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September 21, 2000 - Image 11

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-21

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 21, 2000 -- 1A

eN little rested, 'M' welcomes Big Ten
Re-focused women's soccer hosts Wisconsin, Minnesota this weekend

By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer
The jet-lagged and leg-weary team
that masqueraded as the Michigan
omen's soccer team (2-0 Big Ten, 3-
overall) finally gave up their act.
After a dismal start, the real squad has
caught fire in their last three games,
outscoring their opposition Il-I and
has re-entered the top 25 at No. 24.
The noticeable improvement in
team continuity can be attributed to
finally adjusting to campus routines.
"Most of the team had not even
moved in yet (early in the season),"
coach Debbie Belkin Rademacher
ad . "Now we're finally getting into
chedule."
In their last three games, the
Wolverines have established their
team identity -- an aggressive, attack-
ing style playing to the offensive-
nlinded nature of midfielders like
Marie Spaccarotella and to the athleti-
cism of forwards Abby Crumpton and
Stephanie Chavez.

"Because of (Crumpton and
Chavez's) speed, we can send through-
balls and they can take advantage of
them," Rademacher said.
While the Wolverine offense has
been explosive with the likes of the
sophomore Crumpton and freshman
Amber Wilson - leading the team
with three goals apiece - the stellar
defensive play has been lost in the
scoring glitz.
Michigan has re-focused on funda-
mentals and has emphasized team
defense, reducing the kind of break-
downs that broke their back against
teams like Washington, who topped
the Wolverines 4-0.
At goalkeeper, senior Carissa
Stewart has been platooning with
freshman Suzie Grech.
Two factors have gone into
Rademacher's decision to platoon
Stewart, Michigan's career save
leader, with Grech.
First, neither goalkeeper has dis-
tanced herself from the other - both
have been playing equally well.

Second, Rademacher wants both ready
in case one of them goes down during
the season.
By the end of the season, however,
Rademacher plans on naming one the
starter for the Big Ten tournament.
She used the platoon system in 1998,
when Stewart - then a sophomore -
alternated with then-senior Jessica
Jones.
Michigan's weekend opponents,
Wisconsin (1-1, 5-3), and Minnesota
(1-1, 3-4), may not have gaudy
records to throw at the Wolverines, but
they remain dangerous and upset-
ready. They have both been tested with
quality competition.
Against Wisconsin tomorrow,
Rademacher has cited the need to
strike first, and relieve the pressure
from the offense.
"Wisconsin has the type of team
which, if they get ahead, can shut
down and play defensive soccer,"
Rademacher said. "We need to play
strong early."
Rademacher has seen what happens

THISNWEEKEND
MICIGtAN SOCCER FIELD
Who: Michigan (20Big Ten, 3-3overall)vs.
Wisconsin (1-1, 5-3) and Minnesota (1-1,
3.4)
WhenWisconsin, 4p.m.tomorrow
Minnesota, 1:30 Saturday
Latest: Michigan comes home winning their
last three games.
The Wolverines also break into the top 25
for the first time since the preseason,
ranked No. 24.
in the past when her team underesti-
mates Wisconsin. The Badgers spoiled
Michigan's bid to share the Big Ten
title last year in the final game of the
regular season. In addition, Wisconsin
comes into Ann Arbor winning four
out of their last five games.
Minnesota, despite its losing record,
also looks to challenge the
Wolverines. The Gophers feature
senior forward Laurie Seidl, who has
seven points on the year. In addition to
Seidl's scoring punch, the Gophers
bring an experienced, physical, and
athletic team into Ann Arbor.

On to Spartan country
for Reno, women's golf

Kareem Copeland
For the Daily

No matter what the reason, a trip to
East Lansing can get the heart rate up.
Whether it's to visit a friend or to see a
game, for some it's a challenge to stom-
ach all that green. But Sunday, the
Michigan women's golfteam will take on
the challenge, traveling to Spartan coun-
try for the Mary Fossum Invitational.
Fresh off a second-place finish at the
Wolverine Invitational, the team is feel-
ing up for the challenge. Coach Kathy
Teichert called last weekend's finish "a
small disappointment"
Even a first-place finish by Courtney
Reno wasn't enough to keep up with the
victorious Baylor squad. Last week's dis-
appointment has turned into this week's
focus.
"Our goals are to improve on the
weaknesses from last week," Teichert
said. "It's a matter of golf course man-
agement. We just have to make it happen
... by getting to greens in regulation and
keeping the ball in the short grass."

This year's group is eagerto expand on
the success from last season. Incltudiig
last weekend's tournament, the golf team
has finished second in three of their last
five outings. Last season's young players
have each, "elevated to a new level,"
Teichert said. "Each year they are getting
better and better. This group has so much
experience playing in tournaments ..
there are no more excuses."
The team will put its expenence to
work when traveling to Michigan State,
and it hopes to continue improving. Last
season's Wolverines recorded a lth-
place finish at the Marv Fossum.
As of yesterday, the team was still tn
the process ofqualifying. Six playerswill
be taken to the event. Two piayers,
Courtney Reno and Kim Benidict, have
earned automatic bids to play from
Teichert. Benedict also had a strong per-
formance at the Wolverine Invitational
with a sixth-place finish. Teichert said
she has no reservations giving them the
nod because "they know what winning is
all about."

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