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November 03, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-03

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NBA
SKETBALL
MIAMI 128,
Detroit 122 (20T)
WASHINGTON 94,
Atlanta 87
CHARLOTTE 100
Orlando 86
Indiana 119,
NEW JERSEY 112

NEW YORK 92,
Cleveland 84
SAN ANTONIO 89,
Philidelphia 76
Boston 103,
TORONTO 90
DALLAS 108,
Golden State 96
Milwaukee 98,
HOUSTON 93

Phoenix at
DENVER, inc.
Seattle at
LA. CLIPPERS, inc.
L A. Lakers at
UTAH, inc.
NHL
HOCKEY
Los Angeles at
PITTSBURGH, inc.

fbe £tiu it

Tracking 'M' teams
The Michigan women's tennis team Continues its fall
season as they travel to Columbus tomorrow for the
ITA Midwest Regional Championships.

Wednesday
November 3, 1999

9

*Around the Horn=
Conference
bow/picture
taking shape
oe Paterno's coaching record at
Penn State this century has been
a little strange. He's been the
Nittany Lions' coach for exactly half
of the century, 50 years.. He's spent
35 of those years as the head coach.
He put together three undefeated
teams in his first
10:years as head Josh
egach, but he
't win a Kleinbaum
onal title
unstil his 17th,
and that 1982
team had one-
loss.y
He spent most
of those yearsm
without a confer- ApOCALS
effce, which may Now
have hurt the
national title chances of some of
*se undefeated teams. In 1993, the
Lions joined the Big Ten to make
sure that didn't happen again, but a
year later, he put a 12-0 record
together and still found himself the
bridesmaid instead of the bride.
Wouldn't it be fitting, then, in a
college football century that could
be defined by Paterno as much as
anyone, to close it out with a Joe Pa
national title?
Slot if Minnesota, Michigan or
Michigan State have anything to say
about it.
With just three weeks left in the
season, those are the obstacles Penn
State must topple to reach the Sugar
Bowl. Gripping a No. 2 BCS rank-
ing with a sizable lead over No. 3
Virginia Tech, Penn State controls its
own destiny. If the Lions do their
business on the field, they'll be par-
Ig on Bourbon Street come the
ginning of January.
But what about the rest of the con-
ference? As the Big Ten season
enters its last lap, the big three con-
ference bowls - Rose, Citrus,
Outback - are all up for grabs. A
glance at the schedule reveals six
key games that could decide who's
playing on New Year's day and
who'll be stuck remembering the
*mo.
Two of them are this weekend.
Ohio State and Wisconsin can decide
who's the better quarterback -
Michigan State's Bill Burke, who
looked like a Heisman candidate
against Michigan and will play the
Buckeyes this weekend, or Purdue's
Drew Brees, who actually is a
Heisman candidate but didn't look
like it against Michigan. Brees and
the Boilermakers host Wisconsin on
turday.
In the final two weeks, Michigan
plays Penn State and Ohio State, and
the Spartans host the Lions.
This is what it all boils down to:
0 If Penn State wins out, the
Lions go to the Sugar Bowl. If they
lose a game, they go to the Rose
bowl. If they lose two games ...
well, it's not going to happen.
If Wisconsin's secondary can
*ndle Drew Brees, the Badgers
lock up a spot in the Rose or Citrus
bowls. With lowly Iowa as the
Badgers' last game, they'll clinch the
one-loss conference season, and
their Rose Bowl fate rides on Penn

State's national title hopes. Even if
the Badgers lose to Purdue, they'd
have just two conference losses, and
could slip into the Rose or Citrus
bowls because ...
The race for third place is a
Ass. After this weekend, either
Michigan State or Ohio State will
have a third conference loss - prob-
ably Ohio State. So will Michigan
after it plays Penn State next week-
end. That means the only team left
with just two conference losses will
be the Spartans-Buckeyes winner,
and that team will have its hands full
in the season's final week, when the
artans play Penn State and the
ckeyes play Michigan. Throw
Purdue in the mix, too - a victory
over the Badgers and they'll end the
season 5-3 in the conference.
After all is said and done, here are
the predictions: Penn State wins out
and plays in the Sugar Bowl.
Wiscnsin heats Purdue and nlavs in

M', ions may renew rivalry

By Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer
in 1994, Penn State and Michigan split two
extremely close games in both schools' inaugural
seasons of varsity soccer. Since then, the two pro-
grams have grown into the most talented in the Big
Ten and a rivalry has developed.
In the premier battle of the ongoing war, Penn
State nipped the Wolverines in the regular season 1-
0 last year. Michigan quickly gained revenge in the
Big Ten Tournament, upsetting the Nittany Lions in
a game decided by penalty kicks.
The rivalry has reached a new level recently, as
the two teams have risen above the rest of the Big
Ten competition. This year, they played to a score-
less tie in the regular season. After that game, Penn
State went unbeaten, and Michigan finished one
game behind the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten.
"They're the team to beat, and we want to beat
them, and they would like to get back at us because
their only blemish two years in a row has been from
(Michigan)," senior Emily Schmidt said.
Unless a major upset occurs, the rivalry will be
renewed Sunday in the finals of the Big Ten tourna-
ment. While both teams assert that getting to the
finals takes preference, neither team will deny that
they crave another shot at each other.
"When you go through the conference undefeat-
ed except for one team, you'd like another chance at
them," Penn State coach Patrick Farmer.
Penn State holds a 4-2-3 advantage in the head-
to-head series. Only three games have been decided
by more than one goal. This year, the numbers of
weapons each team possesses, makes Michigan and
the Nittany Lionsthe favorites to win the tourna-
ment.
The teams have an answer for each other's stars.
Scoring? Michigan brings superfrosh Abby
Crumpton, who leads the team in points with 23.

