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October 20, 1999 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-20

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 20, 1999

BY GEORGE!
BY MICHAEL KERN * DAILY SPORTS WRITER

S he may not be as famous as the former
heavyweight boxing champion, but
Catherine "George" Foreman is a star in
her own right.
Foreman, who hails from South Australin,
was given the notable nickname by her
teammates on the under-21 Australian
n'ational field hockey team. When the
Michigan field hockey team visited
Foreman in Australia before last season to
do some preseason training, they needed a
shorter name to use to communicate with
Foreman on the field.
"So we said, 'What does your team call
you?"' teammate and housemate Ashley
Rcichenbach said. "She said, 'Well my team
calls me George.' She wanted us to call her
something else, but we couldn't come up
with anything."
The team tried to come up with another
nickname, but couldn't.
S"The weight trainer put us through a box-
ing circuit one day, and while we were box-
irig, he would yell out all of these boxing
nicknames," Reichenbach said. "After she
said her last name was Foreman, he would
yell, 'Come on, George!"'
More important than what her teammates
and coaches call the sophomore defend-
er/midfielder on the field is their talk about
her off the field. With senior co-captains
Reichenbach and Erica Widder anchoring
the defense for the seventh-ranked
Wolverines, it would be easy for an under-
classman to go unnoticed.
But Foreman's knowledge of the game
and ability to make plays on defense have
stood out to her teammates and coaches this
season.
"She's a fantastic defender," Michigan
coach Marcia Pankratz said. "I think she has
a real savvy for the game. She's smart in
how she plays, and even if she is being beat-
en she knows how to make sure it doesn't
hurt us."
One reason'that Foreman is able to excel
for the Wolverines so early in her career is

due to her experience with the Australian
under-21 team. Australia, the current
women's field hockey world champion, has
one of the strongest development programs
in the world.
"She is a sophomore, but she is a very
mature player," Pankratz said. "When she
gets out there, she is serious and leads by
example on the field. She's had a lot of
experience playing hockey over in
Australia, so she brings a lot of that experi-
ence to the field. She stays poised under
pressure because she is used to high-level
hockey."
Foreman uses that experience to frustrate
her opponents, helping to shut down some
of the top offenses in the country.
"The difference between Catherine and a
lot of other players around the country is
that she really reads the game well, knowing
when to break it up and just create a foul
and when to actually put a tackle on," assis-
tant coach Tracey Fuchs said. "She has
stepped up more and more as the season has
gone on and into her sophomore season."
Foreman exploits that defensive know-
how in a system that allows her to move
freely around the center of the field.
Michigan's defensive zone requires play-
ers to guard an area rather than playing
man-to-man with one particular player from
the opposition. Foreman's zone in the mid- -
dIe of the field is paramount to the
Wolverines' success, as she often draws
some of the most skilled players on the
other team to defend.
"She is responsible, along with Ashley
(Reichenbach), for the toughest zone
because she has the other team's most dan-
gerous player, the center forward" Fuchs
said. "But with Catherine back there, I don't
worry about the other team's center forward
getting too many shots that day, because she
is always in the right place."
While Foreman is one of the key players
for Michigan's defense, she is also a key to
the Wolverines' offense. Playing in the cen-

