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September 24, 1999 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-24

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COLLEGE Toronto 7,.
Clemson 11 Cleveland 5
AMERICAN Chicago 2
(1) Oakland 9, LEAGUE
Oakland 4 Montreal 1

New York 2
Philadelphia 6
Pittsburgh 6
San Francisco at


Tracking 'M' teams
Check out the Michigan field hockey and volleyball
teams this weekend. Both play two games at home
each. Check today's sports section for a preview of all
the action.

September 24, 1999


Soccer tries to crumble Big Ten rivals

By Dan Dingerson
Daily Sports Writer
Now is the chance for the Michigan women's soc-
cer team to step up and announce itself. After drop-
ping out of the national rankings early in the season,
the Wolverines have regained their standing and
moved to No. 22 in the NSCAA/Adidas national
r kings.
fter a scoreless tie with then fourth-ranked Penn
State, Michigan finds itself tied for second in the
ultra-competitive Big Ten. The lone team that sits
ahead of the Wolverines - No. 15 Illinois - is
Michigan's opponent today.
The game will pit two of the top three teams in the
Great Lakes region against each other, and will deter-
mine who controls the Big Ten in the early season. It
is-a perfect chance for the Wolverines to firmly estab-
lish themselves as one of the nation's best teams.
- o far, the Wolverines have been led by two play-
S.Wat the opposite ends of their careers. Upstart fresh-
man Abby Crumpton leads Michigan in both goals
(4) and points (9).
She is followed closely this season by senior Emily
Schmitt, the team leader in assists. Each has taken
nearly twice as many shots as any of their teammates,
and have clearly established their place on the team as

Schmitt has been a key determinant for the
Wolverines. In the four games in which she has
recorded a point, the Wolverines are 4-0. In
Michigan's other three games, it is 0-2-1. Schmitt has
had to step up her game to account for the loss of
senior Amber Berendowsky.
"We're a really gritty team," Michigan coach
Debbie Belkin said. "When we're on, we play really
good team defense."
Junior goalie Carissa Stewart has given Michigan a
defensive edge, recording two shutouts and a 1.49
goals-against average.
Illinois, in only its third season of varsity play, has
jumped to its best start and its first national ranking
with a 7-1 record. The Fighting Illini are led by Emily
Brown and Lisa Baldwin. The duo is first and second
in goal scoring this year, and both are at the top of
Illinois' all-time scoring list.
Illinois' defense has been outstanding as well,
allowing only six goals in their eight matches while
outshooting their opponents by more than double.
"We're going to get our opportunities," Belkin said.
"What Illinois does best is play a very aggressive,
high pressure game. We need to be able to withstand
that pressure."

On Sunday, Michigan will battle Iowa in Ann
Arbor. The Hawkeyes are also entering their third
year of varsity status. They find themselves ranked
seventh in the Great Lakes region, their first time
cracking the rankings. The Hawkeyes' 4-3 record
doesn't tell the whole story, as they suffered two close
losses in double overtime.
The Hawkeyes have players amongst the leaders
early in the Big Ten season, highlighted by points
leader Sarah Lynch and saves leader Missy Wickart.
Michigan sports a 2-0 record against both Illinois
and Iowa.
"If you.are going to win the Big Ten you can't lose
any games, otherwise you have to rely on someone
else," Belkin said. "I think that every game is a must-
win for any team in the Big Ten."
The Iowa game also marks the first Parents Day of
the fall. The Michigan players' parents will be hon-
ored before the game.
FREE FOOD: Come to Friday's game to see the
Wolverines take on the Illini. Even if you aren't the
biggest soccer fan, come to get some free food from
The snack company is sponsoring the game and

will give free snacks to the first

500 people at the

Emily Schmitt hopes to get around Ohio and California this weekend. She can also
enjoy some snacks with the fans, which are being given away by Keebler.






-.. "-- I.

Offense can't sputter
against Badgers

Andy Latack
DatIy Sports Editor
Suddenly, people are fleeing the
Wisconsin bandwagon like the Titanic.
Going into last weekend, all eyes
were on this Saturday's showdown
between No. 4 Michigan and No. 17
Wisconsin. Both teams would likely be
undefeated, with the winner having a
leg up in the race for the Big Ten title.
So.much for that.
sually, the Badgers wait until the
f Ten season to prove that they're
oerrated. But this year, reality struck
early on - in the form of a crushing,
17-12 loss to Cincinnati. Yes, the same
Bearcats that lost to Div-1-AA Troy
State the week before.
So, what does that mean for the
Badgers? Well, it certainly hurts their
national title hopes - if anyone outside
of Madison had them to begin with.
Ay if Wisconsin is going to use its
e conference schedule- Penn State
is the heavyweight the Badgers skip
this year - to stumble backwards into
the Big Ten race, it has to start Saturday
against Michigan.
For the Wolverines, this game could
be trouble. Opening the Big Ten season
on the road is always tough. And if
Wisconsin uses last weekend as a wake-
up call, then it could be more than a
If Michigan's offense were perform-
ing up to its potential, this would be a
no-brainer. Anthony Thomas would rur.
for days behind the mammoth offensive
line, opening things up for the passing
game. But so far this season, we have
not seen the Michigan offense of old..
Michigan has been sputtering lately,
and the running game has been one of
twain problems. Thomas has been
consistent, but has yet to break for any
big plays in the past two weeks. The
lack of a second back - Thomas has
79 of Michigan's 114 rushing attempts
this season, and the rest have come dur-
ing garbage time - will also be a con-
cern as the grueling Big Ten season
wears on.
Wisconsin's defensive line lost
anchor Tom Burke, but return a solid
e, led by defensive end John Favret.
Aet lacks size (6-foot-4, 238) but
may be able to beat Michigan's hefty
linemen off the ball. Wisconsin is not
overly impressive against the run but,
unless Michigan finds its running
game, this will be a stalemate.
Advantage: EVEN

