Ohio State scored the first two goals of the game, but the Wolverines powered to a 4-2 lead off of efforts by Ian King, David McCormack, and Kyle Jackson. But those good feelings soon went away once OSU used five different guys to score the next five goals to take a 7-4 lead into the locker room.
Michigan mustered only four more goals the rest of the way, while the Buckeyes scored another six to drop the Wolverines to 1-2 in league play.
Michigan head coach John Paul used a different strategy against Ohio State's face-off man, Chris May; instead of challenging him one-on-one at the dot, Brad Lott and Chase Brown were just tasked with allowing May to win and then going after the strip or ground ball to gain possession. So although the face-off wins look bad (9 of 25), the strategy worked with some success as Michigan was able to grab enough GBs to make themselves a nuisance.
For as much as the above strategy worked, however, the Wolverines had a terrible time handling the ball in the second half, coughing up the ball nine times to only five in the first half. Most of Michigan's turnovers were unforced errors while trying to clear (only 14 of 21) or came off of ill-advised pass attempts that were either in too much traffic or telegraphed to the defender. What really hurt with the turnovers, though, was that they turned into scoring plays going the other way. I accidentally deleted the game from my DVR, but I recall at least three Michigan turnovers that turned into Ohio State points.
If Michigan could have kept the turnovers down and limited those scoring chances for Ohio State, it's more than possible that the game would have been closer. Instead of a 13-8 loss, it could have been more like 12-10 and more of a game. Perhaps Michigan could have actually pulled out the win. Hold onto the ball and anything can happen.
Gerald Logan was an absolute beast for most of the first half, but with a limited midfield and the mistakes on clearing chances, Logan really was called on to be the savior. Unfortunately, Michigan's defense also gave out after the first half and found themselves out of position on some plays, and just straight-up beat on others. Logan is one of the better goalies in the country, but if he doesn't have a supporting defense around him, this team isn't going to go anywhere.
I thought that Sunday would go the way Ian King went, and King scored only one goal in the match. I hate being right. It was midfielder Kyle Jackson who led with two scores. Six other players had one goal each.
With two games to go in the Big Ten season (against Johns Hopkins and Penn State), Michigan is still in contention for the fourth spot in the playoff if they can split the next two games, I think they'll be able to squeak into the first-ever Big Ten lacrosse tournament, but would have to face Maryland once again.
One thing at a time, though. Michigan's next match is at Johns Hopkins on April 18. The Jays have struggled a bit, but they are still Hopkins and the outlook isn't that good for the maize and blue.