Detroit Preview: Bellarmine

Detroit takes on Bellarmine in Milwaukee for Marquette’s annual event (that also includes Ohio State, but the Titans and Buckeyes never meet up there, because they start the season against each other).

Bellarmine

Bellarmine Knights lacrosse

Fear the stylized Knights!

March 3, 2017, 2 p.m. CST
Milwaukee, Wisc.
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Detroit preview. Bellarmine preview.
@UDMLax. @BUKnights.

The Knights

Bellarmine has gotten itself off to a 1-2 start to the year, losing a close one to Robert Morris (10-8) and getting its teeth kicked in by Michigan (13-5). However, they recovered for a nice win against Quinnipiac, and, well, unfortunately Detroit will be the worst team they’ve seen so far this year, with losses to the two teams that have beaten Bellarmine by a combined 14 goals.

The Knights have come and gone as a pretty decent team, but so far it doesn’t seem like 2017 will be one of the up year.

Offense

From the Michigan edition of this very preview:

Tucker Ciessau… had a pretty nice season (23G, 13A), and will play both midfield and attack in 2017 – starting at attack against Bobby Mo. Fellow attack starter Ryan Coukoulis had basically no production as a part-time starter (he also missed multiple games due to injury, in his defense), but the diminutive 5-9, 160-pounder scored two goals in three shots against the Colonials. Freshman (and Brother Rice grad) Morgan Macko was the third starter up front.

Midfielder Andrew Schoenick has been the second-leading scorer so far at this point, while Coukoulis and Macko have yet to start again. Jack Perkins is right behind Schoenick, and with the outstanding Ciessau, that trio forms the nucleus of the offense.

With a few good poles and a typically strong set of SSDMs (albeit banged up at this early stage in the year), Detroit actually has a decent matchup for Bellarmine on this end of the field. Make them get it done outside by taking away Ciessau, and suddenly you have a chance for Jason Weber to steal the game for you.

Defense

From the Michigan version:

Evan Kalish was a starter at both LSM and close D last year, though, he he will step in to be a key member of the defensive unit. The lone returning D starter (at least full-time) is Kevin Fahey, though he didn’t garner preseason all-conference honors (the only Knight who did was Ciessau).

Chase Rose was the primary starting goalie for Bellarmine last year, but he was relegated to the bench to begin the Robert Morris game, with freshman Jordan Dondoyano getting the starting nod instead. They both saved 60% of shots faced, though Dondoyano saw three times as many in almost exactly three times as much playing time: so far, they’re very similar, and the defense plays similarly in front of them.

Kalish and Fahey have started all three games for the Titans, along with Aidan Christian. Fahey has caused two turnovers, while his linemates have caused three each. This isn’t a takeover-dependent backline… though it may be wise to take a few more risks with Rose saving just .395 of shots faced in the majority of game action. Dondoyano and sophomore Max Cartor have had much more success, albeit in more limited playing time. The goalie selection is definitely something to watch, because it’s a weak point.

This is a game where, if Detroit can dial in their shots (instead of many going off-cage or directly to the keeper), they have a chance to really put some balls past a group of goalies that is far from intimidating.

Special teams

Going back to the well one more time:

Senior Tyler Nangle took every draw against RMU, and finished at .455. Last year, he was a .382 faceoff man…

Bellarmine cleared very well against Robert Morris, and held the Colonials to .833. The Knights have had spurts over the years of being a pretty hard-riding team, so they may be trying to transition back to that.

Robert Morris had three man-up opportunities and failed to convert a single one… though this early in the year, it’s impossible to say if that’s a credit to the BU man-down defense or a strike against Bobby Mo.

Nangle has reverted to his previous form, and this should be a major opportunity for the Titans – particularly Ben Gjokaj – to grow a possession advantage and have a chance to steal this game, even if the offense and defense aren’t fully clicking. Of course, there’s a chance that the hard-riding Knights (opponents are down to .764 clearing on the year, an awful number) get that advantage right back against a UDM clear that is known for its own struggles.

Overall

This is not a good Bellarmine team, but unfortunately, it isn’t a particularly good Detroit team (yet), either. UDM finally got the monkey off its back in beating Jacksonville last mid-week… then destroyed any potential confidence that may have built by being blown off the field by a Robert Morris team that isn’t any good, either.

This could be one of the last legit chances for another victory before beginning conference play (Marquette Sunday, Air Force the following Saturday), so the Titans really could use a victory. Yes, getting enough MAAC wins to enter the conference tournament is the major objective for 2017 at this point, but there are plenty of reasons – confidence-building, putting together a least an unembarrassing final record – that it would still be real nice to win this one.

Predictions

 

Bellarmine seems to be a slightly better team than UDM overall, but the particular matchups between the Titans and Knights make this very interesting.

