The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - October 28, 1996 - 3B
Ten ponders post-season play
By Will McCahill
Daily Sports Writer
ROSEMONT, Ill. - March
Madness, Big Ten style? -
The possibility of a Big Ten postsea-
son basketball tournament had coaches
d players alike abuzz at the confer-
ce's annual media day yesterday.
The conference's coaches voted last
spring to commission a study on the
feasibility of a postseason tournament.
The study's findings will be presented
to.university presidents at a meeting in
Ddeember, and if the study recom-
mends the implementation of such a
tournament, the presidents could then
vote in favor the postseason affair.
Tournament play could begin as soon
The issue has long been a divisive
oieamong the league's coaches, with
Indiana coach Bobby Knight and
Minnesota coach Clem Haskins lead-
ing the opposition.
"I don't think there's any need for a
conference tournament," Knight said.
"To me, a conference tournament real-
ly detracts from the conference sea-
Haskins had different - but no less
vehement - objections, citing the fact
that such a venture places too much
emphasis on making money for the
league and its members and not
enough on benefiting the players and
"We will have (the tournament) with
my vote or without it," Haskins said.
"We continue to use our college play-
ers to our advantage, to make money,
and we don't put anything back into it
for the kids."
Illinois' Lon Kruger, the confer-
ence's newest coach, was one of the
most enthusiastic supporters of the
tournament. Kruger is entering his
first season with the Illini after five
seasons at Florida, which competes in
a league with a postseason tourney.
"I think a postseason tournament in
the Big I"en could be an unbplievable
event," K .ruger said. "Imagine getting
fans and ilumni of I1 schools together
in one place at one time. That would be
a tough, t.:Kigh ticket."
Kruger said another major advan-
tage of a turnament would be to give
the Big Teti increased national visibili-
ty, helping to give the league the
recruiting a dvantages enjoyed by other
conferences with tournaments.
"I think it's outstanding (exposure),"
Kruger said. "(In the past), the Big Ten
has been c ompeting for exposure,
which all the! other leagues are getting
because of tiieir tournaments."
Michigan coach Steve Fisher, who
only recentky voted in favor of the
tournament a fter many years in oppo-
sition, cited ithe input of Kruger and
Wisconsin's aecond-year coach Dick
Bennett as &ctors in his change of
"I listened to (Kruger and Bennett)
... talk on the positive benefits of hav-
ing a tournament, and it made sense,"
Fisher also informally polled his
players and found them enthusiastical-
ly in favor.
"To a man, they have all said they'd
love ;to play a tournament," Fisher said.
Penn State junior guard Pete Lisicky
was among the players in favor of a
He said the experience of such a
tourney would have benefited last sea-
son's Nittany Lions squad, which lost
to Arkansas in the first round of the
"Knowing what kind of intensity is
going to be there (in a tournament) -
people put everything on the line,
because if you lose, that's it,' Lisicky
said. "(A tournament) would've made
a difference for us."
ff plans for a tournament pass, the
Pac-10 and the Ivy League will be the
only major conferences without a post-
Sollenberger in Paradise
or first time in 3 games, 3 is a charm for
M'field hockey in 3-2 upset of Ohio State
By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
After its past three matches, the Michigan field
1okey team must think that three is the key to victo-
Against No. 19 Penn State on Friday, three goals
,ould have been enough to win if the matches were
nly half as long, as the Wolverines and the Lady
Lions were deadlocked, 2-2, after one half of play.
. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the Lady Lions
were not aware of the nagic of three and scored five
goals in the second half en route to a 7-3 pasting of
In yesterday's match against No. 10 Ohio State,
Michigan's third consecutive three-goal performance,
the Wolverines relied on strong goalkeeping and the
three scores to upset the Buckeyes, 3-2.
Ohio State struck first in the match with an unas-
fisted goal by Mieke van Ulden 10 minutes into the
first half. The Buckeyes' defense played tough in the
first half, shutting out Michigan behind strong goal-
keeping by Nikki Thompson.
