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October 14, 2004 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-14

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14A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 14, 2004

0

Irish avenge NCAA loss
in 3-0 Michigan shutout

Tuura is key to solid
Wolverine defense

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
Ever since the "luck of the Irish" ran out for Notre
Dame in last year's NCAA men's mi
soccer tournament against Michi-
gan, the Fighting Irish have been **
hungry for revenge. After the com-
pletion of yesterday's rematch, the Irish went home with
fuller stomachs than on Thanksgiving night.
No. 12 Notre Dame (0-1 Big East, 10-2-1 overall)
handed No. 22 Michigan (5-1, 7-3-2) a 3-0 loss in South
Bend yesterday night. But Michigan coach Steve Burns
hardly revealed any disappointment.
"I was real pleased," Bums said. "We had chances to
grab the game by the throat and take it our way early. We
didn't get the breaks, unfortunately. But for our team to
be able to create seven great scoring chances, I'm pleased
with that."
The Wolverines had defeated the Irish in a stunning
victory in the second round of last year's NCAA tourna-
ment in order to advance to the quarterfinals. The game
stalemated in a 1-1 tie, but Michigan defeated Notre
Dame in penalty kicks, 4-3.
This year, the Irish were ready, and they didn't waste
much time.
In the 14th minute of play, Notre Dame's Justin
McGeeney beat Michigan's fifth-year senior goalkeeper
Joe Zawacki from five yards out to give the Irish an early
one-goal lead.
At 17:41, Notre Dame added to its lead when Luke
Boughen gave the Irish a 2-0 cushion after taking a
drop pass from his teammate 15 yards away from
Michigan's goal.

"They were able to connect," Zawacki said. "They
were able to finish their chances today. They executed."
Michigan had several scoring opportunities,
especially in the game's initial 15 minutes. In that
first critical stretch of the game, one of those chanc-
es came when junior Adam Bruh sent a shot at the
Notre Dame net that was redirected by junior Trai
Blanks. But Blanks's attempt was deflected off the
far post.
"We came out flying in the first part of the game,"
Zawacki said. "We had about three or four really good
opportunities. If those would've gone in, it would've been
a completely different game:"
Besides the two goals allowed, Zawacki had made
three saves to keep the Wolverines within reach of the
Irish. But to start the second half, Burns tried to mix
things up by substituting junior Peter Dzubay for Zawacki
at goalkeeper.
"It's an opportunity to see where we are with our goal-
keeping position," Burns said. "I told both goalkeepers
we are going to evaluate them in practice. They are very
close in terms of what they both bring to the table, which
is a positive for us - not a negative."
Dzubay managed two saves, but couldn't stop the scor-
ing attack of the Irish. Adding insult to injury in the last
five minutes of the game, Notre Dame made sure Michi-
gan wouldn't be pulling out any luck of its own. Irish for-
ward Nate Norman received a pass within the goal box
and shot it passed Dzubay, putting the game out of reach
for the Wolverines.
Compared to Notre Dame's potent offense, Michigan's
attacking game was silenced. The Wolverines were com-
pletely out-shot by the Irish throughout the game. Michi-
gan tallied less than half as many shots as the Irish, who

MIKt ULSEBUS/Daily
Goalkeeper Peter Dzubay watches the ball earlier this
season. Dzubay took over In the second half yesterday.
put up with 23 shots by the end of the contest.
Burns said Michigan has been used to this pattern all
season.
"We are a team that absorbs a lot of pressure," Burns
said. "We allow teams to take bad shots against us. Win
or lose, we are being out-shot. That is something our
team is comfortable with. That's really our style."
After falling short to No. 3 Indiana last weekend, 2-1,
this is the first time all season that Michigan has dropped
consecutive games. Both came against top-25 teams, but
Michigan has still seen its ranking drop.
But Burns remains confident with the team's perfor-
mance.
"We had a young team on the field that absolutely
could've won this game," Burns said. "They're creating
chances, and (when you do that) your breaks are going to
come pretty soon."

By Seth Gordon
Daily Sports Writer
Last season, the Michigan women's
soccer team struggled to score goals and
relied heavily on its defense and goaltend-
ing to win games. As a freshman last year,
Megan Tuura split time at goalkeeper for
the Wolverines, eventually winning the
starting job for the Big Ten and NCAA
tournaments. Michigan has made a con-
certed effort to score more goals this sea-
son, but when the offense sputters, Tuura
has been there to save the day.
Last weekend, Tuura posted back-to-
back 1-0 shutouts at Purdue and Indiana.
The sophomore keeper has allowed just
two goals in the Wolverines' last seven
games.
"Megan has been solid for us all season
long," Michigan coach Debbie Rademach-
er said. "We didn't face high-shot totals,
so every shot that was on goal was pretty
key. She's got great hands and didn't give
up rebounds, and she was a steady force
back there. She's very composed."
While Michigan has increased its offen-
sive output - through 14 games this sea-
son, the Wolverines have found the back
of the net 23 times compared to only 12
during the same span last year - Tuura
has made the defense even stingier. Thus
far, Tuura has surrendered just 12 goals,
three less than last year at this point.
The improvements on offense and
defense have the No. 13 Wolverines (6-
1-1 Big Ten, 9-3-2 overall) in contention
for a Big Ten title and a run in the NCAA
Tournament.
Tuura played in 20 games as a freshman
- splitting time with then-senior Suzie
Grech - and posted five shutouts, includ-
ing back-to-back shutouts in the first two
rounds of the NCAA tournament. Tuura
has already surpassed that mark this sea-

