The UM-Dearborn men’s lacrosse team opened Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference play this week against the No. 6 Saints of Siena Heights at the Detroit Country Day Field house Saturday afternoon.
The struggling Wolverines did not show any rust from their Missouri trip as they took an early lead. Senior Attack Devon Callaghan got the scoring started at 14:53 from sophomore attack Adam Ranck. Junior midfielder Micah Rinke added a goal at 13:03 assisted by Callaghan.
Callaghan added another goal at 11:11 unassisted and got his hat trick at 6:05 with another unassisted goal. Ranck would not be denied either as he scored a goal at 9:11 unassisted and a man down goal at 4:02. At 4:08, junior attack Ben Phillips added a man down goal as he launched himself around a defender and flew in the air scoring as he hit the turf to give the Wolverines a significant lead of 7-0 through one quarter of play.
The Saints would not go quietly though as Danny Kreitzer scored at 13:26 of the second quarter. Callaghan got his fourth goal of the day at 12:00 with Ranck assisting. This goal was just as the shot clock was expiring and was very close to being called off.
20 seconds later, Alex Gilbert scored for the Saints. Gilbert scored again at 6:40 on an up goal to make the score 8-3 Wolverines.
Rinke got the only up goal of the day for the Wolverines at 4:45 as he shot the ball from almost the yellow circle beating the Saints goalie. Ranck had the assist.
Gilbert and the Saints scored less than a minute later on another up situation at 4:03. The Saints just kept shooting though. They were also playing tough and a lot of pushing and shoving going on from the Saints side. The fans around me liked this but we will get to this later.
At 3:03 Wolverine goalie junior Liam Turner made an amazing save that sent the ball all the way to the outside but it stayed as a Saints ball. Kreitzer took advantage of this with a goal at 2:23 making the score 9-5 Wolverines but the Saints fans and team seemed to be getting louder and more confident.
It stayed 9-5 Wolverines as the second quarter concluded.
The Wolverines seemed to retake the momentum as freshman midfielder Cameron Godin scored at 13:37 assisted by Ranck. Callaghan scored his fifth goal of the game at 13:23 unassisted. Senior midfielder Alex Gjokaj scored at 10:30 of the third quarter as he fought his way right down the center of the Saints defense to score unassisted and giving the Wolverines a 12-5 lead.
Ryan Mamo scored at 7:05 for the Saints assisted by Gilbert. Callaghan answered with his sixth goal of the game at 3:50 as he picked up a loose ball off the turf and scored as he was being assaulted by the Saints defense. Kreitzer scored for the Saints a minute later at 2:43 assisted by Gilbert. Callaghan got his seventh goal unassisted at 2:32 for the Wolverines.
Nolan Lyons of the Saints scored on a bang-bang play with just 29 seconds to go in the third quarter to make the score 14-8 through three quarters.
The fourth quarter saw the Siena Heights fans get louder and much more vocal especially around myself and my son. They were not happy with any of the calls or calls they thought should have been made on the field and were voicing their opinions for everyone to hear. They especially did not like Ranck from the Wolverines as they kept saying “cross check number 43” several times throughout the game. One mom kept trying to give advice to her son throughout the game much to his chagrin and laughter of “you don’t think we haven’t already thought of that.” I guess I should have picked somewhere else to sit but that is for later.
The fourth quarter opened with three straight Saints goals. Kreitzer unassisted at 8:39, an up goal by Gilbert at 6:23, and a Mamo goal at 5:51. The score was now 14-11 Wolverines.
The Wolverines kept fighting though.
At 5:34, sophomore defensive mid Chad Reynolds forced his way through the Saints middle to pass to Phillips for a beautiful goal to make the score 15-11. Mamo added a goal for the Saints at 4:24.
It was then the Gilbert show as he added unassisted goals at 2:57, 2:09, and with 25 seconds remaining all unassisted. It was now tied 15-15 and the Saints fans were going crazy around me. They were cheering and yelling for their team to win the face off at all costs.
Freshman face off specialist Dillon Beal made a huge difference as he won it cleanly and passed to Ranck for the game winning goal with 19 seconds remaining. The looks of defeat on the Saints fans was astonishing as Beal won the next face off and the Wolverines held onto the ball despite the constant hacking and attacks by the Saints players.
Saints goalie Alex McCarthy made 19 saves in the game and got the loss making his record 1-1 for the season.
Wolverine goalie Turner made 12 saves and improved his record to 1-2 for the season. Beal was a monster in this game as he dominated the Saints winning 29 of 35 face offs in the game. The Wolverines were so elated after the win especially after knocking off No. 6 and breaking through to get their first win of the season and becoming 1-0 in the WHAC.
On a personal note (sorry for the tangent):
As a dad, college student, and part-time journalist, I find it difficult sometimes to watch games as a job and watch my four-year-old son for the Michigan Journal. I normally bring him along to get him out of the house and only leave my one-year-old at home with my wife. Watching the UM-Dearborn lacrosse team this week take on Siena Heights it was interesting to take in the game as an impartial observer in visiting fan land. I now see how the other teams behave while watching their sons play. Especially late in the game as the score got close.
My son was chanting late in the game (when he was not asking if it was over yet) “let’s go Michigan” over and over. It was fun to hear as I had not said a word about who I was except I was wearing my press badge. He played most of the game with his construction trucks and ate his way through the game as always.
After the game, we walked over to talk to the coaches and it was cool that Ranck took the time out to talk to my son and high five him (I have been talking to Adam about my son’s desire to play hockey). My son now wants to go to every “cross” game in the future I cover.
Now back to business.
The Wolverines will next take on No. 4 Indiana Tech on March 27 at 5 p.m. at the Legacy Center in Brighton, Michigan. This will be another huge WHAC game for the team.