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September 06, 2000 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-06

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SportsWednesday -- September 6, 2000- The Michigan Daily -3B

Gritter blasts 'M'

soccer past Vikings

Freshman nets game-winner in overtime, lifts Michigan to 3-2 win

DAVID
DEN HERDER

By Dan Williams
D-ilySports Writer
;CLEVELAND - In the infant stages of the
N4ichigan men's soccer team's varsity life, coach
Steve Burns discovered that his squad has
resi liency.
The Wolverines bested Cleveland State 3-2 in
overtime despite giving up a goal just five min-
utes into the game. Freshman Tom Gritter led the
charge for Michigan, netting two goals, including
the game winner.
"We made sure we recruited guys with big
character and a lot of heart," Burns said. "Cleve-
.nd State saw an opportunity for a win tonight.
Whey hung in there the entire time, but it was
nice shutting the door on them."
The win elevated Michigan to 2-0 on the sea-
son.
"It's a nice feeling," Burns said. "We told the
team that in terms of building a program, these
ate the games that you've got to win, and they
r sponded."-
After the end of regulation, overtly audible
Cleveland State coach Pete Curtis shouted at his
ayers for not capitalizing on opportunities in
Adorng fans
see fis t
e ixoccer win
By James Mercier
Daily SportsWter
For fans of men's soccer, the wait finally ended this
post Friday night. After 52 years of competing as a
club team, the Michigan team played its first game as a
varsity squad, defeating DePaul 1-0.
On a hot, humid evening, an estimated 3,000 fans
- 2,300 above capacity - showed up to watch the
toric contest: Those who arrived before the game
Fore treated to a pep rally that featured a speech from
coach Steve Burns.
Suitably excited, the fans loudly supported the
Wolverines throughout the contest. They came to their
feet when freshman midfielder Ian Hirschfield blasted
an 18-yard strike into the DePaul goal just 4:49 into
the match.
"It was the dream of a lifetime, right there,"
Hirschfield said after the game. "Everyone was
scrjeaming for me, and I just looked up and saw the
oal. It was an incredible feeling."
DePaul entered the match with a reputation for
physical play and lived up to it. The referees gave the
Blue Demons three yellow cards in the first half alone.
Defenseman Ryan Wunderlich was the target of many
Michigan fans' catcalls.
Burns, who had coached the team when it was com-
peting at the club level, became emotional before the
match.
"Yeah, I was excited," he said. "When the national
anthem was being played, I teared up a little. I strug-
d to hold the tears back."

the second half, when they controlled much of
the game flow.
He then advised his team that they should be
able to win the game within five minutes of over-
time.
But it was Gritter who sealed the victory for
Michigan early in the extra period on a set play.
An Ian Hirschfield centering pass led to Gritter's
scoring volley.
"We worked on the shooting drill, running it to
the neasr post, and it worked out well," Gritter
said of the overtime goal. "We've been doing all
this stuff in practice, and it has come through in
the game."
After holding DePaul scoreless on Friday, the
Wolverines' shutout streak ended in the game's
opening minutes. The Vikings' Mark Royer cap-
italized on a Michigan turnover and pounded a
ball inside the penalty box past Michigan goal-
keeper Albert Geldres, giving Cleveland State a
1-0 lead.
Gritter responded with his first goal, and the
teams then traded penalty kicks. Michigan's
penalty kick came towards the end of the first
half as a long pass from the defense sent Gritter
on a breakaway chance.

In the course of dribbling, Gritter and Viking
goalie Josip Novkovic collided on what appeared
to be a solid tackle.
After the penalty kick was awarded, Curtis, a
native Englishman, became infuriated with the
referee, labeling the call "a bloody disgrace."
Freshman Kevin Taylor scored on the penalty
kick, but Cleveland State evened the contest and
the penalty kick battle in the second half after
Michigan committed a handball in the box.
The game stayed at 2-2 until Gritter capped his
impressive night with the game-clinching goal.
Although the Wolverines remained undefeated
in their brief varsity history, Burns noted that
many learning experiences, and possibly some
drubbings, lie ahead for the untested squad.
"This was a team where we matched up real
well, but I don't think we'll see too many teams
that we are physically able to compete with,"
Burns said.
"We're not going to trick ourselves into think-
ing that we are going to make a great run at a Big
Ten championship here.
"We haven't seen a Top 20 program yet. That
will be the experience where our players learn
what it's like to be a Division I athlete."

