#1 Michigan Upended in Semis by #5 Arizona St.

Denver, CO No. 1 Michigan dropped a 7-6 decision to No. 5 Arizona State on Friday night (May 20) in Denver, Colorado in the semifinal round of the MCLA National Championship Tournament at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Michigan led by a score of 3-2 at the half, and after a four-goal Sun Devil surge to open the second half, the Wolverines eventually tied the game at 6-6 with under six minutes left. ASU quickly regained the lead however under two minutes later and held on down the stretch to cut the Wolverines season short for the first time in four years.

Michigan's offense was able to start things off a failed ASU clear as senior captain and attackman Trevor Yealy (Pittsburgh, PA Upper St. Clair) split through two defenders and beat the goalie on the crease on the low right hand side just thirty seconds into the first quarter. Just over a minute later Eric Nelson answered for the Sun Devils to tie the game at 1-1. ASU earned their first lead of the game at 8:24 on Nelson's second tally following a penalty on the Wolverines.

Senior goaltender Mark Stone (Greenwood Village, CO Cherry Creek) kept it a one-goal game during the remainder of the first period, stopping three shots over the course of the quarter, including two on the door-step. U-M failed to get doing offensively during the final minutes of the quarter as Arizona State led 2-1 after one quarter of play.

After winning the opening faceoff of the second quarter, Michigan kept possession of the ball on offense for nearly two and a half minutes, but failed to produce any opportunities on net. Michigan eventually regained possession in the offensive zone and tied the game as Yealy maneuvered around his defenders, popped to the front of the crease and beat the goaltender shooting low right around him.

The Wolverines were awarded their first man-up opportunity at 3:00 left in the second and converted on the chance eighteen seconds in as sophomore attackman Thomas Paras (Lakewood, OH St. Ignatius), located on the low wing, fed senior attackman Chad Carroll (Cincinnati, OH St. Xavier High) at the top of the box scoring on a high blast for a 3-2 in the second. As the remaining time saw no scoring from either team, U-M was penalized with eighteen seconds left in the half and had a 3-2 lead over ASU.

To start the second half, and as they have all season, U-M replaced Stone with senior goaltender Andrew Fowler (Grosse Pointe, MI Hotchkiss, CT) on a planned goalie change. The squad killed off the penalty that remained from the previous half but was unable to hold off the Sun Devils as they scored four unanswered goals starting at over three minutes starting at 11:22 to give Arizona State a 6-3 lead.

Trailing by three and with time running out in the third quarter, Yealy netted a shot from straight out on a pass from sophomore midfielder Joe Hrusovsky (Lake Forest, IL Lake Forest) to help the Wolverines gain momentum headed into the fourth despite trailing 6-4.

Just under four minutes into the fourth quarter, senior captain and defender Harry Freid (Needham, MA Needham) connected on a hit at midfield on the U-M ride and scooped up the loose groundball before feeding Yealy who was all alone on the crease to cut the lead to 6-5.

After possessions for both teams, Michigan took over in the Sun Devil zone at the six-minute mark. After settling back in to their offense, senior midfielder Stephen Levitt (Alpine, NJ Dwight-Englewood) broke away from his defender and launched a bounce shot from straight out beating ASU's goaltender to tie the game at 6-6 with 5:18 remaining in the fourth.

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