No. 1 Michigan Holds off No. 5 Chapman

Orange, Calif. On Saturday (March 5), #1 ranked Michigan defeated #5 Chapman in an 11-8 battle at Ernie Chapman Stadium. The first three quarters belonged to the Wolverines as U-M jumped out to an 8-3 lead, but the Panthers battled back in the fourth, eventually drawing within two. It was too little too late, however, as the Wolverines improved to 4-0 on the season.

The game started with a Michigan faceoff win leading to a lengthy possession for the Wolverines. The Panthers struck just short of midway through the first to take a one goal lead but junior midfielder Alex Vasileff (Birmingham, MI - Seaholm) answered at 7:49 on a low roll dodge and shot on the crease.

U-M added another unassisted tally by sophomore attackman Thomas Paras (Lakewood, OH St. Ignatius) as he ran from behind the net and took a low shot to beat Chapman's goaltender. Three minutes later the Panthers scored only to be washed out by freshman midfielder Jeff Janer (Novi, MI Detroit Catholic Central) on an unassisted blast, his first as a Wolverine, on the mid wing ending the first quarter with a 3-2 lead for U-M.

Michigan continued to find the net with two unanswered goals in the second quarter as Vasileff scored his second of the game with an unassisted shot on the crease. Senior attackman Trevor Yealy (Pittsburg, PA Upper St. Clair) netted his first off a shot on the crease assisted by freshman attackman Jeff Chu (Berwyn, PA - Conestoga) at 10:46 into the second. The boys in blue continued to show poise and control throughout the quarter and led the Panthers 5-2 at the end of the first half.

At the start of the third quarter, the team executed a planned goalie change replacing senior goaltender Mark Stone (Greenwich Village, CO Cherry Creek) with fellow senior Andrew Fowler (Grosse Pointe, MI Hotchkiss, CT). Chapman came out strong controlling possession as they scored at 10:55 on an unassisted goal. Two minutes later Paras scored his second goal on nearly an identical play to his first tally.

Continuing the Wolverine attack was Yealy as he scooped up a groundball off the Michigan ride and faked out the Panther's goalie on a breakaway for his second of the game. The game then became a tradeoff of possessions for each team as both sides tried to capitalize on offense. With 0:54 left in the third, Paras assisted Vasileff on a blast from straight out for his third of the game giving the Wolverines an 8-3 lead going into the final quarter of play.

Chapman was awarded a man-up opportunity eight seconds into the fourth and converted twenty seconds later. Paras responded on a drive to the cage finishing with a dodge and low shot for his third of the day. CU then scored three unanswered goals and grabbed the momentum to cut the Wolverine lead to 9-7 with 6:54 left in the game. Tensions were high but U-M was able to break Chapman's run when Vasileff rolled away from his defender and launched the ball into the net off a crease dodge just over a minute later for his fourth of the game.

The back and forth scoring continued as Chapman scored at 4:43 to cut the lead to 10-8. Paras responded for his fourth on a mid wing blast with the assist going to Vasileff. Both teams had possessions over the final 3:14 of the game but CU wasn't able to draw closer as the Wolverines earned the 11-8 win to improve finish 3-0 on their west-coast swing.

Statistically, it was a mixed bag for the Wolverines. CU outshot U-M 35-26 and were successful 1 of 4 times to Michigan's 0 of 2 on man-up opportunities. The Maize and Blue scooped up 32 groundballs to the Panthers 29 and were 8 of 23 on faceoffs with Chapman winning 15 of 23. Rides and clears were a major factor in the game with Michigan finishing 18-19 on clears while riding the Panthers to 13 of 20 totals.

The Wolverines will now travel to Athens, OH to take on Ohio University this Saturday, March 12 at 2:00 pm EST. This will be the fourth consecutive road game for Michigan having played their last three games in Southern California.


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