With a win over the Buffalo Bulls yesterday, the Michigan men’s lacrosse team has won the CCLA for the third year running, and completed its second consecutive undefeated season, as they head into the national tournament.
The Wolverines got off to a slow start offensively, as they were unable to get any good shots off despite controlling possession most of the time. Kevin Zorovich broke the seal, collecting a rebound and depositing it in the net for a 1-0 Wolverine advantage. He again scored as the clock hit 0 on the first quarter, from a Harry Freid steal at midfield and a long pass down near the crease. Buffalo’s best scoring opportunity during the first quarter was a long attempt at an empty net, as goalie Mark Stone was marking a forward on the 10-man ride. However, the shot sailed wide to the ride, and Michigan escaped unscathed.
Early in the second quarter, Trevor Yealy got on the board. Following the Yealy goal, Buffalo had a number of man-up opportunities due to a rash of Michigan penalties, but the Bulls couldn’t muster a serious scoring chance. Later in the quarter, Jamie Goldberg scored from the left side of the net, but it was disallowed, as the referee determined his toes were in the crease. David Rogers made up for it moments later, as he zipped a shot past the goalie on the run, giving Michigan a 4-0 lead. Shortly thereafter, Buffalo had their best scoring opportunity of the game, as a fairly open look beat Stone, but clanged off the left post and away from the goal. However, they maintained possession and were able to finally get on the board. David Reinhard won the ensuing faceoff, and found Trevor Yealy in front of goal, but Trevor’s shot was blocked. Michigan maintained possession, and Svet Tintchev was able to give Michigan the 5-1 advantage.
In the second half, a Buffalo player went down with an injury (and an oblivious Bulls fan was screaming at the ref (a common condition for them, apparently) to stop play, as Buffalo had an open scoring chance), and before play was stopped the Wolverines committed a penalty, giving Buffalo the man advantage. A Buffalo Turnover led to a shorthanded goal by Trevor Yealy (from Zach Elyachar), and Aaron Hodari followed it with a nice juke around a defender going for the big hit, and adding a score of his own. Finally, the floodgates started opening for Michigan, as a Wes McGowan shot on the doorstep of the goal was saved, but Josh Ein scooped up the rebound and dished to David Rogers for an easy goal. Another scary moment for Michigan came when Buffalo yet again launched a long shot on an empty goal against the 10-man ride, but it went wide, and a second opportunity by the Bulls went wide as well. Once the Wolverines regained possession, they took it to the offensive zone, and Josh Ein, from behind the net, found Riley Kearns streaking towards the goal, and found him for the score. On the ensuing faceoff, Buffalo took one of their few faceoffs of the day, and scored their second goal, cutting the Michigan lead to 9-2. The Wolverines were not to be deterred, however, as Aaron Hodari bounced in a long jump shot, and Anthony Hrusovsky pinged one in off the right post. Trevor Yealy added his 3rd and 4th goals of the game before the end of the period (with the 4th coming with 1 second remaining), and the Wolverines led 13-2 heading into the fourth quarter.
Sophomore goalie Andrew Fowler started the fourth quarter in net, and was tested early, as an unnecessary roughness and a slash against the Wolverines put them 2 men down. However, Fowler came through for Michigan, saving an open shot from 10 feet away. One of the highlights of the game came shortly after that, as Josh Ein received a long clearing pass, and went in on goal. He spun through (and was hit by) several Bulls players just outside the crease, but somehow managed to hold onto the ball, whish he gave to Clark McIntyre -for immediate deposit only. Following the goal, Ein’s equipment was checked by an incredulous referee crew. When they detemrined that the stick was legal, there was a rousing round of applause from the Michigan fans. Ein got one of his own off a feed from Michael Bartomioli moments later. Closing out the scoring for Michigan was Colin Bayer, who scored backhanded, backing in on goal.
Following the game, 11 Wolverines were given their all-conference recognition, with Trevor Yealy and Zach Elyachar taking home Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards, respectively.
Photo by Martin Vloet for Michigan Lacrosse.
The Wolverines now head to Denver for the MCLA National Championship, in which they will be the #1 overall seed. The tournament pairings were released this morning, and Michigan will take on the #16 seed Texas Longhorns next Tuesday (May 12) at 4PM. The site will be Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, which has 24 full lacrosse fields, plus the main stadium itself, the home of the MLS Colorado Rapids. I’m hoping to find someone knowledgable about Texas Lacrosse for a preview, so if anyone out there in the ether has a connection, let me know.
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