Michigan's Lacrosse schedule was announced today. Head Coach Kevin Conry and the boys have a big season ahead of them. Kevin Conry is in his second season as head coach in Ann Arbor. He led the Wolverines to their first Top 20 road win last year when they beat #4 Notre Dame in South Bend. This wasn’t the lone Top 20 road win for the Wolverines last year. In the last game of the regular season, the Wolverines scored a game winner over the Nittany Lions in overtime at Happy Valley.
Michigan welcomes back a stud in goal, Tommy Heidt (54.9% save pct, 96 saves), as a 5th year senior. Returning defensemen Michael Borda (28 gb) and Finn Goonan (24 gb) will try to lighten Heidt’s workload again this season. Brent Noseworthy (41 g, 7 a) and Decker Curran (22 g, 9 a) return as senior leaders on the offensive end. Freshmen Alex Buckanavage (19 g, 12 a) and Kevin Mack (21 g, 21 a) will build on great first seasons. Speaking of returning freshmen, Connor Cronin will look to better himself in the faceoff X after winning 52.8% (114/216) of his faceoffs in his freshman season.
19th ranked Michigan is going to need these players to step up big in this challenging slate if they want to better their 8-6 record from a year ago. I'm conservatively predicting a 7-6 record for the Wolverines, but also wouldn't be too surprised to see them go 8-7 after reaching the Big Ten semifinals.
Saturday, January 26 @ Hobart (Exhibition)
One of two scrimmages for the Wolverines, Hobart is coming off a 4-10 season last year.
Saturday, February 2 vs. Penn (Exhibition)
In the second scrimmage, Michigan will play Penn. Penn beat Michigan last year, 12-9, in Philadelphia. Michigan went out to 3-0 lead early in that game before Penn even had possession, but Michigan struggled with shooting after the first quarter, finishing the game with a meager 20% shooting percentage. Should be interesting to see which team's starters plays better.
Saturday, February 9 @ Cleveland State
Cleveland State went 4-10 a year ago in their second season of lacrosse. Michigan beat them 15-5 in Ann Arbor last year. Different venue, but I expect the same result.
Tuesday, February 19 vs. Drexel
Drexel went 5-8 last year and finished 5th in the CAA. Drexel did somehow defeat Big East champs Georgetown, but Drexel also lost four of their last five games. This is a game Michigan will be favored to win.
Saturday, February 23 @ Jacksonville (Moe’s Lacrosse Classic)
Michigan will play in the Moe’s Lacrosse Classic for the first time this spring. Michigan and Jacksonville will be the highlight of the youth lacrosse tournament held this weekend. Jacksonville went 8-7 last year and were a goal away from making the NCAA Tournament via an auto-bid. However, outside of conference play, their only wins were Navy and Detroit. Again, Michigan should be favored in this game.
Saturday, March 2 @ St. John’s
St. John’s season went the exact opposite of Jacksonville. After going 6-2 in nonconference, St. John’s lost six straight games to end the season. A better team than Drexel and Jacksonville, but a game Michigan should win nonetheless.
Sunday, March 10 vs. #1 Yale in Atlanta, GA
The reigning national champ will play Michigan once again this year. Although Michigan only lost by 4 goals last year, I’d doubt it would be that close again. The game is two weeks later this year which allows Yale to mitigate their Ivy League practice time disadvantage. Yale also has the best faceoff man after securing the transfer of TD Ierlan. If Michigan was undefeated before this, they won’t be afterwards.
Saturday, March 16 @ Marquette
Michigan beat Marquette 12-7 last year in Ann Arbor. Marquette finished the season 6-8 with wins over Jacksonville, Detroit, Ohio State, Georgetown, St. John’s, and Providence. With the game being in Milwaukee this year, it will be more of a tossup this year.
Wednesday, March 20 vs. #6 Notre Dame
Last year was pure bliss for the Wolverines as they upset the Fighting Irish in South Bend. This year Michigan hosts perennial power Notre Dame in Ann Arbor hoping for the same results. Stay optimistic my friends, but this one will likely be a part of Notre Dame’s revenge tour after the Fighting Irish went a meager 9-6 last year.
Saturday, March 23 vs. Delaware
The Michigan/Delaware series resumes in 2019. Delaware leads the series 2-1, but their most recent victory was in 2013. After a 6-8 season for the Blue Hens in 2018, I don’t think Coach Ben DeLuca, former coach of Cornell, will turn the ship around enough to defeat the Wolverines.
Saturday, March 30 vs. #9 Johns Hopkins
The Blue Jays barely escaped with a win in Ann Arbor last year after the Blue Jays’ Kyle Marr put one in the back of the net with less than a minute to play. Johns Hopkins then went to finish their season with a 12-5 record, losing to Duke in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Although Michigan played them close last year, expect Johns Hopkins to play with more focus this year now that Michigan is not their lead-up game to the biggest rivalry in college lacrosse (Johns Hopkins vs. Maryland).
Saturday, April 6 @ #3 Maryland
Kevin Conry will faceoff against his old boss once again, but this time it will be back in his old hometown, College Park. Maryland won this game last year, 13-5. The Terps went on to go 14-4, also losing to Duke in the NCAA Semifinals. Michigan will most likely be starting Big Ten play with an 0-2 conference record.
Saturday, April 13 vs. #10 Penn State
After winning a stunner against the Nittany Lions last year, Penn State will be an even more important game this year. Michigan will likely need wins over Penn State and Ohio State to make the Big Ten conference tourney. Penn State will be looking to do the same after missing the Big Ten tourney last year due to their loss to Michigan and finishing 8-6. It should be a close one once again.
Saturday, April 20 @ #12 Rutgers
Unlike football and basketball, Rutgers lacrosse certainly has had Michigan’s number the last few years. After Michigan claimed their first Big Ten win against the Scarlet Knights in 2015, Rutgers has won by scores of 13-6, 14-7, and 16-8 the last three years. With the game in Piscataway this year, unfortunately I don’t see this year being any different.
Saturday, April 27 vs. #17 Ohio State
The Game has moved to the final weekend just like it should have always been. With Ohio State clawing to an 8-5 victory last year in Columbus, this game will likely be a dogfight once again. Faceoffs were an issue in the second half last year. Wolverines sophomore faceoff guy Connor Cronin will need to step it up big in this game if the Wolverines want to pull it out. Michigan will also need an answer for the Buckeyes’ Tre Leclaire, a junior who scored 3 goals in last year’s game. With a Big Ten tourney spot likely on the line, this game is bound to be one for the ages.
Thursday, May 2 B1G Semifinals in Piscataway, NJ
Saturday, May 4 B1G Finals in Piscataway, NJ