  • Gjokaj should have a day on faceoffs. He’s down to .439 on the year, but against a really bad faceoff team, he should be able to get back to his early-season form. That will be important not just for potentially winning this game, but building something for the remainder of the year.
  • Jason Weber will have a save percentage over .667. Other than Ciessau, Bellarmine is a team that gets a lot of its production from outside. That’s a pretty good fit for a team like Detroit, that has an outstanding keeper between the pipes and a relatively physical defense inside. Will they be able to shut down Ciessau? I wouldn’t count on it, but forcing him to feed, rather than score, would allow the team to put this game in Weber’s hands, to an extent.
  • One of the downsides there is that Weber is a liability in the clearing game sometimes (he’s not the only culprit there, obviously, but you know, verbal transitions and such), and Bellarmine is super-into the ride. Giving up free possessions seems almost like an inevitability, and like the Titans can win this one on faceoffs and between the pipes, they could very easily lose it in transition. I see a sub-.800 clearing day.
  • Will the offense have success? That’s the one aspect of the game that I’m not sure I’m ready to make a prediction about. There are ways to squint and look sideways to see how they could do very well, but then the little voice in the back of your head says “yeah but turnovers.” They’ll do well when not turning it over – as is often the case – but the amount they turn it over is capital-A capital-P A Problem.

UDM will scrap in this one, and it’s the type of game where too many of the predictions fall into the “guess” category, rather than things we can truly glean from past performance. If everything goes right, it could be not only a win, but a comfortable one. Unfortunately, the opposite is just as possible if the 50/50 stuff goes the other way. I still think Detroit finds a way to win, 10-9.

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Michigan 15, Detroit 10

Michigan Wolverines Detroit Titans Lacrosse

Photo by Tim Sullivan/GLS, awful lighting by Ultimate Soccer Arenas.

This was a game in three acts, one of which was even, one of which Michigan dominated, and the third of which the Maize and Blue let their opponent make things look pretty for the computers. In all, it ended up looking a little – but just a little – closer than the action dictated.

Tempo-Free

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

M/UDM 2017
Michigan Detroit
Faceoff Wins 20 Faceoff Wins 9
Clearing 15-16 Clearing 16-19
Possessions 39 Possessions 29
Goals 15 Goals 10
Offensive Efficiency .385 Offensive Efficiency .345

Michigan was the better team in possession, thanks to faceoff man Mike McDonnell and a little bit of trouble clearing for the Titans (one of those fails leading directly to a transition goal). They were also much better in efficiency, even though the numbers don’t bear out the difference between the teams thanks to the five-goal run to end the game.

Notes

 

The body of evidence is beginning to mount that Michigan’s Mike McDonnell is just a really good faceoff guy – a nice development after losing last year’s starter, Brad Lott. Sure, UDM hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory at the dot in every other game, but chasing Ben Gjokaj (who I’ve noted in the past I have a ton of respect for as a player) indicates that against all but the best specialists/units Michigan will face, McDonnell is going to be an asset. He helped the Wolverines maintain a (needed) possession advantage in the first half until they got the offense humming, and from that it was all good.

Speaking of that offense, I hesitate to dismiss the Titans’ defensive effort, but I felt – and John Paul agrees – that the Maize and Blue had tons of first-half openings that they simply gave away due to sloppiness.

“It was us not playing our game,” Paul said. “Offensively, we were just trying to make things happen instead of playing our offense. We could see pretty early that if we were patient and moving the ball, we were going to get opportunities. The second half when we were able to grind that out was about our offense starting to settle down and play smarter.”

U-M shots were saved six times – a few on shots that the coaches would probably rather not have seen taken – and a couple of their six first-half turnovers were also forced plays that a team more settled in doesn’t make. They settle in for the second half, and the Titans couldn’t respond blow-for-blow, and there was your game.

The first half for UDM was impressive, though, since I think this Michigan team will end up being pretty good and the Titans… have struggled so far. They were able to overcome their own bugaboo (eight turnovers, including two failed clears) to launch 19 shots, 11 of them on goal, and five finding twine. They’ll have to manufacture a bit of offense – and battle through their own errors – a bit this year, especially until Mark Anstead is able to return from illness.

As for individual offensive performances, this turned into the Ian King and Brent Noseworthy show for Michigan (get used to it this year), with four goals a pop plus King assisting on one of Noseworthy’s three-straight in the fourth quarter – capping the 11-goal U-M run that decided the game. Always gotta show love to the poles, as well, with Dickson Smith riding UDM into a turnover and cashing in himself, and Nick DeCaprio assisting one of King’s tallies after a caused turnover himself.

Detroit was led by Matthew VanGalen’s goal and three assists, with Seth Mendell and Sean Birney contributing a pair of goals and pair of assists, respectively. With the good comes the bad, as we see with UDM all too often though: the duo combined for five of the Titans’ 15 turnovers, as well.

We tend to see this game be a little sloppy/chippy/frantic/whatever, and seven caused turnovers for Detroit and eight for Michigan is well above either team’s normal production in that department, though in a faster-paced game maybe not unexpected (but then the turnovers result in more possessions and a faster pace, etc. etc., and INCEPTION).

Both goalies had good performances, with Jason Weber’s .400 save percentage sort of misleading because he was hung out to dry a few times, especially during the big Michigan run. Tommy Heidt’s .600 was very good – though we see too much of UDM shooters lobbing balls toward a goalie’s chest to read too much into it – and Michigan’s mediocre save percentage of .500 was way more attributable to backup Gunner Garn allowing four goals and saving just one shot when the Titans made things look pretty in the end.

Elsewhere

Michigan recap. Photo gallery (unfortunately mine all turned out horrible due to the lighting). Box. Detroit recap. McEwen recap for IL. It’s a goal:

Up Next

Hey, it’s a lot of games to recap (three for each team since this one), so we’ll get right into that, yeah?

