University of Detroit Athletics
May 5, 2013
The Titans are a fifth-year Division I program making its first NCAA tournament appearance. Their roster is equal parts Michigan, Canada and Long Island.
The Fighting Irish are 10-4 but losers of their past two, both to Syracuse. They shot a combined 14 percent in those defeats, scoring only seven goals. The lack of offense is concerning. The defense doesn't appear to be as airtight this year. Goalie John Kemp's save percentage has dropped about 10 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Reason to watch: To see whether Notre Dame can shut out Detroit.
Background checks: Detroit started playing Division I lacrosse in 2009. Its first game was a 21-1 loss against Ohio State in a winless season. The Titans opened 2013 in similar fashion at 0-6 but rallied like Orb to beat Marist and Siena by a goal in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. The MAAC has never won an NCAA tournament game and rarely has come close.
Star power: Freshman Matt Kavanagh is Notre Dame's best playmaker near the net. He has an instinctual sense of when to dodge.
What can make the difference?
Notre Dame will have the eye of the tiger after dropping two straight to Syracuse. The Irish must use this game to jump-start their stagnant offense and rebuild confidence.
Detroit plays extremely aggressive on-ball defense. The Titans hope their style catches the Fighting Irish off guard. Jordan Houtby (pictured) leads the team with 153 caused turnovers. The rangy Canadian is a pickpocket with a stick.