The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 30, 1997 - 9A
Spartans stand in way of
field hockey Big Ten title
By Kurt New
For 'The Daily
When the Michigan field hockey sea-
son began two months ago, few of the
so-called field hockey experts expected
this Sunday's game between Michigan
and Michigan State to potentially deter-
mine the Big Ten championship.
And those who did most likely
thought highly regarded Michigan State
would still be in contention for the con-
But this Sunday, it will be the
Wolverines - who have spent the entire
season proving the experts wrong -
who will enter the game trying to clinch
their first-ever Big Ten title.
Yet, this game will be about more than
just winning a championship. It will also
be the final home game for Michigan's
six seniors. It is only fitting that their
final home game could coincide with a
championship, since their leadership and
play have been indispensible parts of the
Wolverines' title run.
The seniors - Sandra Cabrera, Julie
Flachs, Amy Helber, Shelley Johnson,
Aimee Remigio and Meredith Weinstein
- have displayed textbook leadership
all season long, on and off the field.
"The seniors believe we can win and
are carrying the team on their shoul-
ders,' Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz
said. "Our young kids feed off that."
While the impact the seniors have on
the field is indisputable - all six start
and play most of each game -their
biggest contributions have been made
off the field.
The Wolverines have developed the
characteristics that are commonly asso-
ciated with veteran teams.
After taking their lumps in the Big Ten
for three seasons, the seniors have
learned firsthand that mental toughness
is a key to consistency. This season they
have displayed that toughness in abun-
dance. Five of their six Big Ten victories
have been by one goal, and the
Wolverines have frequently scored the
game-winning goal late in the game.
"Our mental toughness gets us back in
the game and before, we hadn't had
that," Flachs said.
Michigan has also shown a remark-
able ability to stay focused for each
game, even when it seems ripe for a let-
down. Nowhere was this more evident
than in the moments immediately fol-
lowing the Wolverines' win over No.4,.
"We will celebrate this win for 12
hours and then look forward to Ohio
State" Helber said. "This win means
nothing if we don't beat them."
While Michigan has clearly had a
successful season regardless of .
Sunday's outcome, a conference title
would be the ultimate accomplish-
ment, marking a program that has
completely turned around since the
day the seniors arrived. A fact that is.
not lost on the Michigan seniors.
"We've been looking forward to a Big"
Ten championship since freshman year
and had never come close" Helber said
"We set goals at the beginning of the
year, and one was to win the Big Ten.
"Our team has worked really hard to
get here, and I think we deserve i
The Wolverines have succeeded when
no one expected them to. And while the
future of the program looks bright, this
Sunday will be the seniors' moment as
four years of hard work could result in
proving the experts wrong.
I FILE PHOTO
Senior midfieider Julie Flachs and the Michigan field hockey team are looking to swing past Michigan State this weekend for
th' Wolverines' first-ever Big Ten title.
Blue soccer hopes to take fight out of Irish
I SUNDAY SPECIAL
By Jacob R. Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
,*Forget everything you've heard about the
Michigan women's soccer team this year. Forget
that the Wolverines (7-1-1 Big Ten, 15-2-1 overall)
are breaking every school record imaginable.
It,, won't mean anything tomorrow when
Michigan travels to South Bend for its regular sea-
son finale against No. 2 Notre Dame.
The 12th-ranked Wolverines amassed a school-
high 15 wins against average and mediocre oppo-
nents this season. But Notre Dame (10-0 Big East,
16-0-1 overall) is not an average team.
The Fighting Irish are capping off a near-perfect
season, running stride for stride with No. I North
Carolina since August. Notre Dame's only blemish
was a tie, when it hosted the Tarheels.
Tough competition hasn't deterred the Irish.
Theyve beaten some of the nation's best oppo-
nents and dominated the Big East in the process,
winning their second-consecutive conference title.
Th6i1rish recently rolled over Seton Hall, 7-1, and
beal No. 5 Connecticut, 1-0.
T' Wolverines are heavy underdogs in this
But Michigan's defense might just be strong
enough to make it a close game. The fullbacks and
goalkeepers have been as permeable as a brick
wad!,ll season, allowing an average of just 0.83
* 1 women
" KS:,icess, tI
ason or ce r
Cagers lines. A
DaitSports Writer interim
Eor once, a Michigan basketball 9 Guev
*dm conference was held and the the Woh
wdids "Ed Martin" and "impropri-
eties" were not mentioned.
