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September 30, 2003 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-30

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September 30, 2003
sports@michigandaily. com

cJbe Itrbiigan ~aill


Blue remembers being 'outtoughed'

Amaker's commitment

Carr not ready to decide on Crable's redshirt; Finley to focus on punting evident in Canada trip

By J. Brady McColiough
Daily Sports Editor
The outlook for this season of
Michigan football is still cloudy after
five games.
But luckily for the Wolverines and
their fans, they won't have to wait long
for the picture to clear up.
There are moments that define

every team's season.
Michigan's upcoming
two-game road trip
through America's
Heartland is shaping
up to be that time for
these Wolverines,


who still have so much to prove after a
sloppy win Saturday against the
"We have the motivation of going
on the road and getting a win on the
road," Michigan captain Grant Bow-
man said. "We are also playing against
a tremendous team (Iowa) that beat us
last year. We are playing for a Big Ten
championship. I don't think there is
any chance of us not being prepared
for a game of this caliber."
It's up for debate how prepared
Michigan was last season at home with
the Big Ten title on the line. The
Hawkeyes rolled into Ann Arbor last
season on a mission, ending the
Wolverines' hopes of a Rose Bowl bid
with a 34-9 victory. Michigan players
admitted after the game they were
"outtoughed" by Iowa, which out-
gained Michigan by more than 200
yards and controlled the clock for
almost 40 minutes.
"They took it to us last year," Michi-
gan captain Carl Diggs said. "They
wore us down and took advantage of
us. It was kind of hard to deal with."
"It's a challenge for us," fifth-year
senior center Dave Pearson said. "We
got called out a little bit by them here
last year and any time you lose to a
team you want to go into the next game
and put a solid performance up and take
the game to them. I think the whole
team wants to go in there and prove to
everybody that we are a tough team."
History shows that Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr knows how to prepare his

Blowin Smoke
f you take a look at the 2003-04
Michigan men's basketball sched-
ule, there are several games that
jump out as important. North Carolina
State, UCLA, Indiana and Michigan
State would all be big victories for
Michigan this season.
But there are three very important
games that don't jump out. In fact,
these games aren't even on the sched-
ule. On Oct. 11-13, over the Universi-
ty's fall break, the Wolverines will be
playing three exhibition games in
Canada to kick off the season. Michi-
gan's first opponent will be the GT
Express, followed by the University of
Guelph on Oct. 12 and the GT Express
again on the 13th.
Now, at this point, you're probably
wondering why you should care. On
the surface, these games appear to be
meaningless contests against teams
you've probably never heard of and
will never hear of again. You'll proba-
bly never even bother to find out the
final score of these exhibitions.
But in basketball, sometimes it's the
subtle things that make the biggest
impact. The addition of this trio of
exhibition matches may seem inconse-
quential (the GT Express won't exactly
be pushing Michigan to the extreme),
but it is a brilliant coaching move by
Tommy Amaker - one that will prob-
ably make a difference.
Why? Because by having this for-
eign tour on the schedule, the NCAA
allows the Wolverines to hold 10 addi-
tional practices prior to the official
NCAA starting date of Oct. 18. The
Wolverines began practicing this past
That's a big boost for a young team
looking to really find itself and jump
back onto the national scene.
The NCAA rule specifically states
that teams are allowed to take foreign
tours when class is not in session.
They are also allowed to hold 10 offi-
cial practices prior to going on the
tour. Before last season, schools just
interpreted this rule to mean that for-
eign tours could only be taken during
the summer. But last season, Duke
coach Mike Krzyzewski discovered a
Coach 'K' took his team on a for-
eign tour to London during the Univer-
sity's fall break in October when
classes were not being held. Essential-
ly, this gave Duke the jump on every
other team in the country.
By holding the tour over fall break
so close to the beginning of the regular
season, it makes those 10 additional
practices very significant.
Now I know this little bit of extra

practice is not the secret to Duke's suc-
cess, but obviously Krzyzewski felt it
was important enough to take his team
all the way to London.
But the secret is out, and several
teams have decided to follow in
Duke's footsteps.
"We followed up on what Duke did
and found out we could utilize our fall
break to take a foreign tour," Amaker
said. "That gave us the opportunity to
have 10 practices prior to the tour. It's
really an opportunity to grow and
learn about our team."
Notre Dame, Alabama and Mar-
quette are three other teams that have
scheduled a foreign tour over their
respective fall break. The Wolverines
won't exactly have the jump over
everyone like Duke did last season, but
it will still make a big impact.
The other big plus about taking a
foreign tour in the fall, as opposed to
in the summer, is that freshmen are
allowed to participate. This is big for
the Wolverines, who are trying to
break in several first-year players and
integrate them into their system and
"It will help them get over the shock
of competing at the next level very
early," said Amaker of his freshmen.
"They have to learn how to compete
and concentrate on the next level, and
this extra practice should be a big
The extra practices and games
should also help the Wolverines get off
to a better start. Given Michigan's dis-
appointing 0-6 record to open the
2002-03 season, a little extra work
before the season begins couldn't hurt.
Amaker says that starting well is one
of the team's main goals this season.
"Hopefully we will get out of the
blocks a little better," he said. "It was a
steep hole we dug for ourselves last
season, and we definitely want to try
and improve that."
Amaker says he's hoping this "sneak
preview" winds up helping Michigan
in the long run. But whether it does or
not, scheduling this foreign tour is yet
another sign of Amaker's commitment
to bringing this program back.
Amaker scheduled the tour before
he even knew the sanctions had been
lifted. Why would you schedule three
exhibition games to get your team
additional practice when you're not
going to the postseason?
Because Amaker is thinking about
the big picture. He's got a vision for this
team, and he's not planning on aban-
doning it. But with the dream of a post-
season bid now alive and well, these
practices take on a different meaning.
"We need to utilize them in a differ-
ent way," Amaker said. "This is a posi-
tive thing for our program, and we
need to take advantage of it."
While that part will mostly be up to
the players, Amaker is definitely giv-
ing them the best shot to succeed, and
that's what a successful coach does.
Naweed Sikora can be reached at


