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November 22, 1999 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-22

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 22, 1999

slam dunk
tiP to
By Dena Beth Krischer
Daily Sports Writer
It was an in-state sweep for the
Michigan women's basketball team this
weekend as it defeated both Colorado
77-63 on Sunday and Colorado State
69-65 on Friday.
Michigan starts the season off 2-0,
improving the team's season opening
record under coach Sue Guevara to 4-1.
Michigan senior co-captain and
guard Stacey Thomas led the
Wolverines with 10 rebounds as she
a#,senior forward/center Alison
Miller both contributed 16 points in
yesterday's victory over the Buffs.
Thomas was three steals short of a
triple-double with her 16 points, 10
rebounds and seven steals.
The seven steals tied Thomas for
eighth on the single-game record chart.
Miller, whose 16 points were a
career-high, also led the team in points
on Friday night with 15.
Junior forward/guard Ruth Kipping
fouled out at 9:02 in the second half.
Despite the fouls, Kipping con-
tributed 10 points and three rebounds
to theWolverine victory.
Freshman LeeAnn Bies also made
herself known yesterday in the state of
Colorado, scoring 13 points and grab-
bing eight boards, leaving her two
rebounds short of a double-double.
Colorado lost sophomore guard and
team captain Linda Lappe went down
witl 8:30 to play in the first half. X-
rayashow that Lappe fractured her left
paTlla, and is most likely out for the
seao t
:Jphomore forward Raina Goodlow
matIe-her return to the line-up after
recovering from a dislocated patella on
Goodlow scored just one point in
Fri y's game, and just three in yester-
S , Wolverines made history in
Boutder, breaking two long-time
Cc4.ado streaks.
fe win for Michigan was the first
ewi230me-opener loss for the Buffs
si1W the program was established in
The loss also left Colorado with an
0-4ecord for the first time since the
19-85 season.

'M' doesn't give up in semi-finals

By David Roth
Daily Sports Writer
BOSTON - Though the
Wolverines lost to Maryland 2-1 in
the NCAA Championship game, the
victory that got them there, a 4-3
crossfire with Connecticut, was by
far one of the wildest shootouts in
Michigan history.
Michigan scored a whopping four
second-half goals to oust the second-
seeded Huskies.
With the game tied 3-3, freshman
Molly Powers rifled a shot past
Connecticut goalie Danielle Vile
with 1:56 remaining in the game to
nail the Huskies' coffin shut. The
game went back and forth and was
tied four times.
In the first half, Michigan con-
trolled the game, but even though the
Wolverines outshot the Huskies, 5-1,
Vile was impenetrable, helping her
team stay in the game.
"Danielle is going to faze us
because she's outstanding,"
Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz
said. "But you just have to keep
going at it, get some tips and maybe
get the third and fourth rebounds to
go by."
Vile's defense seemed to spark her
team's offense. With 8:41 remaining
in the first half, Amy Herz stole the
ball and served up a pass to Laura
Klein, who made Connecticut's only
shot of the half count as she tipped it
past Michigan goalie Kati Oakes.

But the Wolverines stormed back
in the second period.
"At halftime, we talked about how
we were playing well, but that we
had to continue to stay patient and
relentless in the circle," Pankratz
Michigan did, as senior Jocelyn
LaFace was first to dive in
Michigan's scoring pool, as she
rebounded a Courtney Reid shot
with 27:12 to play.
Ali Balmer, who was substituted in
just minutes before, followed suit,
redirecting freshman Jessica Rose's
pass past Vile to give the Wolverines
a 2-1 lead, and to spark a scoring
The Huskies' Nicole Castonguay
quickly answered the score to knot the
game at two, scoring on a penalty cor-
ner with 8:19 left to go in the match.
"Connecticut is a very good team,
and they're not used to losing,"
Pankratz said after handing the
Huskies their first and only loss of
the season. " When we got up a goal,
they were as relentless as we are.
They didn't want to lose that game.
They fought hard and battled and
came at us."
But after Connecticut scored, the
Wolverines came right back, on a
penalty corner of their own two min-


Kelli Gannon and the Michigan field hockey team were the first women's team at
Michigan to make it to an NCAA final. They beat Connecticut, 4-3, to do that.

