Michigan Plays Air Force Close, Falls 15-12; Women Get Win #1 in 2OT

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The Michigan men's lacrosse team traveled to Colorado Springs to meet the Air Force Falcons and dropped their third consecutive game, while the women's team earned the program's first-ever victory.

Air Force 15 - Michigan 12

In my preview of this match-up I said that Michigan was going to have to hold off Air Force's first quarter scoring if they wanted to stay in the game, as the Falcons were averaging 4.36 per first quarter. In Saturday's game, Michigan allowed Air Force to score six times, while Michigan mustered only two goals.

After the Falcons went up 3-0 in the first two minutes of the first quarter, Thomas Paras scored for the 10th time this season, making the score 3-1 Air Force. Just over a minute later Air Force rattled off another three consecutive goals by way of Mike Crampton, Austin Smith, and Keith Dreyer. Crampton's score at 11:03 to go in the first gave him an early hat-trick on the day; he would score one more time late in the third quarter to finish with four total goals.

The Wolverines were able to put together a string of their own at the end of the first quarter and through the first half of the second. Dan Kinek put the capper on the first quarter, while Ian King, Paras, and Kyle Jackson finished out the four-goal run, bringing the score to 6-5 Air Force. They made it a game, but would they be able to maintain the momentum?

The answer to the above question is a resounding "No!". Michigan's defense then allowed the Falcons to go on a five-goal tear to finish out the first half and the first ten minutes of the second half.

Despite falling into a deep hole to start the game, Michigan was able to stay in it on a few key factors: hat-tricks by Kyle Jackson and David McCormack, multiple goals from Paras and King, and Brad Lott's improvement at the dot (17-30). In addition, the penalty minutes were down from the 8:00 last week to only 2:00 this week. Not only did Michigan win the face-off battle, they were also able to outshoot the Falcons 50 to 37...but their shooting % was terribly low.

Michigan Air Force
Goals-Shot Attempts 12-50 15-37
Shot % .240 .405
Shots On Goal 25 23
SOG% .500 .627
Man-Up Opps 2-4 0-1
Ground Balls 34 30
Turnovers 15 12
Caused Turnovers 6 4
Face-Offs 17-30 13-30
Clears 19-23 18-20
Saves 8 13
Penalties-Minutes 2-2:00 4-3:00

Getting bogged down in the first quarter was just too much for this team to have to overcome. The score was close, and that's a good sign, but we need to see the results that we know this team is capable of achieving. Shooting only 24% on 50 shots is unacceptable. Most of the other stats from Saturday's game are actually okay: they picked up more ground balls, caused more turnovers, and won more face-offs. But when you can't capitalize on better stats...well, you just aren't going to win.

Michigan will face the number 16/18 Fairfield Stags after Michigan football's spring game on April 5. Fairfield is 7-2 on the season, winning their last five including one against UMass when they were ranked #11 in the country. Preview to come.

Michigan Women Record First Victory

Freshman Anna Schueler gave the Michigan women's team their first victory on March 30 against UC Davis (6-4), and she did so in dramatic fashion. With just 1:07 to go in the second OT session, Schueler put the Wolverines on top by a score of 13-12.

Schueler ended the day with five goals, as did teammate Tess Korten.

After winning the final draw with just 14 seconds on the clock, Michigan's Madeline Dion scored what was thought to be the game winner; that goal was, however, ruled to have been after time ran out and the extra sessions began. Both teams scored in the first overtime, sending it to the second session. With her game-winner, Schueler moves into first place on the team with 14 goals and is tied with fellow freshman Jess Angerman at 17 points this season.

The women will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on April 2 at 7:00 pm ET inside Michigan Stadium. The game can be seen on MGoBlueTV.

I'm hoping to have a more detailed review of the Ohio State game this weekend, so stay tuned.

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