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Michigan preview: Mercer

This will rely heavily of Mercer I wrote just a couple weeks ago, with the added knowledge that the Bears are about even quality-wise with Detroit.

Mercer

Mercer Bears Lacrosse

Fear the Bear!

March 2, 2017, 7 p.m. EST
Macon, Ga.
Live stats. Live video (ESPN3).
Detroit previewMercer preview.
@UMichLacrosse. @MercerLacrosse. @UofMLaxManagers.

The Bears

Mercer is 1-2 on the year, with the lone victory, yes, coming over Detroit. They lost a nail-biter to Vermont and were blown out by UMBC – and neither of those teams was particularly impressive last year (or so far in 2017).

This probably isn’t a good team – in fact, it’s likely a rather bad one – and with the stage Michigan’s program is reaching, this shouldn’t be competitive. Will the Michigan we’ve seen too much in the past couple years – the one that plays down to inferior competition – show up to spoil it?

Offense

From the UDM edition of this preview:

Last year’s leading scorer, Chris Baxa, has moved on, along with his 22 goals and just two assists – he was your finishing attackman. He missed two games, which allowed now-sophomore middie Lucas Wittenberg to draw even with him thanks to 12 goals and 12 assists. Junior Matt Quinn is another key midfielder, and more like Baxa, with a scoreline heavily tilted toward shooting, not feeding. Senior attack Chris Rahill had a scoreline that was tilted toward scoring (the Bears as a team assisted on barely more than a third of their goals last year – not a sharing-type squad), as well.

Thus far it has been three not mentioned in that post – the starting attack line of sophomores attack Jake Nelson and Shawn Carter (Jay-Z?) and senior Kevin Yoggy – who have carried the load offensively. Wittenberg and Quinn are right behind them, but this is an attack-driven offense, even if that status meant relying on unproven players early in the year.

Defense

Again, from the UDM preview:

Senior Colin Massa is the leader of the defense. He led close D in takeaways (12) and was close in ground balls (16) last year.  Junior Dustin White should start, as well. Mercer has to replace Clay Rivers on the close D, given that he got the lion’s share of minutes, despite only one start in 2016.

Goalie Mike Nugent played essentially every meaningful minute last spring, and had a decent save percentage of .526 despite playing behind a pretty porous defense. Tyler Boardo got 5:26 of backup minutes, which is totally not enough time to read into his .333 save percentage. Transfer Bradley Hodoval played the Vermont game, but the redshirt sophomore saved only .438 of shots faced: we’ll see how good he is against the Titans.

Massa has had shockingly little production so far in 2017: two caused turnovers and zero ground balls. He also committed a penalty in each of the first two games, so it’s not like he hasn’t been on the field, just ineffective. White has been out with injury, resulting in juniors Jake Saad and Willy Deines and freshman Michael O’Brien into bigger roles. This is a caused-turnover happy D, led by the SSDMs, particularly Ensor Walker.

Hodoval has gotten the vast majority of meaningful time between the pipes so far, and is saving a respectable .521 – albeit against one very good shooting squad (Vermont) and two terrible ones.

Special Teams

Only two players have taken a faceoff, and they’re both doing very well so far: Brennen Kiel is nominally the lead guy with a handful more attempts and a winning percentage of .615 to Will Beecham’s “only” .576. This should still be a decent matchup for Michigan.

Mercer has been giving up about three EMO opportunities per game and allowing opponents to convert half of them (that’s bad). Meanwhile, their EMO is right around middle-of-the-pack nationally.

Overall

Nothing surprising here: this is a must-win game if Michigan is to be the team it wants to be this year. The Wolverines should be able to take care of mid-major squads, and so far in 2017, they have with ease. It’s when the schedule gets tough that they’re likely to struggle (though hopefully not as bad as against Notre Dame). Building chemistry, confidence, and yes, a bit of a win percentage cushion before they get to the tough ones is what’s at stake here.

Predictions

Not going to spend too much time on this section because I’ve been derelict in my duties as a blogger and just want to get this up before the game starts.

Michigan takes a relatively easy (though tougher than it should be) game, 17-7.

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The Next Level: March 1, 2017

The regular season rolls on, and Michigan natives continue to impress on the D-1 field.

Bellarmine 14, Quinnipiac 13

  • Senior attackman/midfielder Graham Macko (Brother Rice) – Recorded one Assist and took one Shot off goal.
  • Freshman attackman Morgan Macko (Brother Rice) – Took one Shot on goal. Also committed one penalty for 0:30.

Binghamton 8, Marist 11

  • Junior midfielder Liam Reaume (Brother Rice) – Scored a Goal on three Shots (two on goal).

Canisius 10, Air Force 15

  • Sophomore defenseman Logan Monroe (Holt) – Started and collected three ground balls.
  • Junior midfielder Keith Pravato (Novi) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior faceoff specialist Steve Wizniuk (De La Salle) – Did not see game action.

Canisius 0, Denver 12

  • Sophomore defenseman Logan Monroe (Holt) – Started, caused one turnover, and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover and one penalty for 1:30.
  • Junior midfielder Keith Pravato (Novi) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior faceoff specialist Steve Wizniuk (De La Salle) – Did not see game action.

Cleveland State 6, Denver 19

  • Freshman defenseman Levi Peterson (Holt) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman defenseman Garrett White (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – Did not see game action.

