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November 08, 2001 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-08

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 8, 2001

0

'M' hopes to begin
building momentum

Baez-Silva's absence hurts Blue's chances

By Allison Topp
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's soccer team
came in second place for the Big Ten
title this season. The Wolverines lost
two games during the regular season.
One to Illinois, and to eventual champi-
ons Penn State.
While Michigan does not get any
special recognition for being a runner-
up, the first step towards redemption is
the quarterfinal game of the Big Ten
Tournament, against
Michigan State today
at 1:45 p.m. in West WEST
Lafayette. Who: Michigan vs.
"Any team would When:1:45today.
love to win the tourna- Latest: Michigan h
ment because it is an already this year, b
automatic bid for the ing momentum as t
NCAA Tournament," they think is an atU
assistant coach Scott Forrester said.
"There is also some nice hardware
involved. We would love to put that
championship plaque in our trophy
case."
The vacant spot in the trophy case
will remain covered with dust if Michi-
gan does not win all three games of the
tournament. Penn State is the favorite
- and defeating the Nittany Lions for
'the tournament crown would be the
sweetest victory - the Wolverines must
first deal with the Spartans.
"I don't think there is a comfort level,
despite the fact that we have faced
Michigan State earlier this season," For-
rester said. "The stakes are much higher
- one game and you are out - so it's
almost like a whole new season."

The first matchup between Michigan
and Michigan State ended in a 2-1
Michigan victory. But the game was
close throughout, as Michigan came
from behind in the second half with the
wind in its face on a bitter autumn day.
Abby Crumpton' scored both goals in
that game. She is looking to continue a
three-game scoring streak that started
with those two goals.
Michigan State goalie Stacy Heller
has kept most shots. from hitting the
back of the net with her tremendous

LAFAYETTE
Michigan State
as beaten the Spartans
)ut needs to begin builid-
they begin a run to what
ainable Big Ten title.

saves. She earned
Big Ten Defensive
Player of the Week
honors this past
Monday after
shutouts against
Toledo and Kent
State.
Michigan goal-

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
Regardless of what happens to the Michigan men's
soccer team at this weekend's Big Ten Tournament in
Madison, there is a good possibility that it will chalk
this up as a successful year.
In just its second year as a varsity program, Michi-
gan finished with a 3-3 conference record and 9-6-1
overall. That mark was good enough to earn Michi-
gan a tie for third place in the Big Ten with Wiscon-
sin and Michigan State.
"I think we've been pretty hard on ourselves,"
coach Steve Burns said. "We lost to Bowling Green
(1-0) and we thought we should have won. We lost to
Florida International (2-1) in a game that we could
have won.
"It's kind of time to take a step back, look at what
we've done, and realize that this has been a pretty
great year."
Michigan will look to extend that great year as it
opens the Big Ten Tournament against host Wiscon-
sin today. The fifth-seeded Wolverines defeated the
fourth-seeded Badgers earlier this year in Ann Arbor,
2-1.
In that game, Mike White and Knox Cameron
each netted a goal to stake the Wolverines to a 2-0
lead.
Getting off to a quick start has been a large part of
Michigan's formula for success this year. It's some-
thing that the Wolverines will be looking to accom-
plish again against the Badgers.
"Every game that we've scored first in this season
we've won and every game that we haven't we've
lost," Burns said. "So talk about a
fresh sense of confidence when we .
score early. You see everyone's MAD
game elevate when that happens - Who: Michigan vs. W
our body language and our posture When: 11a.m. CST
stay strong. Latest: Michigan trie
"When we get scored on first we cessful season - its
try to address that as a team, but run at the Big Ten Tou
most of the time being able to'deal the Badgers in the fir
with that comes with experience. It's that little game
within a game."
Perhaps the biggest issue facing Michigan will be
attempting to cover Wisconsin's Dominic Dapra, who

keeper Suzie Grech also earned a
shutout last weekend against Western
Michigan, her 10th of the season.
Sophomore Bre Bennett has started
in four games and has only had 10 goals
against in 461:27 minutes of play. Since
the players split time, it is uncertain
which keeper will start in today's game.
Just two games ago, the Wolverines
suffered a 2-1 loss at Notre Dame, but
Forrester does not think it will hurt
Michigan's chances at all.
"The goal is not to peak right before
you start tournament play," Forrester
said. "You want to continue the trend of
winning and hopefully get a bid to the
NCAA Tournament. If things go our
way, we could have a chance of making
the Final Four."

