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September 25, 2003 - Image 12

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-25

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40

-I

Depth finally a
key for soccer
By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
Entering its fourth year with varsity status, the Michigan
men's soccer team now knows the advantage of having a deep
bench to draw from. And head coach Steve Burns has not
neglected this new benefit.
Two weeks ago, Burns subbed in freshman Kevin Hall for
injured senior Joe Iding. Hall held his own
defensively in the right-back spot against il.
Evansville and has played in several games
since then.
This weekend, when Hall went out with a V
knee injury during the team's game against
Washington, Burns substituted in another
freshman with the same first name, Kevin Savitskie.
"In our shape, we need our outside backs to be strong,
attacking forces ... and Kevin Savitskie is exactly that type of
player," Burns said. "He did a fantastic job in his 30 minutes
in the game."
Savitskie, a walk-on from Plymouth, was thrilled by his
first moments on the field.
"I was nervous," Savitskie said. "It's startling on the field
for the first time. You're just running on emotion. But then I
started to settle down a little - I think I played all right."
The freshman must have done something right because
Burns again played Savitskie in the Wolverines' other game of
the weekend against South Florida.
YOUR NAME IS ... WHAT?: The mothers of players on Michi-
gan's soccer team must have had more in common than high-
ly athletic genes - they also shared the same taste in baby
names. The 25-member team includes three Michaels and
four Kevins.
With all the talk among players on the field, these similar

RYAN WEINER/Daily
Kevin Robinson is one of four Kevins on Michigan's team.
names have proven to create quite the predicament. But the
team has found a helpful way to differentiate between "Kevin
T." and "Kevin R.," and "Michael W" and "Michael O."
"It's not confusing," Savitskie said. "We each have our own
name actually. 'KT' for Kevin Taylor, Kevin Robinson is 'K-
Rob.,' Kevin Hall - most people just call him 'Hallsy' -
and then I'm 'Skeeter' or 'Ski."
The Michaels are similar. "Mikey" for Mychal Turpin,
"Mike" for Michael White and "O'Reilly" for Michael
O'Reilly.
BACK IN THE GAME: After tearing his ACL at the beginning
of 2002, junior Matt Niemeyer was forced to take a medical
redshirt for the following season.
But the junior is now back and better than ever. Playing in
the defensive midfield position alongside junior Dawson
Stellberger, Niemeyer's presence has strengthened Michigan's
4-3-3 formation.
"Matt is tactically one of our smartest players, meaning that
he reads the game at a very high level," Burns said.
In addition to his on-field skills, Niemeyer boasts a near 4.0
in his double major of mechanical engineering and pre-med.

U

Women's game hurt by WUSA's fold.

By Melanie Kebler
Daily Sports Writer

in a statement last week.
The bad news comes at a time when
the soccer world's attention is focused
on the women's game, as the Women's
World Cup got underway last weekend.
Several of the most prominent players

The world of women's soccer suffered
a huge blow last week when the

Women's United Soccer
announced it didn't have
enough funding to support
a fourth year of play.
The WUSA was the
world's first women's pro-
fessional soccer league
and was founded as a
unique partnership
between the owners and
the players. According to
the WUSA website, the

Association

Tins WEEK ENfl
Midv& W~x~k~
and Minnesota
'Th~w~ 4 p.m. toii~ow,.
1 p.m. Sunday
Michigan Soccer Field

on the U.S. national team
- such as Mia Hamm and
Brandy Chastain - were
founders of the WUSA.
While they still have an
international outlet for
competition, many young
collegiate athletes have
seen their chances to con-
tinue playing on a higher
level become slim.

who are that good, it raises (your) level,"
Crumpton said. "That's important expe-
rience that has prepared me for getting
into the game and playing."
Rademacher also emphasized the
league's role in developing players.
"Really, it was a perfect situation to
develop the U.S. team and get players
the experience of what being a profes-
sional athlete is like," she said. "The
WUSA couldn't have been a more per-
fect environment for a young player."
But now, that type of environment
will be harder to find.
"In order for the sport to go forward
and people to develop in the U.S.,
somebody's going to have to develop a
league," Rademacher said. "Maybe
another country will have to start a pro-
fessional league. All these players who
want to play might have to go overseas."
As the World Cup continues, the spot-
light will hopefully provide a platform
from which the WUSA can gamer sup-
port. But until the WUSA reforms or
another league is created, women all
over the world will have fewer options
for play in the sport that they love.

0

average attendance for the 2002 season
was 7,020 fans per game, and television
viewers exceeded the four-million mark
for a total of 22 televised games.
"A shortfall in sponsorship revenue
and insufficient revenue from other core
areas of the business proved to be the
hurdles which the WUSA could not
overcome in time for planning the 2004
season," said John Hendricks, Chair-
man of the WUSA board of governors,

"For those who have that dream, it's
kind of like, 'What's my goal now?"'
Michigan women's soccer coach Deb-
bie Rademacher said. "Where can you
compete (after college)?"
For former Michigan star Abby
Crumpton, the WUSA was that place.
She was drafted by the Atlanta Beat and
played in 18 games of the 2003 season,
notching three goals and two assists.
"When you're playing against players

9

Sr

0

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