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Michigan Lacrosse: Wolverines Take Home-Opener In Gritty Fashion

The Wolverines are now 1-1 on the season after Saturday’s victory.



Michigan Lacrosse Takes Down Hofstra In Home Opener

On Saturday afternoon, the Michigan lacrosse team (1-1) took down the Hofstra Pride (0-3) at U-M Lacrosse Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI. After falling just short against the nation’s No. 1 team (Virginia) a week ago, the win was an incredible bounce-back performance for the Wolverines.

Michigan Starts Hot, Hofstra Keeps Pace In 1st Quarter

After winning the games opening faceoff, the Michigan Wolverines marched down the field and took an immediate 1-0 lead. Wolverine sophomore Ryan Cohen scored the game’s first goal, his goal was unassisted. After exchanging some sloppy possessions, Hosftra tied the game at 1-1, before taking a 2-1 lead not long after. Just minutes later, with Michigan lacrosse down a man due to a penalty, Hofstra netted its third goal of the game, taking a 3-1 lead over the Wolverines.

The Michigan lacrosse team cut Hofstra’s lead to one behind a much-needed goal from senior Jacob Jackson — the game’s star player. Just minutes later, the Wolverines tied the game back up at 3-3 as Michigan’s Cohen netted his second of the contest. As the first quarter came to an end (0:55) the Wolverines regained the lead with a goal from 5th-year senior Peter Thompson. At the end of one, Michigan lacrosse led Hofstra, 4-3.

Michigan, Hofstra Exchange Blows In Tight First Half

Early on in the second quarter, Hofstra managed to tie the game at 4-4. Around a minute later the Michigan Wolverines retook the lead behind a short goal from 5th-year senior Bryce Clay, which was soon followed by Jacob Jackson’s second goal of the game, which gave the Wolverines a 6-4 lead. A retaliatory Hofstra goal cut Michigan’s lead down to one with ten minutes remaining in the half — one thing was for certain: neither team was giving the other room to breathe.

Hofstra’s goal was answered less than 10 seconds later — with 9:53 remaining, senior Josh Zawada netted his first goal of the game, and Michigan retook a two-goal lead. Less than two minutes later, Hofstra got back on the board, making it a 7-6 Michigan lead. The two teams again traded sloppy possessions before Hofstra tied the game at 7-7 with just over five minutes remaining in the half.

A sloppy Michigan turnover gave Hofstra a massive opportunity to regain the lead, though the Pride took a costly timeout, which killed their own momentum. Michigan capitalized on this momentum swing by creating a turnover and five shots, all of which were stopped, blocked, or went wide of the goal. A crucial save from junior goaltender Shane Carr gave the Wolverines another opportunity, though once again, the shot flew wide of the net.

As the first half came to a close, the Michigan Wolverines managed to ring off two more shots, though came up empty both times. At the end of one half, Michigan lacrosse was tied with Hofstra, 7-7.

Gritty Second Half Leads To One-Goal Michigan Win

Just over a minute into the second half, the Michigan Wolverines retook the lead behind Jacob Jackson’s third goal of the game — the Wolverines led 8-7. After making a massive save, freshman goaltender Hunter Taylor gave the ball right back to Hofstra, which led to a game-tying goal. Throughout the majority of the third quarter, the Wolverines and Pride exchanged defensive blows, neither giving an inch of ground down the stretch.

The Michigan lacrosse team took a timeout with 3:16 remaining in the third quarter, which was followed by a Hofstra goal just over a minute later — at the end of three, Hosftra led Michigan by one.

Just 40 seconds into the fourth and final quarter of play, Josh Zawada scored his second of the game to knot the game at nine — the goal was assisted by Michigan’s Jacob Jackson, who boasted four goals and an assist on the day.

After a Michigan shot rung off the Hofstra post, the Wolverines once again collected the loose ball, regained their footing, and netted a massive 10th goal to take a late 10-9 lead. Aidan Mulholland’s goal was soon answered by Hofstra, who netted a game-tying goal with 4:02 remaining. Just as we had seen all game, the two teams refused to give the other an edge.

With just under three minutes remaining, a Michigan shot rung loudly off the pipe and out of bounds — the ball was awarded to Hofstra, who quickly took a timeout to regain their composure as the game entered its final stages. A massive, game-saving stop by Michigan’s freshman goaltender — Hunter Taylor — kept the Wolverines in the game with 1:31 remaining. With just 50.6 seconds remaining, Jacob Jackson netted his fourth and final goal of the game — the Wolverines lead was 11-10, a lead that they managed to hang onto for the remainder for the game.

After the game, I asked Michigan senior Jacob Jackson about his incredible five-point early-season performance:

“Just one day at a time” Jackson told Chris Mangum of Blue by Ninety. “We’re not where we want to be in May right now. It’s only February, different guys are going to have great games, I was at the receiving end for today. It’s gonna be Cohen, it’s gonna be Josh, it’s gonna be different guys every game so it’s a lot of trust in all these guys that are going to keep progressing and hopefully we’ll get to where we want to be in May. Which is playing in the tournament, playing in the Big Ten Tournament — hopefully winning championships. So one day at a time.”

All said and done, Michigan lacrosse improved to 1-1 on the season with a home-opening victory. The Wolverines will be back in action this Tuesday against Canisius in Ann Arbor.

FINAL: Michigan 11, Hofstra 10

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball. Right now, CJ is the publisher of Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. Previously, CJ has made stops with Fansided, The Michigan Daily, and more.