The Michigan Wolverines men's lacrosse team (2-2) was set to take on the Detroit Titans on Wednesday, but an all-too common late-winter storm caused that match to be canceled. This allowed Michigan to leave for California early in order to prepare for the Delaware Fighting Blue Hens (0-4) in the Orange County Winter Invitational, hosted by Orange Coast College.
After finding themselves down 2-1 in the first frame, Kyle Jackson scored twice in the opening three minutes of the second quarter, putting the Wolverines up 3-2. But, the Hens weren't going to go quietly, and outscored Michigan 3-1 from 5:32 to go in the second quarter, through to the end of the half, holding a 5-4 lead heading into the break.
Michigan was able to repay the 3-1 run Delaware had in the second quarter with a 3-1 run of their own in the third. Jackson's third score of the game at 11:13 in the third quarter drew the Wolverines even with Delaware at 5-5, and freshman Decker Curran tallied his second score of the season. Curran now has three points in three games played. He wasn't the only underclassman who got in on the scoring, either, as sophomore Sean McCanna was also able to get one past the Delaware goalie.
Kyle Jackson would lead all Michigan scorers with four, while Peter Kraus added three of his own. And because I was a good student, I can see that Jackson and Kraus combined for seven of Michigan's ten goals on the night.
Jackson is now at 16 goals on the season, ten ahead of second place Ian King and Peter Kraus. Gerald Logan's 13 saves now give him a save % of .526, and Brad Lott is sitting at a .560 win % at the dot--both men need to make improvements in coming weeks, but they are certainly trending in the right direction.
First half face-offs were a disaster for the Wolverines, who were able to win only two of ten chances at the dot. But, their fotunes changed in the second half, going 8-11. They were also able to improve their groundballs from half to half, scooping up only 11 in the first, but 17 in the second.
Turnovers, of the caused and unforced variety, were also a story in Saturday night's game. The Hens had a total of 16 TOs on the stat sheet, and Michigan forced them to turn it over 11 out of those 16. Delaware, on the other hand, turned Michigan over only five times for a Wolverines total of 10 turnovers on the game.
All in all, this was a game Michigan had to win. They came from behind to do it, but they got it done, and they got it done with help from the younger guys (Curran's goal and assist, McCanna's goal, and an assist from freshman Nick DiCaprio.) I don't think the importance of the underclassmen's contribution can be understated: young production + veteran production = wins. You hear me, maize and blue? Young and veteran production means wins, so...do that.
The Wolverines come back home and welcome the 2-2 Vermont Catamounts to Michigan Stadium at 1 p.m. on March 5th. That game can be seen on BTN Plus.