in the country (and yes, that adjusts for schedule strength) prior to last night’s loss to Duke. They’ll certainly drop a bit, but that’s still a far cry from Detroit’s bottom-5 ranking, too.

      Sticking close with Marist is an upgrade for UDM, regardless of whether they’re a mid-30s team or a mid-40s team. We’ll see how the form holds up, but at this point Michigan is on a better trajectory for the remainder of this season.

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