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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #27 Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines’ record was 8-6 for a second straight season, but the team definitely improved some more under head coach Kevin Conry.

Michigan Athletics

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019. These are not end of season rankings, as some people might think.

We’ve already begun looking back to 2018 with some team recaps thus far and continued our series this week with Jacksonville, Boston University, Penn State, and Princeton.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#27 Michigan Wolverines

Conference: Big Ten
2018 Record: 8-6 (1-4 in Big Ten play)
Head coach: Kevin Conry (1st Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Brent Noseworthy (41)
Assists: Kevin Mack (21)
Points: Brent Noseworthy (48)
Faceoffs: Connor Cronin (114-of-217; 52.5%)
Ground balls: Nick DeCaprio (45)
Caused turnovers: Nick DeCaprio (23)
Goals against average: Matt Trowbridge (9.39 GAA)
Save percentage: Tommy Heidt (54.9%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: M Chase Young (13 Gs, 5 As, 14 GBs), SSDM Parker McKee (10 GBs, 4 CTs, 1 G, 1 A), FOGO Michael McDonnell (48.6% faceoff draws, 9 GBs), M B.J. Mattheiss (2 Gs, 1 A), M/SSDM P.J. Bogle (5 GBs, 1 CT, 3 Gs), SSDM Sean McCanna (1 GB, 1 CT, 2 Gs),
Senior scoring departing: 28 of 216 points (13%)
Senior starts lost: 10 of 140 (7.1%)

Season Summary

If you just look at the record for Michigan’s 2018 season, there’s no change from John Paul’s final run with the team in 2017. But if you look much deeper, you can definitely see the program is certainly on the rise.

At first, it looked like Michigan would be similar to last year’s squad who won only one game against an above .500 team (Penn at 7-6). They took care of Cleveland State and Bellarmine, but fell to Penn (who finished one game under .500) and eventual national champion Yale. The Wolverines had a three-goal lead early in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs scored nine of the final 11 goals in the game to pull away for the win.

Entering March, the Wolverines had no problem taking care of Siena, Air Force, and Marquette. But they had a midweek game against Notre Dame in South Bend that marked the biggest game in program history. It was a neck-and-neck race until Michigan outlasted the Fighting Irish in the final 6:01 to take home the one-goal win for their first ever top five win in program history. They also beat UMBC a few days later.

But their bane approached them in Big Ten play. They didn’t qualify for the conference tournament once again after losses to Maryland, Rutgers (which was the last game for offensive coordinator Conor Ford), Ohio State, and a one-goal last minute defeat to Johns Hopkins. But the season finale against Penn State saw the Wolverines end the season on a very high note. Down by a goal with 10:30 left, Decker Curran took over and tied the game at eight. Penn State’s Mac O’Keefe gave the Nittany Lions a one-goal lead with 40 seconds to play, but Curran struck again 18 seconds later. And one more time, he scored the game-winner in overtime to give Michigan their first conference win since 2015.

Freshman Kevin Mack and junior Rocco Sutherland started all 14 games at attack and were mainly accompanied by fellow freshman Alex Buckanavage. Mack led the Wolverines with 21 assists and second on the team with 42 points, while Buckanavage finished his first season with 30 points. Hank Adams also started in a couple of games. At midfield, junior Brent Noseworthy had a team-high 41 goals and 48 points and was joined by Curran as well as senior Chase Young, sophomore Avery Myers, and senior P.J. Bogle for some games. B.J. Mattheiss also was a notable reserve midfielder.

The defense was led by junior Nick DeCaprio and his 45 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers. Joining him was fellow classmate Michael Borda and a group that consisted of sophomores Sam Bouhdary and Finn Goonan as well as freshman J.D. Carroll and senior Eric Smith. Bouhdary, Goonan, and Carroll also got time at LSM, while Parker McKee, Sean McKenna, junior M.J. Melillo, and freshman Hunter Batesko also saw time at short stick. Bogle also transitioned to the defensive midfield midway through the year as well. Freshman Connor Cronin took over primary faceoff duties from Michael McDonnell, while sophomore Matt Trowbridge started half of the season as senior Tommy Heidt recovered from an injury.

Looking Ahead

We’re starting to see how talented some of these Wolverine recruiting classes are, and it’ll continue again in 2018. As for the returning members, they don’t lose a ton of starts or points. Young is the biggest loss on the offensive side after spending most of his career as a shortie. Speaking of the offense, Justin Turri comes over from Harvard as the team’s next offensive coordinator.

Many of the losses involve short stick defensive midfielders, which is maybe why some of the close defensemen were converted to shorties later in the season. The defensive starters, Cronin, and both goalies will be back. Heidt got a fifth year over the summer and solidifies the net for another season.

Here’s who the Wolverines will be adding to their roster for next year.

Michigan’s Official Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Bryce Clay Midfield Forest Hills Central (MI)
Andrew Darby Midfield Darien (CT)
Griffin Gelinas Attack Bronxville (NY)
Devin Gilligan Defense West Chester East (PA)
Spencer Grant Midfield/FO Torrey Pines (CA)
Javon Johnson Midfield St. Anne's Belfield (VA)
Zach Johnson Midfield Landon (MD)
Aidan Johnston Defense Dallas Jesuit (TX)
John Kiracofe Goalie IMG Academy (FL)
Matt McDonnell Defense Cardinal Mooney (FL)
Nick Rowlett Midfield/FO Robinson Secondary (VA)
Andrew Russell Midfield Victor (NY)
Luke Summers Midfield Parkland (PA)
Donovan Welsh Attack/Midfield Hill Academy (ON)

Poll

How many wins will Michigan get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    0-5
    (2 votes)
  • 17%
    6-7
    (12 votes)
  • 40%
    8-9
    (27 votes)
  • 38%
    10+
    (26 votes)
67 votes total Vote Now