6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 15, 2003
great fttre, yoU
orget your past."
PHOTOS BY DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Back: Kevin Taylor, Knox Cameron and Mychal Turpin. Front: Mike White, Adam Bruh and Peter Dzubay.
Through the eyes of coach
Steve Burns often looks at his sou-
venir cup from the 1999 Syracuse-
Michigan football game. He couldn't
tell you how the triple threat of Drew
Henson, Anthony Thomas and David
Terrell squeezed the Orangemen into a
pulp. He couldn't even tell you the
score of the game. The details of the
event have disappeared from his mind.
But the date has been etched in
Burns's memory forever. The date on
the cup - September 18 - was a day that
Burns lived in a state of euphoria. The
only reason Burns remembers the game
is that the night before, he received a
phone call from a member of the athlet-
ic department that attended the game.
The call was to inform him he would be
the first head coach of Michigan's
newly instated varsity soccer program.
What makes this moment so monu-
mental is that it almost didn't happen.
A few months before the Syracuse-
Michigan football game, Burns was on
vacation in Florida with his wife.
So even though Burns may have
been sipping pina coladas and devel-
oping a nice tan, his thoughts were
weighed down with what changes his
future would hold.
The couple was mentally preparing
to make a major move, away from Ann
Arbor and away from the University of
Michigan. This move was going to be
tough, considering that up until this
point, Michigan soccer had been the
focus of Burns's life.
As a two-year captain of the 1987 and
he was two weeks away from commit-
ting to a program that had impressed
him. But halfway through the vaca-
tion, his thoughts were interrupted by
the first fateful call. It was the athletic
department asking him not to accept
any other offers just yet.
When Burns returned from vaca-
tion, he told the other program "no,"
opting to interview for the Michigan
position instead. After Burns
impressed the athletic department with
his vision for the coming varsity pro-
gram, he was chosen to take its helm.
Hail to the Victors:
Through the es of
Nearly a year later, then-freshman Ian
Hirschfield stood with the other 24
members of the new team on the side-
lines of Elbel Field as his coach prepped
him and his teammates for the first
game in Michigan varsity soccer histo-
Surrounding him were 1,478 soccer
fans including then-University Presi-
dent Lee Bollinger, local soccer lovers
and even the Michigan marching band.
Freshmen who had just arrived for
Welcome Week's Maize Kraze sat to
watch the game as they ate barbeque.
The midfielder was both anxious
and excited about this game. He want-
ed the team to win not only in honor of
the new program, but because his par-
ents were in the stands - attending
the only game they could that season.
Burns jokingly told the team he
would lose his job if they didn't win
front of the bleachers where the band
was seated. When his teammates
caught up to him, Hirschfield and the
others conducted the band in a round
of "Hail to the Victors" while the
crowd joined in.
Assistant coach Ernie Yarborough
had told him and the rest of the players
just a few days earlier that they had bet-
ter come up with a creative way to cele-
brate after the first goal, and Hirschfield
had obviously done his homework.
Hirschfield played the remainder of
the game in a state of nirvana. The
crowd chanted "Let's Go Blue" over
and over for the last five minutes,
encouraging a tired Hirschfield to help
his team hold on for a 1-0 victory.
The midfielder is reminded of this
magical moment every time he walks
into his coach's office. The soccer ball
that went in for that first winning goal
now sits on Burns's desk, autographed
Through the eyes of Steve
In the second season of the pro-
gram's history, the team won seven out
of its first eight games. But the team
was a sophomore, and in Latin, sopho-
more rneans "wise fool." Perhaps this
adjective fit the team's performance.
The Wolverines went 0-5-1 in their
next six games.
So when Burns arrived in Columbus
for the final Big Ten conference game
of the season, he was faced with a dif-
ficult task: to find a way to rally his
game against DePaul, Michigan man-
aged to score a goal early in the first
half, courtesy of then-freshman Knox
By halftime, Michigan had been
successful in keeping Buckeye goals
out of its own net, but had racked up
two yellow penalty cards. It forced the
team to play one maowi for the
remainder of the game t
Burns gave another tch at the
half: "You know what, we going
to be a good , we ave to learn
how to win ag d teams being a
His team listened. second half
turned into a defensiv attle in which
they ultimately sent Buckeye fans
heading home with a loss and looks of
Out of reach:
Through the eyes of Kevin
Kevin Robinson, a junior at th
time, was present at the Big Ten To
nament championship game in the
program's third year of existence.
But he wasn't on ield ,
After b th stern and
Michigan rst two rounds,
the team faced Penn State for the title.
Robinson and defender Kevin Tay-
lor received red penalty cards in the
game against Michigan State, forcing
them both to remain spectators in this
game of a lifetime.
The team missed Robinson in the
forward position, always ready to
assist or score a goal, and Taylor on
defense, who often yelled directions to
anchor Michigan's defense.
Robinson could only watch as the
team began with a shaky first half
against the Nittany Lions. At the half,
the Wolverines trailed 1-0.
