Due to uncontrollable circumstances, Michigan will not get the opportunity to test itself against top-ranked conference opponents like No. 6 Maryland and No. 7 Penn State. But this does not spell the end for the players on this year’s team.
With under ten minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Michigan men’s lacrosse team was right where it wanted to be.
Proctored by a series of scrappy ground balls and faceoff wins, lengthy offensive possessions produced a pair of goals from sophomore attackman Bryce Clay and a low-to-high goal from junior attackman Kevin Mack to give the Wolverines a three-goal lead, 6-3.
Alongside Bonomi, who recorded one other goal and one assist on Saturday, fellow freshmen attackman Josh Zawada and defenseman Dylan Gardner, who both found the back of the net twice, had impressive debuts as the Wolverines (1-0) defeated the Vikings (0-1), 16-9, in their season opener.
After a season riddled with injuries, faceoff struggles and deflating, tightly-contested losses, many teams would simply throw in the towel toward the end of the season, deeming their final games meaningless. The Michigan men’s lacrosse team could’ve been one of those teams.
But the Wolverines still needed to play Ohio State to end their 2019 campaign. Despite its 3-9 record at the time, Michigan wasn’t going to hand the Buckeyes a win.
Some college sports teams are toxic and self-destructive, overemphasizing individual success and accolades.
But some are imbued with camaraderie, support and an overwhelming sense of pride. These teams value synergy and build one another up.
Michigan men’s lacrosse is among the latter.
Whether Indiana wants to admit it or not, it has a rival in Michigan.
Since the 2015-2016 season, the Michigan men’s swimming and diving team has traded first and second place finishes with the Hoosiers at the Big Ten Championships. Of the 17 swimmers and divers named to the 2019 All-Big Ten First Team, 15 came from the two programs.
“I really like our rivalry with them, if they consider it a rivalry with us,” senior Tommy Cope said.
Over the last decade, no three men’s swimming and diving programs have spelled dominance more than California, Texas and Michigan.
In that span, no other school has taken home the title at the NCAA Championships besides these three. Last year, the Golden Bears dethroned the Longhorns from their reign of four consecutive championship titles to secure their fifth title of the decade. Amongst this fierce competition, the Wolverines won their sole title of the decade in 2013.
In the final 20 minutes of Sunday’s game, the No. 24 Michigan women’s soccer team (9-3-1 overall, 3-3-1 Big Ten) put the game out of Nebraska’s (3-8-2, 2-4-0) reach, closing out the match and winning, 4-1. Cornhusker fans, who showed up in large numbers and whose vocal support had buoyed the team thus far, fell into a defeated hush.