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October 25, 2004 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-25

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 25, 2004
M MEN'S SOCCER w
'M' splits Big Ten weekend

I

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's soccer team expe-
rienced a reversal of fortunes on its Big
Ten road trip this weekend.
Traveling to Evanston yesterday, Michi-
gan (1-3-0 Big Ten,
8-5-2 overall) suf-NORTHWESTERNfa -
fered a nail-biting
loss to Northwest-MCHIGAN 2
em, 2-1, in overtime.-WISCONSIN I
Two days earlier,
the Wolverines had bounced back from
a three-game losing streak by defeating
Wisconsin by the same score in another
overtime game. But the Wildcats (2-1-1
Big Ten, 9-3-2 overall) gave the Wolver-
ines a taste of their own medicine.
"(All losses) are disappointing," Michi-
gan coach Steve Burns said. "The fact that
you get yourself back in the game and
then can't capitalize with the win, that's
unfortunately the way the ball bounces at
times."
Junior Adam Sirois gave Northwestern
the early lead in the 38th minute of the first
half, sending a header to the back post of
Michigan's goal. The Wildcats outshot the
Wolverines 9-4 in the first half.
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Wolverines
made some adjustments in the second half.
Michigan's offense came out much more
aggressive, maintaining possession in the

front half of the field. In the last 15 minutes
of the game, the strategy paid off.
Northwestern's defense attacked Michi-
gan a bit too aggressively in the 87th
minute of play, and the Wolverines were
awarded a penalty shot when Michigan
drew a Northwestern foul in the penalty
area. Junior Adam Bruh took the kick for
Michigan and sent the game into overtime
at 1-1.
"The second half and overtime were
certainly hard-fought, where our guys
put in a lot of energy and effort," Burns
said. "The first half, we came out flat. We
rebounded pretty well after halftime and
clawed our way back to put ourselves in a
position to win the game. Unfortunately, it
was Northwestern's day and not ours."
Northwestern hardly gave Michigan a
chance to catch its breath in overtime. Four
minutes in, the Wildcats scored the game-
winning goal in an unusual way. North-
western scored the goal on a corner kick
restart that pinballed around the Wolver-
ines' net, and Michigan goalkeeper Peter
Dzubay even got a hand on it. But Brad
Napper headed the ball home and crushed
Michigan's hopes in the Wolverines' third
consecutive overtime contest.
"We take a lot of pride in how we defend
restarts," Burns said. "That's the disap-
pointing thing more than anything."
Northwestern has been on fire of late,
and Burns said the most difficult challenge

the Wildcats posed for his team were the
one-on-one athletic matchups, where
Northwestern had the upper hand.
Finding that edge seems to be the lat-
est challenge for the Wolverines, as their
last three games have been decided by a
single goal.
"At this point, it's recognizing who we
are as a team and always trying to maxi-
mize our potential," Burns said. "It's the
attitude, competitiveness and willingness
to win games. It's the intangibles that, at
this point in the season, we are trying to
touch upon."
Michigan was able to capitalize on
those "intangibles" in its lone Big Ten vic-
tory against Wisconsin on Friday. Junior
Trai Blanks converted his first goal of the
season at a most opportune time, hitting
the game-winning goal in overtime. The
game remained scoreless until very late in
the second half when Michigan freshman
Steve Hecker finally broke the deadlock
in the 85th minute of the game. But the
Wolverines' 1-0 lead lasted less than two
minutes, as Wisconsin's David Martinez
converted on a penalty kick. In this game,
Michigan proved resilient in overtime.
"In the Wisconsin game, every one of
our players played up to their potential and
had a strong game," Burns said. "Against
Northwestern, many of our players had
letdowns. That's making the difference
between wins and losses."