Michigan quarterback John Navarre is 0-5 against ranked teams on the road.

team for revenge games. Carr is 12-3
against teams that beat the Wolverines
the previous season.
"There were a lot of lessons out
there on that Saturday afternoon, I can
promise you," Carr said. "As you go
through spring practice and into fall
practice, you're trying to take those

lessons, good and bad, and make them
a part of your fiber so you don't repeat
those mistakes and those things that
caused you to lose.
"If you're a guy that played in that
game a year ago, there are things that
you remember, absolutely."
Even if the Wolverines are able to
shake the demons from last season's
loss and knock off the 23rd-ranked
Hawkeyes Saturday, they'll have a short
week to prepare for No. 21 Minnesota
on Friday, Oct. 10 at the Metrodome.
Carr's road record fell to 26-15
(.630 winning percentage) after Michi-
gan's loss at Oregon Sept. 20. Michi-
gan quarterback John Navarre is just
6-6 on the road as a starter and is 0-5
against ranked opponents on the road.
In other words, how the Wolverines
play on the road for the rest of the sea-
son could be the deciding factor in
where they spend New Year's.
"It was definitely a good warm-up
to play in Oregon and deal with that,"
Pearson said. "We have to prove we
can win on the road; that is something
we haven't done yet this year."
Shawn Crable's bruised shoulder
would have listened to his early-season

After each of the Wolverines' first
two games, Crable predicted he would
be ready to play his first game for
Michigan the next week. But five
weeks into the season, the true fresh-
man linebacker has spent each game
sporting his No. 2 jersey and wind-
,pants on the sideline.
Carr is still debating whether or not
he'll redshirt Crable.
"My hope is that Shawn will be able
to return, but that will be up to our
doctors," Carr said. "Right now, I'm
not ready to make that decision. He's
in good shape, doing a lot of running,
but I'm not ready to do that yet."
RIVAS WINS?: Carr implied that
freshman Garrett Rivas will handle
field goals and extra points for the
immediate future.
Rivas hit a 44-yard field goal
against the Hoosiers and was 4-for-4
on extra points.
"What we're trying to do with Adam
(Finley) - it's really what I was hop-
ing would happen right from the
beginning - is I want to allow Adam
to concentrate strictly on punting the
football," Carr said. "Garrett has
enabled him to do that."

Pankratz fires up stickers for second-half comeback

By Waldemar Centeno
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan field hockey coach Marcia
Pankratz's fiery attitude pushed the Wolverines
over Kent State after an uneventful first half of
play, which saw both teams go scoreless.
Despite the dismal begin-
ning, Pankratz continued to
show her passion while pac-
ing up the sidelines and cheering the Wolverines
(1-0 Big Ten, 7-3 overall) to a 3-0 victory.
"I love it," junior Adrienne Hortillosa said
about Pankratz's intense attitude. "She pushes us
as hard as she can so that we can be the best. Her
motto is you practice like you play. So during
practice, we play like it was a match."
Hortillosa scored the first goal in the match
due to No. 5 Michigan's outstanding passing.

"We are trying to play a ball possession
game," Pankratz said. "We're trying to set up
some nice plays, and our players really think at a
high level. So we try to go around them instead
of kill them. I think we do that pretty well. Now
we just have to attack a little bit more and go for
the goal."
Senior Kristi Gannon also scored twice in yes-
terday's matchup against the Golden Flashes (3-
6). Countless penalty corners helped Gannon
and the Wolverines gain an edge in the game and
score the winning goals.
"It's a huge scoring opportunity for us,"
Pankratz said about the penalty corners. "We
have a lot of weapons, including Adrienne (Hor-
tillosa). So its very dangerous, and we'll take
what the defense gives us."
By scoring twice against Kent State, Gannon
has now scored three goals this season. All of her

goals have come in the team's last three games.
"Both my goals were on corners, and it was
the whole team working the ball up the field into
the circle," Gannon said. "I was just up there
doing my job."
Junior Jessica Blake and sophomore Lori Hill-
man also contributed to the team by recording
two assists, both to Gannon. Junior Laura
Woitkewitsch recorded one assist to help Hor-
tillosa score the game's first goal.
Freshman goaltender Beth Riley continued her
dominance at the collegiate level by recording
her third shutout of the season and increasing her
record to 5-0.
"She has actually become a really great leader
on the field," Gannon said. "Freshmen are nor-
mally hesitant to become a leader, but she's our
stronghold back there, and she's our last line of
defense. She has been doing a great job. She's

playing really well tactically."
But Riley constantly insists that her defense is
the reason why she has continued to do well on
the field.
"I don't know what I would do without them,"
Riley said. "They save my butt a lot, and I try to
help them out. It's a give-and-take situation."
Michigan's next matchup against Iowa will be
personal for Pankratz. She spent her entire colle-
giate playing career with Iowa from 1982 to
1985. She was nominated for the Honda Broder-
ick Sports Award in '85 and '86 and was voted to
the Big Ten Field Hockey All-decade team
(1982-1992) with the Hawkeyes.
"It's going to be a great game," Pankratz said.
"Iowa is a strong team this year, and so are we. It
should be a really good battle. It's going to be
really tight and close, and I'm glad we're playing
at home. Hopefully we'll pull out a victory."

The Wolverines came alive in the
second half to win 3-0.

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