Michigan Finishes Preseason With Win
from press release
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan Men's Lacrosse team defeated the Lords of Kenyon College at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse by a score of 15-6 in their final preseason scrimmage on Saturday night (February 12). The boys in blue exploded in the first half but struggled in the second, relying on their earlier scoring run and defense to carry them to the scrimmage victory.
Michigan sophomore attackman Thomas Paras (Lakewood, OH – St. Ignatius) opened the goal scoring on a dodge from behind the net to score on a turnaround shot. Michigan's next goal came from senior attackman Chad Carroll (Cincinnati, OH – St. Xavier High) with a backhand shot on a beautiful feed from Paras at X. Starting late in the first quarter, U-M's deadly ride earned them four goals as senior attackman Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, PA – Upper St. Clair) added a pair of goals along with Paras' second and a goal from junior defender Austin Swaney (Grand Rapids, MI – East Grand Rapids).
On the other side of the ball, senior goaltender Mark Stone (Greenwood Village, CO – Cherry Creek) stopped the three shots he faced, two in rapid succession, helping to keep the momentum in favor of the Wolverines as they led 6-0 after the first quarter.
To start the second quarter, senior goaltender Andrew Fowler (Grosse Pointe, MI – Hotchkiss CT) replaced Stone and eventually went on to shut out Kenyon in the first half. The Wolverines continued to convert on offense with a pair of unassisted goals from sophomore midfielder Joe Hrusovsky (Lake Forest, IL – Lake Forest) and junior midfielder Alex Vasileff (Birmingham, MI – Seaholm).
Four minutes later, freshman attackman Ryan Snyder (Houston, TX – Episcopal) made his presence known by netting three goals in under two minutes with a flashy behind-the-back finish to seal the hat-trick. Michigan ended the second quarter with a 12-0 lead with the help of solid possession, Yealy netting his third, and senior midfielder Brian Greiner's (Grosse Pointe, MI – Grosse Point South/RPI) dominant effort at faceoff.
Kenyon won the opening faceoff of the third which resulted in their first goal of the game. The Lords kept their new-found groove and scored three more unanswered as Michigan led 12-4 late in the third. Towards the end of the quarter, sophomore goaltender Cy Abdelnour (Ann Arbor, MI – Pioneer) took over for Fowler as U-M played all three goaltenders.
U-M struck back with :52 seconds left in the quarter on a man up goal from Paras giving him a hat-trick with an assist on the play from Hrusovsky. As the quarter came to a close, it was apparent Kenyon's third quarter efforts took the Maize and Blue by surprise, yet the Lords still trailed 13-4 going into the final quarter.
Neither team found the twine until 10:25 in the fourth quarter when junior midfielder Sean Sutton (Greenwich, CT – Greenwich) scooped up a groundball and scored on a long blast from straight out. Special teams played a crucial role for Kenyon as they converted on both of their man up opportunities in the fourth.
Carroll scored his second goal on an assist from Paras with just over three minutes left to close out the scoring in the game. As time expired off the clock, Michigan ended with controlled possession in the offensive zone to end the 15-6 contest in favor of the Wolverines.
- Paras (3-2-5) led the team in points while Yealy and Snyder added three goals each.
- The Wolverines won well over 50% of the game's faceoffs with 12 wins in just the first half. Greiner won 12 of 14, and junior Edward Ernst (Washington D.C. – Sidwell Friends) finished 5 of 11.
- Greiner also led the team in groundballs with six.
- All three goaltenders saw action. Stone started and played the first quarter stopping three shots with zero goals against. Fowler took over in the second and stopped four of six over 24:03. Abdelnour played the final 20:57, stopping three shots while allowing four goals.
- With the win, Michigan finishes their preseason record at 2-1 going into the regular season.
- Every healthy Wolverine saw action.
Head Coach John Paul
On his general impressions: "Overall, we were pretty pleased we had a great first half, the guys came out ready to play. Over the course of these scrimmages and really over the course of the season we want to continue to improve our ride which was much better today. We needed to improve our faceoffs and we dominated the first half in face offs. Those were the two main focuses and we got those done and the results showed."
On the ride: "We didn't do anything different than what we've done over the past couple of year, it's just refocusing on it. Sometimes if you don't emphasize it day in and day out, the team starts losing focus on exactly how it needs to be done. We also got Harry Freid back, although he didn't play much tonight. Harry is a huge part of our ride and just having him back even just for a little bit this week made the guys refocus on what we're supposed to do."
On faceoffs: "We changed a couple things this week, we changed his (Greiner's) technique and changed a little bit of what we were doing on the wings and I think both of those had a big impact."
On the young attackmen: "Snyder and Chu have earned their time. We're pretty deep at attack right now and we're finding ways to get those guys in there. Snyder showed tonight what he was capable of doing. It's funny that he went behind the back because he's not a flashy player at all but he's just rock solid, he's steady and when opportunities come his way he usually finishes like he did tonight."
On Team Depth: "I think our strength over the last three years, one of the things that's carried us is our depth. The National Tournament means you have to win four games in five days; all tough games and that thing is a battle of attrition and our depth has carried us through that. Certainly as you saw in the first half today, our starters are our starters for a reason, they're better than everybody else on the team, but, we're deep enough that we can put other guys in there and be successful and if we didn't have that we wouldn't be where we are right now."
On what led to the poor second half: "A few things, we started losing faceoffs, faceoffs are key. We changed up and Edward didn't have as much success as Greiner. A lot of times faceoffs are a match up thing, but we stuck with Edward because it's a scrimmage and we really wanted to give him an opportunity to play and he got better in the fourth quarter. We subbed a lot, we had some guys in there that maybe aren't quite as experienced and that makes a big difference. Offensively we started putting a lot of pressure on our defense, we just got sloppy, we got out of what we do well and the guys just started making some poor decisions. Once we start turning the ball over the other team was getting some opportunities and we paid for that."
On the end of the preseason, beginning of regular season: "I think we're in a good place right now. Are we ready? No; we still have a lot of work to do this week. We only have three practices because of Mock Rock so we need to have a great week of practice this week to be ready for Florida and be ready for the season. I like where we are but no, we're not ready."
On his general impressions of the game/offense: "I think we were all just gelling as a team and putting each other in the right places to be poised and score."
On being a freshman: "Michigan has it all, from the classes to the lacrosse environment. The social life is great here and everybody is really friendly on campus, and it's just been a blast. I love the team right now, couldn't ask for anything more. The coaches are great and everybody has made me feel at home."
On his goals: "I'm just looking to do whatever the team asks for me whether that be participating on random faceoffs or just working hard on rides."