The Michigan men’s club lacrosse team will host Johns Hopkins and Army in the Wolverine Showcase tonight, giving fans to get a sneak peek at this year’s team before the competitive season begins in February.

But that’s not the only reason to go to Elbel Field this evening.

Johns Hopkins and Army will again be two of the top teams in the country this season. Johns Hopkins is coming off its ninth National Championship and is one of the most storied programs in NCAA lacrosse history.

“Lacrosse is their No. 1 sport,” Michigan coach John Paul said. “The head coaching job there is as important as Lloyd Carr’s job is here.”

This meeting will mark the first time in 20 years that the Blue Jays have traveled to the state of Michigan.

“For us, it’s an honor not only that they’ll play us, but that they’ll come out here to do it,” Paul said. “It shows the level that our program has reached in the eyes of the lacrosse world.”

Paul insisted that his team is ready for the challenge of playing a lacrosse power and said the Wolverines have played well in the past against Division I opponents.

“These are blue-chip recruits that may be bigger, faster and a bit more skilled, but we have to not be intimidated and work,” he said.

With a Michigan defense that is rebuilding this fall, Paul has simplified the gameplan to prepare to face one of the best offenses in the nation. Although Michigan will try to stay competitive, it will use tonight’s preseason scrimmages as a way to evaluate the talent of this year’s team.

“This is the offseason, so all three teams will be approaching these games differently,” Paul said. “We will go deep into our depth chart to see where we stand and where we need to go before the season.”

With no college varsity lacrosse programs in Michigan, Paul hopes that events like tonight’s scrimmages will increase exposure to the sport and boost student awareness of the Wolverines’ club squad.

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