The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, January 30, 2014- 7A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January 30, 2014- 7A
Men's Lacrosse Season Preview:
Wolverines starting to think big
ided by strong got a lot of playing time,"
Jackson said. "Those game
Cruiting class, experiences should help us out
a lot this year."
[ichigan looks But even with big goals for
to rebound the season, Michigan began the
season practicing the basics.
"We're doing the
By MINH DOAN fundamental drills in practice,"
Daily Sports Writer Jackson said. "We're doing
the passing, the catching, the
on in pr
be a fr
'in the class, was a 2013 But a solid recruiting class
osse All-American. and another year of experience
ghas been really coming should bolster a defense that
actice," Paul said. "He'll allowed an average of 11.79
eshman, but I expect goals per game.
'od things from him." "Our defense is one of our
strengths this year," Jackson
MIDFIELDERS said. "We struggled last year
with it, but we've taken some
Wolverines return the steps to improve the system."
their midfielders this The coaching staff will give a
Jackson, Hernandez hard look at freshman defender
shirt senior midfielder Andrew Hatton, another U.S.
Paras - the top-three Lacrosse All-American, who will
from a year ago - push for a substantial amount of
to a midfield that Paul playingtime this season.
to be the strongest
After years of dominance at
the club level, the transition
phase to a Division I contender
has been a steep learning
curve for the Michigan men's
But in its third season and
with two recruiting classes
under its belt, the team believes
it's ready to command respect
from the rest of the nation.
Michigan coach John Paul
believes this is finally the season
that Team Three blossoms.
"Our first two years were
overwhelmingly about building
a culture," Paul said. "Now,
enough of that is done and we
feel like we have the talent to
start thinking about bigger
goals. We have two goals for this
year. One is to win a conference
championship and the other is
to beat Ohio State."
The team returns the first
Wolverine recruiting class in
its history, which includes last
midfielder Kyle Jackson, and
sophomore midfielder Mike
Hernandez, who leads the team
in assists. Both players were
also on the Eastern College
Athletic Conference All-Rookie
team last year.
The first recruiting class
will also have a full year of
experience and will look to
improve into its sophomore
"All the freshmen last year
shooting, the individual stick
work. We're just looking to get
better every day."
With that, the Daily breaks
down the 2014 season, position
point of the team that scored
ATTACKMEN 64 percent of Michigan's goals
a year ag
The attack comes into its
second year under offensive
Ryan Danehy, -
to become "T feel
more complex have th
have had a to start1
year to get
accustomed to about
who led all
attackers last season with
10 goals, will miss the first
month of the season due to a
knee injury that occurred over,
"Will has been a three-
year starter for us and the
'quarterback' of our team," Paul
said. "We'll miss him."
In Meter's absence, the
Wolverines will look to
freshman attacker Ian King to
head the offensive attack.
King, who was ranked as the
No. 45 recruit in the country by
Inside Lacrosse and the No. 13'
;o. Sophomore goalie Gerald
on will look to replicate Logan, a 2013 ECAC All-
ring total from last Rookie, was expected to
year. But he continue his dominance in the
knows that net. But the sophomore tore his
if the team is labrum and needed surgery on
ie successful, the shoulder muscle. Because
it won't of the surgery, Logan will be
fli matter if he out for the remainder of the
i replicates his 2014 season.
team leading To fill the big hole left by
! total or not. Logan, the Wolverines will
"I just rely on freshman goalie Robby
want to help Zonino, the No. 68 recruit
my team do in the nation, to guard the
as well as it Michigan net.
possibly can," "We're going to be putting a
said. "I want to do lot of trust into Zonino," Paul
r I can to lead the team said. "I think he's ready for the
man midfielder Mikie Backing up Zonino will be
r from Davis, Calif., sophomore Mike D'Alessio and
heralded recruit, will senior goalkeeper Bobby Riso,
pete for playingtime in a walk-on, who was recently
d midfield. brought up from the men's
club lacrosse team because
DEFENDERS the varsity team needed three
goalkeepers to practice.
dered a weakness the After two years of building a
o years, the defense culture, Michigan will open the
ly improved and the season looking to the freshman
will look to stifle and sophomores of the program
ts. to lead them to success.
Sophomore goaltender Gerald Logan will miss this season with a torn labrum.
Riso makes jump
from club to varsity
By MATHEW KIPNIS
Daily Sports Writer
Is sitting on the bench ever
better than starting for ateam?
For senior goalie Bobby Riso,
the answer is a resounding yes
after he was called up from the
club lacrosse team to the varsity
Many club sports players
dream of a day they might be
called up to the varsity level and
have an opportunity to fight for a
starting job, but Riso is satisfied
with his spot on the practice
squad and has no complaints.
"I didn't even imagine I would
satisfied with this role," Riso said.
"Everyone would love to be able
to start for a Division I team but
the fact that I am on the team now
is pretty satisfactory. I am pretty
happy with the backup role."
For Riso, practice does not
make perfection - it means
perfection. On this stage he is
able to compete against the best
competition that he has ever
"My first reaction when I heard
I was called up to the varsity
lacrosse team was honestly
disbelief and it didn't seem real to
me," he said. "I remember waking
up the next morning and checking
through my emails to make sure it
actually did happen."
