April 9, 2011

Detroit Mercy Moves into First Place in MAAC

from press release

DETROIT -- Freshman Alex Maini (Lynbrook, NY/Lynbrook) netted a career-high four goals and five points as the Detroit men's lacrosse team led from start to finish in a 13-7 victory over Manhattan on Saturday afternoon at Titan Field.

“Alex (Maini) had a big game and he was really motivated today,” said head coach Matt Holtz. “He had a short stick on him and he took advantage of it and finished on his shots.”

The win moved Detroit (4-8) to 3-1 in conference play and with Siena defeating Jacksonville today, the Titans now stand in first place in the MAAC with two games left in the regular season. The loss drops Manhattan to 3-10 on the year and 2-2 in the league.

Junior Scott Harris (Saline, MI/Saline) scored two goals and added two assists, while freshman Shayne Adams (St. Catharines, ON/Denis Morris) tallied a pair of goals and totaled three points on the day.

Detroit started the scoring just a little more than two minutes into the game as Harris found Maini for the goal. Less than 30 seconds later, sophomore Jordan Houtby (St. Catharines, ON/Holy Cross Secondary) fed Adams, who beat the keeper to give UDM a 2-0 lead.

After a Manhattan score, Maini gave Detroit a 3-1 advantage with an unassisted marker midway through the period, and he would post his second career hat trick and third multi-goal game of the season in the second giving the Titans a 4-2 lead.

“It is not about one person on this team and we really feel that if we play together as a team, we can beat anyone,” said Maini. “It was a team effort and we just have to play as a team and execute our game plan.”

The Jaspers got within one, 5-4, at the 11:25 mark in the second, but freshman Troy Dennis (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) was able to find the back of the net for the fourth-straight game as the Titans took a 6-4 lead into the half.

Junior John Nowicki (Clinton Twp., MI/De La Salle) started the third period with a goal off a pass from Maini and then the red, white and blue put the game away taking advantage of a Manhattan two-minute non-releasable penalty, scoring three times to jump out in front, 10-4, at the 10:28 mark. During the run, Maini came up with his fourth goal of the game, while Adams notched goal No. 29 on the year.

Detroit did see Manhattan cut the lead to four, 11-7, in the fourth with 13:00 minutes left, but junior Tim Lehto (Farmington, MI/North Farmington) found junior Ty Maruyama (Lakewood, CO/Green Mountain) open and the Titan captain did the rest to push the lead back to five. Lehto then scored with under a minute left to seal the win.

“We spent the last few weeks focusing on the mental side of things and controlling our reaction and our response to mistakes and we have done a good job in controlling our mistakes,” said Holtz. “That has helped us out at the start of the game and the start of the third.”

Sophomore goalie A.J. Levell (Columbus, OH/Dublin Scioto) made 14 saves in net, while also scooping up a team-high four ground balls and coming up with an assist in the game. The Titan defense - which leads the nation in caused turnovers – caused 12 of Manhattan's 24 turnovers, led by three apiece from Houtby and sophomore Jamie Hebden (Farmington Hills, MI/Brother Rice). The man-down defense also held strong blanking the Jaspers on five of their six extra-man opportunities.

The first-place Titans will return to action next Saturday as Detroit hosts a lacrosse doubleheader. The women will open up the festivities at noon against Howard, with the men facing Canisius at 3:00 p.m. Prior to both games, the Titan seniors will be honored.

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