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September 03, 1996 - Image 68

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-03

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2F - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 3, 1996

By Pranay Reddy
-Daily Sports Writer
Consistent - that's the only word to
describe the play of the Michigan men's
lacrosse team in the '90s. Unfortunately
for the Wolverines (4-2 Big Ten, 15-5
overall), their trademark consistent play
was nonexistent in the Big Ten champi-
onships this year.
Michigan failed to win an unprece-
dented seventh-straight Big Ten champi-
onship, losing to Wisconsin, 12-7, in the
semifinals of the championships.
Wisconsin won in an unusual year for

looks to improve in Big Ten

Men's soccer advances.,
to national semifinals

the Big Ten - a team other than Michi-
gan was considered the favorite heading
into the championships.
"(The Badgers) were at home, they
were loaded, and they hadn't played
(prior to the semifinal game)," Michigan
coach Bob DiGiovanni said. "They were
the obvious favorites."
Regardless, the Wolverines were still
the kings of the hill heading into the
championships. That's exactly why
many find this past season to be a com-
plete failure. However, as a head coach,
DiGiovanni understands the importance

of perspective in these situations.
"In terms of (the outcome), I'm dis-
appointed," DiGiovanni said. "But I'm
proud of what (we) did (this season)."
And proud he should be, considering
the level of competition the Wolverines
faced this year. In its five losses, Michi-
gan faced top-notch opponents, includ-
ing the Motor City Lacrosse Club and
Virginia Tech - one of the best lacrosse
clubs in the country.
The Wolverines started the season by
beating Michigan State, 21-11.
The highlight of Michigan's season
followed as the squad headed south for
its annual Spring Break trip. The
Wolverines' first victory came against
the Fort Lauderdale Lacrosse Club -
former varsity lacrosse players from top
Division I and III teams. Michigan
completed the trip by sweeping Florida

and Auburn.
But the Wolverines weren't ready for
what was waiting back home - the
Motor City Lacrosse Club. Michigan
dropped its first game of the season to
the more experienced Motor City team,
With the Wolverines playing well, the
team headed to West Lafayette for the
Big Ten East Regionals. Michigan came
away from the tournament with the No.
2 seed in the Big Ten championship.
Next season looks promising for
Michigan, with many young stars return-
The Wolverines will be counting on
Tom Lall, Spencer Alstodt, Alex Cedro
and the rest of the younger players to
come back from this past season's dis-
appointment and regain the Big Ten


By James Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
The pattern has been established.
The Michigan men's soccer team
went far one year, farther the next and
even farther the year after.
The Wolverines (15-5-7) have quali-
fied for the National Collegiate Soccer
Association's Club Championship Tour-
nament the past three years. In 1993,
Michigan qualified, but lost in the first
round of the 16-team competition. In
1994, the Wolverines advanced to the
quarterfinals before bowing out.
Last November, they continued the
trend by making it to the national tourna-
ment semifinals before falling to eventu-
al champion Weber State, 2-0. The finish
was Michigan's best in its history.
This year, as the pattern goes, the
Wolverines should go to the finals.
"Last year was a great building
stone," goaltender Mike Millman said.
"Of course we want to win the whole
thing, but we definitely will try to build

on (last year's performance)."
In what Michigan Coach Steve Burns
called "the most defining moment for
the Michigan soccer club," the Wolve-
ines defeated Southwestern Texas Stath,
2-1, in an overtime thriller.
Trailing 1-0 late in the game, freshr
Blake Novotny's goal tied the contest. e
won it for the Wolverines in the second
sudden-death overtime.
Novotny is one of the sophomoresiho
will need to step up to replace the 10
seniors. Michigan will especially miss
forwards Rick WeinbergAndrew Cdsen-
za and sweeper Ian Kurth. K
"Last year's style was to work the ball
around, kick it outside and knock it back
in," Millman said. "This year, I do
know what it will be like. It will prob
take a few games to adjust."
Michigan has only three home games.
Its home debut is Sept. 12 against Madon-
na University. The Washtenaw Cup'-the
one game between the Wolverines ahd
Eastern Michigan - is Oct. 17.

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