For the first time in the MCLA Tournament, Michigan’s offense didn’t allow the opposing team to get an early lead. Trevor Yealy got on board within a minute and a half of the game’s start, and Clark McIntyre added a tally of his own within another minute. The teams traded goals before Michigan finally got a little bit of space, taking an 8-4 lead into the halftime break. After the half, it was all Michigan. The Wolverines put 9 more goals on the board, while only allowing 3 more tallies by Colorado (2 of which came within a minute of the end of the game, when the outcome was no longer in question). In net, Mark Stone played the first half, while Andrew Fowler played a strong second half for the Wolverines. Though he didn’t tally a point for the Wolverines, David Reinhard was one of the most important pieces in the game, winning almost 70% of his faceoffs and helping the Wolverines keep possession as much as possible. Offensively, Riley Kearns led the way with 3 goals (one of which was quite the highlight: a jump shot from a very tight angle coming around the back of the net) and assists on goals by Jordan Kirshner and Svet Tintchev. David Rogers, Trevor Yealy, and Clark McIntyre also scored multiple goals for Michigan.
Another round, another past opponent for the Wolverines. They’ll face Chapman at 7PM Mountain (9 Eastern) on the stadium field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
At A Glance. Chapman enters the contest with a 16-2 record. The Panthers’ only losses on the year came at the hands of Michigan and BYU, so they’re attempting to work the revenge tour in reverse order during the MCLA tournament. They went 5-0 in the Southwest Lacrosse Conference, and won the conference tournament by downing Arizona and San Diego State by lopsided counts.
Common Opponents. Michigan and Chapman, on top of playing each other (more on that later), faced several of the same teams over the course of the year. The Wolverines and Panthers both played the University of Arizona at neutral site, and each came away with a lopsided win (Chapman won 17-3, Michigan won 14-3). Chapman beat Texas 14-4 at a neutral site in Southern California (Michigan beat the Longhorns 11-5 on Tuesday in Denver). The Panthers took down Colorado State 15-5 at home and 9-8 in Denver (Michigan took down the Rams 16-3 in Oosterbaan). Michigan’s rival BYU Cougars were the only other team to beat Chapman, winning 10-7 in Provo, but losing in the MCLA Tournament yesterday in a 10-9 overtime thriller (Michigan beat BYU 14-11 in their only meeting this year). Michigan and Chapman both beat UC-Santa Barbara by identical 7-5 scores.
Stars. Chapman’s attack is led by the SLC Offensive Player of the Year in Connor Martin, who notched 46 goals and 29 assists for the Panthers this year. He was joined on the All-SLC first team by fellow attack Marcus Wooden, who scored 34 goals and dished 16 assists. At midfield on the all-conference team, Derek Mills and Mike Clayton, who scored 41 and 27 points, respectively, represent the Panthers. Andrew Salcido represented the team on defense. David Reinhard should have quite the challenge at the “X,” as Chapman’s faceoff specialist, Chris Small, also landed on the first team. Neither of Chapman’s goalies, Daniel Kirkpatrick and Jason Kho, landed on the top 3 all-conference teams.
When Last We Met. In a game televised nationally on ESPNU (albeit on tape delay of a couple months), Michigan took down the Panthers at Chapman Stadium. The Wolverines trailed 8-4 minutes before halftime, but Riley Kearns brought the score within 3 just before the half expired. Michigan took over in the second half, outscoring Chapman 8-2. Faceoff specialist David Reinhard can be credited with helping the Wolverines maintain momentum, winning faceoff after faceoff in the second half, and giving his team a “make-it, take-it” advantage. Against SLC 1st-teamer Christopher Small, he won 62.5% of the time, an outstanding success rate. Trevor Yealy (5), Kevin Zorovich and Anthony Hrusovsky all notched hat tricks for Michigan in the game, with all of Hrusovsky’s goals coming in the second half. Marcus Wilson scored 5 goals and Connor Martin scored 2 for the Panthers.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, 7MDT/9EDT. The crowd at last night’s game was a little sparse, so I encourage any Michigan alumni or fans in the Denver area to head out and support the team tonight. If you can’t watch in person, the game will be televise once again on Fox College Sports Atlantic, or streaming on the FCS website. I plan to host another CoverItLive chat here.