2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 22, 2003
Turpin's trip propels
Blue to 2-0 victory
'M' rugby plays like
girls, and is proud of it'
By Ellen Mc~arrity
Daily Sports Writer
It was 20 minutes into the second
half of the game against South Florida,
and both teams had yet to strike the
back of the net. The Wolverines had
the Bulls the entire
game, but frustra- SuA
tion was beginning
to show on the players' faces.
So when junior Mychal Turpin found
a sudden opening, he grabbed the
chance and began to set up a shot on
goal. But Turpin never got the chance to
finish. A South Florida player tripped
him, dragging Turpin - and his oppor-
tunity to score - to the ground.
The play may have been tough to
accept, but like the boy who throws the
first punch on the elementary school
playground, it served as a catalyst, con-
verting Michigan's frustration to energy.
Seven minutes after Turpin's fall, sen-
ior Mike White kicked one in from 20
yards out in the 77th minute, followed
by another goal from junior Knox
Cameron in the 82nd minute, to help
Michigan walk away with a 2-0 win.
The Wolverines weren't as lucky ear-
lier in the weekend when they lost 3-2
to No. 25 Washington in game's final
Michigan's started in a similar fash-
ion against South Florida. At the half,
the Wolverines had failed to put itself
on the scoreboard, leaving the team
trailing the Huskies 2-0. But the
Wolverines managed to close the scor-
ing gap early in the second half.
"The team responded extremely
well," Michigan coach Steve Burns
said. "Knox Cameron scored a goal five
minutes into the second half - a great
goal from about 24 yards out. The ball
got played to him and his back was to
goal. He controlled it with his first
touch and quickly turned and fired it
with his second. No one was ready for it
including the goalkeeper."
After a goal by White later in the
half, Michigan was on the verge of tak-
ing the lead or at least forcing the game
But in the 88th minute, the referee
thought he saw Cameron's hand touch
the ball and granted Washington a
penalty kick. Sophomore goalkeeper
Peter Dzubay saved the initial shot, but
the Wolverines were unable to clear the
ball away, leaving the Huskies with an
easy rebound to net the game winner.
"You've just got to take it and go,"
said Cameron about the referee's call.
"It was the referee's decision. Normally
you don't like to see a ref call a game,
but sometimes that's what it comes
Even though Michigan played well in
both games, White feels the team's
main problem is not being able to take
Michigan's offense woke up just in time to knock off South Florida.
control in the first half.
"We haven't scored in the first half at
all this year, so that's something we need
to work on," White said, "We changed
up our warm-ups a little (against South
Florida), and I think it may have worked
because we did have more chances (to
score) in the first half, and we didn't
allow any goals, but on the other hand,
we didn't score any either."
Burns agrees and, by the end of the
season, hopes to see his team putting
itself on the scoreboard earlier in the
"We know we're a strong team in the
second half, but where we're still trying
to put the psychology together is in how
we can get out in front of teams and
make them play catch-up against us,"
Burns said. "Once you go down in a
game, you've got to commit a lot more
resources to try to equalize the score."
By Jamie Josephson
and Dave Spielman
For the Daily
Accurate passing, quick sprinting,
strategic scoring and rough tackling.
No, these are not your average foot-
ball attributes. The bruising, tough
and skilled athletes with these talents
are from none other than the Michi-
gan women's rugby club.
Rugby's rich tradition is marked by
unique rules and strategies that set it
apart from other team sports. Five
points are rewarded when a player
crosses the goalline of the "try zone"
and touches the ball to the ground.
Then, teams have an opportunity to
attempt a conversion kick through the
"rugby pitch" (goal posts) for two
Starting off the season with a tough
loss to rival Michigan State by only a
single try (0-5) on Sept. 13, junior and
club president Laura Wolfe explained
that the team's second-half perform-
ance was impressive for the season
opener. Against Ferris State last Satur-
day, the women showed marked
improvement in a 49-5 victory.
"We are playing a solid game and
only have specific plays to improve
on," Wolfe said.
Having lost seven players to gradu-
ation, the club looks to freshmen new-
comers for raw talent and enthusiasm.
Wolfe noted that several introductory
practices and game experience have
accelerated the learning process for
these new girls.
Recognizing this season as a
rebuilding year, junior captain Kelly
Swarts explained the veterans will be
key in terms of teaching, coaching
and supporting the freshmen.
"You can teach the basics all you
want, but these girls just need to play
to really see the flow of the game,"
Continued from Page 1B
focus will shift from the defensive
to the offensive side of the game.
