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October 27, 2003 - Image 16

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I

8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - Monday, October 27, 2003

Weekend soccer play
rivals any rollercoaster

Seniors bid farewell
in final home game

4

By Melanie Kebler
Daily Sports Writer
Ever ridden the Millennium Force at
the amusement park Cedar Point? The
exciting drops, thrills, highs and lows
on this rollercoaster are world famous
and breathtaking. Want to feel all of that
without the two-hour drive? Come to a
Michigan women's soccer game.
Fans may have felt like they just
stepped off a
unpredictable ride
after last weekend,
when the Wolver-
ines survived a nail b t rHiGANnoTATEet m
biter Friday toMcHGN
notch an overtime
win against Michigan State (4-6-0 Big
Ten, 10-7-0 overall), and then let a one-
goal lead slip through their fingers in a
non-conference loss to Kansas (5-3-1
Big 12, 14-4-1 overall) yesterday after-
noon. Fierce, sometimes inconsistent
play allowed for many scoring chances
and close calls that kept all spectators
on their toes.
Against the Jayhawks, the Wolver-
ines (4-2-4 Big Ten, 6-6-6 overall)
came out strong, scoring early in the
first half. Forward Katie Kramer fired
a shot inside the 18-yard box that ric-
ocheted off Kansas's goalkeeper, and
freshman midfielder Katelin Spencer
was there to put it away.
Michigan kept the pressure on most
of the first half, allowing few shots -
just five to the Wolverines' 11.
"I thought our first half was great,"
Michigan coach Debbie Rademacher
said. "I thought we were strong, and
we took it to them."
Kansas coach Mark Francis agreed.
"For the first 20 or 30 minutes it was
all them, we weren't even in the game,"

Francis said. "(Michigan is) a good
team, and we knew we were going to
get (the loss) handed to us if we didn't
step it up"
Kansas did step it up in the second
half, and that increased intensity,
combined with Michigan's lapse in
play, resulted in Kansas's Caroline
Smith scoring twice within a three-
minute period.
"(Smith) is by far their key player,
and she has by far the most goals on
their team," Rademacher said. "Our
game plan was that if you can shut
down (Smith), you can shut down
Kansas. And we didn't do that."
Despite a last-minute scrum in front
of the goal, Michigan couldn't come up
with the equalizer. The loss was a disap-
pointing one for the seniors, who saw
their last career action at the Michigan
Soccer Field on Sunday.
"I think it's all that more frustrating
because it wasn't that we played terri-
bly, it was that just two times in the
game (we made a mistake) and they
made the most of it," Rademacher said.
Yesterday's loss was especially
bittersweet after the Wolverines had
pulled off an exciting and important
win on Friday.
The match against Michigan State
was Michigan's last Big Ten contest -
a pivotal one since the Wolverines
needed to solidify their standing in the
Big Ten and are on the cusp of qualify-
ing for the NCAA Tournament. After
Michigan midfielder Erica Kleinholz
scored early in the first half, the game
seemed to be wrapped up for the
Wolverines. But with less than five
minutes left in the game, Michigan
State's Tiffany Laskowski knocked one
into the lower right corner of the net,
beating senior goalkeeper Suzie Grech.

By Jake Rosenwasser
Daily Sports Writer
After her final game at the Varsity
Soccer Field, senior captain Erika
Kleinholz could not hold back the
tears. She brushed the moisture off
her face and reflected on her four
years in Ann Arbor.
"It's a shock it's all over," Klein-

holz said. "It all goes
by so quick."
Kleinholz and the
other Michigan sen-
iors were honored
before the game on
senior day, and all

ti>
' '
YOO

Junior Theresa Dwyer and the rest of the Wolverines won in overtime against the
Spartans on Friday, but the elation came to a hault against Kansas yesterday.

Back and forth play continued until
Michigan was awarded a free kick
right outside the 18-yard box with less
than a minute left in regulation. But
time ran out before the Wolverines
could get a shot off.
The crowd of 1,417 was ready for
more intense play, but it didn't get to
see much, as just 3:20 into the first
overtime senior Stephanie Chavez
ended the match with a rocket past
Michigan State's goalkeeper to win the
game. It was Michigan's first overtime
win this season after playing six other
contests to double-overtime ties.
"When they scored the tying goal
with five minutes left you have that
feeling, 'Is this going to be another
tie?' " Rademacher said. "But I just

give credit to the team. They just came
out and really wanted it bad. They're
sick of coming out with ties."
Instead of the frustration and
ambiguity of ties, this weekend the
Wolverines got an incredible win
and a disappointing loss. Michigan
has one final chance to finish the
season on a high note when it faces
No. 2 Notre Dame on Wednesday.
Will the Wolverines' roller coaster
leave its riders nauseous or exhila-
rated? Rademacher hopes it will be
the latter.
"We feel like we're just getting start-
ed," Rademacher said. "We still want to
make the NCAA Tournament. I don't
have to say too much; the girls know
what's at stake."

were given a start in their emotional
finale at home.
"I love it here," Kleinholz said.
"I've had so much fun, and I've
made some of my best friends while
playing here."
Kleinholz knows her time as a
Wolverine is almost up, but others
have not come to grips with the end.
"To be completely honest, it has-
n't hit me yet," senior goalie Suzie
Grech said. "I don't know, it's just
going to be different now."
Grech, like Kleinholz, treasured
every minute at Michigan.
"It was unbelievable, I wouldn't
take a single second of it back,"
Grech said. "I'm happy with how I
played and love all the people I've
met along the way. I'm going to
cherish forever the time I had with
these girls."
Even though Grech has played

one of her last games for Michigan,
she has no plans to leave the soccer
world.
"After I graduate, I plan on going
into coaching," Grech said. " Hope-
fully, I can make it up to the colle-
giate level some day."
Other seniors playing their final
game at home for the Wolverines
were Stephanie Chavez, Nicole
D'Hondt and Shannon Reid.
"Anytime you spend four years
anywhere, and you're leaving, you
get emotional," assistant coach Dan
Dalzochio said. "For these girls, an
important part of their life is com-
ing to a close."
TOURNAMENT BOUND?: The
Wolverines' hopes to qualify for the
NCAA Tournament took a hit yes-
terday with the 2-1 loss to Kansas.
To qualify for the tournament, a
team must have a record of .500 or
better. Michigan has one regular-
season game remaining against No.
2 Notre Dame, and then it will trav-
el to Madison to compete in the Big
Ten Tournament. The only way the
Wolverines could guarantee them-
selves a spot in the NCAA tourna-
ment would be to come out of
Madison with the Big Ten Tourna-
ment championship.
If Michigan makes a run in the
Big Ten Tournament, it may have an
edge over other "bubble" teams
because it has played some of its
best soccer late in the season.
Michigan is 5-2-3 in its last 10
games.

M' splits weekend of
diverse opponents

I

Blue beats Penn State for first
time in program's history

By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer

By Jeremy Antar
Daily Sports Writer

The Michigan men's soccer team stated loud and
clear yesterday that the No. 11 ranking it received
earlier in the week was deserved. Michigan defeated
Penn State 4-2 in a crucial Big Ten game at State
College, improving its overall record to 12-5 and
conference record to 4-1. This marked the first
Michigan win over Penn State in the Wolverines'
four-year history.
Junior Knox Cameron was an offensive machine,
igniting the Wolverines with
three goals. Cameron's stellar
performance was to the delight
of a large gathering of family
and friends, who made the trip
from the Bronx to see the game.
"Knox had an incredibly
strong game today," coach Steve Burns said. "He
loaded the team up on his back offensively."
After falling behind early in nearly every game
this season, the Wolverines did not have to play
catch-up yesterday. The Wolverines got on the score-
board first and never relinquished the lead.
The opening goal came off a corner kick 21 min-
utes into the first half. Sophomore Adam Bruh
placed the ball in front of the goal, where an eager
Cameron separated himself from the surrounding
defenders and headed the ball into the net.
The Wolverines' second goal came on a penalty

kick that came as a result of junior Mychal Turpin
being blatantly tackled in the box. Senior Kevin Tay-
lor once again converted the penalty kick, firing the
ball into the net with confidence and ease.
The rest of Michigan's scoring was taken care of
by Cameron. His second goal was assisted by junior
Matt Niemeyer. Once Cameron got the ball, he
quickly turned and kicked the ball across his body
into the lower-right corner of the net.
Cameron's third and final goal came off a 'pass
from senior tri-captain Mike White.
Goalkeeper Peter Dzubay was excellent in the vic-
tory, recording 10 saves and often sacrificing his
body for the good of the team.
"Dzbuay came up with a couple of saves that
would have to be described as brave," Burns said.
However Dzbuay was not alone on the defen-
sive side of the ball. Taylor built on what has
been a special season with yet another great
game. Burns had only one way to describe the
play of his best defender: "Kevin Taylor is play-
ing like an All-American."
Burns was especially happy that Michigan never
allowed Penn State to tie the game.
"It was a good back-and-forth fight. Penn State
played a good game, but every time they got close
we were able to shut the door on them," Burns said.
The win over Penn State was sweet for Michigan
because it got the bitter taste of Friday's disappoint-
ing 2-1 loss to Akron out of their mouths. Against
Akron, the Wolverines were not able to get into a

Junior Knox Cameron again sparked Michigan with a
hat trick in the team's 4-2 win over Penn State.
groove and play their game until it was too late.
"It was a question of just running out of time,"
Burns said.
Akron played all 90 minutes with a sense of
urgency and a tempo that took a while for Michigan
to match. The lone Wolverine goal came when White
headed in a corner kick from Bruh. While the
Wolverines finally started to play their game and
were getting shots on goal in the final minutes, they
were not able to muster another goal before the
buzzer sounded.

At the halfway point of the Big Ten
volleyball season, and with Michigan
just two games out of first place, coach
Mark Rosen was reluctant to single out
one player as the team's most valuable.
"I don't pick MVPs on my team,"
Rosen said. "The M__HIAN___
stats in some ways
speak for them-
selves" M__HGAN __
Looking at they
statistics, Rosen
would find it difficult to single out any
one player as this year's candidate.
Senior Erin Moore leads the team in
kills per game (4.26), freshman Megan
Bowman leads in blocks per game
(1.37) and sophomore Erin Cobler leads
in service aces per game (0.23). Junior
Jennifer Gandolph leads in digs per
game (3.19) and senior Nicole Poquette
has the highest attack percentage (.304)
among starters.
With so many floor leaders, it's no
surprise that the Wolverines (6-4
Big Ten, 14-7 overall) continue to
show resiliency in Big Ten play
despite nagging injuries and down-
to-the-wire losses.
This past weekend, with two of
Michigan's starters sidelined with
injuries, the Wolverines played with
flashes of greatness in their 3-1 loss to
Big Ten leader No. 25 Minnesota (8-2
Big Ten, 15-7 overall) and with com-
plete dominance in their 3-0 sweep of
Big Ten doormat Iowa (0-10, 5-15).
"We played two totally different
teams this weekend," Rosen said. "Min-
nesota is atop the conference for a rea-
son, and Iowa is a team that's
struggling."
Friday night's match against Min-
nesota was more of a mental test for the
Wolverines. Neither team appeared to
have a physical advantage, but Min-
nesota did have the support of over

3,000 fans that packed the Sports Pavil-
ion for its largest crowd of the year.
In game one, Michigan rallied several
times - even taking a 26-25 lead -
only to see the Gophers capitalize on a
crucial touch foul which began a string
of five consecutive points en route to 1-
0 match lead.
Michigan evened the match 1-1
behind Megan Bowman's four kills and
solid team defense. The tempo of game
three mirrored game one. Michigan
came back from marginal deficits but
came up short, losing 30-26.
Down 2-1 in the match and 18-6 in
the fourth game, Rosen noticed that his
team began to play with the poise and
consistency that they have not shown on
many occasions this season.
Led by the blocking of Moore and
Lisa Gamalski, Michigan was able to
battle back and tie the match at 29.
"I'm just really proud of our girls for
not giving up," Rosen said. "It's hard
when you get to that point to not just get
frustrated. And the girls did a great job
of that."
Michigan was unable to close out
game four against Minnesota, but its
intensity carried over to Saturday night's
match against Iowa - a remarkably dif-
ferent match all-together.
While Minnesota's home fans ener-
gized their Gophers to victory, Iowa's
crowd atmosphere would even disap-
point Montreal Expos fans.
"At Iowa you have a 16,000 seat
arena with 200 people," Rosen said.
"Our practices have more intensity a lot
of time than in that gym."
Despite the inability to find its
rhythm early, Michigan won 44 of the
match's final 57 points, including a 30-9
score in the final game to sweep the
Hawkeyes 3-0.
"We were playing very, very
smooth," said Rosen about the final
game. "It was definitely impressive how
our girls handled that situation. As a
coach, you love seeing that:"

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