By GEOFF MEHL, Staff Reporter
The University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s lacrosse team routed the Ferris State Bulldogs, 16-4, on Sunday afternoon.
The Wolverines had an offensive explosion against the Bulldogs with seven different players getting on the score sheet. Junior attacker Dylan Hatcher led the surge for UM-Dearborn with four goals and three assists for seven points. All four goals came in the first half.
“We came out strong and got a lot of ball movement right away,” Hatcher said. “I am a factor of a good team right now.”
In the first half, the Wolverines got on a roll early and never looked back. Senior midfielder Kevin LaHaie ripped in the first goal of the game at 10:06 in the first quarter from 15 feet out.
Then after taking a 2-0 lead over the Bulldogs, Hatcher scored his first and second goals of the game one minute apart to take a 4-0 lead early.
Just before the half, junior attacker Ruben Cabello scored by taking the pass from attacker Eric Rosteck out in front of the net as he was crunched by two defenders. Cabello was second in scoring with four goals and two assists. UM-Dearborn led 10-1 at half.
The Wolverines would go on to score six more goals in the second and shut down the Bulldog offense for only four goals. Wolverine goalie Sean Walsh made eight saves on the day.
UM-Dearborn dominated the time of possession and left little for the defense to do. The ball movement caused opened cutters to get to the net.
“The big difference maker this weekend was that we fixed our ride and had a lot of forced turnovers,” said head coach Jason Watts. “Just getting those extra opportunities help put the ball in the net.”
Watts was impressed by how well the offense was able to share the ball.
“Our offense worked really well together, very unselfish. Most of our goals were assisted,” he said. “That’s one thing that I love about our team, we are very unselfish and they always go for the extra look.”
As for why the Bulldogs were unable to get things going against the Wolverines, they simply just couldn’t hold on to the ball.
“Ferris [State] had a hard time clearing the ball on us, and when they did get possession they pushed it really quick,” Watts said.
Not only was passing a reason for success, but so was speed. Ferris State has 12 players at 6-foot or taller on the roster, so moving quickly was a big factor.
“[The] ball obviously moves faster than the feet,” said Hatcher. “So we were using our teammates for outlets, keeping the ball, moving around, making them switch between us, keeping them moving so they couldn’t lay on our hand.”
On Saturday, UM-Dearborn routed Northwood University 20-4 on the road. The 20 goals marked a program best.
Rosteck scored a game-high five goals and added one assist. Cabello finished with two goals and five assists for seven points. Hatcher and LaHaie added three goals and two assists each.
The Wolverines will head on the road to take on the Siena Heights University Saints on Sunday. The game will be at 2 p.m. in Adrian.
UM-Dearborn will be ready as Siena Heights will be the second conference game of the season. If the Wolverines place in the top two spots in the conference, they will make the playoffs.
“We just need to be prepared to play 60 minutes of lacrosse and play smart on every single possession,” said Watts. “We’ve been geared to play the best possible lacrosse we can once we hit this conference play and that’s what we are looking forward to right now.”