Preseason: Michigan Edges Wittenberg
from press release
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On a cold Friday night (February 4) in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan's men's lacrosse team defeated the Tigers of Wittenberg University at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse by a score of 13-9 in Michigan's second scrimmage of the season. The game started close until the Wolverines took the lead and control going into the second half. Michigan was slow to start in the third but quickly regained focus to hold the lead down the stretch.
Wittenburg opened the scoring within the first ten seconds of the game following the initial faceoff. Each team had possessions on offense before senior attackman Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, PA – Upper St. Clair) answered with a pair of goals both from just outside the crease. The Wolverines offense continued to claw at the Tigers' defense as Yealy scored his third followed by another Michigan tally by sophomore attackman Ryan Dutton-O'Hara (Mount Airy, MD – Urbana – St. John's) for his first of the game. The home team would end the quarter with a 4-1 lead as Dutton-O'Hara was denied a second goal as time expired.
The Tigers were able to find the back of the net early in the second quarter to drawing them within two. After successfully killing off a penalty shortly after, Michigan went on to gain a man up opportunity of their own which was converted by senior attackman Chad Carroll (Cincinnati, OH – St. Xavier High) just as the extra-man chance expired. The Maize and Blue went on to score two more with goals from freshman attackman Ryan Snyder (Houston, TX – Episcopal) and senior midfielder Roy Ichikawa (San Diego, CA – Torrey Pines) from just outside the crease. Wittenberg was able to counter however with three unanswered goals and trailed 7-5 to close out the first half.
Michigan started off the third quarter slowly, losing ground balls and small battles in transition play, but it was the Wolverines' defense that held strong to maintain the lead. Eventually U-M got moving in the offensive zone and Carroll was able to capitalize on a fast break over 10 minutes into the quarter. Michigan increased their lead to three on a goal from senior midfielder Stephen Levitt (Alpine, NJ – Dwight Englewood) with the assist from junior midfielder Alex Vasileff (Birmingham, MI – Seaholm) on a successful Wolverine clear. WU finally answered with a goal of their own only to be washed out by a strike from sophomore midfielder Willie Steenland (Minneapolis, MN – The Blake School) on an assist from Carroll putting Michigan ahead 10-6 headed into the fourth quarter.
Freshman attackman Jeff Chu (Berwyn, PA – Conestoga) made his way onto the score sheet with a solid effort on a low wing drive to the net less than two minutes into the fourth quarter. Less than thirty seconds later, the Tigers answered with a goal coming from the low wing just outside the crease. Four minutes later, Vasileff found the back of the net from an unassisted shot on the mid wing for his second of the game. Wittenberg added two more goals to complete their scoring for the final quarter and the game. Closing Michigan's scoring was sophomore attackman Matt Joseph (Westlake, OH – St. Ignatius) on a hard-shot from the left wing following a crisp pass from freshman midfielder Jeff Janer (Novi, MI – Detroit Catholic Central) as U-M went on the 13-9 scrimmage win.
The Wolverines will return to the field next weekend when they host DIII Kenyon at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse on Saturday, February 12 at 7:00pm EST.
- Yealy netted a hat trick and was 100% shooting, scoring the three goals on three shots.
- Carroll (2-1-3), Vasileff (2-1-3) and Yealy (3-0-3) were tied as the team's leading point holders for the game.
- Senior long-stick midfielder Matt Asperheim (Grand Rapids, MI – East Grand Rapids) led the team with five groundballs.
- Senior goaltenders Mark Stone (Greenwood Village, CO – Cherry Creek) and Andrew Fowler (Grosse Pointe, MI – Hotchkiss, CT) split the time in net. Stone saved 4 of 11 in the first half while Fowler stopped 6 of 14 in the second.
- With the win, Michigan improves their preseason record to 1-1 going into their final scrimmage.
- The Wolverines won less than 50% of faceoffs in the first half but rallied to win the faceoff category in the second half. Senior Brian Greiner (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Grosse Pointe South / RPI) finished 4 for 12 on the night, while junior Edward Ernst (Washington D.C. – Sidwell Friends) was 4 of 9. Sophomore Harrison Silver (South Salem, NY – John Jay) won 5 of 8.
Head Coach John Paul
On his general impressions: "We did some things better that we needed to. We played some better defense, but we still need to get better there, and get healthy there. We did a much better job on the ride today and fixed some issues there. These scrimmages still show us what we need to work on, and there is a lot."
On the attack: "We got some guys in earlier tonight compared to last week. We got Chu and Snyder in there because they've earned it and we want to give those guys as many opportunities as possible. We're just so deep at attack right now though. Overall I'm happy with where we're at right now offensively but we still have a lot to work in. We're working some new systems in right now that are fairly new conceptually and are unlike anything they've done prior in high-school or here. It'll take us a little to time for them to get comfortable in it and for us to figure out what works and what doesn't."
On the upcoming week: "We've got one more scrimmage and that's incredibly important for us. It's one more week to really just focus on getting better with a game at the end that doesn't count. We'll take a look at the film on Sunday after the lift and we'll look to fix all of the little things from tonight."
Senior attackman Trevor Yealy
His take on the offense: "I think at times we looked good but at times we sluggish. A lot of the younger guys played real well. Paras is always solid and Carroll played well. So overall I think we were pretty good, but there is definitely a lot to work on, especially in our new sets."
On what he's looking to focus on as his senior year begins: "I'm just looking to get a little more consistent and expand my game a little more. I've had some luck right around the crease, but I'd like to work on finding some more ways to score. I guess just being a bit more versatile."