First Look: Detroit Remaining Opponents Pt. 1

I took a look at the Titans’ common opponents with Michigan a few days ago. For the final three UDM opponents, check out that post. There are ten unique opponents for UDM. Here are the first five.

Navy

Navy Midshipmen Lacrosse Logo

No frills on that logo.

Detroit: Feb. 15 (@ Annapolis, Md.)

2012

6-6 (3-3 Patriot), #29 Laxpower, #26 Tempo-Free Lax

Navy’s record was slightly above average last year – there were 25 teams who were better than .500 in 2012 – and the numbers bear out that they belonged just ahead of the midpoint of the nation’s lacrosse teams. The barely above-average schedule difficulty (No. 29 out of 61 teams) and lopsided victories both for and against bear out the total profile of a middling team.

The Past Results

Neither Detroit nor Michigan played Navy last year. UDM’s common opponents with the Midshipmen were VMI, Jacksonville, and North Carolina. The Titans fared better against Jacksonville (a win compared to Navy’s loss), but also lost in embarrassing fashion – which is to say at all – against VMI.

The Forward-Thinking Look Back

Navy 2012
Pace 64.42 (41)
Poss% 47.99 (51)
Off. Eff. 30.06 (27)
Def. Eff. 26.55 (13)
Pyth% 53.41 (26)

Navy played a slow brand of lacrosse last season, probably a good strategy given a very good defense and an offense that was just OK. Unfortunately, they got dominated in possession, thanks to a poor faceoff and ride. Faceoff specialist Logan West does not return, but we’ve seen that it might not mean even further regression in faceoffs. His backup, Evan McGoogan, was awful last year, so it remains to be seen how they’ll fare there.

The offense was slightly above-average, and could get better with the top two scorers returning. Attackmen Sam Jones and Tucker Hull will be juniors this spring after leading the team in scoring in two consecutive seasons. The loss of No. 3 scorer Taylor Reynolds should be mitigated by returning every other player in the top six scorers. On the other hand, when your LSM is in the top 6 scorers, your offense was probably not awesome.

Defensively, Navy was pretty good, though they didn’t play many potent offensive teams (the numbers adjust for schedule strength to account for that). Defenseman Matt Vernam started every game last season, but is gone. So too is goalie RJ Wickham and another starting defender in Ian Crumley. LSM Pat Kiernan is Inside Lacrosse‘s only pre-season all-conference player, and was a two-way pole last year. This unit looks like it should take a step back.

One thing to keep in mind: Navy will be entering its second year under head coach Rick Sowell, so there may be some overall improvement at the squad gets used to his coaching style.

Robert Morris

Robert Morris Colonials Lacrosse Roster

Robert Morris signed the Declaration of Independence. Also: looked nothing like this picture.

Detroit: Feb. 23 (Moon Township, Pa.)

2012

11-4 (5-0 Northeast Conference), #30 Laxpower, #25 Tempo-Free Lax

Robert Morris’ gaudy record doesn’t put them in the realm of the nation’s top programs because the strength of schedule ranked only No. 41 nationally. Siena at No. 18 is the highest-rated team with a worse strength of schedule (No. 52 nationally) than Robert Morris. They’re in the first – and possibly second-to-last year of an automatic-qualifying bid for the Northeast Conference.

The Past Results

Bobby Mo didn’t play either in-state team last season. The Colonials had a few common opponents with UDM, however. They played Bellarmine, Ohio State, Canisius, and Quinnipiac during the course of the year. Detroit beat Canisius (season split of two games) and Quinnipiac. Robert Morris swept all games against those opponents.

The Forward-Thinking Look Back

Robert Morris 2012
Pace 74.07 (5)
Poss% 50.32 (6)
Off. Eff. 36.17 (5)
Def. Eff. 34.69 (53)
Pyth% 54.22 (25)

I didn’t see Robert Morris play a single game last year, and at this point I’m definitely regretting it. If you like to see a fast-paced game with a lot of goals scored, the Colonials had a great offense, a terrible defense, and a very very fast pace of play. That’s borne out by total goals per game: both teams reached double digits in two third of Bobby Mo’s contests.

