Detroit 14, Manhattan 8

Yay, more wins. The Titans are one failed clear in overtime away from being in a great spot in the MAAC. The win against Manhattan may have been little more than “taking care of business,” but for a team that hasn’t done so every time out this year, that’s progress.

Mike Birney Detroit Titans lacrosse Manhattan Jaspers

Mike Birney winds up. #crank

The Titans led wire-to-wire against the Jaspers, and things were never in doubt.

Tempo Free

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

Manhattan 2013
Manhattan Detroit
Faceoff Wins 8 Faceoff Wins 18
Clearing 15-17 Clearing 18-20
Possessions 27 Possessions 40
Goals 8 Goals 14
Offensive Efficiency .296 Offensive Efficiency .350

The Titans dominated possession in this one, thanks to good work on faceoffs (about which more in a moment) and taking care of business on the clear. That’s good.

It’s even better when the team efficiencies are as lopsided as they were in this one. The Titans put up a great offensive efficiency number, and while the defense wasn’t great, it was more than enough to get the win in this one.

Notes

I’ve mentioned several times that, with Shayne Adams out, the Titans need to figure out better ways to share the ball. If Alex Maini can’t be the Joel Matthews or Shayne Adams type that can dominate the rock and still play efficiently, playing a role in the larger picture of the offense is necessary. That happened in this one. The Titan offense clicked, even though Maini scored just one goal and had just four shots.

Sophomore midfielders Mike Birney (four goals, one assist) and Scott Drummond (one goal, three assists) and junior attack Tom Masterson (two goals, one assist) stepped up in a big way. That’s what the offense needs, and it worked well. Can it be replicated against better defenses? Probably not, but it’s likely that some of the growth will carry over.

Damien Hicks started on faceoffs, and did very well before exiting the game after his illegal stick penalty. He wasn’t win the clamp that frequently (probably 40 percent of the time, despite winning 75% of his draws), but when he didn’t, he was able to much things up and make it a 50/50 ball or better. When he did win things cleanly, it often led to an easy fast break opportunity for the Titans, including the wiped out goal. Brandon Davenport had a 5/8 day, longpole Jordan Yono won his only faceoff – during Hicks’ penalty – and Ryan Tarzia had just one attempt.

Defensively, I was surprised to see relatively few caused turnovers against what has been one of the country’s least capable teams when it comes to holding onto the ball. Of course Jamie Hebden (four caused) and John Dwyer and Jordan Houtby (two each) got theirs, but you’d expect even more. The Jaspers actually caused the same number. On the other hand… Detroit almost double up Manhattan, so how much complaint can there be?

This was apparently Troy Dennis’ first game at SSDM (thanks to GLS regular Reg Hartner for the tip), and he was pretty good. Obviously there are some growing pains at the position, but he has the skills, and can clearly go forward with the ball as a former offensive player. Joe MacLean and Tom Sible were more comfortable at the position, but Dennis showed great potential.

The Titans committed seven penalties, but honestly it felt like there were even more watching live. Some of them were questionable (which will always be the case), but on the other hand, the style of play – causing a lot of turnovers – is just going to result in it. There are times where controlling individual discipline when it comes to making that last check, or laying a big hit comes into play. Aggressive but under control is the next level of evolution for this D.

I’m not sure what to think of A.J. Levell’s performance. On one hand, he made two or three robberies on the doorstep, but on the other, a few of the goals he let in (and one-non goal on a post) were as soft as can be. Maybe he just wasn’t seeing the ball well on this day – and it’s unfair to complain when he compensates in other ways to put up good numbers – but I just don’t know, man.

I don’t want to rip on Manhattan – they probably get enough of that – but man, was that a bad team. The 6v6 defense was inept, and while they got a few good looks at goal, they didn’t have a whole lot of artillery when it came to finishing.

Game Photos

All photos by GLS.

Elsewhere

The official boxscore. UDM Recap. Official UDM photo gallery. Manhattan site recap.

Up Next

Detroit has a tough matchup this weekend against Siena, although the Saints aren’t the dominant team in the MAAC like they have been in most recent years. Still, a road game against a more talented team is always a tough matchup. This is the sort of game where just about everything has to go right for the Titans to win.

After that, the road trip continues in two very winnable games, with Michigan (first night lacrosse game in Michigan Stadium, next Wednesday) and Marquette (the following Saturday) on the docket. Then, it’s a season finale against Canisius in what looks to be shaping up as a game where the winner makes the MAAC tournament and the loser sees its 2013 come to a close.

This entry was posted in division 1 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Detroit 14, Manhattan 8

  1. Sirlaxalot says:

    Good recap of the game… I thought the Titans were going to run away and hide in this one, but penalties and turnovers and some bad goals kept Manhattan within striking difference a few times… Although the 3rd Q was a 1-1 draw, it wasn’t a great quarter for Detroit… Some of the turnovers just confound… basic catch and through and fundamental passing was inept at times…I maintain that when the team is laser focused, they can play some good lacrosse. The penalties were problematic at times and dumb when you think of how Detroit got rolling in this game… The penalties gave the Jaspers a chance to hang around… The bottom line… Detroit had better athletes than Manhattan…. Big game in NY this week and a lot of lax on the schedule for the Titans..3 games in 7 days… It would be good to see Chris Kelly get some work as well as Damie D… Especially if anything should happen to AJ…I really hope that Detroit can put it together against Siena because they showed they can play with Marist and Jacksonville… they can’t just come close, this has to be a win…

  2. DCLaxFan says:

    I’d be interested in observations on the UM game from someone who may have seen it. I have a feeling that UM’s one dimensional offense of dodges from middies and inverted attack is now easy to defend as teams have a lot of tape to see it and prepare for it. My guess is that this type of attack also leads to many missed shots or easy saves. Has anyone seen a quick-stick goal this year by UM? What’s really troubling me about this game is that the D allowed a fairly poor Delaware team to score 12 goals. So, if you saw the game, let us know why the D performed so poorly.

  3. Reg Hartner says:

    Did this article flip from UDM/Manhattan to M/Del and then back again?

Leave a Reply