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November 15, 2002 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-15

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 15, 2002 - 9A

'M' ready
* for home
By Daniel Brommer
Daily Sports Writer
The Wolverines are ready.
After a long offseason followed by
weeks of practice, the women's bas-
ketball team is eager to get into the
swing of things. Last weekend, the
Wolverines had a closed scrimmage
against Wayne State, but the team
will get its first chance to play in
front of a crowd tomorrow at Crisler
Arena, when it hosts an exhibition
against the Dominican Republic
National Team.
"I'm very excited," Michigan co-
captai LeeAnn Bies said. "It seems
like we've been practicing for eight
months now, and I'm ready for the
games to just be here already so we
can show people what we can do."
Michigan coach Sue Guevara
expressed similar feelings of excite-
ment for the game.
"We're ready to roll. At this point
in time, after almost a month of
practice, you're ready to play against
some other people," Guevara said.
"This is the real thing."
Despite its "exhibition" status,
' Michigan will not take the Dominican
team lightly. The team is approaching
the exhibition no differently than it
would any regular season game.
"We're going to try to win the
game," Guevara said. "In my mind,
it's just like any regular season game."
"The regular season counts (in the
standings). That's pretty much the
only (difference)," Bies said. "We do
i scouting reports, we do the same
warmup, preparation and meal. Just
at the end of the season, the exhibi-
tion doesn't count."
Michigan will not be the only stop
in the United States for the Domini-
can team.
Swinner not
By Kevin Maratea
Daily Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE - Junior mid-
fielder Mike White showed yesterday
that his incredible regular season was
no fluke, when he scored the game win-
ning goal of a 1-0 win against No. 7
seed Northwestern in the first round of
the Big Ten Tournament.
"Whitey is a guy who comes up big
in big games and scores goals," Michi-
gan coach Steve Burns said.
The game-winner, White's eighth
goal of the year, gives him 23 points on
the season and moves him into a sec-
ond-place tie on the team. This impres-
sive point total proves how well White
has played this season, especially when
compared to his first two campaigns.
During 2000 and 2001, a combined 34
games, White scored just two goals and
had two assists each season - a total of
12 points.
But White does more than just add

goals to the scoreboard and feed balls to
his teammates. He brings intangibles to
the field that help give his team the
opportunity to win. Certain assets, such
as leadership and composure, are seen
during the 90 minutes of a soccer game,
but don't get printed in the box scores.
"Mike's a guy with great leadership
ability on the field," Burns said of his
captain. "He keeps composure and stays
real positive with his teammates and
the team feeds off him. Whitey's a
brave, strong guy who doesn't fear
injury and because of (that he) fits his
leadership role extremely well."
The remarkable thing about White's
goal was that five minutes earlier, he
had just missed on a very similar oppor-
tunity. In the 20th minute, attacking
freshman midfielder Adam Bruh used a
free kick to setup White, who had slid
behind the Northwestern defense and
into the keeper box. From about 30
yards out, along the left sideline, Bruh
sent a seemingly perfect lob in to
White, who had an unlucky touch on
his half-volley attempt and sent his shot
wide left. But White didn't get frustrat-
ed; he took advantage of a similar Bruh
cross in the 25th minute, this time using
his head. White met the ball in the cen-
ter of the keeper box and headed it into
the left corner past the outstretched
arms of Northwestern's keeper.
"We know he's going to make that

Stickers prepare to
defend national crown

Senior LeeAnn Bies will try to lead the Wolverines in their exhibition against the
Dominican Republic National Team on Saturday.

