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November 09, 1998 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-09

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I

The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 9, 1998 - 78

.IG TENS
Lindsay Babbitt.
The second was scored by Kelli
Gannon with an assist by junior
.focelyn LaFace.
Michigan goalkeeper Kati Oakes
recorded her seventh shutout of
the season which tied her for the
school record.
So, now that the season might be
er for the Wolverines, all they
can do is wait and look towards
next year, when they hope that the
loss to the Nittany Lions won't
repeat itself for a third straight
time.
"Each year builds up confidence
for us," junior Ashley
Reichenbach said. "Now we know
what the pressure is like and what
the joys are like.
"Next year, hopefully, the third
e is the charm."
NCAA bound?
Check out whether the
Michigan field hockey team,
did indeed receive an NCAA
Tournament bid, after the
Wolverines' disappointing Big
*Ten finals loss.
The pairings are released
Wednesday night by the NCAA".
tournament committee. Look.
for coverage in Thursday's
Daily.

Stickers hope for NCAA bid

By Dan Dingerson
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - This week, the Michigan
field hockey team will play a game that is going to
take more than three days to complete, and is going
to involve many teams across the country.
This game doesn't involve any athletic skill, it
doesn't take any great coaching strategies, and there
is little it can improve its chances of winning.
This game is the waiting game.
The Michigan field hockey team is hoping that
those mysterious people who hand out at-large bids
to NCAA tournaments will think of them this week.
Actually, the Wolverines know that they will be
thought of, but they just don't know how favorably.
They are hoping that the committee will look at
their 15-6 record, their No. 10 national ranking, and
their tough play against powerhouses Maryland,
Boston College and Penn State.
They are hoping that the committee will realize
how close they were to sharing the regular season
Big Ten title.
They are hoping that the committee will remem-
ber that they rejected the No. 11 Wolverines last
year when they shared the Big Ten regular season
title.
They are hoping that the committee will know
how hard they have played, and how much of their
heart they put into this season.
The committee might see a team that isn't quite
strong enough. It might see a team that didn't quite
have enough big wins. It might see a team that was-
n't quite able to get over the top against its top 10
opponents. They will see a team that once again
failed to win the Big Ten tournament.
The committee probably won't let the Wolverines
dance this year.
Maybe if Michigan had a win against Penn State,

or if the Wolverines hadn't lost to Iowa last week-
end, they would have a good chance. Those things
didn't happen, and the Wolverines are left with a
slim chance of getting a bid to the NCAA tourna-
ment.
The team is prepared for disappointment, and it is
prepared to deal with it after feeling the same pain
last year. Although it is one of the hardest emotions
a team has to feel, Michigan does not seem too dis-
traught.
"We're not in charge of our own destiny anymore.
We're kind of left up to the hands of fate," junior
Ashley Reichenbach said. "We know what it's like
to sit there crossing our fingers and not get in, so
... if we get in, it's an added bonus, but if not, we
move on."
In three days the team will know whether or not
it is time to move on, or if there is still some hock-
ey to be played.
Moving on past this successful season will be
tough for the team, but they look strong for next
year. They only lose four players off this team, and
return their goalkeeper, leading scorer, and leading
defensemen.
The team will have two disappointments to build
off of, and should be the favorite to win the Big Ten.
Don't give up on this team, though. There are
always surprises come tournament time, and
Michigan could be one of those teams that sneaks in
through the back door.
"We're on the bubble. If I were to guess, I'd say
they aren't going to take us. It depends on what hap-
pens with the other teams around the nation,"
Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said. "We'll keep
our fingers crossed."
They still have a chance. The Wolverines are hop-
ing that they will have the opportunity to play more
than just the waiting game.

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
The Michigan field hockey team will have to play the waiting game until Wednesday night, when the
pairings for the NCAA Tournament are announced. Michigan's chances of a berth are questionable.

Michigan soccer must
Wait for pamngs, too

Making its case
The Michigan soccer team built
itself a solid case for inclusion in
the NCAA tournament.
(Rankings are where the oppo-
nent was ranked at the time it
played Michigan.

By Geoff Ga*Mo
Daily Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE - The
Michigan braved wind, snow, and the
best Northwestern team in school histo-
ry, in order to remain in control of their
*ny in the Big Ten tournament, until
Penn State knocked it out in the semifi-
nals.
Now Michigan's future is up in the
air as the team has entrusted its hopes of
4 return to national tournament action to
the NCAA selection committee set to
announce at-large bids this week.
The Wolverines failed to secure an
4utomatic NCAA tournament berth as
|hey dropped their Big Ten tournament
sh wdown with Penn State on Saturday.
nd as the committee ranks the
deserving teams, Belkin says she feels
that her's will be among the ones given
the nod.
"We're pretty confident right now
that we will be in a good position to
$ake the tournament field," Bel kin said.
'We've done some things well and
played some tough teams down the
stretch."
#erhaps the most outstanding of the
tp °s recent accomplishments that
Belkin is hoping tournament officials
will note, was their 1-0 upset of fourth-
seeded Northwestern on Friday in the
<onference tournament's opening round.
As the Wolverines wait to see how
their tournament hopes unfold, Belkin
knows that there's a strong chance her

team's season has not yet concluded.
"I'd put my money on it, I know
you're not supposed to say that, but we
feel good," Belkin said. "And beating
Northwestern didn't hurt."
Despite the fact that the Wolverines
came up short against fifth-ranked
Notre Dame, losing 1-0 in overtime, and
fell to No. 20 Brigham Young 2-0, the
strength of the team's late season sched-
ule and their showing against top teams
may be enough to boost Michigan's
tournament stock.
Should the Wolverines find a place
among the field of the nation's elite, it
will be only the second time in school
history that Michigan has entered
NCAA tournament competition.
Last year's Big Ten championship
winning sqaud was bounced from the
opening round of the 1997 NCAA tour-
nament by Nebraska following a stun-
ning conference tournament run that
gave the team an automatic berth.
And as their hopes of obtaining a
similar automatic bid were dashed by
Penn State on Saturday, Michigan found
itself in a much different position than it
did a year ago, yet still eyeing the
NCAA tournament.
"We didn't come in living off last
year's accolades" Belkin said after the
loss. "This is this year's team, and we're
now waiting to see what will happen to
this year's team. We came to win the Big
Ten title. That didn't happen, now we
have to wait and see."

Solid efforts:
vs. No. 16 Indiana, W 2-0
vs. Northwestern, W 1-0
vs. No. 7 Penn State, T 1-1

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DANA LINNANE/Daity
Amber Berendowsky (right) dribbles past a Penn State defender in Saturday's 3-1
loss. Michigan's biggest star was neutralized by the Nittany Uons in the contest.

EXIT,-
ntinued fromPage 1B
"We really wanted revenge' goal-
keeper Stewart said.' They did not see
us play our best in September. Today
they did."
Coach Belkin said she was pleased.
to see her team pulling it all together
in the post season,;
"We had total team offense and
defense today," Belkin said. "Finally
are working as a team, just like we'
'would have all along."
After a scoreless first period featur-

ing two Michigan shots that pasted the
Penn State goalie only to be rejected
by the goal post, Amber Berendowsky
notched the game's lone goal at the
55:58 mark.
The shutout was awarded to
Stewart, her fourth of the season.
Stewart has started the last five games
for 'the Wolverines, thus officially
overtaking the starting position from
senior co-captain Jessica Jones.
"Carissa played a really composed
game," Belkin said of Fridays match.
"She did a great job communicating
and got up for the big plays."

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