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October 29, 1998 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-29

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 29, 1998 =13A

Meeting with BYU crucial
for soccer's NCAA hopes

Mark Snyder

By Josh BorIdn
Daily Sports Writer
The last weekend of the regular season for the
Wchigan soccer team will prove to be one of the
most important.
After losing to No. 5 Notre Dame last week,
'Michigan will face another tough task when 20th-
ranked Brigham Young arrives in Ann Arbor on
"We gained a lot of confidence from last week's
game," Michigan coach Debbie Belkin said. "We
are playing our best soccer of the year, and this
weekend is very important for us.'
Although Michigan has already secured a berth
the Big Ten tournament, a victory against the
Wgarswill assist Michigan in gaining a birth to
the NCAA tournament.
"The Brigham Young game is huge," Belkin
said. "If we don't win the Big Ten tournament and
get the automatic bid to NCAAs, a victory against
the Cougars will help us get an at-large bid to the
Michigan will be facing the Cougars for the first
time ever. Michigan will also be facing its first
Western Athletic Conference opponent. Brigham
, rng is 14-3 overall and 5-1 in the WAC. The
Cougars are coming off a big win over I1th-ranked
San Diego State.

Michigan plans to adjust to Brigham Young's
high-octane offense if the situation calls for it. Last
week against Notre Dame, Michigan compensated
on defense by playing only two forwards upfield.
The rest of the team attempted to stop the Notre
Dame offense by playing in the midfield and clos-
er to the goal.
Michigan primarily plays a three-forward front,
yet the Cougars play five in the midfield, which
will most likely cause Michigan to line up as it did
in the Notre Dame game.
Michigan's devotion to team defense over the
past couple weeks has resulted in three shutouts.
"Our team has really started to play defense as a
whole," Michigan's Emily Schmitt said. "Now, not
only are our defenders playing really well, but our
forwards are focusing a lot on their defense as well
as their offense"
Michigan will not be able to relax after Friday
afternoon's game. The Wolverines welcome
Kentucky on Sunday. The Wildcats and Michigan
will be meeting for the third time. Michigan holds
a 1-0-1 lead in the series, beating the Wildcats last
season in Lexington.
"We feel that we are playing our best soccer of
the season" Belkin said. "But of course we can
make improvements and this weekend will be a big
test before we head to the conference tournament."


Marie Spaccarotella and the Michigan soccer team have
secured a spot in the Big Ten tournament, but need a victory
over BYU on Friday to help its NCAA tournament chances.

Familiar course could benefit men's harriers

Bowden vidi no
bitsrnesscolg otbl
he rumblings across the South rolled like Sherman through Atlanta.
Terry Bowden was resigning his post as Auburn's head football coach
- effective immediately.
That was last Thursday.
In the Aek since, the expected back-and-forth banter has ensued. Bowden says
he was forced out, the athletic director suggests he quit voluntarily and various
media "sources" are claiming a situation somewhere in between, with one even
implying an illicit affair forced Bowden out.
The safe bet is that Bowden's 1-5 record doomed him. And in the South, with
intense fans and even crazier alumni, what he didn't do - win - was his undoing.
In Michigan, fans are fickle. Winning brings them out in droves, but one loss
and it's back to the books on Saturday afternoons.
In the state of Alabama, football is a religion. Saturdays are holy and the hal-
lowed ground of the football stadium is the place of worship. The capital of that
intensity is Tuscaloosa, where football fans pray to statues of Bear Bryant.
It's no different on the Auburn campus. When Bowden came to the school, pro-
bation was the only expletive spouted from the fans' lips.
In his first season, he led Auburn to a perfect finish. But without a bowl appear-
ance as a result of NCAA sanctions, a mythical national title was all his team won.
The next year, Bowden lost only one game and his tenure - until this season -
has been an utter success. Bowden's teams emerged from the depths of the SEC
and even beat Alabama - on every occasion.
But the 1-5 mark built pressure. Discrepancies between those who run the pro-
gram every day (Bowden) and those who pay for him (alumni) to do so closed in
the walls quicker than on Luke Skywalker in the garbage pit.
Most players were supportive, calling Bowden a great guy and a talented coach.
A few referred to him as a 'chicken,' but they were clearly a part of the minority.
He was fired by the alumni. Monetary pressure on the athletic director dropped
the axe. And that's a tragedy.
Currently at Michigan, a booster club exists to cater to large donors. The Victors
Club is for the privileged few who donate large sums to get increased access to the
football program.
Amazingly enough, these donors know more about Michigan football than the
media does. They attend special scrimmages and have a question-and-answer ses-
sion with Lloyd Carr on Monday afternoons. Though the Gold Card is more their
style, they would agree that membership has its privileges.
Two years ago, Carr was not held in great esteem. But a year and a national
championship later, he has seven years of security before him.
Bowden signed an extension last year as well. Now, all he's extending is the
recliner in front of his TV
Unfortunately, college sports' greatest virtue - its consistency - is being
threatened. The coaching turnover in pro sports is creeping into the collegiate
ranks. Fickle fans and alumni are ruining their own sport, and as fans, we are pow-
erless to stop it.
Auburn tossed away a legend in the making - the man who saved the program,
but was done in by the intensity.
While Bowden will land on his feet - talent never rests long - the sport may
not be as fortunate.
"Show me the money..."
- Mark Snyder can be reached via e-mail at msnyder@umich.edu.

