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October 05, 1999 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-05

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 5, 1999

Soccer seeks revenge

Aexander makes
case for Heisman

IRISH
Continued from Page 10
shot in the game's final 55 minutes.
"They really took us out of our game
last year," Michigan coach Debbie
Belkin said, "They took an early lead
and we never recovered"
The tournament loss, coupled with a
1-0 double-overtime defeat at Michigan
soccer field last October, means the
Notre Dame defense has been tough to
crack. But believe it or not, there is rea-
son for optimism.
Michigan brings a high-powered
offense into South Bend. The
Wolverines' all-time leading scorer,
Amber Berendowsky, scored a goal
against both the Hoosiers and the
Boilermakers and appears to be all the
way back from an ankle injury which
sidelined her for six games.
In Berendowsky's absence, freshman
Abby Crumpton; the team's leading
scorer, and junior Kacy Beitel emerged
as potent scoring weapons, giving the
Wolverines a dynamic trio upfront.
"We definitely have a whole lot of
firepower," Beitel said. "We can hurt
teams in many different ways."
The onus will be on Michigan's great
forwards to produce the goals neces-
sary to beat the Irish.

If the Wolverines do manage to grab
the lead, they should be in excellent
shape to keep it, as they also bring a
stingy defense to Notre Dame.'
The goal surrendered against Purdue
ended a shutout string of over 382 min-
utes. Goalkeeper Clarrisa Stewart is"
closing in on the all-time Michigan
record for wins, held by Jessica Jones.
The Wolvenines are also battle tested
with 2-0-1 record against ranked oppo-
nents. Two weeks ago Michigan faced
another heavyweight in No. 5 Penn
State and left Happy Valley with an
impressive scoreless draw.
Early in the season, the Wolverines
crushed then-No. 19 Vanderbilt, 3-0,1
and last week knocked then-No. 15F
Illinois out of the top 25 with a 2-1 win.
"This is going to be a very tough
game for us," Beitel said. "But we know
we can play with anyone in the coun-
try." v
The Wolverines have never won in
three all-time meetings with the Irish.
This will be the seniors' final opportu-
nity to experience a victory against an
arch rival.e
"I've had a wonderful career," senior;
Emily Schimdt said. "But I have never MARJORIE MARSHALL / Daily
beaten Notre Dame and I am deter- Mari Hoff and the rest of the Wolverines are looking for revenge against Notre Dame
mined to do so before I leave today. The Fighting Irish eliminated Michigan from the NCAA Tournament last year.
Michigan."

By Steven Ponall
Inkp n Hnt I umor
\AINSV ILLIE, Hla.- Throughout
Alabama' storied history, the football
pro ram ha: neer produced a Hemiian
Trophy winner.
The Crimson Tide never even touted a
player for college football's highest indi-
vidual honor until this season with run-
ning back Shaun Alexander, as the
school released a CD-ROM filled with
Alexander highlights.
Against then-No. 3 Florida on
Saturday. Alexander showed why he was
worthy of the school's high praise. The
Crimson Tide's top omfensive threat
gained 200 total yards with four touch-
downs and came up with the top play at
the most critical time.
Alabama trailed 39-33 in overtime
when Alexander took a counter play left
and ran over four Gator defenders en
route to the 25-yard victory sprint. The
run set up Alabama for its 40-39 win
against Florida at Florida Field.
"I don't think there was any question
who was going to get it on the first play,
and he made the play," Alabama coach
Mike DuBose said. "I have always said

that if we got into a position where we
were good enough, he would have a
chance at winning the (Heisman).
"Shaun Alexander is a great football
player. I have said that over and over and 0
he proved that again."
Alexander, who propelled himself
into the Heisman race after rushing for
106 yards on 28 carries and making four
catches for 94 yards, did more than keep
the Tide's ground game moving. He
made big play after big play on the
ground and in the air. Each time the
Crimson Tide fell behind, Alexander
regained the lead.
The only thing Alexander did not
accomplish was a touchdown pass. But
he almost did, firing a missile into the
end zone that was just knocked away
from Andrew Zow at the last second.
Through seven national titles and 20
Southeastern Conference champi-
onships, Alabama has never produced a
Heisman Trophy winner. The Crimson
Tide has a legitimate candidate now.
"I see why he is in the Heisman race,"
Florida defensive end Alex Brown said.
"He breaks four tackles and walks in the
end zone."
TITLE TALK
Continued from Page 10
The last time the Wolverines lost
this game with so much on the line
was 1961, when they were shut out
28-0.
In 1997, Michigan was undefeat-
ed, and on its way to a (shhh) nation-
al championship.
Senior linebacker Ian Gold
remembers, and he too cautioned
against the comparisons.
"I do see a lot of similarities, but I
really hate to compare this defense
to the '97 defense," said Gold, who
was sidelined for last season's game.
But comparisons to '97 are
inevitable, if inaccurate, for any
good Michigan team that comes
along in the next quarter century or
so. For one thing, there's no
Heisman Trophy candidate (at least
not for the 1999 award) playing both
ways.
For another, it's probably unfair to
compare a 5-0 team to a team that
may have been the best in the 120-
year history of the program.
Michigan's defense has it's own*
identity this season - and the
"Suspects" like it that way.
Garr likes it that way too: And he
suspects that all this talk could make
Saturday's burden too much to bear
for the Wolverines.
Without any of that pressure, they
have the expectations of all the
seniors, the No. 3 ranking in the
country and the knowledge that the
winners of this game will hold*
statewide bragging rights ad infini-
tum may be enough.
"I'll end up living in the west side
of the state, and there's plenty of
Spartans fans there," said Renes,
who has a national championship
ring from 1997. "To have them nag
me ... I couldn't stand it."
TRASH TALKIi
Continued from Page 10
and national title implications
involved with the battle of two unde-
feated programs.
"This is a great game for the fans
and the state," Saban said. "When
both teams are good, it's better for
everyone. When it is a national
game, it gives it more interest."
With the increased interest in the
game comes an increased interest in

what both teams are doing. With the
emotions that are evoked in a game
of this magnitude, everything that is
said is repeated multiple times.
This has been a problem for
Michigan State in the past, as the
Spartans have been known to mouth
off before key games in the past.
Although there were no Michigan
State players at the weekly press
conference to affirm his sentiments0
- a departure from usual practice
- Saban said that the key to the
game was the players' performance
on the field, not their verbal skills.
"You don't want to say anything to
rile your opponent," Saban said. "I
don't want our players to believe that
trash-talking is a way to success."
A lot of Michigan State's success
this season has been attributed to a
different, more cohesive and sup-
porting attitude. That attitude will
not change for this week, even with
the magnitude of Saturday's game.
"It's important for the coaches to
be consistent in the preparation for
every- game," Saban said. "If we are
full of anxiety, we are going to ere-

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