Detroit Opens MAAC Play with Convincing Win
from press release
DETROIT -- Nine Titans scored goals, as Detroit
Mercy jumped out to a 7-1 lead on VMI and never looked back,
starting conference play with a 13-9 victory Saturday at Titan
“The season starts now and the conference is on its way and we are 1-0 and that's where we need to be,” said head coach Matt Holtz. “They (VMI) are a hard working team, probably the hardest working team we have seen all year. They are great on ground balls and we just wanted to work as hard as we could and match their effort.”
Sophomore Chris Nemes (Novi, MI/Detroit Catholic Central) led the way with a career-high three goals, while junior Ty Maruyama (Lakewood, CO/Green Mountain) and freshman Shayne Adams (St. Catharines, ON/Denis Morris) each tallied two apiece, with Adams also collecting a season-high two assists.
“Chris had a phenomenal game today,” said Holtz. “We knew that they were fast and quick, but a little undersized so we thought we would go to Chris who is a big kid and likes to muscle his way in and he did a good job and finished well.”
Sophomore A.J. Levell (Columbus, OH/Dublin Scioto) posted 14 saves and the Titan defense saw VMI commit 25 turnovers. Junior Brad Janer (Novi, MI/Detroit Catholic Central) and sophomore Jamie Hebden (Farmington Hills, MI/Brother Rice) each came away with three caused turnovers, while sophomore Jordan Houtby (St. Catharines, ON/Holy Cross Secondary) picked up a team-high six ground balls.
Detroit (2-7, 1-0 MAAC) saw VMI (2-5, 0-1 MAAC) net the game's first goal nearly four minutes into the contest, but the Titans stormed back with seven straight to take a commanding lead. Junior John Nowicki (Clinton Twp., MI/De La Salle) got Detroit's offense started with an unassisted marker and that was followed just a minute later as freshman Troy Dennis (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) ripped one past the goalie for his first collegiate goal.
It was more of the same in the second period as Maruyama took a pass from senior Matt Gregson (Flint, MI/Powers Catholic) and put in his first of the game. UDM then took advantage of a VMI penalty and freshman Wes Steen (Columbus, OH/Olentangy Liberty) was able to notch a marker as the rookie was helped with a great feed from junior Scott Harris (Saline, MI/Saline)
“We played a tough schedule on purpose to prepare us for the conference and today it paid off,” said Maruyama. “It was a total team effort out there and a lot of people chipped in.”
The Titans then broke the game open with three goals in less than three minutes as Gregson, Harris and Adams each put one between the pipes and Detroit had a 7-1 lead halfway through the second. UDM would then open its largest lead of seven goals later in the quarter as Nemes' tally with 1:30 left gave Detroit a 9-2 lead.
Detroit also had a seven-goal lead twice in the third at 10-3 and at 12-5 as Nemes tallied his second with 5:42 left. The Keydets had one more run left in them as the military institution scored three straight to cut the Titan advantage to 12-8 with 14:21 left in the game, but any chance of a comeback was pushed aside as Nemes stopped that run with an unassisted goal at the 7:23 mark.
Detroit outshot VMI, 46-36, on the day and caused 14 of the Keydets' 25 turnovers. The Titans also did a great job in the clear game with a 13-of-17 effort, while VMI was 11-of-17.
Detroit will look to make it two in a row as it hits the road next week with a trip to Florida to face the MAAC's newest member Jacksonville on Saturday, Mar. 26. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.