Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Championship: The Big Game
As the clock hit zeroes, the Michigan bench sprinted towards their Sophomore Goaltender, Andrew Fowler. Fowler played a game that goalies live for. Amazingly, he, along with his Sophomore classmates have yet to lose a game at Michigan.
After getting put under a barrrage of Chapman shots, Fowler saw eight balls go into the cage behind him in the first half. Chapman's onslaught started early. They dominated the undefeated Wolverines, and left little doubt that they had earned their right to be in the Championship. But on this day, Fowler and Michigan would not go quietly into the Colorado night.
Going into halftime down 8-4 was nothing new for the 2009 Wolverines. Earlier in the year in Orange, Ca they faced the exact same margin at halftime. In the game, Michigan stormed back behind the superb netminding of Andrew Fowler and a gutsy performance by the Michigan defense. Implementing a unique zone was key for the defensive unit, who were able to stifle the Chapman offense and silence their snipers.
On the other side of the field, the UM offense picked up play, possessing the ball and working hard for opportunties. Dave Rogers, Michigan's Junior captain, turned in an incredible performance, ripping three goals to turn the momentum squarly in Michigan's favor.
But with 4:00 left, the game still remained in the balance. Chapman pulled within one goal on a pretty dodge from the top of the box, effectively breaking the UM zone. After winning three games in the tourney, two of which were in overtime, Chapman might have felt that destiny was on their side. But there is no such thing as destiny. Not unless you work for it.
Like the three previous meetings with the Wolverines, the Panthers were not able to keep up with Michigan's second half play. UM--after racking up 39 wins in a row--was the team that relied on hard work and dedication since September. This same team hadn't lost A FAME SINCE 2007 and wouldn't lose on this night; not to Chapman; not with the camera's rolling and the lights on; not after the speeches and the seasoned flow; not with a tournament Sick Lax film-joint upcoming.
And as the Michigan lacrosse team has grown accustomed to doing, they ran wildly towards their steady goaltender in the joyous thrill of victory. Fowler saw gloves, sticks and helmets rain down in front of him, as he looked towards his crazed teammates. He knew right then and there how much it meant. Another undefeated. Oh, man what a season!
The Ann Arbor News: "Michigan wins second straight national title"
The Michigan Daily: "Club Lacrosse repeats as National Champions"
Michigan lax release: Second Half Comeback Secures Second Straight Title
Inside lacrosse: in-game blog