utes later.
With 6:23 remaining,
Reid zipped the ball to
Foreman, who stopped it

to set up

'Higher focus' of national title still eludes M1\

Kelli Gannon's penalty corner
attempt. Gannon wound up, fired
and the ball simply exploded off her
"I told myself I was putting the
ball in the net, whether anyone likes
it or not, so I hit it as hard as I possi-
bly could," Gannon said.
But the Huskies didn't die. Les
than two minutes later, Kelly
Cochrane intercepted a pass at the
top of Michigan's arc, and flicked it
into the cage with 4:33 remaining.
With the game tied at three,
Powers, who claimed that the
Wolverines would shock the Huskies,
gave them a jolt with 1:56 to play,
when she scored alone inside the arc.
"We had to take advantage of any
opportunity we had, because theydi*
n't come very often," Powers said.
"Jessi (Veith) cut toward the ball and
I cut away. She somehow got the ball
to me and I knew my defender was
coming. I just tried to get it off as
quickly as possible. I didn't even look
up, I just hoped that it would go in."
The Wolverines' captain, senior
Ashley Reichenbach, was proud of
her team's relentless play and ability
to fight back
"I think our team feeds off adver-
sity," Reichenbach said. "We are just
not williNg to give up on the ball. No
matter what the score is, or what's
going on in the game, we're not
going to stop until the final seconds
wind down."
1993, 1994, and 1995. Although such
accomplishments are remarkable, they
don't bring the prestige or recognition
of a team victory.
"Team championships rightly or
unrightly get more publicity," Ocker
said. "The 'team effort - working
together - seems to say more than an
individual championship. Either wa~
there are good individuals involve.
The idea of working together and not
just going after one's own famous
accomplishment says a lot for a
"We applaud the accomplishments
of individuals," said Plocki, who guid-
ed Wymer in her championship yearsi
"But it's really about the team arnd
about Michigan. One individual does
not make a team, and team acco
plishments far exceed the accomplis
ments of individuals. If a team suc-
ceeds, individual accolades automati-
cally come, and it takes all individuals
performing at their optimum for a
team to be successful."
For now, Michigan has to be content
with individual national champi-
onships and a second-place team fin-
ish. The athletic department hopes
that the Wolverines' time for victo ry i
near, and is confident that soon a tea
will cross the final hurdle.
"To win a championship would be
to get the monkey off our backs"
Bradley-Doppes said. "Everyone
wants to be the first."

Continued from Page 1B
women's team to come out and win a
national championship," Michigan
women's gymnastics coach Bev
Plocki agreed. "We've been trying and
have come close, so I think it would be
great to see Michigan women's athlet-
ics come out and take this final step."
Duke women's golf coach Dan
Brooks knows the significance of a
school's first women's national cham-
pionship. When his 1999 squad won
the NCAA golf championship, its
championship was the first in Duke
women's athletics history.
"We're pretty proud of our women's
programs down here, and I didn't feel
like there was a dearth of attention
before we won," said Brooks, whose
school appeared on Sports Illustrated
for Women's top 20 list. "But I
thought our reception was really nice;

we didn't expect the high fanfare. It
was a pretty neat thing to win and we
were recognized well."
Brooks also acknowledged that
owning the title of national champion
adds credibility to his team.
"I think winning helped recruiting,"
Brooks said. "There isn't any top
prospect interested in a top program
that doesn't know that we won. We
recruited well and brought in two top
players this year, and I think winning
the championship had to be part of
that success."
This is not to say that winning a
national title is the only way to have a
strong athletic program. Michigan
ranks among the most successful
women's programs in collegiate
sports, with or without a champi-
onship to its name . Reaching the pin-
nacle is an undeniable goal for every
team, and places a stamp of credibili-
ty on the entire program.

"Michigan has a first-class
women's athletic program," Bradley-
Doppes said. "Winning a title is just a
byproduct of great coaches, great
kids, and a wonderful institution.
Winning a national championship
does not make one a better team, it is
just the ultimate goal or challenge that
any team could achieve. At Michigan,
everyone wants to add to or enhance
the tradition."
Michigan senior captain Ashley
Reichenbach agreed that winning the
championship is the ultimate goal for
an already amazing program.
"It means a lot to get this far and be
in the top four who are left competing
for a national championship,"
Reichenbach said before leaving for
the Final Four. "The women's athletic
program at Michigan is awesome.
This is just another stepping stone for
women's athletics and I feel honored
to- be a part of a team that is getting
close to reaching the pinnacle of all
collegiate sports."
A championship for one team clear-
ly would be a victory for the entire
program. Women's teams at Michigan
have a sense of community
unmatched by almost any other
school. Coaches, administrators, and
athletes agree that if one team could
win a championship, it would validate
their prior successes and inspire their
teams to succeed in the future.
"(Winning) gives a program a little

higher focus," said former Michigan
Women's Athletic Director Phyllis
Ocker for whom Michigan's field is
named. "I think that it inspires the
whole program and says to other
coaches and players, 'It's attainable.
Let's get on with it."'
"There's a strong sense of team
throughout the athletic department,
and that's critical," Bradley-Doppes
said. "Coaches support other coaches,
athletes go to the games of other ath-
letes-there's a sense of family com-
mon to the entire program."
Michigan assistant hockey coach
Tracey Fuchs, who won an NCAA
championship while a student-athlete
at Connecticut, agreed that in the
Final Four, her team was playing on
behalf ofthe entire Michigan women's
athletic program.
"Just to be representing Michigan
women in a Final Four is a great
thing," Fuchs said. "We're great
friends with softball, and other teams
have been in there, so just to be here
and see what we can do for Michigan
athletics in general is awesome."
The lack of women's team champi-
onships at Michigan does not mean
there has been a dearth of national
champion female athletes. Several
women have won individual national
championships in the 1990s alone,
most notably cross-country runner
Katie McGregor in 1998 and gymnast
Beth Wymer on the uneven bars in



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