Cleveland State 2, Air Force 16

  • Freshman defenseman Levi Peterson (Holt) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Freshman defenseman Garrett White (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.

Colgate 15, Bucknell 10

  • Freshman attackman Cooper Belanger (Detroit Country Day) – Did not see game action.

Detroit 11, Jacksonville 12

  • Senior attackman Kyle Beauregard (Notre Dame Prep) – Started, scored three Goals on seven Shots (four on goal), and picked up one ground ball.
  • Junior midfielder Sean Birney (Detroit Catholic Central) – Started, scored two Goals on three Shots (all on goal), and picked up one ground ball. Also committed three turnovers.
  • Freshman defenseman Nick Boynton (Troy Athens) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior midfielder Adam Findlay (Detroit Catholic Central) – Scored a Goal on five Shots (two on goal).
  • Junior attackman Alec Gilhooly (Detroit Catholic Central) – Started, scored two Goals on eight Shots (six on goal) and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover.
  • Senior faceoff specialist Benjamin Gjokaj (Walled Lake Northern) – Won 8/21 faceoffs, picking up five ground balls. Also took one Shot on goal.
  • Sophomore midfielder Emmett Green (Birmingham Seaholm) – Scored a Goal on his only Shot and picked up two ground balls. Also committed one turnover.
  • Freshman attackman/midfielder Blake Grewal-Turner (Okemos) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman defenseman Jack Harrop (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior midfielder Charlie Hayes (Utica Eisenhower) – Caused one turnover and picked up two ground balls.
  • Senior midfielder JD Hess (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore defenseman Sam Horton (Okemos) – Started, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Freshman midfielder Alex Jarzembowski (Detroit Catholic Central) – Won 1/4 faceoffs, picking up one ground ball.
  • Junior midfielder Brent Lubin (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) – Played, but only made the scoresheet by committing one turnover.
  • Junior midfielder Connor Maks (UD-Jesuit) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior midfielder Greg Marzec (Brother Rice) – Went 0/1 on faceoffs.
  • Junior defenseman Bryan Matney (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – Started, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Freshman midfielder Jackson McElhenney (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore midfielder Bo Pickens (Brother Rice) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore defenseman Austin Ross (Warren Mott) – Caused one turnover and picked up one ground ball.
  • Freshman midfielder Charlie Schiefer (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman goalie Logan Shamblin (Troy) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman defenseman Travis Sparling (Novi) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior attackman/midfielder Adam Susalla (Birmingham Seaholm) – Took three Shots (none on goal).

Detroit 6, Robert Morris 15

  • Senior attackman Kyle Beauregard (Notre Dame Prep) – Started, scored a Goal on seven Shots (three on goal), added an Assist, and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover.
  • Junior midfielder Sean Birney (Detroit Catholic Central) – Started, took five Shots (two on goal), and picked up one ground ball. Also committed five(!!!) turnovers.
  • Freshman defenseman Nick Boynton (Troy Athens) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior midfielder Adam Findlay (Detroit Catholic Central) – Took one shot (not on goal).
  • Junior attackman Alec Gilhooly (Detroit Catholic Central) – Took four Shots (one on goal) and picked up one ground ball. Also committed four turnovers.
  • Senior faceoff specialist Benjamin Gjokaj (Walled Lake Northern) – Won 0/3 faceoffs.
  • Sophomore midfielder Emmett Green (Birmingham Seaholm) – Caused one turnover and picked up one ground ball.
  • Freshman attackman/midfielder Blake Grewal-Turner (Okemos) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman defenseman Jack Harrop (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior midfielder Charlie Hayes (Utica Eisenhower) – Took two Shots (neither on goal), caused one turnover, and picked up five ground balls. Also committed one turnover.
  • Senior midfielder JD Hess (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore defenseman Sam Horton (Okemos) – Started, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Freshman midfielder Alex Jarzembowski (Detroit Catholic Central) – Won 14/21 faceoffs, picking up seven ground balls.
  • Junior midfielder Brent Lubin (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Junior midfielder Connor Maks (UD-Jesuit) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior midfielder Greg Marzec (Brother Rice) – Went 0/1 on faceoffs.
  • Junior defenseman Bryan Matney (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – Took one Shot (not on goal) and picked up two ground balls.
  • Freshman midfielder Jackson McElhenney (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore midfielder Bo Pickens (Brother Rice) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore defenseman Austin Ross (Warren Mott) – Caused one turnover.
  • Freshman midfielder Charlie Schiefer (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman goalie Logan Shamblin (Troy) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman defenseman Travis Sparling (Novi) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior attackman/midfielder Adam Susalla (Birmingham Seaholm) – Took one Shot on goal and picked up one ground ball. Also committed two turnovers.

Drexel 8, Albany 19

  • Freshman faceoff specialist Ian Foster (East Lansing/IMG Academy) – Won 0/5 faceoffs.

Drexel 13, Villanova 15

  • Freshman faceoff specialist Ian Foster (East Lansing/IMG Academy) – Won 0/2 faceoffs.

Duke 16, St. Joseph’s 3

  • Junior midfielder Matthew Giampetroni (Cranbrook) – Scored a Goal on his only Shot.

Fairfield 3, Rutgers 8
Fairfield 8, UMass Lowell 7

  • Freshman defenseman Brian Cosgrove (Brother Rice) – Did not see game action.