One step ft
two steps, I

K evin Gaines had a limp. Sat-
urday, that is, after the foot-
ball game. He was favoring
his right leg, though trying to con-
ceal it.
In perfect honesty, my memory
sucks. I'll forget somebody's name
in the process of being introduced.
I'll print a paper twice in 30 sec-
onds, simply forgetting about the
first time I clicked "print."
But I remember Gaines was hob-
bling ever so slightly. And I remem-
ber the wry look he cracked on my
mentioning it to a colleague.
Because on Saturday
it mattered. Every little
thing that Gaines did or If the 14
said mattered to a ines kec
whole lot of people on /o .
this campus. Maybe h
those people were liv- at this r
ing vicariously through they mi.
him on the court every not qUct
Saturday or maybe they the Big
just wanted Michigan TCoUrnar
held in high esteem. I.
don't claim to know.
What I do know is
that after today, Gaines
means very little to them. That in
itself is interesting social commen-
tary. It's also interesting that Ellerbe
expressed such concern for Gaines'
well being even after he was cut. It's
also interesting that his DUI is such
a big deal, when so many other stu-
dents can do it without fanfare.
All of that social injustice is very
interesting.
But for the Michigan hoops, it
just doesn't matter right now.
The most pressing concerns at
Crisler Arena these days, not neces-
sarily in order:
A) Has the new floor varnish
completely dried?
B) Will there be anybody left to
play on it when it does?
If the Wolverines keep losing
players at the rate they have been all
summer, they might not even quali-
fy for the Big Ten Tournament at
season's end.
Before Gaines got the heave-ho,
Brandon Smith left, Leland Ander-
son transferred, and Jamal Crawford
went in the NBA Draft - as a lot-

'I
a
li
rn

) rward,
C4
?ack
a
tery pick.
Michigan can't even keep players
around long enough to print replica
jerseys. Who bought a No. 34 last
winter?
Michigan has lost its starting
backcourt fromii last season. The
next candidate for point guard is
incoming freshman Avery Queen, Y
who is on a double probation of 3
sorts - both the legal variety and
the Ellerbe brand.
If your money is on him to go
next, that's fair enough - but let's
assume he'll play. Here's how the
lineup is shaking down:
Queen will start at point
/lver- guard. He's shorter than
Gaines, but quick and a
ayer"S good ball handler.
rs e'll likely play next to
te Maurice Searight, the late-
ht edition shooting guard
fy for from Orchard Lake - but
en expect Leon Jones to have
ent. the start early in the sea- i
son.
With 7-2 freshman Josh
Moore a lock at center,
senior Josh Asselin will
probably play power forward. Of
course LaVell Blanchard, Michi-
gan's only true ace-in-the-hole, will
no doubt perform well at small for- r
ward.
That puts freshmen in three slots
by midseason, which usually indi-
cates a team with great potential.
But as it stands now, Ellerbe is
getting only a 40 percent return on
each recruiting class.
The trick to rebuilding is filling
the voids of the present with the
promise of the future. -
For Michigan, it almost feels like
every stroke to the shore is met with,
a riptide twice as strong.
Whether or not Kevin Gaines is
still limping, I don't really know. p
But unlike an annoyed player
walking to his car, Michigan won't
be able to conceal a limp this sea-
son - especially once the Big Ten
schedule rolls around. Can this lat-
est injury heal in time?
- David Den Herder can he
reached at dden@uimricLh. edi4
-a

NORMAN NG/Daly

Freshman midfielder Ian Hirschfield shoots the winning goal against DePaul this past Friday.

The game was a defensive struggle, featuring few
great scoring chances, but the crowd remained enthusi-
astic to the end.
"This is really exciting," fan Kevin Johnson said
during the match. "It's fun to see a new sport get going.
My kids are starting to play soccer, and it's fun to see
how the game should be played."
As the second half wound down, the crowd again
came to its feet, chanting "Let's Go Blue!" Children
blasted plastic blue horns given out before the match.
When time expired, the Wolverines dove into a cele-
bratory pile near the sideline. They then walked to
midfield and saluted the crowd.
Senior goalkeeper Albert Geldres was ecstatic fol-
lowing the game.

"I can't tell you how I feel right now," he said after-
ward. "We've been waiting for this for four years play-
ing club and to get this many fans for the first game is
an incredible experience."
Geldres had a strong outing, going the distance and
shutting the Blue Demons out. He delivered a high-
light-reel performance in the final minute of the first
half, leaping horizontally to stop a hard shot.
"I really didn't expect to pitch a shutout," Geldres
said. "My job was just to come up with the one or two
big saves we'd need. The defense took care of the rest."
While acknowledging that his team needed to get
better, Burns was pleased with his team after the game.
"I'm happy," he said. "Ifwe can give this effort all
the time, we're going to do some good things."

2000 MICHI
' SOCCER RoS
No. PLAYER
0 Brad King
00 Albert Geldres
1 Pat Murphy
I 2 Kevin Taylor
3 Mike White
4 Joey Iding
Steve Huber
Pat Tuohey
Matt Murch
9 Jack Stead
10 Ryan Yoder
11 Brian Peters
12 Will Purdy
13 J.J. Kern
14 Dave George
15 Robert Turpin
16 Kevin Robinson
17 Ian Hirschfield
18 Andrew Balazer
19 Tom Gritter
Steve Walton
Matt Niemeyer
26 Joe Zawacki
Head Coach: Steve B
Assistant Coach: Wa
Assistant Coach: Ern
Athletic Trainer: Andy

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