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November 01, 1999 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-01

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 1, 1999 - 3B

Blue stickers snap losing streak, 4-1

By Dave Roth
Daily Sports Writer
Although yesterday was Senior Day
at Ocker Field, the Michigan field
Hockey team's freshmen were the ones
who shined. The Wolverines dominated
Ohio State (3-6 Big Ten, 10-6 overall)
in a 4-1 victory to halt their two-game
losing streak. Michigan lost to No. 4
Penn State on Friday, 4-2.
In attendance was the Michigan ice
hockey pep band and an extremely
large and vocal crowd. The combina-
tion seemed to pep up the Wolverines
and propel them to a strong start.
With 22:48 left to play in the first
half, freshman forward Jessica Rose
took a pass from sophomore midfielder
Catherine Foreman. Rose lined a shot
from the left side of the arc past the out-
stretched arms of Ohio State freshman
goalie Gillian Batey to give the
Wolverines an early 1-0 lead.
Neither team was able to create scor-
ing opportunities until 8:58 remained in
the half, when Michigan (7-3, 14-6) put
the ball in the net again. But after the
referees conferenced, the shot was dis-
allowed because no Michigan player
touched the ball inside the arc.
Seven minutes later, with 2:05 left in
the first, freshman midfielder Molly
Powers scored one that did count. Off a
penalty corner, the Wolverines pounced
on the ball and barraged Batey. After
several tough saves, Batey could not
stop Powers, who scored unassisted.
Michigan started the second half
with a bang. After five minutes, it had
an opportunity to score on another
penalty corner.
On that corner, junior midfielder
Courtney Reid zipped a pass to
Foreman, who stopped the ball and set
up senior defender Erica Widder for a
shot. Widder took the ball and lofted it
over the Ohio State defense and past the
outstretched arms of Batey to score one
of Michigan's weirdest goals of the sea-

T J.
BERKA

son.
The goal gave the Wolverines a com-
manding 3-0 lead. Widder's eccentric
shot has a technical name called an
overhead or lift. Michigan coach
Marcia Pankratz commented that
Widder's unorthodox shot was no mis-
take.
"We've been working on it a lot.
(Widder) has a wonderful overhead,"
Pankratz said. "Normally with a goal-
keeper like (Batey), we don't do that
because she stands up and she's pretty
tall, but we just wanted to get it on cage
for rebound. It was a perfect shot and it
worked out great."
Ohio State came right back, however,
and junior midfielder Katie Hobson
scored off of a penalty corner with
22:25 left in the game.
Michigan responded to extinguish
Ohio State's short-lived fire when
Foreman tallied her third assist of the
day, passing the ball to Powers, who
found Batey out of position to put away
the Buckeyes for good. Powers, who
scored twice today, said she felt her
goals were extra special with all the
support.
"(Scoring) was really exciting espe-
cially with pep band here," Powers said.
"When you take your victory trot back
to the fifty, it's extremely invigorating.
The yelling and' screaming gets you
riled up. Every goal is so much more
exciting."
The victory gives Michigan momen-
tum going into this weekend's upcom-
ing Big Ten Tournament. The win was
much needed after disappointing losses
to Iowa and Penn State.
"We played really well against Iowa,".
Pankratz said. "We played really well-
against Penn State and didn't win. Thet
team, even though we were plaving:
well, felt a little tentative about our suc-t
cess. Today was really important for-
them to get reinforced that we are play-'
ing really well."

'

Teeing Of f

Ad

Stewart spassing*recalls
moment wit/h young writer

SARA SCENCKaily
The Michigan field hockey team returned to its winning ways yesterday on Senior
Day in its 4-1 victory over Ohio State.

ast Monday afternoon, another.
tragedy came across the national
irwaves. Payne Stewart, an
accomplished professional golfer who
has won three majors, including this
year's U.S. Open, died unexpectedly
when his Learjet lost pressure and flew
across half of the country uncontrol-
lably before crashing in a South Dakota
field.
While the death of any person is
tragic - especially when one is 42
years old, like Stewart was - it's some-
thing that is desensitized due to the rel-
ative frequency of it happening. Unless
it is the death of a loved one or a friend,
I think of tragic news like that for a
split second and move on.
In most cases such as Stewart's, I say
'Aw, that's terrible' and go about my
life. But when I heard the news of
Stewart's passing, my response wasn't
that well rehearsed.
No, I am not related to Payne
Stewart. No, Payne Stewart was not a
good friend of mine. But Payne Stewart
is a big reason why I am doing what I
am doing today.
In high school, I lived in a suburb of
Houston called The Woodlands. The
Woodlands was your typical upper-mid-
dle class suburb with a high school, a
mall and a bunch of cookie-cutter sub-
divisions. But the one thing that The
Woodlands has is a golf tournament.
The Shell Houston Open is a pretty
insignificant tournament when related to
the U.S. Open. But in my hometown, it
was a huge event. When I was a junior
in high school, the editor of the small
weekly paper I was working for wanted
me to cover the golf tournament.
As a 16-year old new to journalism, I
was excited as hell about covering the
event. Not only did I get to go to a
major professional sporting event, I got
to cut school and hang out in the press
tent with reporters from publications
such as the Houston Chronicle and
Sports Illustrated. Needless to say, I
was extremely geeked.
But that excitement quickly turned to
shyness once I arrived at the event. I
was overwhelmed by the hubbub of the
professional reporters and professional
golfers that were around me. I stayed in
the background, afraid that I would do
something dumb and embarrass myself
in front of everyone.
But then Payne Stewart walked into
the tent with his trademark knickers.
Having seen him a million times on
television, I was awestruck by being in
the same room with him. Stewart pro-
ceeded to go in the interview room -
followed by other reporters - so I
quickly followed suit.
Stewart sat at the podium in the inter-