In the second half, Michigan tied the game with the
first of two goals by Michigan attacker Michelle
Smulders. Ohio State answered with a goxl from
Britta Eickhoff and held a 2-1 lead with 13:23 left in
"We dominated the game," Smulders said. '"It was
just a matter of the shots falling in our favor."
The tide soon turned in the Wolverines' fa'vor as
they quickly tied the game with another goal by
Smulders. With less than a minute to play in the gzame,
Michigan senior midfielder Selina Harris took 4t pass
from Meredith Weinstein and beat the goalkeeper for
the game-winning score. The victory gave Midtigan
confidence going into the final two matches.
"It was a big game for us," Michigan senior Aiulie
Flachs said. "It is much better to end the weel,;end
with a win."
The victory was also the second in the Big Ten, for
Michigan, which had lost four consecutive coiaiLer-
ence matches going into the match against Ithe
On Friday, Michigan played Penn State closte,
matching goals with the Lady Lions for 40 minutobs.
In the second half, however, Penn State's leadi tg
scorer, Tara Maguire, scored four of the Lady Lions'
five second-half goals in the 7-3 rout. Maguire alto
added an assist on teammate Kim Hicks' second goal
of the day.
"We had-the momentum in the first half," Flachs
said. "But we came out in the second half totally dif-
"We made some bad decisions and Penn State cap-
italized on them."
Smulders scored first for the Wolverines just over
eight minutes into the game, taking a pass from fel-
low seniors Harris and Bree Derr to give Michigan a
1-0 lead. After Penn State tied the game, the
Wolverines. again took the lead when Flachs scored
unassisted midway through the first half.
Penn State then went on a scoring binge, striking
for four consecutive goals before Michigan could
answer with its third goal. Maguire fittingly ended the
scoring for Renn State with her fourth goal on the day
with two minutes left in the game.
"We made some changes in the second half,"
Smulders said. "We tried to be more aggressive, but it
The Wolverines learned from their mistakes in the
game against Penn State and beat an Ohio State team
they should have beaten at home, Smulders said.
Atlast, MicA lhi truly
a Iom efor Fli hert
s a freshman, Debbie Flaherty had some pretty strong feelings about
Michigan."I absolutely hated it,' she said. "I didn't feel any connection to
he school or to anybody here. I mean, when I played, I wasn't sure what I
was playing for."
That's not exactly true. Flaherty knew for whom she was playing. It's just that
she really wasn't into it. You see, she didn't take much pride in being a
Fortunately for Michigan, it rarely affected Flaherty on the field.
Two years later, Flaherty, a junior, has become one of the best players in the
three-year history of the Michigan women's soccer program.
The midfielder is the Wolverines' all-time leading point-producer, a two-time'
All-Big Ten selection, and one of six players remaining from Michigan's original
But Flaherty certainly hasn't always been happy in Ann Arbor.
In fact, soccer as a varsity sport got off to as rocky a start at Michigan as
Part of Flaherty's problem awaited her and other freshmen when they first
arrived at Michigan - the upperclassmen already on the team.
These Wolverines were part of the program as club members and were to play
out their eligibility as just that - club members. On the other hand, Flaherty, as
part of Michigan's first-ever recruiting class, received the benefits of a player on
a full scholarship. Many of the older club players resented the younger recruits
and the preferential treatment they received.
"The first year it was weird," Flaherty said. "The older juniors and seniors
were the ones who had been playing all along. And then these new people came
in, and they were getting the money and the attention. There was a lot of resent-
With this animosity came attitude problems. And these problems infected the
team like a disease during the past two seasons.
Even though the Wolverines went 1 1-7-2 in their initial varsity season, they
were not a happy family. Jealousy from some older players led to dissension.
And that led to losses.