"We focused a lot on our defense
early in the season because we have
new people back there (on
defense)," she said. "Now our focus
is going to be on our offense. We
know what we need to do, and now
we just have to turn our attention to
One of the challenges these new
players will face is the intense physi-
cal aspect of the games. Often consid-
ered to be a sport predominantly
played by men, women's rugby still
maintains the roughness and full-con-
tact aspects that spectators see in the
"We play the exact same way as the
guys do," Wolfe said.
Described as a cross between soc-
cer and American football, continuous
40-minute halves contribute to the
relentless intensity of the games. One
of the most unusual aspects of the
sport is the scrum, which occurs after
minor rule violations. The forwards
from both sides bind together in a
head-first battle for the ball, where
players can only use their feet to send
the ball to waiting teammates.
Rucking is similar to the scrum, but
occurs when a player is tackled during
play and the ball touches the ground.
Basically, rucking results from loose
plays and is not set-up nearly as much
as the scrum.
Besides the physical aspect of the
sport, mental challenges also prevail
in the players' minds. Initially, many
first-year players find it unnatural to
tackle and hit their opponents. But
after getting past this early hesitation,
the girls learn to use their physical
abilities to their advantage.
Looking forward to match or
improve on their regional appearance
last season, the women hope to quali-
fy for the Sweet 16 round of the Mid-
west Playoffs beginning Nov. 1.
"I have great confidence in our
team. It could be a very good year,"
Few people may know the rules and
general strategy of the sport. But even
fewer know that American football
actually originated from rugby.
"Throwing like a girl" has taken on a
whole new meaning.
There will not be much room for
mistakes from now on, though, as
Michigan enters the Big Ten portion
of its schedule.
"Every game in the Big Ten is
tough," Rademacher said. "There
are no breathers. There are no pre-
dictions. We're just going to take it
game by game."
Michigan continues conference
play next weekend when it hosts
Wisconsin and Minnesota at the
Michigan Soccer Field.
Stickers bounce back, clobber James Madison
By Waldemar Centeno
Daily Sports Writer
Hurricane Isabel couldn't keep the Wolverines from
playing this weekend, but the Terps didn't make their
stay along the east coast enjoyable.
Despite Hurricane Isabel's rampage, the Michigan
field hockey team (5-3) found its 10cHGAN _9_
way to the illustrious confines of
College Park, Md., where the
Wolverines faced No. 3 Maryland (8-0) and the always
hungry James Madison Dukes (2-7).
The sixth-ranked Wolverines were uncertain of
whether or not they would actually be able to make the
trip down to Maryland. Hurricane Isabel was in full
force earlier last week, compelling the University of
Maryland to cancel classes.
The games were delayed, but, after the hurricane
died down, Maryland's facility was deemed in good
enough condition to continue weekend play.
"We lucked out," Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz
said. "Everything was fine. We got in on time with our
flight. Our hotel had power and the field was great.
The field was a brand new surface, which is like the
one we have at Michigan."
Except for changing flight destinations to Baltimore,
the Wolverine had no problems due to the hurricane.
But the Wolverines had their hands full with the
Terps and the Dukes. Maryland broke Michigan's
four-game winning streak on Saturday.
The Wolverines lost despite great play from senior
Stephanie Johnson and junior Jessica Blake. Both girls
scored in a 4-2 loss to the Terrapins that continued the
team's struggles with highly-ranked squads.
"We have some great leadership in players like
Stephanie, which means a lot," Pankratz said. "She's a
fifth-year senior who carries our defense and is a real
field general back there. Anytime you get that person
to play great, they carry the load of the team. It's nice
to see her playing well."
The Wolverines' only three losses of the season
have come against the top three teams in the nation:
No. I Wake Forest, No. 2 North Carolina and No. 3
"We want to play them and that is exactly the
design," Pankratz said. "We wanted to play the very
good teams so that we can be prepared for the Big Ten
and the tournament. The only way to get better is to
play the best. It gets you to play at a higher tempo and
challenge us to improve. That's what we're doing and I
really do think we are in good shape right now"
Despite the loss to one of the best teams in the
country, the Wolverines bounced back yesterday with
a win against James Madison.
Seven different Wolverines scored in the 9-1 victory
over the Dukes. Senior April Fronzoni tallied the
game's first three goals to capture her second hat trick
of the season.
Blake, Johnson, junior Adrienne Hortillosa and sen-
ior Kristi Gannon all contributed to the effort with a
goal apiece. Junior Anneke Huntzicker and freshman
Mary Fox both scored two goals to cap off Michigan's
"It's hard to say who our best players are because
we have a lot of great players," Pankratz said. "April
Fronzoni in the front is the fastest player in the coun-
try. She's a Honda Award nominee, which is the heis-
man of field hockey.
"Kristi Gannon is a senior captain and she has
played with the national team for the United States for
a couple years as a young player. We got a couple of
great players and it's really fun to watch."
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