20 -- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 14, 1999
From Staff ReportsF
Former Michigan first baseman Traci Conrad - a
two-time first-team all-American - has been named an
assistant softball coach at Notre Dame, the university
Conrad will help coach the hitters and infielders, and_
will perform administrative duties for Notre Dame head
coach Liz Miller.
Conrad was the.Big Ten hits leader during her career,
which spanned from 1996 to 1999. This past spring,,
Conrad was a Honda Award Finalist and a third-team all-
Conrad also won the Big Ten Player of the Year for the
second time and was named most valuable player.
Conrad garnered first-team all-America honors in her
sophomore season. Conrad also was a first team all-Big
Ten selection her last three seasons at Michigan and par-
ticipated in the Women's College World Series three
times in her career.1
Conrad also was a gold medalist at the 1997 Pan Am
qualifier in Medellin, Colombia and was a participant in
the 1997 and 1998 USA Softball National Team festival.A
Conrad, a two-time Academic all-American, graduated
in May with a degree in sports management and commu-
nications. She also helped lead the Akron Racers to the FILE PHOTO
Women's Pro Softball League championship series, Traci Conrad may have been an all-American at Michigan, but she will be teaching Notre Dame players how to beat her alma
where they were runners-up. mater. Conrad accepted a position as an assistant coach at Notre Dame yesterday.
Field hockey tries to put weekend in the past
Continued from Page 15
season he found a little bit of luck. During the team's late
August qualifier, which decides who makes the team and the
order of the top five spots, Matthews found himself in a
potentially bad situation late in his round. Nestled in a green-
side bunker, Matthews mis-hit a sand shot that rifled over the
green. But the ball hit a tree on the other side of the green,
and came right back onto the putting surface. Then, as if
pulled on an invisible string by an unseen hand, it dropped
directly into the cup.
Not a bad start to a year which saw Matthews finish con-
sistently near the top of the Michigan lineup. His outstanding
freshman campaign culminated last summer with a spot in
the field on the PGA Tour's Buick Open in Grand Blanc,
"It was incredible: Matthews said. "It's just absolutely
amazing that I got to play in a PGA Tour event. I qualified (at
three-under) on a Monday and had a U.S. Amateur qualifiet
on Tuesday so I couldn't even play an official practice round.
From Monday when I played in the qualifier to Friday when
I missed the cut I felt like I was in a whirlwind."
And when Matthews arrived for his 6:15 a.m. tee time on
Wednesday morning he was greeted by two-time Masters
champion Jose Maria Olazabal, tying his shoes near
Matthews' locker. Just after that, he almost ran into former
Ryder Cup captain Tom Kite.
"Playing in the field at the Buick Open really helped my
confidence," Matthews said. "Now I know I can do it. I kind
of had some doubts before about whetherI could play pro-
fessionally. But if I just keep practicing and working on my
short game who knows. It just gave me that boost that I need-
ed to make the jump to the next level."
By.Ryn C. Moloney
D~aily Sports Writer
Usually, when a team has the kind
of weekend the Michigan field hock-
ey team just had, the sports cliches
become as frequent as a parking tick-
et in Ann Arbor.
"We've really got to step it up and
play to our potential," is a favorite.
"Let's just take it one game at a
time and hopefully, when we look up
at thescoreboard, we'll be on top," is
another popular one.
To their credit, the Wolverines have
not resorted to answering questions
about their long, strange trip to
Virginia with such worn-out phrases.
But why not, just for kicks, ask the
ultimate in sports cliche questions -
is it time to push the panic button?
"We are not lacking any confidence
at all," team captain Ashley
Reichenbach said. "Especially the
way we played against Virginia - I
had a good feeling coming out of that.
"I think we can'beat any team in the
Whoa. This statement comes after
the Wolverines were soundly defeated
by James Madison on Sunday and
nipped in heartbreaking fashion by
the Cavaliers on Friday.
"We have got to realize that we are
a better team than the way we played
on Sunday," Maureen Tasch said. "It's
out of our system."
There is one intangible on any team
which sets it above all others, talent
The willingness to give cancerous
self-doubt the boot.
"You just gotta believe;" is more
than a tacky Deion Sanders bandana
It may very well epitomize the
quest of the Wolverines to do that
which has never been done before -
bring an NCAA Tournament bid to
In a sense, the Wolverines came
away from Virginia with more than
the win-lose record would indicate -
the losses were humbling reminders
of the work still to be done, and the
lapses in concentration will get extra
scrutiny in the weeks to come.
"One thing we're going to stress is
having really intense practices,"
ReicheAbach said. "Short breaks or
none at all, focusing on playing
aggressive against aggres- "
The Wolverines should wa
have plenty of shots at
redemption - starting with
Sunday's match against
Syracuse and continuing
with their Big Ten opener
against Michigan State on
Reichenbach squelched any notion
that the Wolverines will still be reel-
ing once they roll into Syracuse.
"We're going to go into Syracuse
and show the Big East what the Big
Ten is all about," she said.
Syracuse is yet another national
powerhouse on a schedule which
brings goosebumps to any diehard
field hockey fan.
Michigan State - while not among
the top teams in the Big Ten, is a Big
Ten team nonetheless and won't be
After all, they're the Spartans.
"They're all big games,"
"Every single step of the way is
important and State is no excep-
tion."If they had to pick the biggest
atell you the truth, I
ut a Big Tenrng="
Michigan field hockey captain
Big Ten match of the year? You
guessed it, Penn State.
The Nittany Lions practically
owned the Wolverines last year -up-
ending them in each confrontation.
The Big Ten tournament when the
'Lions eliminated Michigan from an
automatic bid to the fabled NCAA's.
"Penn State is by far the biggest
game," Tasch said. "They got us a few
times last year so we owe them."
There are no hesitant quivers in the
voices of these Wolverines. There's a
confidence, a swagger if you will, as
if they haven't lost a game this sea-
son. Two losses in three days? You
wouldn't know it.
"To tell you the truth,"
Reichenbach said, "I want a Big Ten
The Michigan field hockey team is intent on leaving this past weekend - in which*
it lost both games - behind it as it surges into the Big Ten season.