High Point 15, St. John’s 6

  • Freshman defenseman Luke Cappetto (Brother Rice) – Caused three turnovers.

Manhattan 14, Hartford 13 (2OT)

  • Sophomore midfielder Robert Carroll (Grosse Pointe South) – Went 0/1 on faceoffs.

Marquette 2, Richmond 9

  • Sophomore midfielder Bob Pelton (Forest Hills Northern) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore midfielder John Wagner (Cranbrook) – Took three Shots (none on goal) and caused one turnover. Also committed one penalty for 1:00.

Michigan 5, Notre Dame 16

  • Freshman midfielder Ryan Prior (Birmingham/Culver Academy) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior faceoff specialist Brian Archer (Brighton) – Did not see game action.

Mount St. Mary’s 7, Richmond 10

  • Freshman midfielder Keaton Mitchell (Clarkston) – Started, took two shots (neither on goal), and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover and one penalty for 0:30.

Mount St. Mary’s 7, Furman 14

  • Freshman midfielder Keaton Mitchell (Clarkston) – Started, scored a Goal on five Shots (two on goal), and picked up one ground ball. Also committed two turnovers.

Notre Dame 16, Michigan 5

  • Sophomore defenseman Michael Langdon (Cranbrook)
  • Senior midfielder Sergio Perkovic (Brother Rice) – Started, scored a Goal on twelve(!!!) Shots (seven on goal), added an assist, and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover.

Penn 11, Virginia 10

  • Freshman midfielder Alex Minanov (Grosse Pointe Liggett) – Did not see game action.

Providence 8, Vermont 6

  • Junior midfielder Josh Keller (East Grand Rapids/Kent School) – Took one Shot (not on goal). Also committed one turnover.

Richmond 10, Mount St. Mary’s 7

  • Senior attackman J.P. Forester (Brother Rice) – Scored a Goal on three Shots (one on goal), and won his only faceoff attempt.

Richmond 9, Marquette 2

  • Senior attackman J.P. Forester (Brother Rice) – Recorded an Assist, took five Shots (none on goal), and picked up two ground balls.

Robert Morris 15, Detroit 6

  • Freshman long-stick midfielder James Scane (Brother Rice) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.

Stony Brook 25, Brown 17

  • Sophomore midfielder Nathan Richards (Lapeer West) – Did not see game action.

Syracuse 13, Army 14

  • Freshman midfielder Nick Martin (Detroit Country Day) – Did not see game action.

UMass Lowell 18, Siena 13

  • Sophomore goalie Grant Lardieri (Forest Hills Northern) – Started and played all 60 minutes between the pipes. Saved 19 shots while allowing 13 goals (.594). Also committed three turnovers.

UMass Lowell 7, Fairfield 8

  • Sophomore goalie Grant Lardieri (Forest Hills Northern) – Started and played 59:38. Made 16 saves while allowing eight goals (.667), and picked up four ground balls. Also committed one turnover.

Yale 11, Maryland 12

  • Junior midfielder Jason Alessi (Brother Rice) – Scored a Goal on four Shots (all on goal) and picked up one ground ball.
  • Senior midfielder John Lazarsfeld (Ann Arbor Greenhills) – Picked up one ground ball.

If I’ve messed anything up, let me know in the comments, where you can also feel free to share statlines from other divisions.

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Detroit 8, Mercer 10

I was confident that the Titans would come out strong against a perennial bottom-dweller, especially coming off a flat second half against Michigan. I was wrong (in part because Mercer may be a decent team this year), and it was a disappointment.

Tempo-Free

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

Mercer 2016
Detroit Mercer
Faceoff Wins 10 Faceoff Wins 11
Clearing 21-22 Clearing 20-23
Possessions 35 Possessions 35
Goals 8 Goals 10
Offensive Efficiency .229 Offensive Efficiency .286

UDM wasn’t quite as good on faceoffs (though it was effectively a draw, that’s still disappointing given the hope we got from the season opener against Ohio State’s Jake Withers) as Mercer, but made up for it with an OK ride. They weren’t bad defensively, but were very much so on offense, and that’s where they lost this game.

Notes

I’m probably going to go back-and-forth 13 times or so on how big a weapon FOGO Ben Gjokaj is, but I’m honestly OK with this performance. You aren’t going to be great every time out, and if you assume that Michigan’s Mike McDonnell is going to be pretty good this year, Mercer was his first mediocre performance. Gjokaj will be fine, but certainly won’t be winning games by himself.

The clears are pretty encouraging after a super-discouraging game against Michigan. Only one fail is totally fine. Of course, the flipside of that is 19 total turnovers, which means plenty of giveaways that don’t suddenly become easily excusable just because they happened outside a clearing posture. Sean Birney and Kyle Beauregard had five apiece, which accounts for .286 of total possessions, simply unacceptable regardless of circumstances – unless the circumstances include “playing the lacrosse version of the ’85 Bears.”

That Birney and Beauregard only made up for the mistakes with mediocre offensive production (a goal on four shots and a goal and an assist on five shots, respectively) certainly doesn’t help. Instead, it was a three-goal performance from sophomore attackman Matthew VanGalen and two goals and an assist from Alec Gilhooly – newly responsible with the rock, only committing one turnover, it must be noted – that made an impact on the scoreboard for UDM.