Thought Lloyd Carr would have
decided on a quarterback by the start of
the Big Ten season? Wrong. Carr will
continue the routine he has used for the
past three games, starting senior Tom
Brady, playing sophomore Drew
Henson in the second quarter, and then
having the two shoot 'rock-paper-scis-
sors' to decide who gets to play the rest
of the game.
For the first time last week, Carr
went with Henson in the second half,,
and he battled a tough Syracuse defense
as Michigan held on for a win. The
passing game, like the running game,
has struggled mightily of late, and
Michigan will need to improve to win
on Saturday.
,The Wisconsin secondary will
undoubtedly be the toughest Michigan
has faced so far this season. The
Badgers have the eighth-best passing
defense in the nation, led by sophomore
cornerback Jamar Fletcher. Last sea-
son, Fletcher led the NCAA in inter-
ceptions as a redshirt freshman.
Fletcher, a preseason nominee for the
Jim Thorpe Award, should take away an
entire side of the field. Senior safety
Jason Doering is a punishing hitter.
Advantage: WISCONSIN
There's no other way to say it. Ron
Dayne is a load, and could pose a lot of
problems for a defense that has yet to.
face a dangerous power running attack.
Wisconsin is averaging a whopping
291.7 yards per game on the ground -
fifth in the nation. But these stats were
compiled against the likes of Murray
State, Ball State and the Bearcats.
Dayne has a habit of pulling a
Houdini in big games, and the
Michigan front seven is one of the most
See MATCHUPS Page 17
Sfte Ca a~ d
"on-Home fames
$1,50 CALL
1 MS

Wisconsin tries
to exact revenge
By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Editor
When Michigan plays Wisconsin at Camp Randall
Stadium tomorrow at 3:30, the playbill should say in big
letters: Immovable Object meets Irresistible Force.
The Object, of course, is Michigan's rush defense, a fast,
hard-hitting bunch that deserves most of the credit for
Michigan's 3-0 record and its No. 4 ranking. The Michigan
front seven dominated Notre Dame, Rice and Syracuse,
holding them to a combined 287 rushing yards (that's just
95.7 per game, or 2.3 per rush, or 1.7 per Troy Nunes bone-
head play.)
The Force, of course, is Ron Dayne, the 252-pound run-
ning machine in cardinal red. Dayne dominated Murray
State, Ball State and Cincinnati, amassing a combined 524
yards (that's 174.7 per game, or 6.6 per rush, or 3.1 per
cheese factory in the state of Wisconsin).
And the asterisk, of course, is the Big Game-itis
Indicator, a warning sign to anyone reading the playbill that
Dayne isn't playing Podunk State School of the Blind any-
more. Dayne, who may well break Ricky Williams' all-ime
college football rushing record by the time the season's out,
has a peculiar habit: when it comes to a big game, he comes
up little.
Against Michigan last year, with the Badgers rolling and
Michigan still reeling from two early-season losses, Dayne
came into the Big House and amassed a whopping 53 yards.
Apparently, his ear hurt.
This time, don't expect to see Dayne roll over so easily.
The big man lost some weight during the offseason and is
in the best playing shape of his life. And after sleeping with
a football for the past week (after a fumble on the five-yard
line cost the Badgers a game against Cincinnati last week),
his grip on the ball should be tighter than ever.
Speaking of last week, the Badgers were embarrassed by
the Bearcats. This is their chance to prove that they really
are a good football team.
"They're going to be a formidable opponent," Michigan
linebacker Ian Gold said. "They're going to be looking at
this game, like, 'This is Michigan.' Regardless of who
Wisconsin played in the past, they're going to be ready for
If they are ready, Dayne will have to be ready. The
Heisman hopeful is the centerpiece of a relatively pre-
dictable offense: run, run, run. On third-and-long, maybe
throw, but maybe run.
"Once he gets his legs going, he's tough to bring down,"
See BADGERS, Page 17

Michigan running back Anthony Thomas will need a big performance against Wisconsin, If the
Wolverines hope to earn their Big Ten opener.


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