DETROIT — It was a day to reminisce and just have a good time out at Titan Field on the campus of the University of Detroit Mercy as the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams hosted alumni exhibitions followed by a cookout on Saturday.
“When we decided to add lacrosse, the positive feedback from across the country was unbelievable,” said University of Detroit Mercy Associate Vice President & Director of Athletics Keri Gaither. “The outpouring of support from the parents, the former players, the current players and the community has been tremendous and we appreciate everything our alumni did in coming here and starting the program.”
The day included a red vs. white scrimmage for both the men’s and women’s teams and a cookout, where both programs came together to celebrate at the Pavilion at the James K. Campbell Complex between Calihan Hall and the new Student Fitness Center on campus. While the event featured a couple of competitive scrimmages, more importantly, it was a chance for everyone with lacrosse connections at Detroit to have a day of fun in the sun.
Both games featured the graduates of the first four-year senior class at UDM since the school started men’s and women’s lacrosse in the 2009.
“This has been a fantastic event,” said head men’s coach Matt Holtz. “We have had a few alumni events in the past, but I think everyone would agree that this one has blown the others out of the water.”
“This was the first time we have had an alumni event on the women’s side and the turnout was great from the former players,” added women’s head coach Laura Maness.
The women’s lacrosse team was up first and the red vs. white match featured the underclassmen from this year’s team on the red squad against a group of alumni, along with current upperclassmen and sophomore Lexie McCormick tending the nets on the white team. The red team was coached by Katie Rhodes while the white squad was led by Hilary Petcoff, who came back to earn her first victory at Titan Field as a coach as the White dominated the game, 10-5.
The white squad came out with a victory thanks to six combined goals between the two highest goal scorers in school history as Anna Eidem and Emily Boissonneault of the class of 2012 each returned with three goals apiece. The other two members of that first four-year class were on hand as Corina Mahorn and Alycsa Valentine both took part in the day’s festivities. The other alumni returning on the day and seeing some game action included Jenna Alberts, Megan Canty, Liz Hardy, Olivia Mendoza and Alyssa Shaver.
The men’s game featured the current roster of over 45 individuals along with a group of alums and assistant coaches, who each took to the field showing their Titan pride.
The red squad would end up on top with a 9-8 win after coming back from a 7-5 deficit. Senior Jamie Hebden had the winning goal for the red team in the final minutes to clinch the triumph. Hebden’s younger brother Andy posted the first goal on the day for the red squad.
Alums Scott Harris, Matt Lining, Jason McDonald, Adam Nolan, John Nowicki, Tim Shoemaker and Adam Parrottino all suited up for one more game in their careers, while assistant coaches Chris Kolon, Karl Zimmerman and Graham Adams even saw time in the field.
Coaches playing allowed players to be push and shove with the staff and junior Brian Smith took full advantage taking down Coach Kolon on a clean play that brought a raucous cheer from both benches. Kolon had scored earlier in the game – although there was a great debate if he was in the crease – as all three of the assistants showed the younger talented players that they could still go out there and play recording goals on the day.
After the men’s game, everyone headed over to the pavilion area for a cookout and words of thanks and praise from Gaither, Coach Maness and Coach Holtz.