view room and started fielding ques-
tions. He had just finished his round
four shots behind the leader of the tour-"
nament, Scott Hoch. As he was being
questioned by the other reporters, a
thought came into my mind. I instantly
asked Stewart a question, which
silenced the other reporters in the room..-
I don't even remember what the
question was that I asked, but Stewart
instantly smiled at me and said, "Good
question" before coming up with an
answer. My self-esteem soaring, I pro-
ceeded to take over the press confer-
ence and asked Stewart a flurry of
questions. He answered them all very
eloquently, making me - and the
reporters bumming information off me
- very happy.
So as I left the press conference,
Stewart saw me walk by and said,
"Come here, kid." I went over, not sure
as to why he wanted to talk to me
again.
Stewart put his arm around me and
asked where I was from. I quickly
answered him and he proceeded to ask
me another question. And another. And
another. Quickly, Stewart and I
switched roles, as he was interviewing
me.
As Stewart and I were chatting, Hoch
was losing his seemingly insurmount-
able lead. But Stewart didn't seem to
even care, as he proceeded to talk to an
awestruck 16-year-old kid who had
scammed his way into the press tent.
Finally, Stewart finished talking to
me and went out to play a one-hole
playoff against Hoch, who had fallen
into a first-place tie with him. But as he
walked from the press tent back to the
golf course, he took something with
him.
He took the scared kid who wasn't
quite sure what to do with him. In his
wake, he left a confident young reporte
who decided at that moment what he
wanted to do in life.
Payne Stewart probably didn't
remember that conversation with me.
I'm sure he talked to hundreds of
reporters during his successful PGA
career.
But I will never forget his impact on
me. Payne Stewart took the time to talk
to a young high-school-aged reporter
instead of brushing me off as an igno-
rant kid.
By doing that, he showed me some
of the rewards that comes with being a
sports reporter. And he also gave me
the confidence in my reporting and
writing abilites, a confidence that has
grown since that day.
And for that I thank him.
- T.J Berka can be reached via e-mail
at berkat@umich.edu1

Band, fans spark Senior Day victory
'M' freshmen shine in 4-1 win over Ohio State; seniors honored before last home game

By Sarah Ensor
Daily Sports Writer
' In the No. 8 Michigan field hockey
team's 4-1 victory over Ohio State yes-
terday, Wolverines fans rocked Ocker
Field with their cheers and chants.
The Michigan stickers played with a
newfound intensity, a fact at least partly
4butable to their amazing fan sup-
port.
In a standing-room only environment,
Michigan fans packed the stands and
filled the walkways around the field.
The ice hockey pep band led the
crowd in chants usually reserved for the
confines of Yost Ice Arena, and "The
Victors" echoed after every Michigan
goal,
"1t's always awesome to have the fans
(here screaming and yelling," said
fresjiman midfielder Molly Powers, who
scored two goals in the contest.
"The yelling and the screaming gets
you riled up and when you get a goal it
makes it so much more exciting. The
fans definitely make a difference."

Fans agreed that their presence added
y to the intensity of the game.
"We love this sport," said senior Rishi
Moudgil, who screamed words of
encouragement to the Wolverines from
the sidelines. "It's fast-paced, it's excit-
ing and we come out here every week to
cheer them on. We love cheering for
them when they play well. It's a lot of
fun."
Michigan fans berated Ohio State
goalie Gillian Batey by screaming
"sieve," a popular ice hockey cheer.
"The fans were excellent today,"
Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said.
"It's exciting. I'm glad they were here
and we did have great support."
Senior defender Ashley Reichenbach,
honored before the game as part of the
Senior Day festivities, agreed that the
fan support and energy made her last
game at Ocker Field all the more mean-
ingful.
"The fans help the momentum of the
game so much," Reichenbach said.
"When the sidelines are quiet, it gen-

erally means that the field is quiet ...
The fans have a tremendous impact on
our team and the game."
CHANGING OF THE GUARD: On a day
designed to celebrate the past, it was the
future of the Michigan field hockey
team that garnered most of the attention.
While seniors Ashley Reichenbach,
Erica Widder, and Jocelyn LaFace were
honored before their last home game at
Ocker Field, it was freshmen Jessica
Rose and Molly Powers who scored
three of the Wolverines' four goals.
Freshman defender Stephanie
Johnson also shined on senior day, mak-
ing a number of key stops and intercep-
tions to bolster the defensive unit
anchored by Reichenbach and Widder.
"The freshmen had an opportunity to
put (the ball) away today," Pankratz said.
"They did a great job."
Rose tallied her sixth goal of the sea-
son, giving her 15 points on the year and
making her the Wolverines' third-lead-
ing scorer.
Powers' goals were her fourth and

