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September 29, 1998 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-29

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14 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 29, 1998

Victory over Spartans breathes life into football seasoi

f' A L") V
Continuedfrom Page13,i
WVith a trip to low~ a looming this
wekend, the WVolverines arc about to
hit a critical stretch one that will
determine whether or not the rest of
the season will be spent in pursuit of
aBig Ten title
The date with the Hawkeyes is
especially bigw A Michigan win
would make it possible for the
Wolverines to host Penn State with a
.5-0 Big Ten record (assuming no
slip-ups against Northwestern,
Indiana or Minnesota - granted, an
enormously huge assumption).
A Michigan loss would put the
team in the bottom half of the con-
ference.
And the trip to Kinniek Stadium
will be a new~ one for most of the
Wolverines Just two current players
- uaquin [cazel and Kraig Baker
naxe been to the stadium. Only
Baker has played there.
Feazel said that he didn't remem-
ber much about the stadium - his
x st was during his freshman sea-
son, which he eventally r dshirted
But arr' been there plenty of1
times,.
"I think it's a great place to play
because it's not an easy place to
play." C'arr said. "It's a great stadi-
rim. The fans are really right on top
of you, very close to the action"-
One M ichigati player who won't

be close to the action anytime soon.
liioiever. is Chris Zienann. The
junior offensive lineman broke his
leg agamnst \ichiizan State. and is
likely lost f or the season. (arr said i
was atremendous loss for'' the
\\oh erines.
'1arr said that the void would be
fil d by Aaim Adkin and Jaon
Brooks, a pair of sophomores who
would "both receiv e an opportunity
to mov e in there" ' arr also said that
had the rest of the line not stepped
up in /iemann's absence, Michigan
would haxe been in trouble against
the Spartans.
"JefT Backus had his best game at
Michigan, lie said. "He was out-
standing in there "
There awere others who played
their "best game at Michigan" this
past weekend. 'arr said. He included
Clarence \iliams and Jay Feely
(three field goals from 51, 45 and 38
yards) in that group. ecely. however,
didn't seem as surprised by his per-
formance as you might think he'd be,
gven the team's kicking troubles
thus far-
"We let the team down against
Notre Dame," he said "We kne"w
that we'd hae to make up for it
every game atier that.
I jst had the focus in my m'nd
that I had to make the kick. So when
I went in to kciyck the 51 -yarder
k new that I iust had to make it. I w as
v ery on fid ent"

What they're
saying...
"We let the team down
against Notre Dame. WA
knew we had to make
up for it every game
after that."
- Jay Feely
Michigan kicker

"Jef Backus had his
best game at Michigan*
He was outstanding out
there.
- Lloyd Carr.
Michigan coach

"Hopefully (the game)
will be a momentum
builder for us ... We
needed a win against a
good football team."
- Carr

On Saturday, Anthony Thomas busted through a large hole behind the Michigan offensive line and changed Michigan's for-
tunes. He galloped 69 yards into the open field, tying the game at 10. Michigan never trailed again in the game, rolling to a
2917 victory over the arch-rival Spartans.

soccer plans to kick its way back into race

ByGeoffGagnion
For the Daily
When last year's Michigan soccer team knocked
off Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament cham-
pionship game, it not only captured Michigan's first
ever conference title and NCAA tournament bid,
but it also helped propel the program into national
spotlight.
"Last year, in winning the Big Ten what we were
able to do was turn a lot of heads," Michigan coach
Debbie Belkin said. "Everyone knows Michigan for
football or other sports, but what we accomplished
was really putting ourselves on the map as a pro-
gram."
The only problem that Belkin and her squad are
noticing with this new exposure is that the opposition
knows right where to find them.
Most notably thus far, conference opponents have
been taking aim at the Wolverines.
And so far, their aim has been finding its mark.
Michigan began its defense of the Big Ten title by
dropping its first two conference contests, 1-0 at the
hands of Wisconsin and 4-2 to Northwestern, two
teams that now find themselves atop of the confer-
ence rankings.
"We sure have started the season by placing our-
selves in a big hole," Belkin said. "But we have capa-
bility of playing better and that is what we are going
to have to do."
r And
Tea
Pa r
Lea
Please at
Thursday
Michi