ter of the field, Foreman is often responsible
for the transition of the ball from the
defense to offense.
"We play a very different style back
home," Foreman said. "We play a lot faster
with the ball, a lot more passing give-and-
go than what they do here. Hopefully I've
brought some of that back, but I think the
team is starting to do that a lot more of that
now, and it is having some success for us."
More importantly, though, Foreman plays
a key role on penalty corners, where the
Wolverines score most of their goals.
Foreman's job on corners is the stick stop-
per. She stops the ball with her stick at the
top of the circle for a teammate to shoot.
While that may sound easy, for the shot to
count, Foreman has to stop the ball dead
before it can be struck by one of her team-
mates. All of this has to be done while the
opposing defense is charging at the ball
from the goal mouth.
Despite playing a primarily defensive role,
Foreman's play on corners has garnered her II
assists, the second-most on the team.
"The corner itself is a real specialty posi-
tion," Pankratz said. "You have someone
who does each thing as a skill, like a place-
kicker in football. She is our best stick stop-
per, and she does it for the Australian under-
21 team.
"(Foreman) is the most consistent and
really makes sure the ball gets stopped dead
on the corner. So regardless of what posi-
tion she is, that's where we have her for that
because she is so effective."
Foreman's consistency and combination
of offense and defense make her one of the
Wolverines' most valuable players and one
of the top defenders in the Big Ten.
"Catherine is a great defender," Reichenbach
said. "It's great playing behind her because a lot
of times I don't have to get the ball. She's got a
really great game sense, and she's got great
stick-stopping skills on corners. She's an all-
around extremely solid player and a great
asset to the team."

J'"REMY M'N'I'"rUaiy
Defender/midfielder Catherine "George" Foreman lives up to her dominating nickname by shutting down
the opposition's offensive attack while contributing to the scoring opportunities on the penalty corner.

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Emerging Michigan cross country 'won't be overlooked'

By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
Everybody loves an underdog.
But the way the Michigan men's
cross country team has been going
lately, the team's reputation has made
quite a sizable shift - from darkhorse
to favorite.
Last Sunday's victory in the
Wolverine Interregional all but
quelled the little-team-that-could
facade the Wolverines hid behind in
recent weeks.
The secret is out - the Wolverines
are good.
"I think most of the cross country

geeks have found out about us by
now," senior co-captain Jay Cantin
said. "Teams are starting to figure out
the times we've been running and we
won't be as overlooked (as before)."
In fact, the Wolverines are seen by
most to be the only legitimate chal-
lenge to favored Wisconsin in this
year's Big Ten meet, to be held Oct. 30
on Penn State's home course.
The Badgers return their entire top
seven from last season, including Big
Ten champion Matt Downin.
"We're going to have to be on to
beat Wisconsin," Cantin said.
"Everyone is going to need to per-

form, including our sixth runner."
The Wolverines are shooting for a
rare three-peat of Big Ten title victo-
ries, but Cantin said the pressure is
off.
"It won't be that big of a disapoint-
ment if we don't beat Wisconsin," he
said. "We've already had a wonderful
season and we can compare with any
team."
But in the meantime, the
Wolverines are followin> a training
formula very similar to that of the last
two championship seasons.
"This week we're tapering down to
about 75 or 80 miles," coach Ron
Warhurst said. "There will be more
quality in our workouts and some
emotional group therapy."
Assistant coach Kevin Sullivan

recently dug up his old training log
from the 1997 season in which he fin-
ished second in the NCAA meet and
the team finished fourth. Amazingly,
the regiment he followed during that
season follows this year's workout
slate nearly to a tee.
"I sit down during the summer and
make up the workout schedule,"
Warhurst said. "You tweak it a little bit
during the season, but it is funny how
similar Kevin's log is to this season."
Under Warhurst's tutelage, the
Wolverines are a democracy rather
than a dictatorship - each runner has
some say in the weekly training sched-
ule.
"Ron talked to Steve (Lawrence)
and I and we decided on what inter-
vals to run in the next few weeks."

Cantin said. "Everybody agrees on the
same thing - we just follow the same
routine because it has worked in the
past."
Nothing has changed from the
team's makeup at the start of the sea-
son. Those are still the same.faces in
the top five.
The intangible that has boosted the
Wolverines up into the status they now
enjoy has been their knack for going
the extra mile, so to speak.
"Every guy on the team is supposed
to get up before school and run at least
three times during the school week,"
Warhurst said. "This year, we have got
guys going four or even five times
each week.
"Everyone has done a tremendous
job."

I

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F I

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A.

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