son, posting six goose eggs so far.
The difference for Tuura has been
confidence. As a freshman, Tuura found
herself anxious - not just about playing
for top a collegiate team, but also about
adjusting to college life.
This season. Tuura has a better under-
standing of her teammates' tendencies
which has helped her communicate and
coordinate the defense better.
Tuura's great play and impressive num-
bers have garnered her Big Ten Defensive
Player of the Week honors twice already
this season - the second of which came
after her performance this weekend.
"It's a great honor, but it does single
out one person when we have a whole
defense on the field and forwards that are
involved:' Tuura said. "I think we should
get defensive team of the week awards.
I played well, but I think other people
should get credit."
Tuura has received the Defensive Play-
er of the Week award three times in her
career - tied for first in Michigan his-
tory with Grech.
"I have an amazing defense in front of
me - great midfielders and a great offense
as well," Tuura said. "Without them, I
wouldn't have shutouts or anything like
that - it's basically due to them."
Although humble about her accom-
plishments, Tuura doesn't hesitate when
it comes to being a leader on the field.
"I personally do (consider myself
a leader) because I have to command
my defense," Tuura said. "I can see the
whole field, and I have to show them
where the weak spots are to get them to
fix certain areas."
Tuura will continue to lead the Wol-
verine defense as Michigan continues its
five-game road swing today at Oakland
before traveling to Wisconsin to take on
the Badgers on Sunday.

0 ROWING
Medina's background spans three countries

4

S

By Tyler Hagle
Daily Sports Writer
Events like the recently passed sum-
mer Olympics give people around the
world reason to be proud of their coun-
try. The combination of raising the flag
and playing the national anthem is sure
to make chests swell no matter what
nationality. On rare occasions, specta-
tors get the opportunity to feel far supe-
rior when their country takes more than
one medal.
But Michigan rower Tara Medina has
a far better chance than most of seeing
her nation dominate the podium.
Medina, a senior coxswain, has citi-
zenship in not one, not two, but three
different countries. She was born in
Alberta, Canada, but neither of her
parents are Canadian. Her father is
Australian and her mother is Ameri-
can, allowing her to gain citizenship
through birth abroad in both other
countries.

She moved to Australia at age 3 and
stayed throughout her elementary years
before moving to Vancouver Island,
B.C., where she would pick up the sport
that would change her life.
Medina began coxing at age 11 and
continued through high school. By 11th
grade she was skilled enough to try out
for the Canadian Junior National Team,
but ended up being cut. It was at this
point that Medina first put her triple-
citizenship into action for rowing - she
tried out and qualified for the United
States Junior National B Team. Soon
she found herself competing in Mexico
against the host nation, and against her
home nation, Canada.
"The U.S. won, beating the Cana-
dians, so I was happy after a long and
emotional few months," Medina said.
"This was my first encounter with being
an 'American.' "
The coaches of the U.S. squad pushed
Medina to apply to American schools,
and she sent out applications across the

country. Her first visit to Michigan was
enough for her to commit and cancel all
her other applications, partially because
Ann Arbor's laid-back reputation struck
a chord with the relaxed Aussie and
Canadian lifestyles she had grown so
accustomed to. But even moving to the
U.S. for the first time wasn't enough to
make Medina forget how she got there.
"Canadian rowing is what made me
love the sport," Medina said. "I grew up
rowing on the ocean and it helped me to
become the person that I am, as well as
provide me with an outlet."
Medina never had to feel like an out-
sider on the Michigan team, which has
always been "full of Canucks." She was
one of 13 Canadians her freshman year,
and this year's crew still boasts eight
women from north of the border.
"I guess you can say the rowing com-
munity in Canada is quite small," she
said.
But Medina has made a big name for
herself, coxing the first varsity eight as a

junior last year while receiving second-
team All-Big Ten honors. She hopes to
build on this success in her last year of
school, before deciding which country
she really wants to make her home.
"I spent the most time in Canada,
and definitely consider myself a Cana-
dian," Medina said. "However, after
living in the United States, I definitely
feel as if I will end up here. Michigan,
and the United States, is something that
I worked to get to and definitely identify
with now."
Still, Medina identifies with parts of
all three countries. She still strongly
prefers Australian or Canadian candy
and beer, and American football has
been tough to learn to love (her father
coaches the Canadian Under-21 rugby
team).
So the next time Team USA laces
up its skates and hits the ice against its
Canadian counterparts, or the U.S. pool
rats dive in to race those fish-like Aus-
tralians, American sports fans should
be glad they know who to cheer for.
Tara Medina is torn - but remember,
she gets to win a lot more, too.

-1

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Sophomore goalkeeper Megan Tuura posted two 1-0 shutouts last weekend.

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