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Domination

helmet-logoThe Michigan lacrosse team was utterly dominant for the second year in a row during the 2009 season. They went undefeated en route to their second consecutive national championship. Margin of victory could tell one story about the way they manhandled opponents, but it only tells part of the story. The point in the game at which Michigan scored the goal that would eventually prove to be the game-winner can show just how much control they had over their opponents after all (and shows that they could have put up much higher numbers, if not for a hesitance to run up the score).

Michigan Lacrosse 2009
Total Score Shutout Ended Michigan’s Winning Goal
Opponent Mich Opp Margin Time Score Time Score Scoring after
Arizona 14 3 11 13:11, 3rd Q 11-1 Mich 3:25, 1st Q 4-0 Mich 10-3 Mich
#11 UCSB 7 5 2 8:03, 1st Q 1-1 7:31, 4th Q 6-4 Mich 1-1
#1 Chapman 13 10 3 12:40, 1st Q 0-1 Chap 1:26, 3rd Q 11-10 Mich 2-0 Mich
#12 Colorado 13 4 9 9:13, 1st Q 2-1 Mich 11:09, 2nd Q 5-2 Mich 8-2 Mich
Minnesota 17 5 12 6:57, 2nd Q 10-1 Mich 13:50, 2nd Q 6-0 Mich 11-5 Mich
Eastern Michigan 33 8 25 6:37, 1st Q 6-1 Mich 0:26, 1st Q 9-2 Mich 24-6 Mich
Central Michigan 21 4 17 2:27, 2nd Q 10-1 Mich 9:37, 1st Q 5-0 Mich 16-4 Mich
#4 Brigham Young 14 11 3 9:11, 1st Q 2-1 Mich 1:49, 3rd Q 12-6 Mich 2-5 BYU
#7 Minnesota-Duluth 18 10 8 11:51, 1st Q 0-1 UM-D 12:27, 3rd Q 11-6 Mich 7-4 Mich
#8 Colorado State 16 3 13 4:46, 2nd Q 9-1 Mich 0:51, 1st Q 4-0 Mich 9-3 Mich
Western Michigan 15 4 11 11:10, 1st Q 0-1 WMU 1:27 1st Q 5-1 Mich 10-3 Mich
#20 Illinois 12 5 7 13:01, 1st Q 0-1 Ill 7:29, 2nd Q 6-3 Mich 6-2 Mich
#14 Michigan State 21 9 12 9:55, 1st Q 0-1 MSU 12:34 3rd Q 10-5 MIch 11-4 Mich
Central Michigan 20 6 14 12:56, 1st Q 0-1 CMU 14:07 2nd Q 7-2 Mich 13-4 Mich
Buffalo 16 2 14 1:51, 2nd Q 4-1 Mich 13:36 2nd Q 3-0 Mich 13-2 Mich
#16 Texas 11 5 7 14:00, 1st Q 0-1 Tex 6:05, 2nd Q 6-3 Mich 5-2 Mich
#9 Sonoma State 22 6 16 9:15, 1st Q 3-1 Mich 0:24, 1st Q 7-2 Mich 15-4 Mich
#5 Colorado 17 7 10 11:06, 1st Q 2-1 Mich 0:05 2nd Q 8-4 Mich 9-3 Mich
#3 Chapman 12 11 1 13:35, 1st Q 0-1 Chap 9:00, 1st Q 12-10 Mich 0-1 Chap

Only in 6 games this year did Michigan not outscore the other team’s final score – in the first half. Throw in the fact that most teams scored a garbage goal or two at the very end, and… wow. And just for good measure, Michigan’s leading scorer against the other team:

