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September 02, 2003 - Image 63

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-02

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The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2003 - 9E

'The

Bavarian Bomber
By Kevin Maratea Daily Sports Writer

uergen Schmieder wanted to play soccer at Michigan so badly that in
order to fulfill University requirements, he left his semi-pro team in
Germany during the middle of its season. Last spring, fourth division
Jahn Regensburg finished its season without Schmieder because he had to
obtain 18 credit hours at Michigan during the spring and summer terms to
be eligible for the 2002 season.
"He took a lot of grief from the media (in Germany)," Michigan coach
Steve Burns said of Schmieder's decision to leave his old team. "He was a
key component (for them)."
Heading into the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed Michigan has
been rewarded by the 5-foot-11, 189-pound junior forward. Schmieder
amassed an incredible seven goals in 11 games to close out the regular sea-
son and finished fourth on the team in points (14).
With his head, Schmieder has dominated opposing defenses in the air and
helped Michigan to a 5-0-1 record in its last six games.
"Schmieder has the ability to finish goals at a high rate," Burns said.
"He's as close to a world-class finisher in the air as I've seen."
The 23-year-old Schmieder (known as "the Kaiser" to his teammates)
had the opportunity to play third division professional soccer in Germany.
He declined in order to retain his amateur status, knowing he wanted to
study and play soccer in the United States.
"Juergen was smart (in terms of) planning for that," Burns said.
Last April, he arrived at Michigan from Regensburg, Bavaria. Schmieder

now lives with teammates Joey Iding, Kevin Taylor, Ian Hirschfield, Mike
White and Robert Turpin, who have all enjoyed getting to know "the old
man." At 23, he doesn't feel old amongst his 20 and 21-year-old roommates,
but because of his early bedtime habits, Schmieder has gotten used to being
the old man of the house.
"He's the grandpa," said Hirschfield. "Juergen's even older than one of
our assistant coaches."
Schmieder speaks fluent English and has been studying the language
since fifth grade, but his roommates acknowledged some early difficulties.
"When he first got here, Juergen had some trouble," said Iding. "He still
struggles sometimes explaining when he wants something and if we go out
to eat, he usually asks a lot of questions about what's on the menu."
"We were (randomly) talking about boarding school a few days ago and
Juergen didn't get it," Hirschfield added. "He thought we were talking about
snowboarding school."
Other schools - known for soccer and not snowboarding - like
Notre Dame, Southern Cal. and UCLA were interested in Schmieder,
but he desired to attend and to play for Michigan.
"Michigan was the best academic school,' Schmieder said. "Also, my
brother studied at Notre Dame a few years ago and always talked about how
much better Notre Dame was than Michigan. In high school I became a
Michigan fan and a rivalry developed."
Schmieder was regularly in contact with other coaches but had been most
impressed with Burns.
"He flew to visit me and meet my parents," Schmieder said. "That
made a big impact on me."
"I spent 36 hours with him and his parents, and then flew back," Burns
said. "Juergen's the first international player we've recruited, (so) this whole
process has been a new experience."
Schmieder won't be seeking a professional career in soccer and therefore
really likes the great academic opportunities Michigan offers.
"It was half coach Burns and half the education," Schmieder said.
Thus far, Schmieder has felt comfortable in the States.
"People are more friendly (and open) with each other here,"
Schmieder said of Michigan students compared to Germans. "I've
made many new friends in classes, through my roommates and
amongst other athletes."
But he doesn't like the food selection and misses traditional Bavarian
foods such as Leberkaese and Wienerschnitzel (types of meat).
"Whenever we go to Kroger or Meijer, and Juergen sees something Ger-
man, he has to buy it," Hirschfield said.
"American food is too fatty and there isn't much variety," Schmieder added.
In Germany, he had trained and played a different style for his former
team, than he has with Michigan, but he feels the coaches have done a good
job of trying to help him fit his style into the team.
"U.S. soccer lacks the creativity and vision of the European game,"
Schmieder said. "There's more emphasis on athleticism, strength and condi-
tioning in the States ... so American players' are more fit."
Michigan has had a roller-coaster year, en route to a 3-3 Big Ten record
(9-6-2 overall). Although its record isn't staggering, five of the six defeats
have been by just one goal.
"I think the losses were more a result of us being unlucky than being
beaten," Schmieder said.
But Schmieder likes the make-up of the team and thinks it can be suc-
cessful in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament and hopefully get a bid to the
NCAA Tournament.
"We have the players to reach our goal of playing in the NCAAs," he
added. "But we must play well at the Big Ten Tournament."
Whether or not Michigan makes it to the NCAA Tournament, Schmieder
will still be around next season and not have to go through the pains of
learning to play with new teammates - while he tries to continue his offen-
sive onslaught at the college he is thrilled to have chosen.
With the option to choose from so many American colleges, Schmieder
still knew Michigan was for him: "I visited Notre Dame, but it didn't feel
right," he said. "Then I visited Michigan and it was love at first sight.".