In the second half, Michigan fell fur-
ther behind when Penn State scored
another goal. But senior captain Robert
Turpin turned things around a minute
later when he notched one in for Michi-
gan, and then almost tied the game with
another goal. But his efforts fell short.
Robinson watched the clock run
down and felt the team's chance at a
championship title slip away.
He remembers feeling helpless in
the stands, knowing the team was so
close to victory, but couldn't grasp it.
Lift me up when
Through the eyes of Joe
The morning after losing to Penn
State, then-junior Joe Iding woke up
back in Ann Arbor.
Even with the loss fresh in his mem-
ory, he had reason to be excited
because with the team's record, he
knew they were likely to be awarded an
at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In fact, the team was so confident
that it would earn a bid, Burns
arranged for the players to be profes- Sky's the limit:
sionally filmed while watching the Location: Elbel field
selection show in Crisler Arena. September 10, 2003
After Iding put on a Michigan polo
shirt and khakis, he drove to the arena The sun lowered as the end of a prac-
to meet his team, sure that this was tice neared. The Michigan band played
going to be a festive afternoon. Aerosmith's "Jaded" in the background,
At 4:30 p.m., the selection show but thytg but.
began. The entire team sat on the olverines play with
bleachers and pre ed to see its name s even in the last 10
go across the telev screen. practice, one would
The names st rolling by, at the snub from the
including Akron and both of ament was still at the
ichigan had defea bac minds.
ding got wo The team embers the moment,
ammates felt it, t , 's determin it will not be repeat-
but a word. And then is season. The players' and
last sch e flashed Mcros co ch's comment after the practice
screen - selections had be certainly capture mindset.
made and Michigan had not made the Joe Iding: "We ted (not getting
cut. The Wolverines had the best an NCAA bid)po m e us more deter-
record of all the snot picke. mine.d, make u mo angry ... now
e hoping to we have to take ier."
from the players, Kevin Robins have a cou-
ough their lenses ple injuries - a inks in the
ooping faces. The armor - but if w every game
dispersed immediately while Iding seriously and h think we're
stayed behind with Turpin to interview going to do we .
with a Fox Sports Detroit reporter. Steve Burns (on ment when
It was hard for him to put into Michigan realized the ot earn an
words his emotions at the time. He felt NCAA bid): "I'm gon (try to)
even worse for Turpin because it was make sure we are never in position
the senior's last moment with the team. again. And the team has dome every-
The tape aired that evening and thing in their power ... with how hard
Iding owns a copy - though it proba- they worked in the winter and spring
bly just collects dust on his shelf. It is a and with how hard they pushed in the
memory that he does not like to revisit. weight room (to prevent it)."
1988 club team, Burns returned just
four years later to take a more active
role as the team's coach. The team saw
tremendous success between 1992 and
1999 (121-51-6 record) under his guid-
ance, while Burns waited patiently for
the moment when the University would
make his team varsity as it had done for
the women's soccer program in 1995.
The moment never seemed to come.
Burns thought that in order to reach
his dream of becoming a varsity
coach, he had to move on. And by the
end of 1998, he had sent out more than
150 resumes to Division 1 programs
across the country.
So when Burns arrived in Florida,
their first home-opener, but evidently
Hirschfield took his coach seriously.
Four minutes into the game against
DePaul, Hirschfield was 25 yards out
from the goal.
He looked up, seeing a clear path to
the net, and recognized that this was
his perfect opportunity. He seized it,
sending the ball over the goalkeeper's
head to make the first goal ever for the
Hirschfield stared in shock as the
crowd remained silent in an equal state
of disbelief. No one expected the first
goal to arrive so early in the game.
But Hirschfield quickly recovered
and ran the length of Elbel, stopping in
team to beat No. 14 Ohio State on its
own turf. That turf just happened to be
the brand new, 10,000-seat Jesse
Owens Memorial Stadium. New silver
bleachers provided seats for the many
fans wearing scarlet and gray, while a
regal red-bricked building holding
concession stands and lockerrooms
painted an impressive backdrop across
one end of the stadium.
Before the game, Burns made a cap-
tivating speech to his players, telling
them not to be intimidated by the
abundance of Buckeye fans or the fact
Ohio State had defeated Michigan on
Elbel, 3-0, a year earlier.
But much like the team's very first
We paired up some of the men's soccer play-
ers to see just how well they know each
other on and off the field. Knox Cameron and
Peter Dzubay tried to put some "unprintable
answers" past us, but we made even better
saves than "Zubs." Blue lines indicate the
partner's guesses and yellow lines indicate
the correct answer.
Note: ratching answers in bold
Mike White "Whitey"
Kevin Taylor - "KT"
Peter Dzubay - "Zubs"
Adam Bruh - "Bruh"
Mychal Turpin - "Mikey"
Knox Cameron -
vuDeu mue peerJLo wynt o am ek onbeaseo
gilfrien Whihevr lok a hm irt . o yejjnBet en Affleck
J. Lo J. Lo J. Lo J. Lo Neither (girlfriend)
tm Indiana Idiana ndianaPE enState A Inian
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