The offense? Very good.  Midfielder Kiel Matizs is a pre-season all-conference pick in the Inside Lacrosse yearbook, and he led RMU in scoring last year with 40 goals and 24 assists. Senior attack Jake Hayes is also back, and he wasn’t far behind Matizs with 61 points. Third-leading scorer Dave Morton will be a fifth-year senior in 2013. Corey Buchanan and Kyle Abbot both depart behind that top trio, but it’s clear that plenty of firepower returns.

Their defense, on the other hand, was god-awful. It could improve a lot, however. Senior defenseman Ben Lewis is a pre-season all-conference pick in the Inside Lacrosse yearbook, and Joe Scenna started every game last year as a redshirt freshman. Luc Magnan got plenty of run during his true freshman campaign. A pair of goalies – Matt Bukovac and Dillon Pope – got the majority of the action last season, and both return.

Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac Bobcats Lacrosse

This bobcat is looking extra-fierce

Detroit: March 2 (Home)

2012

3-11 (2-3 Northeast Conference), #55 Laxpower, #57 Tempo-Free Lax

Quinnipiac was baaaaad last year. Two of their three wins came in Northeast Conference play against Mount St. Mary’s (who redshirted practically their entire team last year to push for the NEC’s first – and possibly only – autobid in 2013) and Wagner (winners of one game all season). The other came against Binghamton.

The Past Results

UDM played – and beat – Quinnipiac last season. The Titans took home a 13-10 victory from a trip to Connecticut March 10.

Alas, the star of the day for the Titans is no longer with the team. Attackman Joel Matthews put up three points and four assists in the win. Alex Maini, Scott Harris, Shayne Adams, and Scotty Drummond all had multi-goal outputs in an efficient – 46.4 goals per 100 possessions, to be precise – performance. On the other side of the ball, Damie Danseglio started in the cage, and LSM Jordan Houtby had a big day on D.

The Forward-Thinking Look Back

Quinnipiac 2012
Pace 61.57 (50)
Poss% 48.38 (48)
Off. Eff. 26.78 (46)
Def. Eff. 37.92 (57)
Pyth% 21.77 (57)

There appears to be only one thing that Quinnipiac was good at last year: slowing the game down so as to not get blown out.

The offense was one of the less-terrible aspects of the team last year (they were few and far between), and just about every contributor returns. Let me clarify: every contributor returns. The top 13(!) scorers are all back, and those who don’t return are defensemen who got in on the scoring act once (and no more than that) during the course of the year. Midfielder Basil Kostaras was an Inside Lacrosse pre-season all-conference selection last year, but he was fourth on the team in scoring and does not repeat the honors this year.

Defensively, things aren’t quite so rosy. Given that last year’s D was nothing short of awful, that’s a bad thing. Chris Coppolecchia was the unquestioned star of the D, and has graduated along with goalie Dylan Torrey. LSM Carmen French is back as a sophomore, as is close defender Greg Pendergast.

Marist

Joel Matthews Detroit titans Lacrosse Marist Red Foxes

Remember the happy times. Joel Matthews game-winner. Photo by GLS.

Detroit: March 16 (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)

2012

6-8 (3-3 MAAC), #44 Laxpower, #44 Tempo-Free Lax

Marist was one of the teams in a four-way tie for second place in the MAAC (along with Detroit of course, Jacksonville, and Canisius). Thanks to a number of tie-breakers, the Red Foxes got the fourth seed in the conference tournament, where they promptly lost to Siena. Though it wouldn’t have had a huge effect on tempo-free numbers – which are more concerned with win/loss margins than wins or losses themselves – Marist’s season, which featured an overtime win and two overtime losses, could have easily ended with a different record in either direction.

The Past Results

Detroit was one of the teams that dealt Marist an overtime loss – and if the game had happened at the end of the year, when UDM was hapless, the result probably would have been different. Fortunately, the game was both squads’ second in the conference, and the Titans hadn’t fallen out of form yet.

This was a weird contest in which the Titans actually dominated possession (something they never do, thanks to a three-years running ineffectiveness on faceoffs) and had a less efficient day than the opposition. In an overtime game, however, that final goal can swing fortunes wildly, and Joel Matthews gave UDM the victory with an overtime tally – his only goal of the game, though he added two assists, as well.