AP PHOTO

Michigan first baseman Mike Sokol is congratulated by first-year coach Rich Maloney.
Maloney leads baSeball
in successful season

By Gennaro Filice
Daily Sports Editor
Before Rich Maloney's arrival as head
coach this season, the Michigan baseball team
held a shoddy 69-92-1 mark in the new millen-
nium. During this three-year period, the
Wolverines chalked up a 34-49 conference
record en route to eighth, sixth and eighth
place finishes in Big Ten play. Basically, a
once proud program that tore through the '80s
with a record of 465-146-1 (142-37 Big Ten)
- while winning eight conference champi-
onships - had fallen to relative obscurity in
the Big Ten.
Maloney made it clear early in his inaugu-
ral season that each game's outcome did not
matter to him, he just wanted his team to
"get after it."
And "get after it" they did.
Michigan finished 30-27 overall - its best
record since 1999 - and earned a third place
finish in conference standings with a 16-14
Big Ten mark.
Throughout the season, Maloney credited
Michigan's success to the team's "never say
die" attitude.
"We're not going to back down to whoever
we play," Maloney said earlier this season.
"We're going to expect to be the best."
This cavalier mindset was evident in the
Wolverines' 12 come-from-behind victories
this year. Michigan's feisty approach was also
apparent when it defeated Midwest power-
house Notre Dame and took a home series
from Ohio State (the Buckeyes' first home-
series loss since 1997) in one week.
At the plate, Michigan rode its senior leader-
ship throughout the season. The trio of Brock
Koman (.368, 55 RBIs), Gino Lollio (.329, 58
runs), and Mike Sokol (.340, 38 runs) paced
the Michigan offense on a daily basis.
Senior Tim Leveque was paramount on the
mound, giving Maloney a steady reliever with

a 3.68 ERA.
Although these seniors were vital to
Michigan's success this year and will be
missed in 2004, Maloney did a stellar job
developing a lot of the young talent, namely
pitching. Of Michigan's 11 hurlers who
made appearances this year, all but one
(Leveque) will be available for service next
season. This young staff was beat up a bit
this year, but with players like Drew Taylor
(9-1, 3.97 ERA) and Phil'Tognetti (6-5, 3.76
ERA) returning, the Wolverines should be
solid on the mound in 2004.
Michigan also returns many position play-
ers next year. Jake Fox had a monster junior
season, hitting .357 and leading the team in
homeruns (15) and RBIs (67). Besides Fox,
the Wolverines will boast five other players in
2004 with at least 20 starts under their belts.
All in all, under the tutelage of Maloney,
the program is headed in the right direction.
In seven years at Ball State (1996-2002),
Maloney transformed the Cardinals from a
cellar-dweller to a two-time Mid-American
Conference champion. So far, it looks like
he's going the same route with Michigan. In
his first season with the Wolverines, Mal-
oney achieved one of the team's main goals
(30 wins), improved Michigan's final confer-
ence standing five spots from a year ago and
- through this rampant success - thwarted
any idea of 2003 being a typical "rebuilding
year" (the new-era term for a losing season).
Led by Maloney, Michigan finished just
behind the conference's two perennial con-
tenders - Ohio State and Minnesota - who
both will compete in the 2003 NCAA tour-
nament. Will it leapfrog the Buckeyes or
Golden Gophers next season? Possibly. Will
it make the NCAA tournament for the first
time since 1999? There's a chance. But,
under Maloney's reign, at least one thing is
guaranteed in 2004 - the Wolverines will
most certainly "get after it."

DAVID KATZ/Daily
Michigan junior forward Juergen Schmieder was on a tear during the 2002
soccer season, scoring an impressive seven goals in 11 regular season
matches.

A

Hockey Band
The tradition continues...
C' Ya there!

Rehearsals will be on Thursdays
beginning at 7:30 PM

Men's Basketball Band
Be a part of the Amaker Era...
on the road to victory with
the Men's Basketball Band.
Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays
beginning at 7:00 PM

Auditions will be held at Revelli Hall
Sunday, September 14,2003
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Audition will include scales and sight reading.

'I

To schedule a time for an audition

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