Detroit Hard At Work, On & Off The Field In Chicago

CHICAGO -- The Detroit men's lacrosse team split a pair of scrimmages on Saturday in the Windy City as the Titans, Bellarmine and Notre Dame got together for the Playing for Peace Catholic Lacrosse Showcase, held at Hales Franciscan High School.

UDM defeated Bellarmine 11-9 in its first game and fell to Notre Dame 15-7 in its second contest of the event.

“The guys were motivated and did a good job going through our sets,” said UDM head coach Matt Holtz. “We looked good at times and not so good at times, but there are a lot of things we can improve on and a lot of positives we can take from the day.”

While the day provided all three teams with a chance to see some game action in the fall, Saturday was more of celebration of the game and giving back to the community. After the Titan-Fighting Irish contest closed out the scrimmage session, each team had a number of student-athletes and coaches put on a free lacrosse clinic for all kids in the 8th grade or younger. The children learned some of the basic skills of the game in the clinic, conducted right on the field.

While certain student-athletes were working the clinic, the rest of the teams took to a community service project involving the up-keeping of the local high school. All three Catholic Universities came together to help clean, paint and perform general projects for the school in conjunction with the Playing For Peace motto. The Playing for Peace initiative seeks to answer this call from Pope John Paul II by using the platform of sport to transcend boundaries and bring people together in the pursuit of peace, justice and human understanding.

As for the games, Detroit came out on fire early in the morning as junior Alex Maini put up two quick goals and junior Wes Steen added a pair as well to give Detroit an early 4-1 lead after one against Bellarmine. Sophomore Brandon Beauregard netted a marker early in the second for a 5-1 advantage and UDM went into a brief halftime up 6-5.

Maini added his third goal of the game in the third to put the red, white and blue up 7-5 and he later tallied his second assist of the contest feeding Beauregard for a goal that broke a 7-7 tie. Detroit did not give up the lead the rest of the way.

“We are gelling as a team right now,” said Maini. “I am just lucky to be behind the cage and attack the backside. The midfielders and the guys are setting me up and it's great to be in this office.”

Steen ended up with two goals and an assist and junior Tom Masterson notched a pair of helpers in the contest. Freshmen Ryan Callaghan, Jack Slomsky and Mike Spuller each had goals with Callaghan coming up with two, and junior Nick Garippa adding an assist.

Unofficially, senior Jordan Houtby had three caused turnovers and all four goalies played combining for about 10 saves in the affair.

Against Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish – who made the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in 2012 – broke a scoreless tie several minutes into the first with three-straight goals. Junior Shayne Adams put UDM on the board late in the first. Masterson and Beauregard then tallied back-to-back goals in the second to pull the red, white and blue within two, 5-3, with five minutes left in the second before going into the abbreviated half down by three, 7-4, thanks to another Callaghan marker.

Notre Dame opened things up in the third jumping out to an 11-4 advantage until senior Chris Nemes found the back of the net to end that run. Maini would add another goal in the fourth followed by junior Drew Schupbach's strike before the final whistle blew.

“I think overall today we did well,” said junior Andrew Khalil. “We are going to improve as the season progresses. This is just fall ball. We will get a lot better, we will have a lot better rotation of players and we have a lot of talent.”

The Titans played most of their roster in the two games, mix-matching personnel to get everyone game experience. All four goalies saw one quarter of action in each game.

The event concluded the end of the fall season for Detroit as they will now focus on the upcoming 2013 season. The 2013 schedule will be announced in the near future.

Alex Maini Post-Game Reaction at the Playing for Peace Catholic Lacrosse Showcase
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