Published October 16, 2013
Making program history
By Mark Vest firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Mark on Twitter.
In the early going, last season didn’t appear to have the makings to be a good one for the University of Detroit Mercy lacrosse team.
After UDM got off to a 0-6 start, it was difficult to find anybody who would have thought the squad was on its way to the most successful season in the history of the program. But as it turns out, by the end of the season, the Titans had accomplished a program-first by capturing a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship.
Winning the MAAC tournament automatically qualified UDM for its first NCAA tournament appearance, where the Titans, who were the No. 15 seed, lost in the first round to No. 2 seed Notre Dame 9-7.
Coming away from the season with the program’s first-ever league championship meant something to UDM players.
“It was a wonderful experience,” said head coach Matt Holtz. “They were thrilled. They had a great time. They really enjoyed what they were doing. Even the kids that don’t play a lot had a great time.”
Junior Scott Drummond, who attended Birmingham Seaholm High School, also reflected positively on the Titans’ championship.
“We wanted to send our seniors out with a bit of a bang,” he said. “It was a huge reward making it into the MAAC tournament, and then we kind of just rode our momentum all the way through the tournament. Ended up winning, which was a great feeling.”
The lacrosse program at UDM began in 2009, and making it as far as the NCAA tournament has the potential to have more than just a short-term effect.
“I think we’re advancing,” said Holtz, who has been at the helm since the program’s inception. “We’re improving — getting better every year. Winning a conference championship was a big deal; it helps kind of put us on the map. It’s going pretty well.”
After wrapping up the season last May, the Titans have participated in some practices and scrimmages, and are set to break again later this month before resuming practice during the winter. UDM is scheduled to begin its next campaign in February.
While there is still work that needs to be done to get there, Holtz has big goals for the program.
“Advance the program to the point where we can get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament,” Holtz said of UDM’s long-term goals. “Put ourselves in position to be one of the better teams in the country and not have to worry about an automatic qualifier to get in (to the NCAA tournament). That’s the goal we’re looking for.”
Chris Shevins (Merrick, N.Y), Thomas Sible (Grand Rapids), Alex Maini (Lynbrook, N.Y.) and Tom Masterson (London, Ontario) are the Titans’ team captains.
- 7 DAYS
- 30 DAYS
- College hoops coaches to team up in effort to help ‘beat cancer’ - Bloomfield Hills
- Chippewa Valley senior volleyball standout to take her talents to the next level - Clinton Township
- Lake Shore girls soccer coach stressing continual improvement - St. Clair Shores
- OAA boys basketball names honor teams - Oakland County
- L’Anse Creuse baseball eyeing first division title since 2005 - Harrison Township
- Avondale baseball getting into the swing of things - Troy
- Times may be a-changing for Oakland University golf program - Metro Detroit
- Catholic League honors boys, girls hoops teams - Metro Detroit
- Macomb Area Conference names season’s top hockey players - Macomb County
- Center Line baseball to lean on defense and pitching, manufacturing runs - Center Line
- Gasparotto challenging his Farmington soccer squad with hopes of playoff payoff - Farmington
- Roseville High softball coach teaching positivity, joy of the game - Roseville
- Lake Shore softball hopes to build on last season’s run to regionals - St. Clair Shores
- Royal Oak coach rewarded for greatness - Royal Oak