The Michigan men’s lacrosse team handed Cleveland State its first ever loss as an NCAA program, defeating the Vikings,13-8, on Saturday night.
It marks the first time in program history that the Wolverines (1-0) have opened the season with a win, but in a game of many firsts, this was only one of several notable achievements.
The Vikings (0-1) took an early 1-0 lead within the first few minutes of the competition, but Michigan responded with six goals of its own during a run that stretched from the first quarter to the first few minutes of the second. Among the scorers were freshman midfielder Avery Myers and junior defenseman Chase Young, who combined for six shots on goal and six ground balls. Cleveland State was unable to recover from Michigan’s run, with its largest deficit being eight goals in the early minutes of the fourth quarter.
Sophomore attacker Brent Noseworthy tallied six goals in the season opener, tying senior attacker Ian King’s previously set record for number of goals in a single game. King also tied a program record with four assists, all of which were fed to Noseworthy for goals.
“Me and (King) practice together every day,” Noseworthy said. “So we have the ability to work on that and understand each other’s game. He really knows where I’ll be and when.”
The dynamic duo of King and Noseworthy led Michigan in scoring, but Noseworthy’s personal-best point total was nearly matched by senior midfielder Mikie Schlosser’s hat trick and assist, which combined for a total of four points. Junior attacker Patrick Tracy and junior midfielder PJ Bogle each notched a goal of their own to add to the Wolverines’ dominant lead.
“I think our team this year is farther along than any team in any past year, at least in terms of overall depth,” Schlosser said. “We’re playing pretty good on offense, and we have a lot of talent on defense.”
One of those defensive talents is redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Tommy Heidt, who saw his first career start at goal. Heidt initially struggled to adjust to the road environment in Krenzler Dome as the Vikings netted three back-to-back goals in the second quarter that cut the Wolverines’ lead to just two. But he turned it around soon thereafter, making 14 crucial saves for Michigan.
“Tommy played really well considering the conditions,” said Michigan coach John Paul. “The lighting was really challenging for goalies. I thought he really settled in and got comfortable as the game went on. He also did a great job clearing the ball tonight. We’ve got a lot of transition opportunities and a lot of that starts with him.”
Despite a successful opening game, Michigan knows there is still room for improvement as the season progresses.
“We’re still trying to find our offensive rhythm,” Paul said. “I think that’s a key one for us, and our defense is still a work in progress right now. We feel like we have a lot more to give than we’ve been showing there.”