I feel like I take to the soapbox to defend Jason Weber a lot, but due absolutely deserves it. Mercer got of 39 shots (26 on goal) in 35 possessions, and only allowing 10 goals in that situation is pretty impressive. That’s true even against a bad offense, and with what isn’t looking like a super-awesome defense in front of him, it’s likely that some good looks were mixed in.

The one positive (at least from a fun factor perspective) from this defensive output was a huge uptick in caused turnovers. Eight different Titans accounted for at least one, led by Will Kane with two. A return to the fun-loving, swashbuckling Titans would be welcome around these parts, even if it leads to a few more scary moments late in games – though in a mid-major conference, I think it’s more likely to be a benefit than a drawback in most games.

The EMO difference was pretty close, with Mercer’s one additional opportunity (2/3 compared to the Titans’ 1/2) potentially a huge factor in the outcome, given that it meant a two-goal margin in the fourth when one possession could have changed the result in a one-goal game (rocket science!). The two converted opportunities came in the first quarter, and without those, a small Detroit lead could have been an insurmountable obstacle, instead.

Elsewhere

Detroit recapBoxscore. This game literally didn’t even have livestats, which should tell you what a clown shoes operation it was (and which should diminish your expectations for greater coverage).

Up Next

UDM finally broke through in a one-goal win over Jacksonville later today. Full recap coming… eventually. Maybe. (They also have Robert Morris this weekend).

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Detroit Preview: Jacksonville

I promise the backlog of game recaps is on the way… eventually.

Detroit dropped to 0-3 on the year with its first truly bad loss – to Mercer – Saturday. Can a traditionally better Southern Conference team (albeit one that looks pretty bad this year) get them off the schneid?

Jacksonville

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Feb. 23, 2017, Noon EST
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Dolphins

Jacksonville has regularly been one of the better expansion/southern teams in recent years… but that appears to be aggressively not the case in 2017. They lost to Marquette by a staggering 17-1 margin last time out, a far cry from just a couple years back when they were regularly competing for a MAAC Tournament bid.

They’ve fallen off a cliff in the past couple years, going 4-8 and 3-10, and potentially headed for something just about that bad this year. Detroit may (unfortunately) be one of the teams at risk of providing one of those couple victories on the year.

Offense

Three players have separated themselves statistically at this early stage of 2017. Sophomore attack Will Hendrik (or is it Hendrick? The official website spells it both ways – not a great week for crappy SIDs who don’t want me to call out their bad job performance) leads the way with six goals and one assist, junior midfielder McLean Chicquen has a goal and four assists, and big junior attack Chase McIntyre (6-5, 210) has a similar split – albeit with sample size confusion – as his linemate with three goals and an assist.

Two more attackmen – junior Sean Ewert and freshman Brett Reilly – round out the multi-point scorers so far this year. Midfielders Eric Applegate and Ryan Beville both have plenty of playing time and have launched a few shots each, with none on goal. It’s too early to say who will step up around the established performers, but they’ll need some help.

It’s worth noting that Hendrik puts almost every shot attempt on goal, and McIntyre has put literally every one he’s taken on-cage so far this year, but the rest of the team is varying degrees of bad. They aren’t failing to score due to lack of opportunities, necessarily, but rather because they can’t aim their shots.

Defense

Chase York is the dangerman for the Jacksonville defense, with four caused turnovers through two games this year (the rest of the team has combined for just nine, with only freshman pole Tommy Barnhorst and Ewert, the above-listed attackman, boasting a pair). Sophomores Max Hartong and Andrew Mitchell have started both games to date along with York, who is primarily an LSM. It appears Beville (who I listed with the offense above just because there’s so little going on offensively for this team) bay me mostly a short-stick D-middie, given his ratio of ground balls – six, highest among non-FO, non-D – to shots (just three).

Ben Gleichenhaus is performing well in a really tough spot between the pipes, saving .528 of shots faced… which means he has a ton of saves, given that JU has ceded 30 goals in just two games. Gleichenhaus has let in 25 of those, while backup Adam Baker has let in five and has yet to record a save (is that good?).

This team can’t prevent opponents from getting lots of opportunities to test the keeper. Despite being relatively even in possession (their stat display is garbage, so opponent clears aren’t listed, and it’s not worth the effort of doing more research with just a bit of time to get this preview up), the opposition has fired off half-again as many shots, with a slightly better on-cage percentage.

Regardless of Detroit’s available personnel, they need to be able to not turn the ball over. If they don’t give it away (a lofty goal), they should have their opportunities, and there’s enough talent at UDM to put some of those in the back of the net.

Special Teams

One area in which Jacksonville is actually decent is the faceoff game: they’re effectively at .500 on the year (23/48, with one loss for each of two backup guys). With Ben Gjokaj fading since the impressive opening performance against Ohio State, this should be an opportunity to get back on the right side of things.

Jacksonville has 10 EMO opportunities through two games (a pretty sizeable number) but has scored on only three of them, hardly impressive.

Jacksonville struggled to clear in a big way against Lehigh, but cleaned that up against Marquette. Detroit has been pretty passive on the ride so far this year, but especially indoors, there’s an opportunity to create an advantage.

Big Picture

Winnable non-conference games are all important for UDM right now. Sure, they’re ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme – it’s MAAC Tournament or bust for the Titans – but getting on the right side of the ledger and building up a nice little resume will certainly help build confidence going into conference play.

