By: RICKY LINDSAY, STAFF REPORTER
The University of Michigan-Dearborn’s lacrosse team returned to action this spring with high expectations surrounding their twelfth season. The team possesses 22 players with previous lacrosse experience, something they’ve longed for throughout the program’s history.
Louie Morin and Dane Haskin have been honored as team captains for the 2013 season. Haskin, a senior attackman, finished second on the team last season in goals (20) and points per game (2.417), and lead the team in assists (9) and points (29).
Dane (Haskin) came to UM-D with no prior lacrosse experience,” said Wolves Head Coach Jason Watts. “He is the hardest worker on and off the field, and in just three years, became one of the top offensive performers on the field. He leads by example and is always offering help and advice to players new to the game.”
Morin, a senior defenseman, finished fourth on the team last season with 39 ground balls. Watts also had high praise for Morin.
“Louie is a very vocal leader and has excellent knowledge of the game,” said Watts. “He also coaches Grosse Ile’s varsity lacrosse team in between school, work, and UM-D (lacrosse).”
Watts says two transfers, Nick Thurber and Sean Walsh, will have a big impact this season. “Nick Thurber will join the Wolves this season which will strengthen our midfield significantly. Sean (Walsh) will immediately fill the hole left by former goalie Andy Wahl, who graduated in 2012.
Thurber played for Northville High School before playing three years at Eastern Michigan University. He had 42 goals and 24 assists during three years with the Eagles.
Walsh played two years at Otterbein College (NCAA D3). During his senior year at Canton High School, Walsh received all state honors.
Dylan Hatcher, the Wolves leader in goals and points per game in 2012, returns this year for his sophomore season. Hatcher, an attackman, had 23 goals and averaged 2.455 points per game last season.
The Wolves have some big games on the schedule. Watts says Oakland University will be a big game, while he sees Lawrence Tech becoming a “local rival”.
“Oakland is coached by former UM-D head coach Tim Gallagher, and Oakland is part of the CCLA (Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association) Division 2 North region (same as UM-D). This will be a key game with possible playoff implications.”
“Lawrence Tech will be the closest CCLA team to UM-D. Lawrence Tech is a varsity club like many other NAIA teams in the CCLA and will be recruiting from the same high schools that UM-D typically draws from.”
A playoff appearance, and nothing less, are the high expectations placed upon the Wolves in 2013.
“Our expectations this season are to make playoffs for the first time in team history,” said Watts. “We have the most depth and experience in the program’s 12-year history.”