FOLSOM, Pa. — The University of Michigan men’s lacrosse team was defeated 16-8 by the Marist Red Foxes and 19-10 by the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers on Saturday (Oct. 6) in the sixth annual Nick Colleluori Classic at Ridley High School. The classic, which benefits the HEADStrong Foundation to combat blood cancer, is held in memory of the late Nick Colleluori.
With on-field results normally being of the utmost importance, the main aspect of the Colleluori Classic is the tournament’s mission to benefit the HEADstrong Foundation. Each team involved in the classic is assigned a team captain who has battled cancer.
“I met the team at the beginning of the event and was impressed about how thankful they were towards me for speaking to them about the HEADstrong Foundation and Nick Colleluori,” said Joe Clifford, Michigan’s captain, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008.
“The truth is I am so thankful towards them for being a part of this amazing event. If it was not for the team and their efforts I may not be alive today. Michigan and the other teams that took part in such a great event are playing lacrosse and helping to save lives. I can’t wait to see the team again next year and wish them the best of luck in the upcoming season.”
Senior captain J.D. Johnson (Malibu, Calif./Loyola) was chosen as Michigan recipient of the Nick Colleluori Award for dedication to the program, leadership and for possessing an endless drive on and off the field.
“People throw around the word relentless a lot, but Nick Colleluori truly embodied the virtue,” said Johnson of earning the award.
“The Nick Colloleuri award represents just that too me, relentlessness, both on the field and in the community. Receiving this award shows me that my coaches recognize my drive and passion for all things Michigan and Michigan Lacrosse. I understand that this is a challenge to take it further, not only with regard to my own efforts but also instilling that relentlessness in my teammates this season and in the future.”
A total of 24 collegiate men’s lacrosse programs, 10,000 supporters and a large group of volunteers were on hand to be part of the event.
To assist the HEADstrong Foundation with fundraising and awareness of blood cancer, the Wolverines sold HEADstrong t-shirts around Michigan’s campus over the last few weeks, with all proceeds going toward blood cancer research and family assistance.
The event is in memory of Nicholas “Head” Colleluori, who graduated from Ridley High School in Folsom, Pa., in June 2004 as a three-sport athlete. He joined the Hofstra lacrosse program the next fall and earned a role on the team in the spring of his freshman year. Colleluori was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September 2005 and after a 14-month battle with cancer, he passed away Nov. 28, 2006.
On the field Saturday, game one saw the Wolverines fall to the Red Foxes in an early 9 a.m. start. In the defeat, sophomore attackman David McCormack (Terrace Park, Ohio/Mariemont) led the way with a hat trick and an assist. McCormack netted a pair in the opening quarter, the first of an unassisted variety, and the second coming on an assist from redshirt freshman David Joseph (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius). His final tally came in the third quarter on an assist from senior Thomas Paras (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius).
Game two, which began immediately following the first contest, saw eight Wolverines notch scores in the 19-10 defeat. Freshman Kyle Jackson (Sarnia, Ontario/The Hill Academy) highlighted the Michigan effort, tallying scores early in the first quarter of action and right before the half.
A pair of freshman goalkeepers in Gerald Logan (Sachem, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) and Mike D’Alessio (Eastchester, N.Y./The Hackley School) saw time in goal, with Logan earning the start in each matchup.
“Overall, we were ahead of where we were last year,” said head coach John Paul. “I feel like today it was great because it shows us all the things we need to work on. We have so many young players and this was a really valuable experience for all of them to take advantage of at this point in the season.”
The Wolverines begin the 2013 season by hosting a pair of spring exhibitions on Feb. 2 against Marquette and Denison in Oosterbaan Field House.