Saturday’s 15-13 win for the Michigan men’s lacrosse team over Vermont could not be attributed to any one player. It was a team win, with contributions coming from every part of the roster.
Inside Michigan Stadium for the first time this year, the Wolverines (3-2) were led by senior Kyle Jackson, who continued his five-game hat-trick streak. His performance included one highlight-reel goal in the third quarter that he shot backwards over his shoulder without looking.
“I just kind of threw it,” Jackson said. “Just did what I had to do. There were no real specifics to it, just instincts.”
Though Jackson’s instincts certainly made a difference, his linemates, senior Peter Kraus and junior Ian King, also put in the effort that was essential to the team’s success. They each had two goals of their own during the high-scoring game.
“I work hard and make sure that my other two attackmen are helping me out the best that they can.” Jackson said. “Because without those two, I really wouldn’t have as many goals as I do. I contribute all my success to those guys.”
Jackson, Kraus and King have 50 of the Wolverines’ 81 goals this season. However, they were not the only ones who lit up the scoreboard against the Catamounts (2-3) on Saturday. The midfield line consisting of senior Evan Glaser and freshmen Decker Curran and Justin Gibbons combined for five goals.
Glaser’s two goals were his first since his freshman year, while Gibbons’s goals were the first of his college career. Curran tacked one on for his second of the season.
“That’s that second midfield line,” said Michigan coach John Paul. “We just wanted to give those guys some more opportunities. That group has been doing a really nice job in practice. I’m just really glad to see that it carried over into the game.
“I think the other (major contributor) is (senior) Brad Lott, who was facing off. During the third quarter when we built our lead, he was such a huge part of that, giving us the possessions that we needed.”
While the Wolverines’ dominant offense was spectacular, redshirt junior Gerald Logan made 17 saves for Michigan in net, stealing the show and holding off the 11th-ranked Vermont offense.
“We gave our game ball today to Gerald Logan,” Paul said. “That shows on the scoresheet with a lot of saves. He really kept us in it in the first half and allowed us to build our lead in the second half.”
Logan also had to struggle with something other than the deadly Catamount offense — the weather.
Saturday was the first home game that was played outside, and Ann Arbor lived up to its reputation by sprinkling snow throughout the whole game. The snow was a new challenge for the Michigan players, reducing visibility and forcing them to play out of their comfort zone.
“We practice the entire fall and all of January and February inside Oosterbaan (Field House), and then we were in (Los Angeles) for five days where it was 80 and sunny every day,” Paul said. “Even yesterday when we finally got outside, it was a beautiful day. So we’ve only really had one day of practice in weather like we had today, and that was two days ago. Of course, a team like Vermont is out in this all the time, so I think more than anything that’s what we had to handle today.”
Michigan has now won three of its first five games, a strong start for a team in just its fifth season as a Division I program.
“Each time we step on the field, we know what we’ve dealt with in the past,” Jackson said. “And we know the legacy that we want to leave. So we just have been kind of using that to try and make this season the best season that Michigan men’s lacrosse has ever had.”
With that mentality, it’s easy to see how the Wolverines gutted out Saturday’s win.