fifth, respectively, and she ends the reg-
ular season with 13 points.
The strong play of Rose and Powers
on the offensive side, along with the
defensive ability of Johnson, predicts
success for the Wolverine stickers well
into the future.
"Hopefully this is some kind of pass-
ing of the torch down to the next gener-
ation and to the next group of people
that are going to carry the program,"
Pankratz said.
Senior Day I
It may have been the freshmen
who shined in yesterday's victory,
but the last four seasons it has
been the play of the Michigan
seniors that has introduced the
team to its winning ways.
GP/GS G Pts
Erica Widder 20/19 4 9
Ashley Reichenbach 20/20 4 8
Jocelyn LaFace 20/4 2 7

Downsizing turns net gains in Big Ten I

By David Den Herder
Daily Sports Writer
CHICAGO - Has Big Ten basket-
baltaken a page from the guidebook of
corporate America? If becoming small-
er,faster and collectively better defines
"downsizing," then consider these
teams acute corporate strategists.
alking through the field of talent at "
t Big Ten's preseason press confer-
ence yesterday, it was hard to find a
player that towered significantly over
the cameras and recorders that sur-
rounded him.
It was tougher to find a camera that
wasn't pointed at the conference's two
defending Final Four coaches for a
majority of the morning.
"The last couple of years, it has really
gravitated toward the backcourt," said
o State coach Jim O'Brien, of Final
uir fame. "There are not as many dom-
inant low post players in the conference
- it probably goes in cycles, but it
seems like right now there are a lot of
va'good guards in the league, and I'm
sure teams will play towards that - as
we will."
'ld O'Brien will, with the best
healthy guard in the league.
Scoonie Penn - a marquee man for
Big Ten's backcourt show and the
ceaches' pick for preseason player of the
year - has done much to heighten
expectations in Columbus.
. ("Any time you return guys like
Scoonie or somebody like Michael
Redd, you have to think you have a
chance to have a half-decent team,"

ple kid around - I think - about get-
ting back to the Final Four, but I don't
think people totally appreciate just how
hard that is."
If O'Brien thinks his last act will be
tough to follow with a so-far healthy
roster, what must Michigan State coach
Tom Izzo feel like?
"It's not only the player we lost, it's
the position. That's the killer," began
Izzo. "Had it been a forward or a center,
you can adjust easier in my mind than if
it's your quarterback."
Mateen Cleaves - who shares top
billing among Big Ten guards with Penn
and was the media's choice for player of
the year - will watch from the bench as
his Spartans face an unforgiving early-
season schedule, including road games
at North Carolina and Kentucky.
Recovering from surgery on his left
foot, Michigan State's go-to guy won't
return to the lineup until January.
And the obstacles in the road of a
return trip to the Final Four don't stop
there for Izzo - even in the face of a
No. 1 Big Ten ranking this weekend.
Due to academic issues, it's likely that
Izzo's top recruit and Michigan high
schools' Mr. Basketball 1999, Jason
Richardson, will be Michigan State's
Mr. Ineligible this season.
"It's not etched in stone yet," Izzo
said. "We should find out this week, but
it hurts us enormously. We've only got
two McDonald's All-Americans on our
team, and as of today, none of them are
playing.
"Even though it bothered me," said

what he said. When you rate a team one,
and then they lose their No. I point
guard and maybe everybody's All-
America, and then you lose a
McDonald's All-America and top-10
player in the country - take both off
that team, and how could you be as
good?"
Said O'Brien: "You never know
what's going to happen. You look at
Michigan State and Cleaves getting
hurt - it can change everything. You
always have to be cautious in your opti-
mism."
Should everything, or perhaps even
anything more change for the confer-
ence favorites, there will be little breath-
ing room in the standings. True to Big
Ten guard-star form, Cory Bradford and
Illinois could well challenge for the top
seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
"I'm really excited about the matchup
with Scoonie and Michael Redd,

because they're one of the top back-
courts in the country," said Bradford.
"They've played a lot of basketball with
each other. They've got experience and
great chemistry."
Purdue isn't far behind either, and
even Gene Keady, traditionalist, seems
to have bought into the Big Ten back-
court bonanza.
"Why can't we?" said Keady. "We
tried it, and our kids didn't want to do it
last year. But I think we'd be more apt to
do it this year because we have a better-
conditioned team. I think that'd be
great."
Running and shooting at Mackey
Arena? It might be even more at home
at Ross-Ade Stadium these days in West
Lafayette - and Keady's not afraid to
steal a few pages from that playbook,
either.
"Ha;' chuckled Keady. "That's bas-
ketball on grass."

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Ohio State guard Scoonie Penn will wrestle to get his team back to the Final Four
in 2000. He headlines a dominant core of Big Ten guards this season.

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