NCAA Team Reviews: Michigan Wolverines

Photo credit to Michigan Wolverine Athletics
Photo credit to Michigan Photo Services

For the better part of four months, many of us watched some exciting college lacrosse, whether it was on TV, online, or in person.  There were good games, which included all of Championship Weekend, and there were bad games, such as low scoring affairs and of course, the horrendous winter weather.  I take a look back at all 69 Division I teams and how they fared this season and what to look forward to in 2016.

Check out previous recaps: NJIT Highlanders, UMass Lowell River Hawks, VMI Keydets, Manhattan Jaspers, Canisius Golden Griffins, Robert Morris Colonials, St. John’s Red Storm, Wagner Seahawks, Binghamton Bearcats, Bellarmine Knights, Jacksonville Dolphins, Furman Paladins, Lafayette Leopards, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, Siena Saints, Delaware Blue Hens, UMBC Retrievers, Dartmouth Big Green, Providence Friars, Mercer Bears, Penn State Nittany Lions, Hofstra Pride


2014 Record 5-11
2014 Conference Record 1-3 (4th in ECAC)
2014 Scoring Offense 9.81 Goals Per Game (35th in DI)
2014 Scoring Defense 12.56 Goals Against Per Game (64th in DI)
2014 Goals Leader #10 Ian King – Freshman (32 Gs)
2014 Assists Leader #11 Thomas Paras – R-Senior (13 As)
2014 Points Leader #10 Ian King – Freshman (33 Pts)
2014 Goaltending Leader #28 Robbie Zonino – Freshman (.459 SV %)
2014 Face-Off Leader #21 Brad Lott – Sophomore (.528 FO %)
2014 Ground Balls Leader #21 Brad Lott – Sophomore (87 GBs)
2014 Caused Turnovers Leader #4 Mack Gembis – Junior (14 CTs)
2014 Quality Wins Mercer (20-7), Detroit (14-13 OT)
2014 Bad Losses Cornell (15-14 OT), High Point (9-7)


2015 Record 5-8
2015 Conference Record 1-4 (5th in Big Ten)
2015 Scoring Offense 9.85 Goals Per Game (36th in DI)
2015 Scoring Defense 11.54 Goals Against Per Game (53rd in DI)
2015 Goals Leader #10 Ian King – Sophomore (23 Gs)
2015 Assists Leader #10 Ian King – Sophomore (11 As)
2015 Points Leader #10 Ian King – Sophomore (34 Pts)
2015 Goaltending Leader #22 Gerald Logan – R-Sophomore (.535 SV %)
2015 Face-Off Leader #21 Brad Lott – Junior (.500 FO %)
2015 Ground Balls Leader #49 Chase Brown – Junior (34 GBs)
2015 Caused Turnovers Leader #49 Chase Brown – Junior (15 CTs)
2015 Quality Wins St. Joe’s (9-8 4OT), Rutgers (10-8)
2015 Bad Losses Jacksonville (18-14), Penn State (10-9)


The Wolverines are still on the rise, but didn’t take a step forward in 2015 moving to the Big Ten. The move to the Big Ten might have been their only step forward in 2015, but the team is still a few years away from making a large impact in college lacrosse. Ian King is looking like the program’s first star for the Wolverines. Although a drop in goals from 2014, King shared the ball more and recorded 11 assists in 2015. And Michigan is receiving better recruits and those players are contributing right away for the Wolverines.

Michigan began the season with four straight games inside Oosterbaan Field House, beginning with two wins against former ECAC rival Bellarmine and Detroit. After a reality check loss against Notre Dame, Michigan bounced back with a convincing win against Canisius. The team then had their first rough streak with losses against Jacksonville and Brown before taking on St. Joe’s. After scoring four goals in the third to take a 7-3 lead into the final quarter, the Hawks scored five goals, including the tying goal with 29 ticks left, to send the game into overtime, then another overtime, then another, and another. Peter Kraus ended the marathon game with 1:10 remaining in the 4th OT to give the Wolverines one of their best wins this season. But after a Drexel loss, Michigan entered Big Ten play looking to get in to the Big Ten Tournament. The team started 1-1 with a loss against Maryland and a 10-8 win over Rutgers before failing to win again. Losses to Ohio State and Johns Hopkins set up a must-win game with Penn State. A final comeback was not enough as Penn State defeated Michigan 10-9 to get the final seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

As the team becomes more developed with experience and skill, Michigan will become a threat to get an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament as well as compete for a Big Ten Championship. The Wolverines have to continue making steps forward in order to be a threat sooner than later. Similar to Penn State, Michigan is a great school that many kids would like to go and is huge for football as well as basketball. Now competing in the Big Ten, that might be another draw for recruits to go to Ann Arbor.


Teddy Bettencourt Midfield Governor’s Academy (MA)
Brent Noseworthy Midfield/FO Oakville (ONT)/Avon Old Farms (CT)
Justin Gibbons Midfield McLean (VA)
J.C. Sorensen Midfield Pingry School (NJ)
Nick DeCaprio Defense St. Augustine (NJ)
Ben Paris Defense Lincoln (OR)
Decker Curran Attack Greenwich (CT)
Brandon Shima Attack Haverford School (PA)
Gunner Garn Goalie Tesoro (CA)
Shawn Smith Midfield John Jay-Cross River (NY)
Michael Borda Defense Gonzaga (DC)
Rocco Sutherland Attack Northport (NY)

The Wolverines will replace eight seniors with 12 incoming freshmen, including some top players. First, there’s attackman Decker Curran, the #48 best recruit according to Ty Xanders. Curran is also an Under Armour All-American and will play in the All-American game next Friday. There’s also Michael Borda and Rocco Sutherland who are on Xanders’s watchlist. Brandon Shima comes from undefeated Haverford School, where he was an important part of the attack unit for the Fords in 2015. Look for some of these players on the field in 2016 for Michigan.