If the team's 5-0 non-conference start was any
indication of things to come, a second straight Big
Ten title banner could have been ordered after the
team downed Eastern Michigan.
The win came on the heels of Michigan's ascent to
a No. 10 national ranking, the highest in school his-
tory.
But how could things have gone so wrong for the
Wolverines when they started the season so right?
"We didn't play as well as we could have to start
the Big Ten season," said Belkin. "We have to play
our game, do what we need to win and hope some
teams get knocked off."
If the Wolverines, who are now in fifth place in the
Big Ten standings, should hope to return to the top of
the conference they will need some outside help.
"Anything can happen, any team is capable of
beating any team in the conference right now,"
Belkin said, "So who knows whates going to hap-
pen? We are certainly not sitting back watching
things occur, we know that we control our dstirny
and we'll control our future from here on out.
If the Wolverines make another run at the Big Ten
title, Sunday's win over Ohio State might be looked
upon as a catalyst.
"Sunday's game was great, I mean it was a well
played, hard fought contest," said Belkin "Hopefully,
it can be something that we can build on."
It was Sunday's standout around whom tie squai

has been building this season. Instrumental in last
year's conference totrnament run. Jessica Limauro
has made her preseice known already this season
The senior forward from Troy tallied both
Michigan goals in a shiutlout victory over Ohio
State as the team noched its first mark in the con-
ference win column for the season.
Her heroics wvere nothing new to Limauro. who
netted iight goals hie connecting for three
assists this eek l.imauros noteworthy feats
earned her a shae Big Li Player of the Week lon-
ors this week.
"Jessica has ahways been a real powerful force for
1us:' Belkin said of the 5-foot-2 oflnsive jggeriaut.
"It is very nice to see her comning together like this in
her final y a, she's been very valuable to us."
Limauro 's importance should be seen in the coim-
ing weeks ats she and hcr Michigan teammates enter
the final stretch ot their conference season this week-
end as they host lowa on Friday and Minnesota on
Suiiday.
'We ari inxious to get a chance to play the rest of
the Big len, said Belkin "Iowa will be tough,
they're very young but talented and we've never
beaten Minnesota. they are always good"
Belkin contends that the teami is still eaer to
achie e the same goals that they set out to meet at the
begiiining ot the season. including returning to the
pinniacle of the conferice.

'I

AF

V

---as

- JOSH KLEINE3AU k
The eighth-ranked Michigan field hockey team is flying high halfway through it
season, as it has racked up eight wins in its first 10 games.
Fwia hckey bs
miwayr point in strid(

ersen Consulting
and
ch For America:
'tnering to Recruit
iders of Tomorrow
tend our Information Session
y, October 1, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
gan Union, Room 2105-B

By Stephanie Offen
Aftier conipleting half of its schedule,
the Michigan field hockey team is on top
of the polls and still climbin .
The eighth-ranked Woelines are 10
games into their 1998 saon. nishing
the first half with a record of 8-2,
Michigan started their 1998 season in
Australia, playing some of the best com-
petition in the world.
"The trip put us in playing shape:,
Michigan assistant coach Peggy Storrar
said. "Instead of running, the athletes
were able to play their way into shape."
Along with the trip down under, the
be inning of the season brought a No. 11
ranking to the Wolverines.The ranking
rose ater Michigan beat then tenth
ranked Ba IState.
"Ball State is in our region, and beat-
ing teams within the region will help you
in the national rankings." Michigan
assistant coach Tracy Fuchs said.
But the first Big Ten match-up for
Michigan against Michigan State proved
to be the best point so far in the season.
"Even though Michigan State is not
ranked it's still an in-state rival," said
Fuchs. "We were able to beat them in
overtime, which was a good stepping
stone for us in the Big Ten..
Along with the big wins, there were
:ome players who stepped up and helped
the Wolverines to those victories in the
first half of the season.
Fuchs stated that one of the things the
team was striving for this season was to

give up very few goals, and so far that
being accomplished.
Kati Oakes, one of the Michigan goa
tenders was named Big Ten defensi
player of the week for two weeks in
row. She was the first Wolverine ever
accomplish that feat.
"This is Kati's first year starting a
she has really solidified the defense
said Fuchs. "We also have a very expe
enced backfield of Ashley Reiche a
and Erica Widder, who are both ju rs
Fuchs also added that Reichenba
has been the player thats helped the tea
the most in the first half of the season.
"She has really helped the team, es
cially with communication," Fuchs sai
"She has six defensive saves already th
season
But, looking back on the first hal
Storrar sees things that still ne
improvement.
"We still need to improve on scori
goals," Storrar said. "That will al
help."
Storrar added that the low point so
has been the loss to Maryland in ov
time, who was ranked sixth.
"We outplayed them and we shou
have won." Storrar said. "They won on
controversial call."
Maryland and No.7 Boston Coll
are the only teams that have defeated t
Wolverines so far, but the Big Ten&.
will produce tougher competition
"Four Big Ten teams are ranked in
top 20,' Fuchs said. "The next few wee
are going to be the real test for us"'

1.

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