6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 1, 2004
Hanging by a thread
W'i' picks up vital
win over Broncos
in tie at
By Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writer
High expectations are tough to
achieve and even tougher to lose.
The Michigan men's soccer team (1-
3-1 Big Ten, 9-5-3) has become used to
this mentality lately. For the third time
this season, the Wolverines were forced
to accept a tie game in an important
competition. Michigan left the U-M
Soccer Field yesterday tied 0-0 after
two overtimes against No. 19 Penn State
(1-3-2 Big Ten, 9-3-6) in an important
Big Ten matchup. The team needs to
win its last two games against Oakland
and Ohio State if they hope to secure a
NCAA Tournament bid.
"This was a big game for us," goal-
keeper Peter Dzubay said. "We need to
win two more games to get a bid to the
NCAA Tournament and now we only
have two more chances to get it."
With just eight shots on goal, the
Wolverines - who have lost five and
tied three of their last 11 games - were
dominated offensively by the Nittany
Lions and could not convert any of their
"The chances were there for us, and
they were there for Penn State," Michi-
gan coach Steve Burns said. "In the end,
I think we got a pretty just result. It was
a hard-fought game, and I'm pleased
because, effort-wise, everything we
asked from our players, they did."
Forwards Trai Blanks and Mychal Tur-
pin led the team on offensive attacks and
shots on goal, respectively. But the duo
was handily guarded by the Penn State
defense and unable to break away for clear
shots on goal. The majority of the game
was played in the middle of the field, with
both teams having a difficult time break-
ing through the other's defense.
In regard to Michigan's defense, Burns
was specifically impressed by Dzubay's
defensive tactics in the goal and the way
he was able to take control of the Wol-
verines' defense. Dzubay had eight saves
while in goal.
By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer
After suffering through four con-
secutive losses, the Michigan women's
soccer team desperately needed to stop
the bleeding. On Saturday, they did
Playing with a sense of urgency, the
Wolverines outplayed a tough Western
Michigan squad and finished their reg-
ular season with a crucial 2-1 victory.
"(The win) was huge," Michigan
coach Debbie Rademacher said. "We
pretty much had to do that, mentally,
for the confidence to jump-start us into
the (Big Ten) tournament."
For the first time in nine games,
Michigan (6-3-1 Big Ten, 10-7-2 over-
all) put multiple goals on the score-
board. The Wolverines struck first, 15
minutes into the first half. Taking a
pass from sophomore Brenna Mulhol-
land, junior Therese Heaton took the
ball down the right side of the field.
Heaton crossed the ball to redshirt
sophomore Katie Kramer, who one-
timed it home and gave Michigan a
much-needed 1-0 advantage.
Michigan continued to pour it on the
Broncos (5-3-3 MAC, 11-5-3) for the
remainder of the half, outshooting them ,
8-1. But four first-half saves from West-
ern Michigan goalkeeper Lea Perz kept
the game close.
Ten minutes into the second half, the
Wolverines struck again. Senior Kate
Morgan scored her first goal in her first
game back after missing seven games
with a knee injury, connecting on a penal-
ty kick to give Michigan a 2-0 advantage.
"(Morgan's return) comes at a great
time, and we could use her leadership,"
Rademacher said. "She brings some-
thing different to the field. She played
well out there. She'll help us outa lot in
The insurance goal proved crucial, as
Western Michigan's Sara Cultra scored
eight minutes later to bring the Broncos
within one. With the game on the line;
the Wolverine defense held tight until
the final whistle, allowing Michigan to
celebrate its first victory in two weeks.
"We knew we had to win this game,"
freshman Jamie Artsis said. "Not only
for our record, but for our pride. There
was so much intensity."
The weather proved to be the X-fac-
tor. With nasty winds whipping across
the field, passing and shooting became
trickier than usual.
"The conditions weretoughbecaus
of the wind," Rademacher said. "B
it was perfect for us because it wa
physical. We needed to get back ou
Finally back in a winning mind
set, the team will head to Columbu
on Thursday to play in the first round
of the Big Ten tournament. Michiga
earned a No. 3 seed thanks to its coni
ference record, but there are no cake.
walks in store. The Wolverines mi
face Wisconsin, who beat Michigan 3-
two weeks ago in Madison. Needless td
say, the players are looking forward to
shot at redemption against the Badgers
As if the Big Ten Championship
wasn't motivation enough, Michiga
finds itself on the bubble for a NCAA
Tournament bid. Considered a lock fo
the tourney just a few weeks ago, th
Wolverines probably need at least ony
Big Ten Tournament victory to be con-
sidered for an NCAA berth. And eve
then, nothing is guaranteed.
"We've never lost four in a row at
the end of the season," Rademachet
said. "I look around the country, it's
hard to say - it depends a lot on what
other teams do."
Junior Mychal Turpin and the rest of the Michigan offense couldn't penetrate Penn State's defense in a scoreiess tie.
"He looked good and executed his role
very well today," Burns said. "He's confi-
dent in the goal and a great shot stopper."
Dzubay was happy with the way he
played and credited much of his success
to the heavy wind that ripped across the
field for much of the game.
"It helped make a strong counter-
attack when we got the wind going our
way," Dzubay said. "It carried the ball
down the field further and gave us more
Once regulation playing time ended,
the offensive attacks by the Nittany
Lions increased, and the Wolverines
were forced to put more players on
defense to protect the net.
"I think that once the game gets close
like it did today, we need to start passing
the ball more," Dzubay said. "Because
we tend to just keep kicking the ball
back and forth down the field. We need
to get the ball into the feet of creative
players like Adam Bruh."
Bruh, who led the Wolverines with a
pair of goals on Friday in a decisive 4-0
victory over Akron (3-1-2 MAC, 10-4-3),
played aggressively against Penn State
but was unable to convert any attacks
into goals. Burns was pleased with Bruh's
efforts over the weekend and expects him
to play a more important role on the team.
"He is putting a lot of extra work
into his game," Burns said. "He is tak-
ing extra free kicks and repetitions with
finishing balls in front of the face of the
goal, and it's paying off for him. It is
great when you see a player put all that
work in and then it is rewarded in terms
of an overall performance."
Overall, Burns was pleased with the
results of the weekend, but knows that the
next two games will be the pivotal com-
petitions of the season. This Wednesday,
The Wolverines continue the homestand
on Wednesday that will end the regular
season against Oakland at 2:30 p.m.
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