The Michigan men’s lacrosse team was on a quest to start their season 3-0 for the first time in program history on Wednesday against Detroit Mercy.
With sophomore Brent Noseworthy and senior Ian King, who each tallied four goals on the night, leading the charge, that mission came to fruition in a 15-10 win over the Titans. But the match was more hard-fought than the score indicated.
The Wolverines (3-0 overall) had a rocky start to the game, finding themselves playing catch-up throughout the first half. Detroit (0-2), in contrast, scored 43 seconds into the game and looked poised to secure its first win of the season.
But Michigan responded quickly, scoring just a minute and a half later off the stick of sophomore attacker Rocco Sutherland. Sutherland — who scored only one goal last season — has four goals through three games this year.
Throughout the first quarter, the Wolverines proved their resilience as they never let the Titans’ lead grow larger than one, and ended the quarter down 3-2.
They kept that effort going in the second quarter. Defender Dickson Smith scored just 27 seconds into the frame — the first goal of his Michigan career after transferring from Virginia as a graduate student.
The Wolverines and Detroit Mercy went on to trade goals the rest of the half, ending in a 5-5 tie.
Just 13 seconds into the third quarter, senior defensive midfielder Christian Wolter scored the first goal of his four-year career to give the Wolverines the lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the night.
After Wolter’s goal, Michigan found its stride, shutting out Detroit, 7-0, to open up a huge 12-5 lead.
“We came off slow, we weren’t really playing our game,” Sutherland said. “We really came together at halftime as an offensive group and defensive group and really just buckled down and focused on our game plan and what we usually did in the prior two games and started to play our game.”
The Wolverines received a huge spark from King, who netted three goals in the third quarter alone. Just three games into the season, King is seven goals away from setting Michigan’s all-time record for goals and four points away from setting the all-time point record.
“No question, we are good transition team when we get those opportunities,” said Michigan coach John Paul. “It’s what sparked us in the third quarter. We have guys who can score when given the opportunity, and our defense played well — they just have to learn to play well for a full 60 minutes.”
The fourth quarter continued in similar fashion for Michigan, as its defense continued its second-half dominance and the offense received another boost — this time from Noseworthy, who scored three goals in the quarter to bring his season total to a team-high 11.
Given their unprecedented start to the season, the Wolverines are currently in uncharted territory, but they know not to get overconfident for their Saturday matchup against Bellarmine (0-1).
“I think the most important thing with a quick turnaround like this is making sure we stay healthy and keep our legs fresh for Saturday,” Paul said.