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October 10, 2002 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-10

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Thursday,
October 10, 2002
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

SPORTS

11A

uses bye
week to plan.
and prepare
By J. Brady McCo~lough
Daily Sports Writer
While Penn State was busy gaining valuable
momentum in its 34-31 win over Wisconsin in
Madison last Saturday, Michigan quarterback
John Navarre was letting his creative juices flow
sitting in front of the TV with a dry-erase board.
"You get a chance to draw stuff up," Navarre
said. "Whether it's going to
run or not doesn't matter. You FOOTBALL
always want to be thinking of Notebook
ways to attack the defense,
and you want to understand why you're doing
things."
Against Illinois, Navarre and his teammates
finally found a rhythm in offensive coordinator
Terry Malone's scheme. Navarre, who threw for
264 yards and one touchdown, said that with
each passing week, the game is slowing down in
front of him, allowing him to make better reads
consistently.
"We were playing well last week but now we
have a chance to be more flexible as far as game
planning," Navarre said. "The reason why we
played so well is because we prepared hard and
really studied Illinois. If we go in there each
week with confidence in our offense and have the
awareness of what the defense is doing, we're
going to play well."
Aside from drawing up possible plays with
roommates Tony Pape and Dave Pearson, the bye
week allowed Navarre to sit down with quarter-
backs coach Scot Loeffler and put together a ten-

JOE
SMITH

Is Gajic ready to show
he is the next big thing?

DAVID KATZ/Daily
Michigan quarterback John Navarre spent the bye week preparing to face Penn State this weekend. Despite
this sack versus the Illini, Navarre was more comfortable in the offense last week.

tative game plan one week earlier than usual.
"You can almost be an offensive coordinator as
a quarterback," Navarre said. "We can put a game
plan in and watch another game and ask our-
selves if we really want to do this or that. We

have more time and more flexibility to do differ-
ent things."
Bye weeks have hurt Michigan in two of the
last three seasons, as the Wolverines were upset
See PREPARE, Page 13A

Michigan sophomore forward
Milan Gajic heard the
jokes and all the criticism
last year. A prolific scorer in the
British Columbia Hockey League
during high school, Gajic suffered
major growing pains his freshman
season while adjusting to college
life and college hockey. Gajic had
an easier time finding a 7-Eleven on
campus than the back of the net,
scoring just three goals in the first
half of last season.
"We used to joke that Milan used
to play in a league with no goalies,"
said Michigan captain Jed Ortmey-
er.
It was not a joking matter for
Gajic. He admitted that with every
shot that hit the post or missed just
wide by an inch, he forced the issue
even more. He became too aggres-
sive and let his lack of scoring
effect.other parts of his game.
After all, what's a goal-scorer
who can't score goals? Gajic ended
up sitting out as a "healthy" scratch
during the first half of the season
more than he lit the lamp...
"Whether it was intensity or
understanding how to become a bet-
ter defensiveplayer, he had a lot to
learn," Michigan coach Red Beren-
son said.
Gajic regrouped near Christmas
time, netting six points in the matter
of a few weekends. He was a huge
part of Michigan making it out of
the West Regional, providing an
offensive spark with a beautiful
wrap-around goal against St. Cloud.
So is the real Gajic back?
"That's yet to be seen," Berenson
said. "I can't tell you he doesn't
have the talent, but he's got to prove
it out on the ice every night."
And if Gajic thought he had a lot
of pressure last year, this time
around it's multiplied tenfold. With

Mike Cammalleri leaving early for
the pros, and leading scorer John
Shouneyia out for up to eight weeks
with a fractured wrist, Gajic will
find himself with a ton of ice time
on the first line and powerplay.
What Gajic does with this perfect
opportunity will be a big factor in
where the Wolverines stand at mid-
season - and in April.
"I knew the minute Cammalleri
and (Mike) Komisarek left, a lot of
the burden would fall on me and the
other guys in my class," Gajic said.
"It's our turn."
Actually, it's Gajic's turn. Other
sophomores, like Eric Nystrom,
Dwight Helminen and Jason Ryz-
nar, may add their fair share of com-
plementary goals. And
highly-touted freshman Jeff Tam-
bellini may show some flashes of
brilliance in Yost Ice Arena. But
Berenson brought in Gajic to score,
score and score again.
Adding to the pressure, Michigan
will be breaking in 17-year old
freshman goaltender Al Montoya
and there will be a premium place
on the Wolverines scoring plenty of
goals - especially early on.
Picking up the slack is not impos-
sible. Shouneyia proved himself
equal to the challenge last year
when Cammalleri suffered from
mono for nearly two months, rack-
ing up the points and setting up
teammates the way Berenson always
thought he could.
And Gajic has a leg up on
Shouneyia. He actually loves to
shoot the puck. While Shouneyia
seems to be a pass-first, pass-sec-
ond type center, Gajic has the
instincts, the hands, and the vision
of a top-notch scorer.
He just has to prove it.
Of course Berenson gave him the
See GRIND, Page 12A

Soccer shuts out Bowling Green at home

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
In what could be the last game at
Michigan's Elbel Field, the men's
soccer team trounced unranked
opponent Bowling Green (2-8-0) by
a score of 2-0.
The victory came after a heart-
breaking overtime loss to Indiana last
weekend. Though the win was rela-
tively insignificant, it provided the
Wolverines (4-5-1 overall, 0-2 Big
Ten) with a much needed boost of
confidence to carry them into Sun-
day's match against Michigan State.
"The win helps everyone," Michi-
gan coach Steve Burns said.

Though the Wolverines won last
night's game soundly, their play was
not lacking in errors. Michigan domi-
nated the play throughout both
halves, but missed numerous oppor-
tunities to score.
In the first half, Michigan out-shot
the Falcons, nine to four. Several of
these were deflected by Bowling
Green goalie David-DeGraff, who
totaled five saves in the first half
alone.
"We created so many opportuni-
ties that we missed," Burns said.
"We said that we were saving the
goals we missed for the Michigan
State game."
In the sixth minute of play,

Wolverines' forward Knox Cameron
received a through ball from forward
Mychal Turpin and fired a shot past
DeGraff, bringing the score to 1-0.
The score remained the same for the
duration of the first half, despite the
Wolverines' best efforts to capitalize
on their numerous chances.
Both teams came out strong in the
second half, but once again, Michi-
gan was clearly the prevailing force
on the field. It again outshot its
opponent, this time by a margin of
15 to 1, and once again, the team put
one shot in the net.
The second goal of the match
occurred in the 79th minute of the
contest, when Michigan midfielder

Mike White slipped an unassisted
shot past DeGraff, bringing the
match to its final score.
The game grew increasingly phys-
ical during the second half, as evi-
denced by the distribution of two
yellow cards, one given to the Fal-
con's Cory Stevens, and the other to
Michigan's Kevin Taylor.
While the game was not terribly
eventful, it did mark freshman goalie
Peter Dzubay's first shutout of the
season in only his second turn as
keeper for the Wolverines.
See FALCONS, Page 14A

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