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Titans gear up for Notre Dame opener

On January 23, 2018

Photo courtesy of Detroit Titans Sports Info

 

BY LAUREN SHARKEY / VN STAFF WRITER

Detroit Mercy men’s lacrosse team is more than ready for the start of its season on Feb. 11 against Notre Dame.

The Titans have been ranked third in preseason polls for the MAAC.

“We’ve had a good fall season, and so far we have started off very well in these first few weeks,” said senior captain Charlie Hayes.

The biggest question mark is who will be goalie.

Jason Weber, the starting goalie for the last four years, has graduated. He was a powerful player for the team, earning Rookie of the Year in the conference and leading the nation with a pair of school records, finishing with 16.27 saves per game and a .642 save percentage.

Weber made 179 total saves, tying a Detroit Mercy record, and was 16th in the country and first in the MAAC with a 9.07 goals-against average.

Several student-athletes are expected to play key roles with the Titans this year.

Chief among them will be senior Charlie Hayes, who played in all 16 games and led the team with a career-high 21 caused-turnovers, while ranking second on the team with a career-best 42 ground balls.

Hayes also tied for second in the MAAC and 40th nationally with 1.31 caused-turnovers per game.

Another key player is going to be Will Kane.

Last season, Kane played in all 16 games, starting 15 times. He was second on the team with a career-high 17 caused-turnovers. He also racked up a career-best 22 ground balls.

Sean Birney also will play a crucial role.

His older brother and sister both played lacrosse at the university.

A senior, Birney has been a starter since his freshman year. Last year, he started all 16 games in the midfield and was fifth on the team with 15 goals and 21 points. He also had six assists, sixth on the squad, and tied for the conference lead – and sixth in the nation – with seven man-up goals.

Another player expected to contribute is sophomore Alex Akins, who in 2017 made the All-MAAC Second Team and All-Rookie Team. Akins saw action in all 16 games with 12 starts and was third on the team with 12 caused-turnovers while picking up 15 ground balls. He had two of each at Robert Morris in his first collegiate start, but, more important, was the primary defender on Quinnipiac’s leading goal scorer and all-league attackman Brian Feldman, holding him to just one goal.

The Notre Dame opener will be held in South Bend, Ind. 

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