Predictions

Even though Detroit looks poised to under-perform my expectations (especially the way those were regimented upwards after the OSU game), Jacksonville is quite bad.

  • Gjokaj has a nice day – something around .667 – on faceoffs, picking up a majority of the GBs himself. That helps him get his first point of the year on an assist from a clean faceoff win.
  • The offense finally finds a bit of a serious rhythm. Yes, this is more because Jacksonville’s defense is bad than because I have any growing confidence in the Titans’ ability to not throw the ball away.
  • Jason Weber has a good save percentage, but will be needed: Jacksonville is going to put more shots on cage than they have in either game so far this year (the high mark is 24 shots on goal against Lehigh).

Especially playing in the friendly confines of Ultimate Soccer Arenas – against a Southern team that doesn’t have to play indoors much – I like UDM in this one. It won’t be an easy game, necessarily, but as long as the offense isn’t actively undermining the team, it should be a 12-10 Titan win.

 

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The Next Level: Feb. 21, 2017

Our weekly look at Michigan natives who are playing college lacrosse at division-1 institutions this Spring. We’re at full capacity now, with every team’s season having started:

Bellarmine 5, Michigan 13

  • Senior attackman/midfielder Graham Macko (Brother Rice) – Scored a Goal on two Shots.
  • Freshman attackman Morgan Macko (Brother Rice) – Took two Shots.

Binghamton 11, Colgate 8

  • Junior midfielder Liam Reaume (Brother Rice) – Recorded two Assists and took two Shots.

Canisius 13, Dartmouth 8

  • Sophomore defenseman Logan Monroe (Holt) – Started, but only made the scoresheet by committing one penalty for 1:00.
  • Junior midfielder Keith Pravato (Novi) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior faceoff specialist Steve Wizniuk (De La Salle) – Did not see game action.

Cleveland State 9, Baldwin Wallace (D-3) 2

  • Freshman defenseman Levi Peterson (Holt) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman defenseman Garrett White (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – Did not see game action.

Cleveland State 15, John Carroll (D-3) 8

  • Freshman defenseman Levi Peterson (Holt) – Picked up one ground ball.
  • Freshman defenseman Garrett White (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – Did not see game action.

Colgate 8, Binghamton 11

  • Freshman attackman Cooper Belanger (Detroit Country Day) – did not see game action.

Detroit 10, Michigan 15

  • Senior attackman Kyle Beauregard (Notre Dame Prep) – Started, scored a Goal on seven Shots (three on goal), and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover.
  • Junior midfielder Sean Birney (Detroit Catholic Central) – Started, scored two Goals on seven Shots (three on goal), and picked up three ground balls.
  • Freshman defenseman Nick Boynton (Troy Athens) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior midfielder Adam Findlay (Detroit Catholic Central) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior attackman Alec Gilhooly (Detroit Catholic Central) – Scored a Goal on five Shots (two on goal) and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover.
  • Senior faceoff specialist Benjamin Gjokaj (Walled Lake Northern) – Won 5/18 faceoffs, picking up two ground balls.
  • Sophomore midfielder Emmett Green (Birmingham Seaholm) – Scored a Goal on his only Shot. Also committed one turnover and one penalty for 0:30.
  • Freshman attackman/midfielder Blake Grewal-Turner (Okemos) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Freshman defenseman Jack Harrop (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior midfielder Charlie Hayes (Utica Eisenhower) – Took two Shots (one on goal), caused two turnovers and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover.
  • Senior midfielder JD Hess (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore defenseman Sam Horton (Okemos) – Started and caused two turnovers. Also committed one turnover and two penalties for 2:00.
  • Freshman midfielder Alex Jarzembowski (Detroit Catholic Central) – Won 1/3 faceoffs.
  • Junior midfielder Brent Lubin (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Junior midfielder Connor Maks (UD-Jesuit) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior midfielder Greg Marzec (Brother Rice) – Won 3/8 faceoffs, picking up two ground balls.
  • Junior defenseman Bryan Matney (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – Started, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Freshman midfielder Jackson McElhenney (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore midfielder Bo Pickens (Brother Rice)- Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore defenseman Austin Ross (Warren Mott) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman midfielder Charlie Schiefer (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman goalie Logan Shamblin (Troy) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman defenseman Travis Sparling (Novi) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior attackman/midfielder Adam Susalla (Birmingham Seaholm) – Recorded one Assist and took two Shots. Also committed one turnover.

