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Army Rolls Over Michigan at the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
By Lee Roggenburg Army_optGame two of the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic did not live up to the excitement of the women’s game.  Army led from start to finish and basically steamrolled Michigan 12-1, behind Garrett Thul’s record-setting performance.  Thul broke the all-time career goal-scoring record of Scott Finlay ’78, by notching his 141st career goal in the fourth quarter. Army controlled all facets of the game and the score could have been a lot worse save for the lights-out performance of Michigan freshmen goalie Gerald Logan, who rang up 24 saves on 36 shots on goal.  Army scored three times in each period while Michigan notched their only goal in the second quarter. Thul led Army with 7 goals and an assist, while fellow attackman John Glesener notched a goal and 4 assists.  Alex Newsome with 2, Will Mazzone and Andrew Boyd also scored for Army.  Peter Kraus scored the only goal for Michigan.  Army out-shot Michigan by a 52-18 margin and the Maize and Blue hurt themselves badly with 14 first half turnovers.  The tone was set on Michigan’s first possession when Army’s ride was able to force a failure to advance turnover, and that theme continued throughout the game.
Florida's own Josh Stauffer on the Michigan sideline (Benjamin HS)
Florida’s own Josh Stauffer on the Michigan sideline (Benjamin HS)
Thul is normally a handful for any college defense to handle.  He is listed at 6’3” and 233lbs and Michigan really had no long pole who could handle him.  He scored in many ways, dodging from behind, off set pieces on the man up and on quick stick shots from in close.  Michigan goalie Logan, commenting on facing Army, noted that Thul and Glesener “hid their sticks very well, which made it very difficult for me to pick up the ball, and they took quick, accurate shots”.  Thul brought the crowd to its feet late in the third quarter with a goal that was actually waived off.  On a fast break he cut towards the goal and received a lengthy pass which he shot into the net behind the back, all in one motion.  Unfortunately he stepped into the crease before releasing the ball, so the referee called it off. When interviewed after the game Thul noted: “We scouted them out, we knew what they were going to do . . . we knew their system and we knew how to work it”. Army Coach Joe Alberici noted after the game that the only weakness in Army’s play was the number of open looks that his team got that missed the net, particularly in the first half: “We got a little fine with our shots; Logan is a tremendous goalie and we started trying to shoot in ways we typically don’t.  That goes back to him as their goaltender”. Interviewed after the game UM Coach John Paul echoed the issue of the physicality of the Black Knights and felt that his young team didn’t react to well to it.  He noted that his team had competed better against his previous opponents, which included nationally-ranked Penn State and Johns Hopkins, and that was a function of his team’s youth. This is Michigan’s second year as a varsity sport and most of this squad was recruited to play at the MCLA club level.  This freshmen class is the first to play in Division One and there are times where the age and experience factor really played out in the game. Coach Paul also noted that the core principle of his team is ‘family’ and that the older classes are doing their best to lead the program into the new level of competition.  Logan also noted that and praised the upper classes for their leadership role. This will be a long year for Michigan’s freshmen class but a necessary one in building the program.  For Army, their focus will be on the Patriot League and making the field of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.  For lacrosse fans, make sure to catch an Army game on TV or in person.  Garrett Thul is a senior and a special talent, but he is also a West Point senior, so it might be the last time you get to see this special talent in action.