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September 03, 1997 - Image 75

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


SPORTS

The Michigan Daily -- Wednesday, September 3, 1997 -- 7F

New players lead
women' s soccer

New coach redirects-
field hockey's goals

-By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's soccer team
Wpenenced a bit of role reversal during
its 1996 season.
The role reversal was one of age and
experience - Michigan's star recruit-
ing class of freshmen sparked the
Wolverines (4-4-1 Big Ten, 10-7-3
overall) to many of their victories, lead-
ing the way for some of the team's more
experienced members.
The 1996 freshman class consisted of
nine new faces and was ranked as one
f the top recruiting classes in the
Iation by Soccer America. Headlining
the group of recruits were Parade All-
Americans Amber Berendowsky and
Mari Hoff, two forwards who hail from
the local area - Berendowsky from
Brighton and Hoff from Canton.
Michigan coach Debbie Belkin had
high expectations for the freshmen at

the beginning of the season.
"This was one of the best years in the
state of Michigan in terms of the num-
ber of talented players coming out,"
Belkin said in August, before
Michigan's first game.
Michigan's top-three point scorers
were all freshmen -- Berendowsky led
the way with a team-record 19 points,
followed by Hoff with 17 and forward
Marie Spaccarotella with 14.
The year saw many positive mile-
stones for the Michigan women's soccer
team, which began in 1994.
The Wolverines had a seven-game
winning streak, along with seven
shutouts on the season, both new
Michigan records.
Jessica Jones was busy in the net with
a new season high of 89 saves.
Spaccarotella set the mark for goals
scored in a single game, with three in
Michigan's win over Valparaiso on Nov. 3.

By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan field hockey coach Marcia
Pankratz has had considerable success in
her career.
But her most challenging undertaking
might have come last season, her first as
head coach for the Wolverines.
"I want to bring an elite international
style of hockey to Michigan, along with
an enthusiasm for the game, and a new
level of commitment and success,"
Pankratz said early last season.
Although the Wolverines finished
sixth in the Big Ten (2-8 Big Ten, 7-1 1
overall), the season wasn't without
excitement.
On Oct. 27, Michigan upset No. 10
Ohio State, 3-2, at Ocker Field in Ann
Arbor. In a close battle, the Wolverines
broke a 2-2 tie when midfielder Selina
Harris beat Ohio State goalkeeper Nikki
Thompson to score the winning goal.
The victory was Michigan's first con-
ference win of the season. After having

lost their three previous games, the victo-
ry was critical for the Wolverines.
'It was a big game for us;' said
Michigan junior Julie Flachs. "It's much
better to end the weekend with a win:'
Michigan didn't fare well in the post-
season, talling in the first round of the
conference tournament to Penn State, 4-1.
The Wolverines had their share of dis-
appointing contests - games which they
came agonizingly close to winning.
Several Wolverines had outstanding
individual performances last season. But
senior attacker Michelle Smulders
topped them all. Smulders led the
Wolverines in goals (17) and points (37)
and was named to the Coaches
Association All-America second team
and the Midwest/West Regional All
America first team.
Five top high school players will be
joining Pankratz in her sophomore cam-
paign, in an effort to rebuild the program
to where it was as recently as two seasons
ago - the No. 16 ranking it held in 1995.

MARGAtT MYERS/Daily
Defender Vanessa Lewis moves the ball in a September game against the
University of California-Berkeley. The match resulted in a 2-2 tie.

Belkin said the Wolverines' success
and youth in 1996 should translate to an
improvement in the 1997 season -
especially against younger programs.
"Now we're becoming more experi-
enced," Belkin said. "Obviously, the new
players will have a year under their belt,
and we'll have a handful of seniors. We'll

just be a more experienced team."
Michigan looks forward to another
impressive recruiting class. Belkin said
she has high expectations.
"The difference is we don't have the
numbers we had last year," Belkin said.
"They have the capability to make an
impact."

'M' harriers stumble in national finals

off sidle
6C58-9329

Looking forahair-
raising experience?

