JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- The JU men’s lacrosse team snapped a losing streak at the right time, capturing the first conference win in program history in the previous game. JU will now try and win its second straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contest on Saturday when Detroit visits D.B. Milne Field for a 1 p.m. contest.
The Dolphins (3-5, 1-0 MAAC) ended a three-game losing streak by posting a 12-8 win over Canisius for the first conference victory in program history. Head coach Matt Kerwick’s team will now look to sustain momentum when it returns home from a three-game road trip to face the Titans (2-7, 1-0).”After getting that first conference win, we are hungry for more and looking forward to the challenge of playing a balanced Detroit team,” Kerwick said.
Both the Dolphins and Titans comprise two-thirds of the MAAC’s trio of schools unbeaten in conference play. JU’s offense broke out of a team-wide funk at Canisius, scoring in double digits for the first time in four games. The Dolphins are averaging 11 goals per game while the Titans enter with an offense averaging 8.89 goals.
Six of JU’s first eight games have come on the road. But the squad will play four of its last six regular season games at home, including the Dolphins first contest at Milne Field against the Titans. The matchup will mark the first all-time meeting between the schools.
Sophomore attackman TJ Kenary will look to sustain his scoring touch after netting a season-high four goals off the bench against the Griffins. Kenary and senior Bobby Stockton are the only two JU players who have tallied multiple man-up goals this season, accounting for more than half of the Dolphins seven total man-up scores.
“They are a great team, so we’ve been practicing real hard to prepare,” Kenary said about facing the Titans.
Playing Detroit could be the tonic for the struggling man-advantage unit. The Titans have allowed 16 goals on 50 chances and also have lost time of possession to the opposition, losing 127-of-201 faceoffs.
That could be welcome news for freshman Will Vogt, who has solidified his role as JU’s specialist by winning 76-of-131 faceoffs (.580 percentage). His performance as a “Faceoff, Get Off” midfielder elevated him to Inside Lacrosse’s top-25 freshmen rankings this week.
Sophomores Cameron Mann and Max Gurowski have capitalized on Vogt’s faceoff wins. The duo is tied for the team lead in points with 19. Gurowski is enjoying a career season, scoring five goals through the first eight games and compiling 14 assists, which is seven more than the next closest teammate.
Mann, a middie, has been a consistent offensive threat, coming off a hat trick in the win over Canisius. The preseason All-MAAC selection has 12 goals, teaming with Kenary (13 goals) and Stockton (14 goals) for a formidable top-three scoring punch on the first line.
“As an attackman, I work off the dodges of my midfielders and there’s definitely no shortage of dodgers with that group,” Kenary said. “It makes my job much easier and allows me to feed off of them.”
JU will need its top scorer to be sharp as Detroit features goalie A.J. Levell, who is the reigning MAAC “Defensive Player of the Week” after recording 14Â saves to lead the Titans to a win over VMI. Levell is third in the league with 88 saves.
Detroit also boasts a player who made the top freshmen list. First-year attacker Shayne Adams leads the Titans with 23 goals, which is 13 more than the next closest teammate.Â Adams ranks 16th in the country in goals per game (2.56), and 48th in points per contest (2.89). He is also tied for first in the country with 23 goals on the year, a number that leads all freshmen, while his 26 overall points is fourth among freshmen.
JU defenders Tanner Gard and Jake Ziegler will look to contain Adams and the rest of Detroit’s offense. Ziegler effectively shadowed Canisius’ second-leading scorer Nick LoCoco, holding the attackman to zero points and just one shot. Both Gard and Ziegler have started every game and have combined for 37 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers.