12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 23, 2003
By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
Eleven. Say that number to anyone on the
Michigan men's soccer team and he's likely to
look back at you with pride.
On Monday night, the team received some
long-desired news - its name appeared in the
No. 11 spot in the NCSAA Coaches' Poll. This
marks the first time the team has ever been
nationally ranked in its four year history.
"I would consider our team one of the hardest
working teams I've ever been on - it makes me
proud that we're finally being recognized," senior
captain Mike White said.
Getting the recognition was not such a surprise
as the team (3-1 Big Ten, 11-4 overall) has won
seven out of its last eight games, including a win
over then-No. 17 Oakland and tough rival Michi-
In the team's last two seasons, its performance
was just shy of earning one of the coveted 48
bids (out of 203 teams in the nation) to the
NCAA tournament. Now that the team has been
ranked - and so highly ranked - receiving this
honor could make the difference if the team is on
the bubble again this year when the committee
makes its decision. The ranking does not guaran-
tee a bid by any means, but it doesn't hurt either,
especially if the Wolverines remain ranked in fol-
Earning a bid is actually based on the RPI -
Ratings Percentage Index - which takes three
things into account for every team: Overall win-
loss record (25 percent), opponents' overall win-
loss record (50 percent), and opponents'
opponents overall win-loss record (25 percent).
Right now, Michigan has 11 wins, paired with
only four losses. Last year the Big Ten was the
second-toughest region in terms of opponent skill
level. These factors heighten the chances for
Michigan to finally earn a spot in this year's tour-
nament. And if the team wins its last three games
of the season, it could even thrust them into the
nation's top 10.
What's more important than the benefits for
this year's team are the long-term benefits for the
future of the soccer program.
When Michigan made the jump from club to
varsity four years ago, Michigan coach Steve
Burns focused more on the great academics and
atmosphere of the university to attract players.
The team's record has improved each successive
season, but now the team has officially estab-
lished itself as a dominant force in the nation.
Consequently, the team can now boast top-
for 'M' soccer
quality performance, as well as academics and
atmosphere as a reason to choose Michigan.
Especially students who are juniors in high
school will begin to look at Michigan as a top
choice for soccer.
"Now we're able to attract really the top
eschilon of students and players," Burns said. It's
all cyclical - they go hand in hand with each
other. It's the horse that kind of drives the cart."
Although team members are excited to have
finally received their due credit, some admitted
that the ranking could work against them.
"It's good to get the recognition, but I don't
want us to get too comfortable," junior Dawson
Stellberger said. "It's almost a false sense of con-
fidence. We just can't let down - we have to
keep working hard."
Junior Jeff Mirmelstein also worries about how
other teams will perceive them.
"It's giving us more to live up to," Mirmelstein
said. "Teams are going to start recognizing that
we're a team to beat - which is different than
we're used to. We're used to being the under-
The team will get a chance to test its new "top-
dog" status this weekend when they take on two
tough rivals on the road: Akron tomorrow and
Penn State on Sunday.
Blue golfers prepare
for winter 'hibernation'
Kevin Savitskle defends the ball during Michigan's 2-1 win over Northwestern last
Friday. After four wins in a row, the team Is ranked No. 11 nationally.
Senior harnier enjoying
final year of eligibility
By Steven Shears
Daily Sports Writer
The animal that is the Michigan
women's golf team is about to go into
its annual hibernation.
No more invitationals, no more tour-
naments and no more cold weather will
be in store for the Wolverines for over
three months. But before the team bun-
dles up for the winter, it has one more
competition to take care of - the Lady
Paladin Invitational, held this weekend
in Greenville, S.C.
Unlike many other sports at Michi-
gan, golf consists of two seasons: fall
and spring. During the winter, when
there is a break from competition, the
team completes cardio and weight train-
ing. In addition, the Wolverines work
on individual technique as formal com-
petition, which begins in February,
However, some kinks are already
being worked out. Last weekend, the
Wolverines struggled with their short
game, which accounted for their disap-
pointing sixth place finish in a field of
12 teams. Since then, Michigan has
worked consistently to correct this.