ALYSSA WOOD/Dail
Karl Lopata and the men's soccer team begins their second trip to the Big Ten Tournament today against
Wisconsin. The fourth-seeded Wolverines will try to reapeat their 2-1 victory against Wisconsin earlier this year.

leads the team with 15 goals this season. In Michi-
gan's earlier contest against Wisconsin, marking back
James Baez-Silva defended Dapra one-on-one

DISON
isconsin
s to complete a suc-
second ever - with a
urnament. They play-
st round.

throughout the game. Baez-Silva
frustrated the dangerous striker,
holding him without a point.
But Baez-Silva received a red
card in Michigan's season finale
- a 1-0 upset win over Ohio State.
Because of that he will be forced
to sit out the opening round game
against Wisconsin.

level of intensity with a physical, aggressive mentali-
ty," Burns said. "But we need to be a little smarter
when recognizing when to be aggressive and when
not to be.
"But I'm not going to whine and complain -
we're just working on adjusting when we have to
play a man down."
The winner of today's game will advance to play
top-seeded Indiana on Friday. But win or lose, this
season has left Burns and the rest of the Wolverines
happy with what they've accomplished.
"In our second year to go from sixth to third place
in the conference, that's a significant jump for us,"
Burns said. "It's sinking in with the players and it's
giving us a renewed sense of confidence heading into
the tournament."

It's a big loss as the Wolverines try to pull an upset
on the road.
"As a team we've spent a lot of energy trying to
get our guys to play Big Ten soccer - a very high

Freshman star Webb may meet his match

40

By Megan Fitzgerald
Daily Sports Writer
The men's cross-country team is confident
heading into the NCAA regional meet in Terre
Haute, Ind. this Saturday.
Rightfully so.
The team is currently ranked No. 11 in the
country and is almost assured a spot at the NCAA
national meet on Nov. 19.
"This meet is just a preliminary," Michigan
coach Ron Warhurst said. "I'm not too worried
about places, as long as we qualify."
Michigan's competition in the Great Lakes
Regional will come from No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 5
Notre Dame, No. 16 Eastern Michigan and No. 18
Michigan State.
"Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Eastern will be
tough,"Warhurt said.
The Wolverines placed second to Wisconsin at
the Big Ten Championship earlier this season and
Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan have each won
their respective conference championship.
"I think five teams (from the regional) are good
enough to get out," Warhurst said.
Two teams from each of the nine regionals auto-
matically qualify for the national meet. In addition
there are at-large selections, 'reserved for the next
best teams. Michigan plans to be one of the teams
selected.
"We're not running for first," Warhurst said.
"We just want a solid performance that will get us
to nationals."
The team hopes to score similarly to its Big Ten
meet performance. .

"We should have two or three guys in the top 10
or 15 ... we really want to try to group up as best
as possible" Warhurst said.
One change for the Wolverines comes for fresh-
man Alan Webb, who for the first time this year
will not be running to win.
"Eastern has got a kid who may be the best in
the country," Warhurst said. "I don't want Alan to
go after him yet, I want him to get through without
running his guts out."
Boaz Cheboiywo of Eastern Michigan is the
favorite entering the meet. He is undefeated this
year and has posted winning times throughout.
"I want Alan to run with the other guys in the
lead pack, (Webb) has one shot to beat (Cheboiy-
wo) and that's at nationals," Warhurst said.
Running with Webb in the lead pack should be
seniors Mike Wisniewski and Mark Pilja Wis-
niewski is coming off a fourth-place finish at the
Big Ten meet, and Pilja, who was sick at Big Tens,
hopes to improve upon his 16th-place perform-
ance.
Rounding out the roster will be Tom Greenless,
Nick Stanko, Nathan Brannen and Brian Turner.
Warhurst has confidence that these runners are
ready .
"We'll have a solid 4-5-6, and that's what really
helps with scoring," Warhurst said. "The goal of
the season is-to run well at nationals. We want to
be recovered for that."
The last few weeks of the season are when the
team starts the recovery.
"We're coming down in quantity, and quality
goes,upa bit," Warhurst said. "This is it ... time
for some faster stuff."