Last year, Michigan struggled to a 7-11-1 finish. The blame for the sub-.500
season was blamed on a difficult schedule. And more bad attitudes.
Flaherty still wasn't into the whole Michigan thing.
"It's amazing, because attitudes are contagious," Flaherty said. "I think we had
negative attitudes spread throughout the team last year. It made our team really
negative as a whole."
Finally, this season, things started to change.
For the first time, the first recruiting class is the nucleus of the team. The
Wolverines are 7-6-3 this season, but Flaherty said that the mediocre mark can be
primarily chalked up to a difficult schedule.
"(Michigan coach Debbie Belkin is) putting a lot of nationally ranked teams
on our schedule,' Flaherty said. "We're closing the gap slowly. Our goal this
year, and I think it's pretty realistic, is to win the Big Ten (tournament)."
That goal is within reach not only because of Michigan's existing talent.
According to Flaherty, there exists a genuinely positive feel to the team for the
The bad attitudes are on their way out.
"It's kind of been a weeding process through the years - to get rid of the neg-
ative attitudes," Flaherty said. "That's been our focus here. We have all the talents
here. We're trying to get positive attitudes and positive play our here together."
Flaherty thinks the Wolverines have the right attitude for the first time since
she's been at Michigan.
"For the first time in three years, I feel like we're playing together, playing for
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Top runners sit out for women's harriers
Michigan won't get injured runners back for
Saturday's Big Ten championship meet This is our team. We have to dance
By Afshin Mohamadi
For the Daily
Ideally, the Michigan women's
cross country team would like to be
hitting its stride going into
turday's Big Ten championship.
instead, the Wolverines had two
sub-par races in a row and are des-
perate to find the form that they
began the season with so impressive-
.Adding to Michigan's challenge of
breaking out of its mid-season slump
is the fact that sophomores Pauline
Arnill, Eileen Fleck and Michelle
Slater, the team's three injured stars
who were expected to return to
tion iq the fall, are out for the sea-
Coach Mike McGuire has accept-
ed the fact that the team will get no
additional help in the crucial part of
"This is (our team)," McGuire
said. "We have to dance with the
people we've been dancing with
The Wolverines underwent hard
*ractices last week, and their work-
load will taper off this week, which
is standard procedure leading into
important meets. On Friday, the
Wolverines' top runners sat out of
the Eastern Michigan Invitational,
so that they would not wear them-
selves out before next Saturday.
McGuire said that racing on
Friday would not have been a good
idea, even though getting revenge on
Eastern Michigan, which beat the
Wolverines two weeks ago, would be
"(Competing on Friday) would
have been racing four weeks in a
row, which we never do," he said.
"We can get back at Eastern at the
The bottom line for the
Wolverines is that the race at Eastern
Michigan was not nearly as impor-
tant as Big Tens are, and they must
concentrate - on next Saturday
"We're hoping to get focused on
the Big Tens," McGuire said. "If we
can't get fired up for (Saturday),
then we have to check some (our of
The runners have attempted to
take McGuire's words to heart in
practice for the past week and pay
attention only to the Big Tens.
"We've tried to be really focused,
especially in our hard workouts,"
said freshman Allison Noe, who
placed highest for the Wolverines in
the last full-squad meet.
The team, with its determined atti-
with the people we've been dancing
- Mike McGuire
Michigan women's cross country coach
tude in practice, is lookirg to return
to its form at the beginiing of the
season. The Wolverines were unde-
feated in invitational ineets and
nationally ranked before losing to
To Noe, getting back to running
the way they were in the early season
means believing in themselves.
"I think that we have to go (into
the Big Tens) with a lot of confi-
dence," she said. "We li* to go
back to the way we were running at
tie beginning of the season."
With no star to consistently place
in the top five of races, the
Wolverines have to get good races
out of a number of runners in a race
to do well, which they have not been
able to do in the last two competi-
"We have to have everybody run
well on the same day," Noe said.
"Recently we haven't had (that)."
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