Penn State counters with all-world freshman
Christie Welsh, who leads the Big Ten with 18goals
Goaltending? Penn State boasts sophomore
Emily Oleksiuk, who allowed just 14 goals in 19
games. Michigan replies with junior Carrisa
Stewart, the team's all-time leader in victories with-_
29.
Experience? Michigan seniors Shannon Poole
and Emily Schmidt have played in all 84 games dur-
ing their careers at Michigan. Penn State senior
Courtney Lawson is second on the team in points,
and the current Big Ten player of the week.
Still, despite the apparent similarities in person-
nel, the team's play very different styles of soccer.
"Their ability to control the pace of the game
makes them dangerous," Farmer said of the
Wolverines. "They're possessive without being bor-
ing."
Penn State relies more on the physical advantages
of their offense.
"They play directly to their forwards and run
down balls," Michigan coach Debbie Belkin said.
"They have a couple of real special players like
Christie Welsh who can take over a game."
When they played earlier in the year, both teams
saw opportunities to win fall by the wayside. A
great save by Oleksiuk on Michigan senior Mari
Hoff's header prevented the Wolverines from tri-
umphing.
"We had our opportunities," Schmidt said. "To
beat them, we'd have to shut down their offensive
threats and capitalize on our chances this time."
Farmer said, the rivalry hasn't turned bitter
despite the fact that the programs are competing for
recruits as well as titles. A mutual respect exists, but
the teams are still looking for a rematch.
"Neither team had their best game the first time,;
Farmer said. "We definitely hope to meet them this
weekend."

MARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily
Senior Shannon Poole will compete in the final grudge match between the Michigan and Penn State if
the two teams avoid upsets on the way to the Big Ten finals.

November shows improvement for Michigan runners

By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
A second place finish at the Big Ten
Championships re-established Michigan as
one of the top programs in the conference.
November is to cross country what
October is to Major League Baseball - a
month of post-season heroics and magic.
The Wolverines' November began by sur-
prising the rest of the conference with
upsets over nationally ranked Minnesota
and Michigan State which overshadowed
the victory of No. 5 Wisconsin.
"Our team can achieve anything,"
Michigan's top runner, Lisa Ouellet, said.
"We ran with courage."
Entering this race, Michigan was the
fourth-best team in the conference statisti-
cally.
Last season the Wolverines placed sec-
ond at the Big Ten meet, but this year they
have fallen from the national rankings
while helplessly watching Minnesota and
Michigan State climb in them.
But with a first-team all-Big Ten showing
by Ouellet and second-team all-Big Ten
showings by junior Katie Clifford and
senior Elizabeth Kampfe, the Wolverines
edged out Minnesota by three points for
second place.

Wisconsin had long since set itself ahead
of its conference competition. By running
at such prestigious meets as the Stanford
Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., and the
Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark.,
Wisconsin seemed more interested in their
competition at the national level than their
Big Ten foes.
Close races against Stanford and
Arkansas, the two top ranked teams, speaks
for the quality of the Wisconsin team this
season.
Even in August, Wisconsin seemed to be
out of reach for coach Mike McGuire and
his Michigan team.
"Realistically, Wisconsin is not beatable,"
McGuire said last week.
Playing second fiddle to the Badgers is
one thing, but Michigan did not expect to
be going into the Big Ten meet fourth in the
conference.
Minnesota and Michigan State had strong
seasons to earn the No. 17 and 18 national
rankings, respectively. Minnesota's Rasa
Michniovaite, a returning member of the
1998 all-Big Ten team, had been running
well all season.
Junior Corinne Nimtz, who ran a person-
al best time of 17:57 in late September, was
also expected to raise the standards for the

Gophers' competition.
Meanwhile, Michigan has struggled.
Complaints and frustrations were common-
place among both the athletes and
McGwire.
Following a disappointing showing at the
Wolverine Invitational two weeks ago,
McGuire didn't want to make excuses or
create false expectations.
"We have to improve," McGuire said
then. "We really didn't improve. We haven't
really improved in the last month. Some
people have, but some people have gone
backwards. We've got to dig down."
Then the Big Ten meet, the rest of the
conference saw a team effectively will itself
to success after sensing a failed season
looming.
There was a general feeling of relief
among the Michigan team that had not
existed in the past few months.
Like the New York Mets' surprising turn-
around during baseball's postseason, the
Wolverines will try to continue their
Renaissance well into November.
To do so will mean a top two finish in
two weeks at the Great Lakes Regional in
Terre Haute, Ind., thereby qualifying
Michigan for the national meet in
Bloomington.

The Wolverines overcame an unexpected fourth-place regular
season finish with a strong Big Ten championship.

I---

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