I

TOMMASO GOMEZ/Daily
Freshman Jamie Artsis looks on during a 1-0 loss to Penn State. Michigan lost another disappointing game this weekend.
Another tough loss for Blue

By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer

EAST LANSING - The Michi-
gan women's soccer team looked
on in disbelief. SoCe GANyer
Some playersMCHGNTAE
bent over at the
waist, while others put their hands
over their head. Already reeling

from consecutive losses last week,
the Wolverines had let rival Michi-
gan State steal one.
Once again, Michigan dominated
the stat sheet. Once again, Michigan
controlled play for much of the game.
Once again, the Wolverines found
themselves looking for answers after
the final whistle blew.
"If we knew what was wrong, I

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I

think we would fix it," senior for-
ward Kate Morgan said.
Michigan (6-3-1 Big Ten, 9-6-2
overall) endured its third consecu-
tive defeat Friday, falling 2-1 to the
Spartans. As in their recent losses
to Oakland and Wisconsin, the Wol-
verines maintained an advantage in
crucial statistical categories, out-
shooting Michigan State 14-5 and
earning more corner kicks (4-2). But
Michigan's control of possession
failed to translate into goals. Mean-
while, the Spartans (3-6-1, 10-7-1)
capitalized on their limited chances,
earning a victory over their in-state
rivals.
The three-game skid is the Wol-
verines' longest of the season.
"We're getting the opportunities,
but that's the way it goes," Morgan
said. "Sometimes the breaks go your
way, and sometimes they don't."
The Spartans sealed the victory
on a bizarre goal midway through
the second half. The ball rolled to
Michigan sophomore goalkeeper
Megan Tuura, who appeared to
smother it well to the right of the
goal. But somehow the ball trickled
free, allowing Michigan State's Lau-
ren Zacharski to come up with it and
pop it into the open net, giving the
Spartans a 2-0 lead.
The two-goal cushion proved to
be insurmountable. Michigan senior
captain Laura Tanchon got the Wol-
verines on the scoreboard with five
minutes to go, drilling a direct kick
into the net from well outside the
18-yard box. Michigan kept attack-
ing, but Michigan State's defenders
wouldn't let up. After a few desper-
ate rushes, the whistle blew, send-
ing the Spartans into an ecstatic
celebration.
"Every game's big," Morgan said.
"But (against) Michigan State, you
definitely want to come out here and
show it."
Michigan's best first half scor-
ing opportunity came when sopho-
more Katelin Spencer boomed a shot
towards the top of the net. Michigan
State goalkeeper Erin Carlson made
a spectacular save, knocking a seem-
ingly sure goal over the crossbar.
The Spartans roared back soon
after. Michigan State forward Dana
Voorhies sprinted past the Michi-
gan defenders, forcing Tuura out
of the net. Tuura tripped Voorhies,
but the Spartan retained her bal-
ance, gathered the ball, and tapped
it into the empty net for an easy
goal with less than five minutes to
go in the half.
A scary situation soon followed.
Freshman Jamie Artsis tried to set-
tle a high ball in front of the Michi-
gan State net. She missed the ball,
but kicked Michigan State fresh-
man Erin Doan square in the face.
Doan immediately crumpled to the
ground, holding her head, bringing
trainers over to help. To the relief
of all in attendance, she walked off
under her own power a few minutes
later.
Michigan came out fired up to
open the second half, hoping to erase
a one- goal deficit.
The Wolverines were successful in
controlling possession, but couldn't
get a clear look at the net. Michigan
State's defenders blocked passing
lanes, deflected shots and generally
turned up in the right place at the
right time.
"They played a bunker defense
and sat back," Morgan said.
Despite their defensive style of
play, the Spartans broke through for
the crucial second goal. Soon after,
Michigan was left to pick up the
pieces.
"We're not scoring enough,"
Michigan coach Debbie Rademacher

said. "And we're scoring too late."
With the Big Ten Championship and
potentially the NCAA Tournament
around the corner, Michigan has little
time to turn it around. The Wolverines
will try to get back on track against
No. 1 Notre Dame Thursday, return-
in2 home after a 2-3-0 road trin.

:; - - ®

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