the just released schedules were a flat-out statement that the B10 doesn't believe SOS will matter in playoff selection
Offseason Lacrosse Updates
It's only fall, but that means spring is just around the corner (ok, a couple corners), which means it's time for an update on the 3-time defending National Champion Michigan Lacrosse team.
First things first, the CCLA (Michigan's conference) underwent a bit of restructuring, and the Wolverines will face a different slate in conference. Last year, Michigan was in the CCLA North, along with Michigan State and the trio of directional Michigans. The CCLA South included Buffalo, Miami (NTM), Pitt, West Virginia, and Ball State. Here are the changes, via the @UmichLacrosse Twitter feed:
CCLA D1 admits Ohio U and Toledo. Loses Miami, EMU, Buffalo, West Virginia.
UM now in CCLA East with Pitt, Ohio and Toledo.
That means the conference now looks like this:
|Team||2010 Record||Team||2010 Record|
Toledo and Ohio are new programs, but it shouldn't make a huge difference. Michigan and Michigan State are clearly the class of the conference, with the rest being dregs. The conference tournament will be held May 7th and 8th at Saline High School, with the top seed on each side facing the #2 from the opposite division.
That brings us to the schedule, which you can find in its entirety on the Michigan Lacrosse website. The Wolverines have a trio of preseason games against D-1 Bellarmine and D-3 squads Wittenberg and Kenyon. The first two teams may sound familiar, as they were Wolverine opponents in the 2010 preseason, and Michigan handled each of them comfortably.
The Wolverines open the regular season at home against Florida, before embarking on their spring break trip to Los Angeles. They'll play a neutral-site game against Oregon at Harvard-Westlake High School, and road contests at Loyola-Marymount and Chapman.
Following that trip, the Wolverines will hit the road again, heading to Athens, Ohio to kick off conference play against the Ohio Bobcats before starting a seven-game home stand (I guess this makes up for having only four home games all of last year). Rival BYU and Pittsburgh come in one weekend, followed by Boston College and UC-Santa Barbara, then Colorado State and Arizona State. Missouri is the only opponent on the final weekend.
Following the home stand, the Wolverines take on Michigan State at Birmingham Seaholm High School in the Great Lakes Lacrosse Classic. On the final weekend of the regular season, the Wolverines head to The Glass City for their third and final divisional game against Toledo.
The Wolverines are certainly testing themselves in the non-conference. All were MCLA tournament teams last year (as was conference-mate Michigan State) except Loyola-Marymount and Florida (and the Gators were one of the first teams out). Colorado State, Arizona State, Chapman, Oregon, and BYU finished in spots 2-6 in the final LaxPower MCLA power rankings, with Arizona State falling to Michigan in the MCLA finals, and Chapman meeting the same fate in the semis.
Michigan lost the following players following last season:
|Zach Mueller*||Defense||21GB, 1A|
|Jordan Kirshner||Midfield||13G, 11A , 3rd Tm AA|
|Jamie Goldberg||Midfield||11G, 15A, 14GB|
|Anthony Hrusovsky||Midfield||12G, 12A, 2nd Tm AA|
|Kevin Zorovich||Attack||14G, 26A, 88GB, 2nd Tm AA|
|Clark McIntyre*||Attack||22G, 23GB|
|David Reinhard||FOGO||.721FO%, 110GB, 1st-Tm AA|
|Michael Bartomioli||Midfield||3G, 21GB|
|David Rogers||Midfield||9G, 8A|
|Svet Tintchev||Midfield||13G, 5A|
|Josh Ein||Attack||22G, 9A, 28GB|
The graduating seniors lost a single game in their final three years (last year at Colorado).
Despite losing a number of exceptional players, the Wolverines aren't coming into the year with a bare cupboard. In fact, Michigan's pair of 2011 captains, attack Trevor Yealy and defenseman Harry Freid, were first-team All-Americans last year. Long-stick midfielder Matt Asperheim and goalie Mark Stone were third-team and honorable mention, respectively. Thomas Paras was second on the team in scoring last year, and he'll be just a sophomore in 2011. With a number of young defensive players ready to step up, and Edward Ernst stepping in to replace Reinhard on faceoffs, there is plenty of returning talent on this squad.
The Wolverines add an excellent recruiting class (most likely the tops in the MCLA, though there are no rankings for such things that I know of), comprised of 13 players to an already-strong team. Even East Coast lacrosse fans will recognize some of the schools: Philadelphia Conestoga (Jeff Chu was the team's captain and leading scorer, and six of his teammates ended up going to Division-1 schools), Georgetown Prep (Fern Murias is pictured at right - seven of his teammates will play D-1 ball this spring), and Brunswick (Brett Moscati saw four teammates go D-1). The Wolverines even picked up a transfer from a D-1 school in Ann Arbor Native Patrick Stansik, returning home from Bucknell (where his brother was an All-American).
More on the team as the season approaches. For Michigan Lacrosse fans in Central Ohio, you can see the Wolverines' lone fall ball scrimmages against Denison University on October 24th... though the Grand Valley State Lacrosse page on Facebook says the Wolverines will also host the MCLA D2 Lakers on October 13th in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. If there are more fall ball updates, I'll post them.