Then again, this was a women's
basketball press conference, a team
thgt has had the same coach for over
a yer, Eni
Michigan coach Sue Guevara wel-
coned the media to C risler Arena
yesterday to kick off her second sea-
a 6,k. Michigan's coach.
W'Guevara was hired on an interim
basis- during the summer of 1996.
Then-athletic director Joe Roberson
hired Guevara in July, wiith the
understanding that a national search
for 4,coach would be conducted at
the did of the season.
Guvara surpassed all expecta-
tionand Roberson had little choice
but thhire her on a permanent basis.
h terim label was removed on
ebl ary11. R
LIer their new coach, the
Worines began a remarkable turn-
aromud from the '95-96 season in which
See GUEVARA, Page UA
goals per game. Michigan goalies Carissa Stewart
and Jessica Jones have recorded nine total
"On any given day, any team can beat any other
team," Michigan coach Debbie Belkin said. "We
definitely have our minds set on winning it, but
it's going to be our toughest game yet. That's good
for us going into the Big Ten tournament."
Michigan won seven of nine conference games
this year, thereby nailing down the No. 2 seed in
Notre Dame hasn't had any trouble with Big Ten
opponents either. The Irish enter with a 30-game
winning streak against Big Ten foes, including
victories over Michigan State, Indiana and
Wisconsin by a combined score of 24-0.
Notre Dame boasts seven of the top 15 scorers
in the Big East. Its defense is rock solid, too.
Goalie LaKeysia Beene is the nation's best. She
has only allowed an average of 0.3 goals per game,
far better than the closest competitor.
"They're very deep at every position," Michigan
midfielder Kacy Beitel said. "It's going to be a
really big game for us.
"Notre Dame and North Carolina are definitely
just the best two teams in the nation. It will take
awhile for schools like Michigan to catch up. That
might be another two or three years."
Both teams are on the verge of big winning
streaks. The Wolverines have won six in a row and
have only lost once since Sept. 5. But no one has
had Notre Dame's number this season.
The pressure will fall on Michigan's defense.
Belkin is switching to a 4-4-2 lineup against the
Irish, pulling one forward back on defense to com-
pensate for Notre Dame's scoring ability. The
Wolverines played with a 3-4-3 lineup the entire
season, except during the 4-3 loss to Big Ten
"With that caliber offense, they won't change
their strategy," Belkin said. "We would be stupid
not to adjust ours. It's not going to be a complete-
ly defensive game. We're just looking to play sen-
The Wolverines have never faced Notre Dame in
the regular season. But the Irish demolished
Michigan in a scrimmage last year, in which
Belkin also played four on defense.
But Michigan forward Amber Berendowsky said
things weren't as bad as they seemed.
"Actually, we didn't play that badly once we just
relaxed and settled down," said the Big Ten's lead-
This is an important matchup for Michigan. The.
score might not be pretty, but - at the least - the
Wolverines will learn how they match up with the
nation's elite. In a couple years, Michigan may be
filling those shoes.
for every touchdown
p t 25% off
on all University of Michigan items
317 S. STATE 665.4990
Sue Guevara's second year at the helm of the Michigan
's basketball team, If she can expound on last year's suc-
he Wolverines should have a lot to look forward to:
r first season, Guevara led the Wolverines to a 7-9 confer-
cord, winning more games in one season than her prede-
Trish Roberts, won in four.
ara came to Michigan by crossing traditionally forbidden
fter serving as ar assistant coach at in-state rival
an State for nine years, Guevara left the Spartans for the
job at Michigan.
ara was named Michigan's permanent coach after leading
verines to their best-ever start of 11-3.
Y I I I I I I
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B. THE PAYROLL OF THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL
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BY MONTGOMERY IN THE 1990's*.
Sure, basketball salaries are soaring, but the correct answer is "C". In fact,
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great business success stories of the past 25 years. This environment has created
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In fact, Montgomery has continued to expand its growth opportunities by team-
ing up with NationsBank to form NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, Inc. So, if
you are looking for an entrepreneurial career in investment banking, please con-
tact: Stephanie Porcaro, Recruiting Coordinator, NationsBanc Montgomery
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