March 4, 2012

Michigan Earns First Varsity Win Against Mercer

from press release

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Michigan men's lacrosse team broke through for its first victory as a varsity program, blasting the Mercer Bears, 14-4, Sunday at D.B. Milne Field at Jackonsville University. U-M scored twice in the first 2:28 of the game, led 4-0 after the first quarter and 6-1 at halftime. The Wolverines poured in eight second-half goals to ensure the win. U-M held the Bears to 9-for-19 on clears and permitted just 14 total shots.

Junior attackman Thomas Paras (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius) led all scorers with four goals and added two assists. Additionally, fifth-year senior attackman Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) and sophomore midfielder Doug Bryant (Princeton, N.J./Princeton) each contributed three goals. Junior midfielder Willie Steenland (Minneapolis, Minn./The Blake School) had three assists and one goal.

"It's obviously pretty nice to get the first win," Michigan coach John Paul said. "We really felt like we were getting closer this week. We saw a lot of improvement over the course of the week. A lot of that manifested itself two days ago against Jacksonville [a 9-8 overtime loss on Friday]. We played our best game of the season to this point and we knew if we just continued to get better every day, which we've been doing this season, then this was going to come at some point so it's great to get it."

U-M quickly took control on goals by Bryant and Paras scored at 13:50 and 12:32, respectively. Paras added another at 5:27 on a spin move at the left goal line and made a cross-crease pass on U-M's fourth goal with 10 seconds to go in the opening frame.

Twenty-eight seconds after Mercer's first goal Paras completed his hat trick with a man-up goal from the left alley. Bryant capped the first-half scoring at 7:10 to make it 6-1.

After Mercer scored back-to-back goals to make it 8-3 in the third quarter, Yealy rattled off three straight goals in 3:12 to ignite a five-goal run that sealed the win.

"We turned the ball over too much today, but the offense did do a really nice job controlling the pace of play," Paul said. "We rode very well. We won faceoffs, which was, to be honest, a pleasant surprise today. They have a very good faceoff guy and Brian Greiner just played outstanding. We made some changes on the wings and those guys did a really good job. The limiting of their shots is an indication of how well our offense played."

Michigan returns to Ann Arbor for its home opener on Wednesday (March 7) against Loyola (Md.). Game time is 7 p.m. at Oosterbaan Field House.

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