No. 1 Michigan Edges Chapman to Defend MCLA Crown

Denver, CO. The #1 seeded University of Michigan Men's Lacrosse team won their second consecutive Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) National Championship on Saturday night (May 16) in Denver, Colorado at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, defeating the #3 seed Chapman Cougars by a score of 12-11.

In a rematch of last year's championship game, the Wolverines trailed 8-4 at the half, but battled back in the final 30 minutes to earn their second straight perfect season, going 40-0 in the past two years.

Chapman got on the board first under two minutes in with a low shot from the left wing that snuck just inside the near-side post followed by a transition goal just 50 seconds later as the Panthers took an early two-goal lead. Chapman kept up their solid play early on, finishing a pass from behind the cage to make it 3-0 under four minutes into the contest.

The Wolverines called a timeout to settle things down, and although they lost the ensuing faceoff, the Maize and Blue eventually earned possession and a man-up opportunity following an interference call on Chapman. Michigan was unable to capitalize however and still trailed 3-0 mid-way through the first.

Three minutes later U-M was nailed for an unnecessary roughness call at the 4:23 mark following a check at midfield, but Michigan was able to kill off the penalty and put together just their second offensive possession of the game. A slashing call on the Panthers soon after gave the Wolverines another man-up opportunity, and this time they were able to capitalize as junior midfielder Jamie Goldberg (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) found junior attackman Kevin Zorovich (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) just outside the crease for the quick-stick goal.

Chapman answered right back however, winning the ensuing faceoff and scoring quickly as they regained the three-goal lead. Sophomore Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, Penn./Upper St. Claire) responded for U-M, dodging from behind the cage and firing out front to cut the lead to 4-2 with 1:05 left in the first.

The Panthers regained the three-goal lead early in the second, scoring at 14:05 after scooping up a loose ball and firing from 12 yards out. The Wolverines were nabbed for a slashing call at 12:02, but were able to kill off the penalty, only to be called for a delay of game under two minutes later. The Panthers were able to capitalize on a shot from 12 yards out, building their largest lead of the game to that point at 6-2 with 10:17 left in the first half.

Chapman continued to dominate possession throughout the second quarter, and extended the lead to 7-2 with 6:44 left in the second following a scrum in front. Michigan had a solid chance the next time down as junior faceoff specialist David Reinhard (East Lansing, Mich./East Lansing) won the faceoff and fed Yealy right in front. Yealy's dunk attempt was thwarted however, as Michigan continued to have difficulty finishing.

The Wolverines finally got on the board in the second quarter on a transition goal as sophomore defenseman Justin Burgin (Farmington Hills, Mich./Catholic Central) carried the ball deep into the Panther zone and fed Zorovich right out front as Michigan cut into the lead with 4:07 left in the half. Michigan was unable to build any momentum however as Chapman responded just 48 seconds later on a dodge from behind the cage to make it 8-3.

The Wolverines wouldn't go away quietly however, as Zorovich finished a blast from the far right wing with 1:45 left in the second quarter to close out the first-half scoring with the Maize and Blue trailing 8-4 after 30 minutes of play.

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