Michigan (3-10, 0-5) lost another tough game to finish the 2016 regular season, this time to the 18th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (8-6, 2-3). The Wolverines started the first quarter by going up 2-1, but quickly gave up six consecutive goals to Penn State and fell behind 7-2 about half way through the second quarter.
Brad Lott was pulled from last week's game for lackluster perfomance at the face-off X, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do on Saturday, going 19-26. However, 19 turnovers as a team killed the maize and blue and certainly prevented any real chance of ending the season on a high note.
After falling behind 7-2, a 6 to 2 run brought the Wolverines within 9-8 at the 12:26 mark in the third quarter, yet a 5-1 run by Penn State in the second half put the game out of Michigan's reach and clinched a spot in the Big Ten lacrosse tournament for PSU.
Kyle Jackson was back for his second game after missing four in a row, but he couldn't duplicate the five-goal performance he had last week. He finished the day with one goal and one assist on six shots, and picked up two ground balls. Peter Kraus and Sean McCanna each had two goals.
LSM Chase Brown had himself a day, and it was one of the few bright spots. Going into Saturday, Brown had scored only one time, but he finished with two scores on three shots, and five ground balls. One of his scores came on a breakaway while the Wolverines were a man down.
Check out this cool video of one of Brown's goals...
It's always great to see an LSM get on the board.
In the end, the effort put forth at the end of the game just wasn't enough to get the victory. The one positive that came out of Saturday's loss was that Ohio State was officially eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament field. Although we would like a Michigan victory to be the cause, it seems that a loss was just as good this time around.
2016 has been a long and rough season. There have been injuries, poor play, and a few more injuries. One thing, though, is the team played hard. We didn't get as many Ws as we'd like to see, but there were a lot of factors playing into that.
Stay tuned to MnB in the next week or so as I will hopefully have a more complete 2016 post-mortem up for your review.