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From Press Release.
Denver, Colo. – The #1 ranked University of Michigan men’s lacrosse team captured their third-straight MCLA National Championship on Saturday night (May 15) in dramatic style, winning 12-11 over #3 seed Arizona State in Denver, Colorado at Dick’s Sporting Good Park in a back-and-forth contest. Leading by three goals with just over five minutes left in the match, the Maize and Blue held off a late rally from the Sun Devils en-route to the title victory. With the championship victory, Michigan is the first team in MCLA history to three-peat.
ASU opened the scoring just 46 seconds into the contest on their first possession, but Michigan was able to answer shortly after as senior midfielder Svet Tintchev (Rockville, MD./Bullis) finished a feed from senior attackman Kevin Zorovich (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) to knot things up early on.
Michigan earned their first lead on a rebound goal from junior attackman Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, Penn./Upper St. Claire) as the third-year played plucked it out of mid-air and quickly fired for Michigan’s first lead of the game at the 12:02 mark of the first.
The Sun Devils evened things up just under a minute later on a low shot from the left wing, before ASU earned the lead at 5:21 on a dunk down low.
Michigan immediately answered with a faceoff win followed by a goal from senior midfielder Jamison Goldberg (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) [RIGHT] who took a pass from Zorovich right outside the crease and fired low to tie the game at 3-3 with 5:03 left in the first quarter.
ASU responded at 2:44 on a scramble in front, as junior Mark Stone (Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek) made back-to-back saves but couldn’t stop the third from just outside the crease.
The Wolverines had a great opportunity moments later on a quick-stick try down low from senior attackman Josh Ein (Potomac, MD./Rockville), but the shot hit the ASU netminder in the chest. The Sun Devils increased their lead to two on their next possession on a hard shot from the far left wing.
U-M was able to earn possession right before the quarter-break and after a time-out to set up their offense, Tintchev dodged down the left wing and fired low to cut the ASU lead to 5-4 as the teams entered the second quarter.
After a long Michigan possession, the Wolverines eventually earned a one-minute man-up following a slashing at midfield five minutes into the period. U-M was unable to capitalize but scored quickly after as freshman attackman Thomas Paras (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius) dodged from behind the cage and shot low to even things at 5-5 a minute later.
After possessions for both teams, Michigan was awarded another one-minute man-up in the ASU zone, but the Maize and Blue couldn’t find the back of the net despite three shots.
Michigan scored again shortly after the opportunity as Yealy picked up a rebound off a shot from senior midfielder Anthony Hrusovsky (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest), and fired behind the back as Michigan regained the one-goal lead with their third unanswered goal as Michigan entered the locker room with a one-goal lead.
ASU opened the scoring on their first possession of the second half, but the Wolverines quickly answered on a dodge and fire down the alley from Yealy as U-M led 7-6 early in the third quarter.
U-M increased their lead to 8-6 on a tally from Paras after the first-year player took a feed from senior midfielder David Rogers (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) [LEFT] and fired from just outside the crease.
ASU was able to answer just over a minute later on a two-man man-up opportunity after Stone made the initial save but the rebound shot right out and into the stick of an ASU attackman who quickly fired to cut the U-M lead to 8-7 midway through the third.
Senior attackman Clark McIntyre (Little Silver, N.J./Rumson – Fair Haven) helped Michigan regain the two-goal lead on a goal from just outside the crease after taking a feed from Rogers on the left wing with 5:12 left in the third quarter. The teams traded possessions for the remainder of the third quarter as U-M took a 9-7 lead into the final frame.
Yealy got Michigan rolling early in the fourth following a nice feed from the right wing from Tintchev. Yealy turned and quickly fired from just outside the crease as Michigan built their largest lead of the game at 10-7.
Michigan was nailed for an offsides call at 12:11 of the fourth, but the Wolverines man-down defense was up to the task, killing the penalty following a nice save from Stone and a solid clear attempt. U-M was awarded a one-minute man-up shortly after, but was unable to capitalize.
Following Michigan’s man-up, ASU cut the lead to 10-8 at 9:24 on a dodge from the left wing followed by another tally at 8:13 as the Sun Devils cut the lead to the slimmest of margins.
Following another big save from Stone and a successful Michigan clear, junior long-stick midfielder Matt Asperheim (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) notched his second goal in two nights as he took a pass from Zorovich and cut down the middle before firing low for the goal.
The Maize and Blue added another shortly after on a hustle play as the Wolverines won the whistle and Ein fed McIntyre right out front. McIntyre triple deked before finally firing high as U-M led by three with 5:45 left in the contest.
Trailing by three with time running out, ASU was awarded a one-minute man-up following an illegal body check in the Wolverine zone, followed by another one-minute penalty call on the Maize and Blue. ASU scored late in the man-up opportunity, to cut the lead to two with two minutes left.
Michigan won ensuing faceoff, and looked to burn time, but eventually turned it over to give the Sun Devils another opportunity with under a minute left. ASU was able to find the back of the net, but with only eight seconds left in the contest. U-M won the ensuing faceoff and tried to air it out, but the ball went out of bounds near midfield giving Arizona State one last chance with 1.5 seconds left. The Sun Devils fired on cage with a number of players in front, but the shot went wide and the Wolverines rushed the field in celebration.
Statistically, Michigan won every category. The Wolverines outshot the Sun Devils 55-30, and scooped up 49 groundballs compared to 23 by Arizona State. U-M was 17 of 26 on faceoffs, and cleared the ball at an amazing rate of 15 for 16 while holding ASU to 15-23 on their clears. The Sun Devils scored twice on three man-up attempts while U-M failed to score on three attempts.