DANNY MOLOSHOK/ Daily
Abby Crumpton carries the Wolverines into the Big Ten Tournament on the strength
of her three-game scoring streak.

BYE
Continued from Page 11A
time is rebruiting. With the official
signing date just around the corner,
the Wolverines have four spots to
fill for the upcoming season.
"This week we are really going to
try and get our recruiting in order,"
Pearson said. "The signing date is

just a week from this Wednesday."
The Wolverines will resume offi-
cial practices next Monday, and then
will once again hit the road for a
series against Nebraska-Omaha Nov.
16th and 17th.
"Winning definitely solves- a lot
of problems," Pearson said. "We are
really looking forward to going out
there and competing."

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Alan Webb has been outstanding for the Wolverines this
season, but his coach wants him to save his best stuff.

Harriers ready for Great Lakes Regional

By Jenifer Scheyer
For the Daily

One word describes the mentality
of the women's cross country team:
Focused.
"I look in the eyes of the girls on
the team and I can just see it.
Everyone's really excited," junior
Jeanne Spink said.
After shocking many by placing

second last week at the Big Ten
Championships, the Wolverines are
heading to Terre Haute, Ind. for the
Great Lakes regional where they
plan to prove again that they are
championship material.
"We're coming off our best race
of the year at the Big Tens and so
we want to be an automatic qualify-
ing team," said Michigan head
coach Mike McGuire.

The top two teams will earn a bid tures two other sophomores, and
for nationals, and the third place two freshmen. This will be the sec-
team has a chance for an at-large ond 6,000-meter course that the
bid to Greenville, South Carolina. Wolverines have run this season.
Eight other regional meets will be Most other meets have been 5,000-
going on around meter courses, but
the nation this the added distance
weekend. TERRE HAUTE, IND. should not be a
"We're con fi- Who: Michiganwill take on the field at the problem.
dent that we can GreatLakes Regional So are they nerv-

have a great race if When: 12:15 p.m.
we follow up like Latest:Michigan finis
we did at Big Tens ond at the Big Ten To
and run like that, and hopes to continu
strong and hard," senior captain
Katie Ryan said. "We're going to
have to have our top five runners
step it up and run even better than at
Big Tens. And we're competitive.
Before the race Saturday, we'll run
the course, see what it's like, just
prepare the pre race, go slow, and
work together as a group,"
Ryan says Michigan's toughest
opponents will be No. 6 Michigan
State, No. 18 Marquette, No. 19
Notre Dame and Wisconsin. But the
team is in great health, both physi-
cally and mentally and ready to take
on the challenge.
Sophomore Lindsay Gallo has
been the team's top finisher in the
past six consecutive meets, and is
the only underclassman who is a
regional veteran. In addition to
Gallo, Spink and Ryan have also
competed before in regional meets.
Michigan's lineup for Saturday fea-

shed a surprising sec-
urnament last week,
e their success.

ous? It doesn't
appear so.
"We do better at
meets when we're

not nervous. We know what we have
to do. We get ready the day and
weeks before the race and then the
day of the race we're just crazy,
laughing and joking around. We get
along really well," Spink said,
laughing.
The team camaraderie can only
help the Wolverines as they set off
to accomplish their goals on Satur-
day. Coach McGuire feels the run-
ners are ready and have prepared
adequately since coming'off the Big
Ten meet. Now all they need is rest
and time to focus mentally, but as
far as running goes, they're pre-
pared.
"They're definitely fired up and
feeding off each other's energies.
We are focusing on moving forward
and looking at this as a great oppor-
tunity," McGuire said.

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