Detroit 8, Mercer 10

  • Senior attackman Kyle Beauregard (Notre Dame Prep) – Started, scored a Goal on five Shots (three on goal), recorded an Assist, and picked up one ground ball. Also committed five(!!!) turnovers.
  • Junior midfielder Sean Birney (Detroit Catholic Central) – Started, scored a Goal on four Shots (two on goal), and picked up three ground balls. Also committed five(!!!) turnovers.
  • Freshman defenseman Nick Boynton (Troy Athens) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior midfielder Adam Findlay (Detroit Catholic Central) – Took one Shot.
  • Junior attackman Alec Gilhooly (Detroit Catholic Central) – Started, scored two Goals on six Shots (five on goal), recorded an Assist, and picked up one ground ball.
  • Senior faceoff specialist Benjamin Gjokaj (Walled Lake Northern) – Won 8/17 faceoffs, picking up one ground ball.
  • Sophomore midfielder Emmett Green (Birmingham Seaholm) – Played, but only made the scoresheet by committing one turnover.
  • Freshman attackman/midfielder Blake Grewal-Turner (Okemos) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Freshman defenseman Jack Harrop (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior midfielder Charlie Hayes (Utica Eisenhower) – Caused one turnover and picked up one ground ball. Also committed one turnover.
  • Senior midfielder JD Hess (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore defenseman Sam Horton (Okemos) – Started and caused one turnover. Also committed one penalty for 1:00.
  • Freshman midfielder Alex Jarzembowski (Detroit Catholic Central) – Won his only faceoff, picking up one ground ball.
  • Junior midfielder Brent Lubin (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.
  • Junior midfielder Connor Maks (UD-Jesuit) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior midfielder Greg Marzec (Brother Rice) – Won 1/3 faceoffs, picking up one ground ball.
  • Junior defenseman Bryan Matney (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – Started, caused one turnover, and picked up one ground ball.
  • Freshman midfielder Jackson McElhenney (Birmingham Seaholm) – Played, but only made the scoresheet by committing one penalty for 1:00.
  • Sophomore midfielder Bo Pickens (Brother Rice) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore defenseman Austin Ross (Warren Mott) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman midfielder Charlie Schiefer (Birmingham Seaholm) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman goalie Logan Shamblin (Troy) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman defenseman Travis Sparling (Novi) – Did not see game action.
  • Junior attackman/midfielder Adam Susalla (Birmingham Seaholm) – Caused one turnover and picked up one ground ball.

Drexel 14, Virginia 18

  • Freshman faceoff specialist Ian Foster (East Lansing/IMG Academy) – Won 6/15 faceoffs, picking up one ground ball.

Duke 9, Denver 14

  • Junior midfielder Matthew Giampetroni (Cranbrook) – Did not see game action.

Fairfield 13, Bucknell 12

  • Freshman defenseman Brian Cosgrove (Brother Rice) – Did not see game action.

High Point 9, Georgetown 3

  • Freshman defenseman Luke Cappetto (Brother Rice) – Played, but only made the scoresheet by committing one turnover.

High Point 5, Maryland 19

  • Freshman defenseman Luke Cappetto (Brother Rice) – Started (at LSM) and picked up one ground ball.

Manhattan 8, Robert Morris 18

  • Sophomore midfielder Robert Carroll (Grosse Pointe South) – Won 3/6 faceoffs, picking up two ground balls.

Marquette 17, Jacksonville 1

  • Sophomore midfielder Bob Pelton (Forest Hills Northern) – Did not see game action.
  • Sophomore midfielder John Wagner (Cranbrook) – Started, scored two Goals on four Shots, and picked up one ground ball.

Michigan 15, Detroit 10

  • Senior faceoff specialist Brian Archer (Brighton) – Won 2/3 faceoffs, picking up one ground ball. Also committed one penalty for 0:30.
  • Freshman midfielder Ryan Prior (Birmingham/Culver Academy) – Did not see game action.

Michigan 13, Bellarmine 5

  • Senior faceoff specialist Brian Archer (Brighton) – Did not see game action.
  • Freshman midfielder Ryan Prior (Birmingham/Culver Academy) – Did not see game action.

Mount St. Mary’s 5, Towson 13

  • Freshman midfielder Keaton Mitchell (Clarkston) – Did not see game action.

Notre Dame 16, Georgetown 10

  • Sophomore defenseman Michael Langdon (Cranbrook) – Did not see game action.
  • Senior midfielder Sergio Perkovic (Brother Rice) – Started, scored two Goals on 10(!!!) Shots (five on goal), and picked up one ground ball.

Penn 10, Saint Joseph’s 5

  • Freshman midfielder Alex Minanov (Grosse Pointe Liggett) – Did not see game action.

Providence 7, Bryant 6

  • Junior midfielder Josh Keller (East Grand Rapids/Kent School) – Scored a Goal on two Shots and picked up one ground ball.

Richmond 10, UMBC 5

  • Senior attackman J.P. Forester (Brother Rice) – Started, scored a Goal on his only Shot, and recorded one assist. Also committed one turnover.

Robert Morris 18, Manhattan 8

  • Freshman long-stick midfielder James Scane (Brother Rice) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.

Stony Brook 12, Sacred Heart 11
Stony Brook 14, St. John’s 4

  • Sophomore midfielder Nathan Richards (Lapeer West) – Did not see game action.

Syracuse 10, Albany 9

  • Freshman midfielder Nick Martin (Detroit Country Day) – Did not see game action.

UMass Lowell 9, Harvard 14

  • Sophomore goalie Grant Lardieri (Forest Hills Northern) – Started and played 58:46. Made 17 saves and allowed 13 goals (.567). Caused two turnovers and picked up three ground balls. Also committed one turnover.

Yale 16, Villanova 11

  • Junior midfielder Jason Alessi (Brother Rice) – Scored two Goals on three Shots (two on goal), and picked up three ground balls.
  • Senior midfielder John Lazarsfeld (Ann Arbor Greenhills) – Played, but did not accrue any statistics.

If I’ve messed anything up, let me know in the comments, where you can also feel free to share statlines from other divisions.

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