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October 04, 2002 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-04

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0

Friday
October 4, 2002
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

SPORTS

8

Blue defense
not a worry
for coaches,
By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Editor
After giving up 543 yards to Illinois last
Saturday, Michigan is giving up an average
of 360 yards per game of total offense,
sixth in the Big Ten. But coach Lloyd Carr
is not as concerned about giving up yards,
because he knows that is not the most sig-
nificant stat.
"You're always going to look at statis-
tics, but there is always one important sta-
tistic and that's the score," Carr said. "After
that it comes down to
turnovers. If you win the FOOTBALL
turnover margin, you're Notebook
going to win and that's the
goal."
After forcing five turnovers and giving up
just one against the Illini, the Wolverines are
now 18th in the nation in turnover margin, at
plus 7 (16 for, nine against). Turnovers have
been a key factor in Michigan's 4-1 record,
both in the wins and the loss.
"When you consider the competition that
we've faced you realize that turnovers
aren't easy to come by," Carr said. "Every-
one understands that you have a hard time
winning games when you lose the turnover
battle."
In Michigan's only loss this season, a 25-
23 defeat at the hands of Notre Dame, both
teams had four turnovers apiece.
Above just winning the turnover battle,
the offense must take advantage of its
opportunities. Against the Illini, the
Wolverines' offense did just that, turning
the five turnovers into 24 points. The
offense could not that against the Irish.
The yardage given up against Illinois is a
bit deceiving as Michigan had pretty much
wrapped up the game by the third quarter

Exhibition weekend brings
changes to icers' lineup

By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer
When he came to Michigan, junior Dave
Wyzgowski was an offensive player. He had
never played anywhere but up front through-
out his entire hockey career.
But when the Wolverines take
the ice for their first two exhibi-
tion games of the season - in the YOST I
annual Blue/White Intrasquad Who: Blue/
tonight and against Toronto intrasquad
tomorrow - Wyzgowski will have exhibition g
We: 7:05
to be a lot more defensive-minded When:7: 5
than ever before. That's because asFive
the North Street native will be their lonesh
playing on the blueline for the the coache
first time in his life. ting this we
The Michigan coaching staff
approached Wyzgowksi after last season to
see if he might be willing to make a move to
help the team's depth on defense. At first, the
junior was bit unsure.
"To be honest with you, I didn't know what
to think about it," Wyzgowski said. "After a
couple of days, I started enjoying myself out
there. And so far, it's been going pretty well."
It's been going so well, in fact, that Wyz-
gowski has earned high praise from his defen-
sive partner Brandon Rogers.
"I think it's definitely a tough transition to
go from forward to defense," Rogers said. "I
think he's adjusted excellently. He couldn't
have done it any better."
Rogers even thinks that Wyzgowski's expe-
rience as a forward will help him with his new
position.
"I think him having been a forward for the
whole time he's been a player helps," Rogers
said. "He has an offensive edge that he plays
with."
Wyzgowski's adjustment began in the off-
season when he spent a lot of time working on
his skating. With his new position in mind, he
focused his energy on skating backwards

more fluidly - something he didn't have to
do much as a forward.
Rogers thinks that Wyzgowski adds a lot to
the team with his strength alone.
"He's probably one of the strongest guys on
our team," Rogers said. "He hits guys when he

CE ARENA
White
and Toronto
ames.
p.m. tonight
tomorrow
ewalkons get
fot to impress
s in a game set-
ekend.

has a chance."
This weekend will be a big test
for Wyzgowski at his new posi-
tion. Even though he has been
strong in practice, the junior says
that he has to prove to the coach-
ing staff that he can hold his own
in a game situation.
"This will be the first game he's
probably ever played on defense,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson
said of tonight's exhibition. "So
let's see if he's comfortable there

DANNY MOLOSHOK/ Daily
Defensive lineman Dan Rumishek and the rest of the defense may have given up over 500 yards
against Illinois last week, but they are not a question mark for the Wolverines.

or if there's just no way. He looks pretty good
in practice."
If he does earn a defensive spot on the
team, the junior will be one of just three blue-
liners that are upperclassmen - along with
alternate captain Andy Burnes and senior
Mike Roemensky.
"Every day I'm learning something new I
guess," Wyzgowski said. "So far it's working
out pretty well, but I still have to go out there
tomorrow and show (the coaches) that I can
do it."
USCHO top 10 poll
TEAM POINTS LAST YEAR
1 Minnesota 563 3
2 Denver 515 2
3 MICHIGAN 499 7
4 New Hampshire 419 1
5 Boston University 400 5
6 Maine 369 6
7 Michigan State 360 4
8 Cornell 315 9
9 Boston College 252 -
10 Colorado College 229 10

and Carr used the fourth quarter to give
other players more time on the field.
"We substituted at the end of three quar-
ters because number one, we had control, of
the game and it gave us an opportunity to
play a lot of our younger players," Carr
said of playing the second string.
"As far as the score goes, would you like
to come out of there allowing only 13
points? Yes, but the game was clearly in
hand and it was in the best interests of our
program that we give those young players

experience and another important factor is
that when you leave people in the risk of
injury is higher."
BYE, BYE LOVE: According the Carr the
bye week couldn't have come at a better
time. It is very early in the Big Ten season,
giving the Wolverines a break before the
long haul.
"Anytime the week comes during the
middle of the season it enables you to get
your breath," Carr said. "If you have it late
See DEFENSE, Page 9.