"We've put more emphasis on the
putting game," Michigan coach Kathy
Teichert said. "We did not have a good
weekend of putting. It just was not
This weekend will prove to be an
important test to assess the level that the
Wolverines are at, going into their win-
"It is important for our confidence to
show signs of improvement," Teichert
said. "We haven't played any easy golf
courses to get some lower scores. We're-
expecting better things this week. If we
see better scores, we'll be very happy."
For this to happen, Michigan needs
good rounds from its established
golfers, namely Laura Olin and Amy
Schmucker. Last week, Olin finished
with 78-81-77 and Schmucker shot 81-
80-76. More consistent scores will be
needed this weekend in all three rounds.
"We're expecting Laura Olin and
Amy Schmucker to be the starting
block," Teichert said. "We need to keep
seeing a good effort from them."
Brandi Zielinski also needs to con-
tribute if the Wolverines want to end the
fall season on a good note. Teichert has
put her in the fifth and final spot, which
means her scores will count towards the
The fall and spring seasons count
towards NCAA qualifications, but
competitions in the spring are given
greater emphasis when determining
standings, because the NCAA gives
preference to teams performing the best
By Anne Uble
Daily Sports Writer
It's seven o'clock on a Monday
morning. The sun hasn't come up yet
and there is a small layer of dew -
soon to be disturbed - still resting on
the quiet country roads 15 minutes out-
side of Ann Arbor. While most Univer-
sity students are sleeping off their hectic
weekends, Jessie Allen-Young and
Rebecca Walter are out running 12
miles before their classes begin.
Allen-Young is new to the Michigan
women's cross country team, but has
already had four years of collegiate run-
ning experience at Dartmouth College.
Now a graduate student at the Universi-
ty, Allen-Young still has one more year
of eligibility left.
"In the back of my mind, I knew when
I was deciding on graduate schools I
could run one more year," Allen-Young
said. "Running brings a lot to everything
else I do, so picking a school where I
could run was pretty important. Michi-
gan has a great graduate architecture pro-
gram, and a great cross country team, so
I got everything I wanted."
Allen-Young's career at Dartmouth
was accomplished, but she was continu-
ously plagued by reoccurring injuries.
In her first two months here at Michi-
gan, Allen-Young has already made a
name for herself as a top-class runner,
placing first in her opener as a Wolver-
ine at the Miami Invitational (Sept. 13),
being named Big Ten co-Athlete of the
week (Sept. 16) and finishing 18th in a
field of 210 runners at the NCAA Pre-
Nationals this past weekend.
"Jessie was highly recommended as a
determined athlete by her coach at Dart-
mouth," Michigan coach Mike
McGuire said. "She has become an
integral part of our team this season."
Due to the intense demands of her
graduate level classes, Allen-Young can
only practice with the team on Tues-
days. For the rest of the week, she either
works out in the morning with other
runners, or runs on her own.
"It has been tough running on my
own," Allen-Young said. "But the team
has been extremely supportive in help-
ing me train."
Rebecca Walter and senior Lindsay
Gallo have done multiple workouts with
"It's great to see some of the runners
helping out their teammate and the posi-
tion she's in," McGuire said. "I think it's
made them better runners for it."
This weekend, Allen-Young and her
fellow Wolverines will be competing in
the Eastern Michigan Classic in Ypsi-
lanti. Race time is 4:30 in Rolling Hills
Junior Laura Olin and the rest of the women's golf team heads to the Lady Paladin
Invitational this weekend in Greenville, S.C. for their last tournament until Spring.
around tournament time. According to
Teichert, for some other teams around
the nation, winter invitationals are used
for training and aren't taken as seriously
as the spring competitions.
But Michigan isn't like every
For the Wolverines, winning, along
with improvement, is just as important
- no matter when the competition
"Every tournament counts," Teichert
said. "We're hoping this weekend to put
it all together. If we put together low
scores together as a team, that will tell
us we can do it in the spring."
Noble sportsmanship is important on the field and in the stands
"One of the issues that we're trying to get our hands around
in college football is the sportsmanship issue. It is a vital
issue; we've taken great pride at Michigan that our fans
conduct themselves in a way that makes all of us proud."