Coming off a bye week following a run of three wins in a row, the No. 20 Michigan men’s lacrosse team defeated Maryland-Baltimore County by a final score of 10-7 on Saturday afternoon.
In its first game since the biggest win in the program’s history — a 13-12 victory against No. 10 Penn — Michigan (8-1) was able to avoid a letdown and outlast the Retrievers (3-5). With a pair of early goals from senior midfielder Mikie Schlosser, the Wolverines took a 2-0 lead early in the first quarter, which left UMBC fighting from behind for the rest of the game.
“We have a lot of respect for UMBC,” said Michigan coach John Paul. “They’re a very good team and they’ve been playing really well recently. We kind of had a feeling the way they play that this was gonna be a game we’d really have to gut out. More than anything, I’m just really proud of the guys for doing what we needed to do to get the W and move on.”
As has been the theme for much of the regular season, the Wolverines were led by their three-star offensive players, sophomore attacker Brent Noseworthy (the team’s leading scorer for the season) senior attacker Ian King and Schlosser. The trio provided the offense needed for the victory. King and Noseworthy each tallied three goals on the afternoon, combining with Schlosser’s early pair for eight of the team’s 10 goals.
“Mikie kind of put us on his back at the start, and he brings so much energy to us,” Paul said. “Our theme today was to start and finish. I’m glad to see that start.”
After controlling much of the first half and taking a 6-4 lead into halftime, Michigan saw UMBC find its way back into the game in the middle of the third quarter. A three-goal lead was trimmed to one as the Retrievers began to find their offensive momentum with goals from Max Maxwell and Max Haldeman.
The following five minutes were extremely tense for the Wolverines, as they attempted to prevent the Retrievers from tying the game up. Finally, Noseworthy restored the multi-goal lead by completing his hat trick with four seconds remaining in the third quarter, and King iced the game with 5:03 remaining in the fourth quarter before completing his own hat trick with 1:01 left to finish the scoring for the Wolverines.
The well-rounded performance offered a great tune-up as the Wolverines embark on a final stretch of six games that feature five ranked opponents to conclude the regular season. As the young program has achieved a national ranking for the first time in its existence, figuring out how to put away winnable games before they get tight is essential for the ascent to continue.
“We stick with what works for us (when the game tightens up), working the ball around, getting a look and making the shots that we need to make,” Noseworthy said. “Once we play our game, we really calmed it down, and we have a chance against any team.”