U-M to Travel to Penn State for Final Regular-Season Road Contest

U-M to Travel to Penn State for Final Regular-Season Road Contest

4/13/2021 11:55:00 AM

// Scott Kemps

» U-M enters Friday’s matchup tied for fourth place with Johns Hopkins and Penn State in the Big Ten standings with a 2-6 record. The contest will prove vital for seeding in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.

» The matchup versus the Nittany Lions is the Wolverines’ final regular-season road contest of the year.

» U-M has played 12 newcomers this season, with three players starting consistently.

Friday, April 16 — at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 5 p.m.

TV: Big Ten Network | Live Stats | Live Video | Coach Conry Interview (WTKA)

Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

The University of Michigan men’s lacrosse team (2-6, 2-6 Big Ten) wraps up its Big Ten regular-season road slate Friday (April 16) at 5 p.m. against Penn State (2-6, 2-6 Big Ten). The matchup will be instrumental in determining seeding in the Big Ten Tournament. Friday’s contest will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network with Joe Beninati and Mark Dixon on the call.

Wolverine Bites

• Sophomore Josh Zawada leads the team in points (25) and goals (17) after his five points (two goals, three assists) against Maryland. Junior Bryce Clay checks in at No. 2 on the squad in goals with 16 after he totaled the 10th hat trick of his U-M career against Maryland. Freshman Michael Boehm is the lone Wolverine in double digits in both categories with 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points.

• Boehm is averaging 2.75 points per game, which ranks No. 11 nationally for freshmen and tops the league in that number as well.

• Junior FOGO Nick Rowlett enters another tough Big Ten faceoff battle this week against PSU’s Gerard Arceri. Rowlett ranks No. 3 in the league (55 percent), leads the league and ranks No. 4 nationally in ground balls per game (8.50). Against Maryland, he collected 12 ground balls, marking the third contest this season that he has surpassed the 10-ground-ball plateau.

• In Lacrosse Reference’s schedule rankings, U-M checks in with the second-toughest schedule even with its Big Ten-only schedule. The Lacrosse Reference’s strength of schedule sits at 1,685, just behind No. 1 Marquette (1,713).

• U-M has utilized 12 newcomers (11 freshmen, one grad transfer) on the campaign. Boehm, as well as close defenders Jack Whitney (seven ground balls, two caused turnovers) and Brendan McCabe (5 GB, 2 CT). In all, newcomers have accounted for 23 goals, 12 assists and 36 points (29 percent of total offense).

• In the Big Ten standings, Maryland has clinched the regular-season title (8-0). Rutgers sits at No. 2 in the league (6-2), while Ohio State is in third place at 4-4. Michigan, Johns Hopkins and Penn State all sit tied for fourth at 2-6. In the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, the No. 3 seed will host the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed will host the No. 5 seed. This season’s conference tournament will feature byes for the top-two seeds and is slated to begin May 1.

Opponent Preview

Penn State

All-time series against the Nittany Lions: U-M trails 7-2

U-M and PSU last met on March 20, with the Wolverines emerging victorious, 14-12, at U-M Lacrosse Stadium. Junior goalie John Kiracofe led Michigan’s effort with a career-high 17 saves, while Nick Rowlett went 17-for-28 at the faceoff dot with seven ground balls. The attack tandem of Bryce Clay (five) Josh Zawada (four) accounted for nine of U-M’s 14 goals. U-M excelled in the third quarter, outscoring PSU 5-2 in the third and 8-5 in the second half. The win was U-M’s first of the season and its fourth over a ranked opponent in program history.

Penn State is led offensively by TJ Malone, who sports 31 points on the season, leads the team in assists (13) and also contributed 18 goals. Mac O’Keefe leads the team in goals with 19, and is two goals away from breaking the NCAA career record for goals with 211. Dylan Foulds is the other Nittany Lion in double-digit goals with 10 and has 15 points on the campaign.

Nick Cardile, the team’s top close defender, leads the team in caused turnovers with nine and also has 17 ground balls. Gerard Arceri is the team’s top FOGO option (98-of-174, 56 percent) and has 63 ground-ball pickups. Goalie Colby Kneese is the main option in net and has a goals-against average of 13.50 and 77 saves. He is stopping 44 percent of shots faced.

The Nittany Lions have been outscored 111-80 on the year and are clearing at 85 percent.

Up Next

Sunday, April 25 — vs. Rutgers (U-M Lacrosse Stadium), Noon

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