On a Midwestern tour, the Nation-
al Team has faced four other Big Ten
teams (Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois
and Northwestern), losing to them
all by margins ranging from as many

By Brian Steers
Daily Sports Writer
For the Michigan field hockey team,
this season has produced many tremen-
dous feats. The Wolverines broke the
school record for consecutive victories,
set a new mark for shutouts in a season,
and captured nearly every award at the
Big Ten banquet.
Although it stumbled last weekend
against Michigan State in the conference
tournament final, Michigan still gar-
nered the regular-season title outright
with an unblemished record.
Now, just one challenge remains for
the Wolverines - defending their
national championship.
With the best teams in the country
vying for the same prize, repeating
would certainly be an incredible
achievement for Michigan.
"I think there are a lot of hot teams out
there right now," junior Stephanie John-
son said. "We just need to try and stay
within our team and look at the positive
things we're bringing to each team.
"We're just really going out there
with the mindset that adversity hap-
pens, and we're looking forward to
embracing it and overcoming those
obstacles to try and repeat."
Michigan's first step toward defend-
ing its title comes tomorrow morning in
State College, where the Wolverines (6-
0 Big Ten, 18-3 overall) will face Prince-
ton (7-0 Ivy Group, 11-5) in the first
round of the NCAA Tournament.
Last year, Michigan defeated Prince-
ton 4-2 in the semifinals en route to the
national championship. But the Tigers
retained every player from last year's
squad, putting them right back in the
national spotlight.
"We know their personnel really well
because they don't have anybody new,"
Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said.
"They're a great team; they've got

remarkable players, and it will be quite a
test for us. But, if we want to go to the
Final Four, then we have to play the best
to get there."
Michigan will also need to have
strong offensive production if it hopes to
make the semifinals next weekend in
Louisville. Junior April Fronzoni and
senior Molly Powers have been the
Wolverines' dynamic duo all season
with 18 and 15 goals respectively, but
they were thwarted by the Spartans in
last weekend's 3-0 defeat.
"There's definitely a little pressure
coming into these big games because
you're a forward, and you're the one
that's supposed to put in the goals,"
Fronzoni said. "But, pressure is going to
come in whatever sport you play. It just
depends on how you handle it, and right

Who: Michigan ( 6-0 Big Ten, 18-3 overall) vs.
Princeton (7-0 Ivy Group, 11-6)
When: 11 a.m.
Latest: The opening game of the NCAA
Tournament marks the beginning of the
Wolverines' quest for a second consecu-
tive NCAA title.
now we're handling it pretty well."
Should Michigan get by Princeton in
the first round, it would meet the winner
of the game between Penn State and
Kent State for the right to go to the Final
With its season on the line every
game from now on, Michigan will have
to extend its patented physical play into
the tournament.
"The toughness that we carry amongst
ourselves is awesome," Fronzoni said.
"Knowing that we're the defending
national champions and everyone is
going to bring their 'A' game and want
to knock us off is another factor that
goes into eveiything. If we just play U-
M hockey, no one is going to stop us,
and we're just going to go right back to
where we were last year."

as 37 points in West
Lafayette to as few as
eight in Champaign.
While most Michigan
players have not taken
the time to see how their
conference has fared
against the Dominican
team, junior Jennifer
Smith took the time to
check out the results of
some of the games.

Who: Michigan
can Republic Na
Team (exhibitio
When: 7 p.m
Latest: The Wo
look to their fo
ing starters to
them to victor
first game of ti

The coaching staff also has scout-
ing reports and tapes, although they
have considerably less than they
would against other opponents.
Their exhibition against the
Dominican Republic is
the Wolverines' only
ARENA preseason game before
vs. Domini- they tip off the regular
ational season against
n) Creighton on Nov. 22.
Despite the regular sea-
Iverines son being just a week
ur return- away, Guevara is still
guide hesitant to name a start-
he saso. ing lineup.
"I'm not even going
to venture with that until we get
closer to game time," she said. "It's
been very competitive in practice.
I'm looking for people who are con-
sistent. I like the phrase 'Perfor-
mance is reality,' because that's what
I get to see in practice."

"I expect to do just as well if not bet-
ter than any other team," Smith said.
In preparing for her team's exhibi-
tion, Guevara said her staff has been
going over stats sheets from the
Dominican team's other games against
Big Ten opponents this season.

Senior Molly Powers, who was part Michigan's championship run last season, and
the rest of the Wolverines begin the defense of their title this weekend.

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