#1 Michigan Edges #6 Michigan St. in CCLA Final

Saline, MI No. 1 Michigan defeated #6 Michigan State University 11-10 in the finals of the CCLA tournament on Sunday (May 8) at Saline High School.

Michigan drew first blood and led MSU 8-4 at the end of the first half but the Spartans fought back in the third quarter, out-scoring Michigan 6-3 to eventually draw within one as the Wolverines led 11-10 going into the final quarter. Michigan's offense failed to score over the final 15 minutes, but the defense was up to the task, shutting down MSU in the fourth to help earn the Maize and Blue their 12th CCLA Conference Championship.

Michigan won the opening faceoff and started running through their offense as junior midfielder Alex Vasileff (Birmingham, MI Seaholm) scored at 11:50 on an unassisted effort on the low wing beating the goaltender on a high shot. The Spartans battled back, answering three minutes later with a tally of their own. Minutes later, senior midfielder Roy Ichikawa (San Diego, CA Torrey Pines) scooped up a groundball off a rebound and shot over the goaltender for a 2-1 lead.

The attack continued as Vasileff fed senior attackman Chad Carroll (Cincinnati, OH St. Xavier High) straight out for a low blast before freshman midfielder Doug Bryant (Princeton, NJ Princeton) netted his first on a diving shot after beating a defender on the low wing as U-M took a 4-1 lead with 4:34 left in the first.

MSU scored less than a minute later but their goal was washed out by Michigan's man-up unit as sophomore midfielder Joe Hrusovsky (Lake Forest, IL Lake Forest) assisted senior captain and attackman Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, PA Upper St. Clair) on a low shot at 1:41 of the first. The back and forth action continued and with only five seconds remaining in the quarter, the Spartans answered on a drive to the net making it 5-3 in favor of the Wolverines after one quarter of play.

Starting at 13:04 of the second, Yealy scored three unanswered goals with an assist to Carroll on the first, highlighted by his third goal as senior captain and defender Harry Freid (Needham, MA Needham) fed him a long ball before he fought through two defenders and finished low for an 8-3 U-M lead. After seven minutes of scoreless play, Michigan State answered to close out the scoring at 8-4 in the first half in favor of the Maize and Blue.

To start the second half, and as they have all season, U-M replaced senior goaltender Mark Stone (Greenwood Village, CO Cherry Creek) with senior goaltender Andrew Fowler(Grosse Pointe, MI Hotchkiss, CT) on a planned goalie change. MSU found their groove early in the quarter scoring three unanswered goals by the midway point in the third, trailing 8-7. Carroll finally responded for the Wolverines at 7:57 on a high rip from the mid wing but the Spartans answered two minutes later the cut the Michigan lead to the smallest of margins at 9-8.

Carroll once again responded for the U-M, scoring a quick-stick goal on a feed from Yealy to give Michigan the 10-8 lead. Just under two minutes later, State cut the lead to 10-9, before eventually tying the game with 57 seconds left in the third. MSU was denied a third unaswered when sophomore defender JD Johnson (Malibu, CA Loyola) blocked a shot just outside the goal-line. Just before the quarter break the Maize and Blue were able to regain the lead, as Yealy scored from just outside the crease off a feed from Bryant who was stationed at the top of the box. After an eight-goal third quarter, everyone in attendance was surely expecting a wild fourth.

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