The Wolverines did it. They beat a former tournament and two-time Big-East Champion team in Marquette. Yes, this is a perceived down year for the Golden Eagles, but make no mistake, this is a signature 12-7 win for the Wolverines. The first of the Kevin Conry era and it should continue the positivity around the Michigan program. Kevin Mack had a breakout game scoring five goals and tallying an assist. The focal point of the offense, junior midfielder Brent Noseworthy, contributed four goals of his own. And Bucky, the last piece of the offensive puzzle, went goal-less but played the role of point man behind the cage and dished out three assists. This attack is turning into a dangerous unit that can threaten the top defenses of the Big Ten. Oh yeah, in his first game back form injury senior goalie Tommy Heidt saved 10 shots and played arguably his best game in a Michigan uniform.
What have the Wolverines accomplished this year? 1. Well to start, this team hasn’t lost at home. I’ll say that again; Michigan Lax has never lost at its new stadium. 2. It’s a 5-2 team with losses only against two ranked teams that the Wolverines took wire to wire. 3. The Wolverines have two freshman attackman who seem to be getting better every game and have no problem switching roles in the offense. They have two 20+ scorers in Noseworthy (26) and Mack (26). Sure, teams like Maryland have Jared Bernhardt and Conner Kelly with 30+ a piece, but Michigan is finally getting close to having offensive players match that fantastic output of the elite teams. For comparison sake, Ian King led the team last year with 26 goals and 47 points total. Now it looks like Noseworthy, Mack, or both will out produce King’s point totals.
Bucky and Mack are the new faces of Michigan lacrosse. They’re the future. Combine them with the upcoming FOGO Conner Cronin, who has overcome upperclassman Michael McDonnel for the starting spot, and you have a solid backbone for this program going forward. Now, will that future be now? Or will it be in the next two years when Conry has a couple more recruiting classes under his belt. My money is on next year being a tournament and break out year for the Wolverines. They will have three more top 100 recruits coming to Ann Arbor, including a near 5-star in the #26 player in the country, attackman Bryce Clay. We’ll find out exactly what kind of team the Wolverines are in the coming 10 days. Two top-5 teams will face the Wolverines in Notre Dame and Maryland. The Terrapins look stacked this year, and with the only blemish on their schedule a close loss to the #1 team in the country (Albany), they look to be a team Michigan should struggle with. Notre Dame, however, isn’t as elite. They are beatable and when the Wolverines arrive in South Bend on Wednesday Michigan will have to bring their A game. But if they do, they’ll have a great chance to get a resume win.
Update: They got that win.