Scott Drummond put up a hat trick for the Titans, while Alex Maini and Shayne Adams each had a goal and an assist.

Defensively, Jordan Houtby led the team in caused turnovers with three (shocker!), while John Dwyer added two and led the team in ground balls with four. A.J. Levell saved nine shots and allowed seven goals.

The Forward-Thinking Look Back

Marist 2012
Pace 66.00 (30)
Poss% 47.73 (52)
Off. Eff. 29.21 (36)
Def. Eff. 32.44 (41)
Pyth% 35.37 (44)

Marist was average or below-average in just about everything last year. They were dominated in possession by Detroit, which – if you’re familiar with the Titans’ 2012 season – means that you can assume they were poor there, and the numbers bear that out.

The offense was one of the less-bad aspects of Marist’s team last year. Attackman Connor Rice and midfielder Drew Nesmith are preseason Inside Lacrosse all-conference players. Your guess is as good as mine why Nesmith’s fellow midfielder Jack Doherty, last year’s leading scorer who put up nearly double the points of his linemate, is not the selection there. The No. 4 scorer (Evan Guarini) departs, but the remainder of the offense returns intact.

The defense was slightly worse – middle of the pack for a MAAC team still – defenseman Ethan Fox (THIS MAN IS A FOX NAMED FOX) is honored by IL in the preseason. Zach Baddalucco and T.J. McDermott are gone. Craig Goodermote, who played the cast majority of the time between the pipes last season, returns for his junior campaign.

VMI

Virginia Military Institute Keydets Lacrosse

The VMI team name is the Keydets, a Southern style slang for the word "cadets".

Detroit: March 23 (Home)

2012

4-10 (2-4 MAAC), #59 Laxpower, #55 Tempo-Free Lax

VMI has been one of the country’s worst teams year-in and year-out (though recently with an odd proficiency on faceoffs, despite their complete ineptitude everywhere else on the field). Last year they notched two conference wins, a good year for them. They even picked up two more victories, albeit against awful Wagner and Mercer teams, but this program is not one to look down its collective nose at any victory, regardless of opponent.

The Past Results

One of VMI’s 2012 victories came over… Detroit. This was probably the low point of the season for UDM, falling 7-8 in the regular-season finale. I don’t know what to call the loss, other than an embarrassment. Despite holding one of the country’s best possession teams to an even mark, UDM was significantly less efficient than a team that was one of the worst nationally on both sides of the ball all year.

Shayne Adams and Alex Maini each scored two goals in the game, while Scott Harris and Brad Janer put up a goal and an assist apiece. The offensive output was a paltry 21.88 goals per 100 possessions. This was after the team lost Joel Matthews for the year (and the offense went in the tank), but that’s still really bad.

The defense was mediocre, though goalie A.J. Levell made 10 saves on 18 shots, so he didn’t have a bad individual day. The performance wasn’t that far outside of UDM’s (pretty good) defensive mark on the year, but you’d hope for better against an offense as inept as VMI’s.

The Forward-Thinking Look Back

VMI 2012
Pace 67.71 (18)
Poss% 53.06 (5)
Off. Eff. 23.04 (58)
Def. Eff. 38.61 (58)
Pyth% 22.78 (55)

VMI was good at possessing the ball. Like, really good. When the rest of your stats seem to indicate that you can barely pick up a ground ball, and you dominate like they did, that’s a testament to awesome FOGO Stephen Robarge, who is unfortunately gone. It will be tough to replace him, so expect a backslide.

The Keydet offense was brutal last year. I’m certain it will improve after losing its top two scorers, right? Well, a bit of progression toward the mean might happen just because there’s not much room to fall, but attackmen Russell East and Mike DeBlasio will have their work cut out for them.

The defense? Maybe worse than the offense! The losses there are less severe, though. Longpole Kyle Hofstetter is out the door, and though he led the team in caused turnovers and GBs (among non-faceoff guys), he’s the only key piece. Tyler Prasnicki and Taylor Jenkins were 2-3 on the team in caused turnovers last year, and though both are list on the roster as LSMs, it seems unwise to not move one of them to close defense to get more of your (very few) good players on the field at once. Senior D-middie Will Baker should also be a key part of the defense.

Stay tuned for a look at the rest of Detroit’s 2013 opponents coming up.

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