The Michigan’s men’s lacrosse team started off the season where it left off last year ⎯ on a winning streak.

After winning last year’s Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associations national championship, the non-varsity team is unsurprisingly the top-ranked team in the the MCLA after starting the season with five-straight wins.

Michigan coach John Paul has attributed the team’s early success to his captains’ leadership.

“We have three great captains in (senior) Harry Fried, (senior) Trevor Yealy and (senior) Matt Asperheim,“ Paul said. “Between those three guys, there’s a great mix of different styles of leadership.”

While Yealy leads the team in points and goals, Paul said that his captains’ contributions to the team are much larger than personal statistics.

“Harry Fried is our emotional leader,” Paul said. “He’s an incredibly driven athlete and he really pushes himself and the team so hard. Trevor is just rock-steady emotionally. He’s also one of the best players ever in the MCLA and everyone on the team just kind of respects him for his calm demeanor.

“And Matt Aspherheim is just so likeable and everyone on the team just appreciates and loves him. Between those three guys, there’s a great mix of different styles of leadership.”

While those three have been the emotional leaders for the Wolverines, Paul stressed that there are 40 players on his roster and that his team isn’t where it is now because of just three players.

He’s right. Michigan has received huge contributions from sophomore attackman Thomas Paras and senior attackman Chad Carroll. Paras and Carroll have tallied 13 and 11 goals, respectively. Combined, Yealy, Paras and Carroll have helped Michigan outscore its opponents 73-29 on the year.

This weekend though, the Wolverines will need everyone’s help if they want to remain undefeated. Michigan will play arguably its toughest opponent all season when it squares off against No. 3 Brigham Young on Friday.

“(Brigham Young) is one of the teams we model ourselves after,” Paul said. “When we play these kinds of games against great teams we have to play really hard, really smart and really well. We have to focus.”

The Wolverines are no stranger to top-ranked teams.

Paul purposely schedules games against elite teams to prepare his team for the postseason.

“This is the second opportunity (this year) to play against a top-ranked team,” Paul said. “We play the toughest schedule we can. When we’re looking at scheduling, all I’m looking at is playing the best teams we can play. I want the guys to get a taste of how they are going have to perform at the end of the season.”

Though Michigan does play one of the toughest schedules, Paul doesn’t worry about his players losing confidence.

He points to his one loss in the last four years, explaining that playing elite programs is the only way to make certain that his team does not lose their hunger to become a better team and to win another MCLA National Championship

“We’re the program that everyone’s targeting now,” Paul said. “And we like that. We want our guys to stay hungry.”

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