Michigan Individuals 2009
Opponent Score Mich leading Score
Arizona 3 Anthony Hrusovsky 3
UCSB 5 Trevor Yealy 3
Chapman 10 Trevor Yealy 5
Colorado 4 Trevor Yealy 5
Minnesota 5 Trevor Yealy 4
Eastern Michigan 8 Trevor Yealy 8
Central Michigan 4 Anthony Hrusovsky 4
Brigham Young 11 Trevor Yealy 4
Minnesota-Duluth 10 Trevor Yealy 11
Colorado State 3 Trevor Yealy 4
Western Michigan 4 Trevor Yealy 4
Illinois 5 Trevor Yealy 5
Michigan State 9 Trevor Yealy 8
Central Michigan 6 Wes McGowan 4
Buffalo 2 Trevor Yealy 4
Texas 5 Peter Vasher 5
Sonoma State 6 Trevor Yealy 5
Colorado 7 Riley Kearns 3
Chapman 11 Kevin Zorovich 3

Even if Michigan was only allowed to count one player’s goals in each game, they would have gone 4-9-6 against one of the toughest schedules in the country. Considering that there are 35 members on a lacrosse team, and not just one, this was indeed a dominant team.

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7 Comments so far

  1. Old Blue says...

    I wish more Michigan fans would take notice of this team. I have been following them for a few years now, and I’ve been completely taken in with the game of lacrosse and the kind of people the team has involved, from coaches to players. First class all the way.

    People need to get over the club label and accept them for what they are – the most successful team at Michigan, and also one of the most fun to watch.

    Go Blue! Here’s hoping that Bill Martin eventually realizes what he has here and makes lax D1.

  2. 1M1Ucla says...

    So — how do these guys stack up against Virginia, Duke, Syracuse, Johns Hopkins and that crowd out East?

  3. GregGoBlue says...

    Nice Job Blue! Go Men’s Lax!

  4. Tom says...

    Winning a club lacrosse title doesn’t translate into automatic success in D1 lacrosse. The same can be said about Penn State’s domination of club ice hockey. Like lacrosse, there is also a huge difference between club ice hockey and D1 ice hockey.

  5. phjhu89 says...

    Big props to a team that is remarkably consistent and hard working.

    1M1Ucla – they don’t stack up against the traditional DI powers. The 10-man ride that results in all of those extra scoring chances would get torched by a top-10 team. Some of M’s very successful strategies would be liabilities. For instance, that ride forces teams to execute – against club teams that is a low risk/high reward strategy. Against a skilful top team? High risk, resulting in fast-break opportunities for a team that can really pass the ball. They would probably do OK in one of the lower-end conferences – in the MAAC only one of the teams is fully funded yet, so Michigan’s facility advantage and equipment sponsorships would be a budgetary advantage in a league that is struggling to fund Lax.

    Where does this team go from here? Two years of undefeated seasons and back 2 back championships? They need a new challenge! The AD should really consider it…

    On the other hand, if the Lax team went DI, we would have to endure quite a few years of not great results, no trips to the NCAA tournament, and likely regular beat-downs by ND and OSU.

  6. Old Blue says...

    You’re right Tom. Although the Michigan lacrosse team doesn’t run like a typical club team. They already run like a varsity team, with the same commitment, coaching, organization, etc. The difference is in talent. They have a lot of D1 level kids on the team. What they don’t have are the lacrosse version of the “blue chip” recruits that get discussed on these sites for football and basketball. Until they have scholarships and are competing for NCAA titles, they won’t get those kids.

    Although…they do have a kid coming next year named Conor McGee who is the starting goalie on the number one high school team in the country this year (Gilman in Baltimore). That’s a pretty big-time recruit for a club team.

  7. Tim says...

    The overall message to take away from their competitiveness essentially boils down to this: They would complete with mid-to-low D-I programs, but wouldn’t be able to play with the big boys right away.

    THAT SAID, the pieces are in place for a pretty good transition, were they to suddenly attain varsity status. There are plans to build one of the best lacrosse facilities in the nation (in addition to the existing facilities, which are already great).

    Also, if they were to offer scholarships, there are quite a few programs not so far away that would (hopefully) be able to serve as pipelines. Birmingham Brother Rice (in Bloomfield Hills, under an hour away from Ann Arbor) is consistently among the top high school teams in the nation, this year boasting more D-1 players (13) than an actual D-I program (12.6, obviously the numbers don’t quite work out that way, but it’s an impressive comparison nonetheless).

    I’m starting to get pretty long-winded here, so perhaps it’s time to cut it off, and devote an entire post to this in the future…

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