When Riso received the e-mail,
he almost missed the chance to
be promoted. Riso was abroad
over break and didn't have a
way to contact anyone from
Michigan. He had to think fast
and find a way to get in touch
with someone to relay his
message back to the states.
"I guess they had left me a
voicemail but I had no way to
access it," Riso said. "Because
I was out of the country, I had
no Wi-Fi. I was able send a
message to my sister and she
was the one that actually called
the assistant coach, Jeff Turner,
back to tell them that I had an
interest in joining."
Because of an injury to
sophomore goalie and reigning
team MVP Gerald Logan and the
departure of sophomore goalie
Dylan Hurd due to academic
reasons, the Wolverines were left
with two goalies on the roster.
If the team had three goalies,
it could survive, but it couldn't
make do with two since it couldn't
After the initial call up -
when the entire club team was
promoted to the varsity level
- Riso is the first player to be
promoted to varsity in the team's
"We knew we had to add
somebody and we knew Bobby,
as we had been tracking him at
Michigan," Michigan coach John
Paul said. "It was a logical fit. A
lot of our guys knew Bobby and
thought highly of him so that was
important so that he could fit into
our team culture."
Riso played his first three-
and-a-half seasons on the club
team. As a freshman, he split time
in goal and earned the starting
role the following year. During
his sophomore year, he had a
62-percent save percentage, but
he broke his hand and missed his
Lastfall, he playedsevengames
before getting called up. Club
lacrosse has helped Riso over the
past three years by keeping him
active and helping him stay sharp.
"He is going to add what we
need in practice, which is a third
goalie," Paul said. "It allows for
us to function more effectively in
Riso wasn't called up to
compete for the starting job or to
be a leader on this team. He was
called up to be a great teammate,
and he understands that.
"They were pretty up front
with me about that," Riso said.
"They were very confident that
(freshman goalie) Robbie Zonino
is the starter. My role is to be
the best teammate I can during
practice. It's staying around after
practice to help"
Riso has no complaints about
his role on the team. For him,
it's a dream just to sit on the
The Michigan lacrosse team has higher expectations this season after welcoming a high-level recruiting class. Freshman Ian King will lead the offensive attack.
Chiasson waits for his opportunity on defense
By ALEJANDRO ZUNIGA
Daily Sports Editor
The afternoon before every
game, junior defenseman Mike
Chiasson and the rest of the
Michigan hockey team sit togeth-
er to watch film of the upcoming
opponent. Afterward, the flat-
screen TV displays the line pair-
ings for the next day's contest.
For much of the season,
Chiasson has been disappointed
to not see his name on those lists.
After playing 30 games each year
as a freshman and sophomore,
the defenseman has earned little
playing time this year.
When freshman Kevin Lohan
suffered a torn lateral meniscus
on Nov. 1, Michigan coach
Red Berenson replaced him by
converting junior Andrew Sinelli
from a forward to a defenseman
instead of turning to Chiasson.
Even as the unit has struggled,
allowing 33 shots per game,
Chiasson has seen time in just
"I've been around hockey
for a long time, and I know it's
not easy," Chiasson said. "I
have to come to the rink and
be a professional every day. I
understand that coach Berenson
says I'm right there, but we have
a solid six defensemen back there.
I'm taking it in stride and I'm
learning from it."
Berenson's game-day deci-
sions are based heavily on a
system he uses to rate each ath-
lete's performance. The coaches
assign values to positive or neg-
ative plays and then compare
them to individualized bench-
marks. The players aren't privy
to the exact numbers, but they
meet for progress reports three
times per season.
"He's a great kid and he's
worked hard, just like everyone
else," Berenson said.
The sparse playing time isn't
all Chiasson's doing. Berenson
admitted that he gave the
at the beginning of the season.
Because Chiasson has seen such
little time in games, coaches have
had limited opportunity to rank
his progress throughout the year.
"Players that are not in the
lineup, the best way to get back
in the lineup is to be lights out
in practice," Berenson said.
"They've got to make practices
That hasn't stopped others
from earning roster spots,
though. Sophomore Justin
Selman and freshman Max
Shuart both impressed enough to
play against Michigan State last
weekend, and though the roster
for the Wisconsin series this
weekend hasn't been decided,
Berenson said both will likely
retain those roles.
No line pairing has been
perfect. Against the Spartans
last Thursday, junior Brennan
Serville rushed off the ice for a
change on the fly despite the play
moving toward the Wolverines'
defensive - zone. The resulting
two-on-one nearly resulted in a
Michigan State goal.
That's just one of many miscues
by a disorganized defense that
has forced freshman goaltender
Zach Nagelvoort into needing to
regularly make spectacular saves.
Though Sinelli's transition
to defense has been a pleasant
surprise, Berenson gives Serville
mixed reviews. Wednesday, he
explained that the junior "is just
starting to put it together," but
that he has "really had to work
hard to stay in the lineup this
year." Meanwhile, the coach said
Chiasson has regressed at times
according to his rating system.
"Ifa player has an off night or
we feel like we need another guy
out there, Chiasson hasn't let us
down," Berenson said.
Added Chiasson: "If you can
play a consistent game, the
better chance you have to play
in the lineup every single game.
They make the decisions, and I
Until then, the junior promises
to continue learning and fighting
to stand out in the eyes of his
coaches. And the day before every
game, he'll keep hopingto see his
name on that flat-screen TV.
Junior defenseman Mike Chiasson has played in just seven games this year.