By Chris Langrill
Daily Sports Writer
*he goal is to win Big Tens. The goal is to win
Big Tens.
The phrase could be repeated over and over
In fact, the Michigan men's cross country team,
ranked seventh in the country, has been saying it all
The Wolverines have been saying it after every
team victory, after every l tepping stone in what has
been an already successful season.
*oach Ron Warhurst said it before the first meet
o he season, and has said it numerous times since
then. And, in case nobody listened, Warhurst reiter-
ated the point again yesterday.
When the Wolverines take to the Michigan Golf
Course this Sunday for the 8,000-meter Big Ten
Championships, the team can only hope that the
motto, "We haven't accomplished anything yet,"
will pay off.
The fact that this year's championships are on
Michigan's home course has added to the usual
cx ectation of doing well at this all-important
a Wal event.
"We would love to win it at home," Warhurst
said. "It's been a while since the Championships
have been here."

In fact, the Big Ten Championships haven't been
hosted by Michigan since 1985.
While they've won it since then - taking home
the team crown in '93 and '97 - they haven't done
so with a home crowd filling up the fairways and
hills of the golf course, trying to cheer their
Wolverines to victory.
The field for this year's championship event
makes things even more interesting. Other ranked
squads joining the seventh-ranked Wolverines
include rival Michigan State (No. 10), Wisconsin
(No. 13) and Minnesota (No. 18).
Seems like a lot of pressure, right?
"When you're good, you rise to the occasion,"
Warhurst said. "Our guys are experienced, capable
and very, very prepared for this."
They should be prepared.
Much has been made of the Michigan Golf
Course, on which the team practices. It is consid-
ered by many to be one of the toughest cross coun-
try courses in the nation, possibly the most diffi-
cult in the entire Midwest.
Running on it almost daily, in all conditions, has
greatly aided the Wolverines this season. For exam-
ple, they were able to overcome terrible conditions
at the Keatinge Invitational in Maine last month.
And just two weeks ago, they won the Michigan
Interregional on their home course, running in rain

and a strong wind.
"We know the course better than anyone,"
Warhurst said.
Warhurst warned, however, that knowing the
course could sometimes cause his squad to run too
conservatively, since they are all-too-well-aware of
its many pitfalls.
To keep his runners on their proverbial toes,
Warhurst has also had them run what he calls the
This practice run involves seven torturous miles.
The team begins the grueling workout by by run-
ning a mile on the outdoor track, then runs to the
football stadium where they do another mile and a
half, then back to the track, the stadium and the
track yet again.
Warhurst said that Monday's "Michigan" was the
best the team has run all year, and that the past
week of practice has been a productive one for the
Add this to a relatively healthy squad and the
return of many former Michigan runners for a cel-
ebration of Warhurst's 25th season as head coach,
and things are looking pretty good for the
"We've got to place five runners in the top 15,
four in the top 12 and three in the top six,"
Warhurst said, "We do that, and we can win it."

Women's cross country anxious for Big Tens


B yan C. Moloney
a Evan Braunstein
Daily Sports Writers
There comes a time in every ath-
lete's season when the anticipation of
competition reaches a feverish pitch.
The Wolverines, for all they have
accomplished in the 1998 cross coun-
try season, are faced with this scenario
as they prepare for their most intense
meet to date - the Big Ten
Championships this Sunday at the
igan Golf Course.
's human nature to be nervous -
it's a matter of controlling your anxi-
eties; Michigan women's coach Mike
McGuire said. "If you are a competi-
tor, you leave your anxieties at the line
when the gun goes off."
If that's the case, then the No. 3
Wolverines have little to worry about.
They boast an undefeated record and
the confidence of a team poised to
cc*ete for a national title.
The Big Ten meet kicks off the
'playoffs' for the Wolverines, as they
will compete for a regional title, and,
likely, the national championship in
the upcoming weeks.

Michigan junior Elizabeth Kampfe
said the Big Ten meet is an important
jewel in the post-season triple crown.
"Winning a conference title is our
goal," she said. "We're confident in
our ability to do that.'
Because the Wolverines did not
compete this past week, McGuire
expects his team to be prepared and
well-rested for the Big Ten meet.
"We'll be ready to go," he said.
"There is no question the week off
helped us. Our course is really tough,
and there was no need to run the week
after the Interregional."
Though conference surprises
Minnesota and Michigan State may
keep things interesting, McGuire
expects only perennial rival Wisconsin
to challenge his team this weekend.'
"It's pretty evenly matched," he said,
"and it's going to evolve into a head-
on matchup with Wisconsin. Our top
runner will have to beat their top run-
ner, our second will have to beat their
second, and so on."
Thus, a considerable amount of
pressure will fall on the shoulders of
Kampfe and Katie McGregor. Both

are looking to regain their standard
one-two finishes after placing an
uncharacteristic fifth and eighth,
respectively, in the Interregional meet.
The surging Michelle Slater may pro-
vide some insurance against a poor
performance from either of these two.
But McGuire does not doubt the

ability of McGregor and Kampfe to
"I think we can get it done in the
front," he said. "McGregor will
bounce back. But we also have an
advantage depth-wise. Our sixth and
seventh runners can finish ahead of
their fifth."

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Her efforts, commitment and,
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