Titans Drop Tough Battle to Bellarmine

PONTIAC, Mich. (3/4/2014) Senior Alex Maini (Lynbrook, N.Y./Lynbrook) and junior Mike Birney (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central) had two goals apiece, but a third-period surge by Bellarmine was the difference as University of Detroit Mercy was downed by the Knights, 12-8, on Tuesday afternoon at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac.

Maini also added two assists and senior Shayne Adams (St. Catharines, Ont./Denis Morris), juniors Brandon Beauregard (Clarkston, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) and Scott Drummond (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm) and sophomore Shannen Wesley (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales) all found the back of the net. Sophomore Paul Bitetti (Plainview, N.Y./Bethpage) posted a career-high five caused turnovers and freshman Jason Weber (Whitby, Ont./Christ School (N.C.)) got the start in net coming up with 15 saves.

Detroit (2-3) got on the board first thanks to its impressive man-up unit which came into the contest third in the nation at 62.5% - as Maini fed Birney a pass for a goal just a minute and a half into play. Bellarmine (4-0) followed with three-straight goals to take a 3-1 lead into the second period, but UDM knotted it at 3-all with back-to-back goals. First on the man-up again, Maini was able to take a pass from senior Tom Masterson (London, Ont./St. Thomas Aquinas) and beat the goalie and then Drummond located Birney for his second marker of the game with 3:30 left in the second.

The Knights though responded with five-straight goals in the third to jump in front, 8-3, but that run was broken when the red, white and blue took advantage of another Bellarmine penalty and Masterson picked up his second assist finding Beauregard for the score at the 1:06 mark. The Titans stayed on the man-up with the non-releaseable penalty on BU, but the Knights were able to go on a fast break for a goal that started a 3-0 run to open an 11-4 lead with 7:37 left in the game.

Detroit then got back into it with four-straight goal as Wesley fired in his second of the season with 7:18 remaining and just a few minutes later, Drummond tallied one to get UDM within 11-6. Drummond added an assist to Maini with 2:16 left to make it a four-goal deficit and on the play, Bellarmine got hit with three penalties, allowing the Titans to go on the man up again and this time Adams took advantage to make is 11-8 with 2:07 left.

That was as close as the comeback would get with Bellarmine adding another goal with just under 10 seconds on the clock.

Detroit was 4 of 5 on the man-up today, running its season total to 14 of 21 (66.7%). UDM came up with a slight edge on ground balls, 29-28, and tallied a season-high 17 caused turnovers.

Juniors Joe Gifford (Rochester Hills, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) and Chris Shevins (Merrick, N.Y./Mepham) had two caused turnovers and a ground ball, while redshirt freshman JD Hess (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm) had two caused TO's and a pair of GB's. Sophomore Jordan Yono (Novi, Mich./Catholic Central) and senior Nick Garippa (Rochester Hills, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) each collected three ground balls and Masterson ended with two caused turnovers and three ground balls.

UDM will get back on the road this weekend as the Titans head to New York City to face Wagner College on Saturday, March 8. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.

Game Notes: Detroit is now 0-6 all-time against Bellarmine ... The 12-8 score was also the final against Bellarmine in Detroit's first-ever indoor game at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in 2010 ... Wesley has now scored a goal in two-straight games ... Adams ran his point streak to 37-straight games fifth in the nation and his goal streak to 18-straight games sixth in the nation ... Bitetti has at least four caused turnovers in three of the four games he has played this year ... The 17 caused turnovers are tied for the fourth most in school history and the most since posting 20 against VMI last season ... The five man-up goals for UDM tied a school record with the five the Titans had at Delaware in 2011.


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