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
It was unfortunate for the Michigan men's cross coun-
try team that it was unable to finish the season on a

sweeter note than it did in the

tt,

hot desert sand. bb
Instead, the college careers of I just
seniors Scott MacDonald, Dave
l arnett and Jeff Beuche ended MOVe upO
at the national championships in
Tucson, Ariz.e o
The Wolverines were forced -.SC
to run in 70 degree temperatures
-en route to a 14th place finish Men's cross
at nationals.
Michigan was shooting for a
spot in the top eight overall, and hoped to land two
runners in the top 10.
But John Mortimer and Scott MacDonald both faced

C+

heat exhaustion, and ran their worst races of the season.
After winning all but one race in the regular season,
Mortimer fell to 116th at the championship. MacDonald
finished 43rd in Tucson, his last race as a Wolverine.
"I just couldn't move up at
the end of the race,"
couldn't MacDonald said. "The heat
and dry weather hindered me. I
gn didn't have my muscles firing
like I wanted them."
o race. Mortimer and MacDonald
worked as a team all season,
ott MaCDon ald taking the Wolverines near the
country runner top of the Big Ten and the
District 5 Region.
With the consistency of
Mortimer and MacDonald a sure thing all season,
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst was prompted to worry
about other runners on the team:

"The rest of our guys just need to run with the com-
petition man-for-man because John and Scott will
clean up in the front;" Warhurst said. "They should
both finish in the top three."
In this scenario, Michigan's fate was usually decided
by the runners bringing up the rear. But Todd Snyder, Jay
Cantin, Steve Lawrence, Beuche and Barnett didn't
always fare well at crucial times. Often, the result was
only one or two solid performances to accompany high
finishes from Mortimer and MacDonald. But the lack of
consistency through the top five or six spots in
Michigan's lineup prevented the Wolverines from
unseating perennial conference champion Wisconsin.
Michigan lost MacDonald - its second best runner
in '96 - when he graduated in May. But the loss is
hoped to be mitigated by the return of two-time All-
American Kevin Sullivan.
Sullivan missed all of last fall due to an injury to his
bursila.

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Women's volleyball has
year of mixed success

By Kevin Kasiborusi
Daily Sports Writer
To paraphrase an old saying, 'It's not
*ow you play, but who you play.'
At least that was the story of the
1996 Michigan volleyball team.
Michigan played 13 matches in 1996
against top-25 opponents, and it lost
12 of them. Six times the Wolverines
were victimized by teams in the Top
10. The Wolverines' lone win against
a ranked team was an upset against
No. 9 Wisconsin.
The Wolverines finished with a 14-17
*verall record, 9-11 in the Big Ten confer-
ence, putting them alone in sixth place.
"Last season, the thing that sticks out
more than anything else is the sched-
ule," said Michigan volleyball coach
Greg Giovanazzi. "We had some good
performances by individuals, but I felt
we never really played as a cohesive
unit until November."
One of the positive performances was
by setter Linnea Mendoza, who will be a
senior this fall. Mendoza set the school
*ecord for assists in a match, tallying 95

in a win over Illinois on Nov. 29. Last
season she also moved into first place on
Michigan's career assist list.
Other season highlights from '96
include Jeanine Szczesniak serving 15
straight points in a match against Eastern
Michigan, a 3-1 loss to Ohio State, which
was the Wolverines' first national TV
appearance, and a four-match winning
streak to close the season.
In addition to Mendoza, the
Wolverines will have four other
starters back in 1997. Senior Sarah
Jackson, an honorable mention All-
Big Ten selection in '96, returns at
middle blocker. Juniors Karen Chase
and Szczesniak are back at the out-
side hitter spots, and junior defensive
specialist Chereena Tennis will again
anchor the back row.
"Our goal is to be in the NCAA play-
offs," said Giovanazzi, who is preparing
for his sixth season at Michigan.
"Whether that means winning the Big
Ten, or finishing second or third."
The Wolverines begin fall practice
Aug. 10.

The University of Michigan
MEN'S ROWING TEAM
invites all MALE ATHLETES
to compete for Michigan in
the 1997-1998 season
(no experience
1 necessary). Attend our
Mass Meetings:
Monday September 8,
L-L-] 7-9pm in the Union
Ballroom and Tuesday
For immediate information call September 9, 7-9pm in the
313-998-0365. Kuenzel Room.

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Over 50 time slots!
Classes in Aquatics, Dance, and Exercise categories,
plus Body Composition Analysis and Personal Training
Register in Room 3050 CCRB 764-1342
(Central Campus Recreation Building-by the walkbridge)
Promo Night September 4-Classes for $1
Fall classes begin September 8
New! Classes at NCRB (North Campus Rec. Bldg.)

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