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September 11, 1997 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-11

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14A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 11, 1997

M soccer brings winning ways
home for first time this season *

By Andy Latack
!I ) n, 5ports Wntcr
[Home sweet home. With the promise the Michigan soc-
cer team has shown over the last week, opposing teams
aren't going to be very anxious to come to Ann Arbor.
After a set of impressive road swings, the 22nd-ranked
Wolverines (3-1) return to Ann Arbor for their home open-
er against Butler (2-1) on Friday. Followed by a match
against Eastern Michigan on Sunday, the home games
should be a welcome change for the young Wolverines.
"We're looking to go into these matches and continue to
play well," Michigan coach Debbie Belkin said. "We want
to win and keep improving."
The team stirred up some anticipation for the brief
homestand with a inspired performance last weekend.
Michigan rebounded from a heartbreaking loss at
Massachusetts to pound New Hampshire, 6-0.
Belkin talked about the weekend and its impact on this
young team.
"We kind of let the UMass game get away from us,"
Belkin said referring to the Wolverines' 2-1 defeat at the
hands of the No. 15 Minutewomen. "We could have come
out less enthusiastic at New Hampshire, but instead, we
really got up for the game.
"It shows that we can come back from a loss without let-
ting our level of play go down."
The Wolverines hope to build on this experience Friday,

when they host Butler, a team which they have never beat-
en.
Belkin is preparing the team for the Bulldogs' up-tempo
style.
"They play a very high-pressure game, locking you into
double teams and trying to cut off passes," Belkin said.
"We have to be ready."
Belkin also stressed the importance of defense and d
cipline, characteristics that were lacking in the lossy
Massachusetts.
When Eastern Michigan comes to town on Sunday, the
Eagles will be sporting a familiar look. Many of the cur-
rent Wolverines and Eagles know each other from playing
club soccer together.
Michigan won't have much time to catch up with their
neighbors from the East, however, because as soon as the
Eagles leave town, the Wolverines must prepare for the
looming Big Ten season.
Belkin realizes the importance of playing well thj
weekend and heading into the conference slate w W
momentum.
"We need to continue to play the way we have been
playing," Belkin said. "Every Big Ten game will be tough,'
because there are no standout teams. Everybody can beat
everybody on any given day."
Michigan travels to Bloomington on Sept 19. for the
Wolverines' conference opener against Indiana.

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Sophomore Marie Spaccarotella and the rest of the Michigan soccer team open with its first homestand of the season this
vwekend. The Wolverines host Butler and Eastern Michigan before they begin conference play next Friday.

TIGER
Continued from Page 13A
Mendoza with a daunting task.
Michigan's catalyst has played
almost every minute of every game
and must continue to do so if the
.Wolverines hope to win this year.
Mendoza has been spending time
recooperating since her injury.
"I think resting my body this week
will help," Mendoza said. "Luckily,
we didn't have that many games last

weekend.The week before was much
rougher."
Despite her aches and pains,
Michigan's co-captain will continue
to play through fatigue and five-set
matches. She plays too big of a role
to sit on the sidelines and watch.
Mendoza's teammates won't
exactly be taking a laid-back
approach, either. Wolverines may be
smaller than alligators, but they've
never been known to chicken out of a
good fight.

Freshmen will have to step up for women's golf

By Evan Braunstein
Daily Sports Writer
When half of a team's starting roster
are freshmen, it would be understandable
to be a little worried going into the first
tournament of the season.
It seems no one told Michigan
women's golf coach Kathy Teichert,
because she is showing no signs of
ineasiness.
Michigan heads to East Lansing this
weekend for its season opener, the
Spartan Fall Invitational. The 16-team
tournament draws four Big Ten teams,
including Indiana and Iowa.
Other notables include Notre Dame,
Bowling Green and Cincinnati. The

Wolverines should have the upper hand
facing many smaller schools, but pre-
dieting where they will place is not an
easy task.
"Right now I'm hoping that we will
finish in the top three," Teichert said.
"Indiana will be up there, and you
always have to give Michigan State a
look because it's on their home course.
"It's really hard to say because we
have such a new team. But I have a lot of
confidence in these players, so I would
think we will do very well."
The new team Teichert spoke of con-
sists of three returning Wolverines and
three rookies. Junior Sharon Park leads
the returning corps and paced the team

in scoring average last season.
Park is joined by fellow junior Nicole
Green and senior Laura Hess, both of
whom competed in the majority of last
year's tournaments. The three upper-
classmen give the team some much
needed experience.
Complementing these veterans is the
raw talent of three freshmen - Amy
Talbot, Amy Balliet and Trish Watkins.
This will be the first collegiate event for
all three, and in order to achieve
Teichert's goal of a top-three finish, the
Wolverines will need strong play from
more than one of these novices.
"They need to focus in on each shot
and play their own game," Teichert said.
"I think they will do well. They're all
really competitive and have had a lot of
playing time over the summer."
Park has been playing well lately,
shooting a 75 in her last practice round at
the Michigan course. But even if Park
has a great tournament, the pressure will
be on the freshmen to pick up any slack
left by their older teammates.

"There isn't any more pressure on
them versus any other member of the
team," Green said of the freshmen.
"Everyone is expected to perform. But
because they are 50 percent of what
we're taking, we need them to be there
and perform just as well as everyone
else.
"How well we do at this tournament is
going to depend on how well the fresh-
men adjust themselves. Hopefully tl*j
will do it quickly."
The tournament will be held at the par
72 Forest Acres golf course- one with
which Park, Green and Hess are all
familiar. This advantage should help the
veterans as well as the freshmen.
"All three upperclassmen have had
experience playing this golf course. They
know where to be and where not to be,"
Teichert said. "Hopefully, they will g
a lot of advice to the new kids.
"It's early and it's the first tournament
so there is going to be a lot of excitement
and a lot of nerves. But (the team) is
going to settle down quickly."

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