0

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Similar Spartans could give stickers problems

By Brian Steere
Daily Sports Writer

NCAA Tournament and ended Michi-
gan State's season. At the same time,
it propelled the Wolverines into the
Final Four, where they went on to

us with everything they've got."
With nearly identical records,
rankings and win streaks, it's no sur-

Saying the Michigan State field
hockey team wants to beat Michigan
is definitely an understatement.
After all, the Wolverines have given
the Spartans plenty of reasons to sin-
gle them out besides the standard
competitive nature of the intra-state
rivalry.
Michigan has won the past eight
contests between the two schools,
including a pair of thrilling 2-1 over-
time victories last season. Michigan's
second win of the series last year
came in the quarterfinals of the

prise that

claim the program's first
national championship.
A year later, No. 2
Michigan (1-0 Big Ten,
9-1 overall) and No. 5
Michigan State (1-0, 10-
1) are once again the pre-
eminent powers in the
Big Ten, but the Spartans
are coming to Ocker
Field this afternoon rid-
ing a nation's best -10-

OJCKER FIELD
Who: No.6 Michigan St. at
No.2 Michigan.
When: 4 p.m.
Latest: The Wolverines are
8-0 against the Spartans
since 1997, winning both
of their meetings last year
in overtime.

both teams have defeated
their opponents in simi-
lar fashion. The Wolver-
ines and Spartans have
consistently demolished
inferior competition, but
they've also showed an
ability to win close
games, which leaves the
outlook of today's game
up in the air.
"It's hard to say what
the turnout is going to be,

this season. The Wolverines must con-
tain her if they want to keep the game
a low-scoring affair.
Beerman "is certainly a very dan-
gerous player, and we're going to be
mindful of her," Pankratz said. "We've
watched their corners, and we're going
to try to offset tactically and do the
best we can to neutralize her."
Michigan has a myriad of offensive
threats in its attack, including Powers,
who has amassed nine goals this year
and garnered several Big Ten Offen-
sive Player of the Week awards. Pow-
ers knows that it will be critical for
the Wolverines to continually apply
pressure to the Spartans' goalkeeper,
Christina Kirkaldy.
"I think it's going to be important
for us to take a lot of shots," Powers
said. "We've been taking a lot of shots
in every game. We've really focused
on getting into the circle and getting
at least a corner or a shot. I think it's
going to come down to who executes
the corners."

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game winning streak and on a mission
to hand the Wolverines their first
home loss of the season.
"Without a doubt, Michigan State is
going to come in here with everything
they've got," senior Molly Powers
said. "They give us a good game
every time. They're a tough team -
strong competitors and good hockey
players. They're going to want to beat

but I certainly think it's going to be a
really close contest," Michigan coach
Marcia Pankratz said. "I think Michi-
gan State is very talented. It's going to
be a fast-paced, high-tempo, very
skilled game. It will be one of the best
hockey games in the whole nation."
Annebet Beerman, a sophomore
midfielder, is the Spartans' main
offensive threat with 12 goals already

Team chemistry a key
for Blue rowers success

By Sharad Mattu
For the Daily
Two years ago the Michigan
women's rowing team finished sec-
ond in the NCAA Championships,
the program's best finish in the five-
year existence of the tournament.
But last season, Michigan was so
consumed with finishing first that
they became frustrated and unhappy
over the course of the season. Michi-
gan finished eighth in the champi-
onships, their worst ever finish.
This year the seniors on the row-
ing team do no want a repeat of last
year and have chosen to make team

chemistry a top priority.
"Last year the team was focused
only on the results, and over time
we stopped working together as a
team," senior Chritina Ceo said.
"This year the seniors have tried
to get the team unified. Already the
team has had a spaghetti dinner and
a pizza party with the freshmen to
get to know them better.
"We want this team to be a real
close group."
Michigan coach Mark Rothstein
is happy to see the seniors making
an effort to bring the team together
this year.
"To have a successful season, we

PITTSBURGH
Who: Michigan rowing at the Head of the,
Ohio.
When: 8 a.m.
Latest: The Michigan rowing team will wet
their oars outside the state of Michigan for
the first time this season.
need the seniors to be leaders,"
Michigan caoch Mark Rothstein
said. "This team has a lot of good
athletes and they all have good atti-
tudes, but in the end the senior class
really will define this team."
This weekend Michigan will see
whether these efforts are paying off,
when it visits Pittsburgh to compete
in the Head of the Ohio regatta.
Although Rothstein is not overly
concerned with results during the
fall, he is eager to see how the team
performs.
"Saturday will be a good chance
to see where we are right now rela-
tive to some other good teams,"
Rothstein said.
"It is very early in the season
though, so I won't dwell on the
results too much. What I really want
to see are strong fundamentals and
good attitudes, because that is what
will make me believe we will be a
good team in the spring."
Ceo agrees with coach Rothstein's
decision to focus on fundamentals.
"We have a lot of rookies on the
team this year, so during the fall it
is important to focus on technique

ROCK THE HOUSE

Michigan vs. Indiana
Friday, October 4
7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena

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