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November 10, 2004 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-10

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 10, 2004


of his
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
It would be natural to assume that after
a two-goal performance against Miami
(Ohio) over the weekend, freshman Chad
Kolarik would be thrilled with his recent
success. But the forward, who has four
goals and two assists in his first 10 games
as a Wolverine, evaluates his play under
an extremely critical lens.
"I'm really inconsistent," Kolarik said
before practice yesterday. "I have six
(points), but that's not as much as I want.
Hopefully, I'll become more consistent
as I progress."
Michigan coach Red Berenson sings a
different tune when speaking of Kolarik's
"I'm not disappointed in him," Beren-
son said. "I like the contribution, I like
the way he's fit in with our team off the
ice, I like the way he's competing. I think
he's getting better, and I think the best
part of his season will be the second half
of the year."
Kolarik currently leads the No. 2
Michigan hockey team (5-1-0 CCHA,
7-2-1 overall) in power play goals with
three. His goals over the weekend
- both of which came with a man
advantage - marked the first time in
his brief collegiate career that Kolarik
has put the puck in the net in back-to-
back games.
The goals weren't just run-of-the-
mill, either. On Friday night, Kolarik
bounced the puck off Miami goalie
Brandon Crawford-West from behind
the net for the game-winner. On Sat-
urday, the freshman scored on a
wide-angle, wraparound shot, beating
Crawford-West between the legs to
give the Wolverines an insurmount-
able three-goal lead. Berenson credits
Kolarik's "hockey sense" for his ability
to make something out of nothing.
"I don't think people realize the skill
that (Kolarik) possesses right now," said
junior forward Jeff Tambellini, who leads
Michigan in scoring. "He's dangerous
any time he touches the puck, especially
around the net. He's really slick."
The Miami series proved to be a break-
out weekend of sorts for both Kolarik
and Tambellini. Kolarik hadn't scored
a goal since Oct. 23, while Tambellini's
five goals in two days ended an even

Stickers stars battle injuries

By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer
With balls flying and sticks crash-
ing, the Michigan field hockey team
has come to expect injuries. During
last weekend's Big Ten Tournament, the
No. 8 Wolverines were forced to go to
their bench when two key players were
knocked out of Sunday's final. With the
first and second rounds of the NCAA
Tournament coming to Ann Arbor
this weekend, Michigan's depth gives
it a sizable advantage in the run for the
national championship.
Michigan took a big hit to its defense
when senior captain Katy Moyneur
was hit on the hand by a ball and broke
her thumb during Saturday's semifinal
against Ohio State. Moyneur stayed in
the game, helping Michigan shut out the
Buckeyes, 5-0.
"(Moyneur) is an absolute stud,"
Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said.
"Professional football players would
have come out of the game with what I
saw on her hand today. Her thumb was at
a 90-degree angle, completely smashed.
She just said, 'Tape it up and let's keep
going.' And she was fabulous."
When Sunday's final came around,
Moyneur was out on the field again, but
just to keep a streak alive. Moyneur has
started every game since she arrived at
Michigan four years ago, and she and
her teammates were determined to get
her in the game - even for just a few
"We weren't going to start her,"
Pankratz said. "But the team came to
me and was adamant about her start-
ing and wanted that to happen. So we
did it."
Just minutes after freshman Ashley
Lennington replaced Moyneur, Michi-
gan received another scare when a ball
grazed Lori Hillman's head. Fortunate-
ly, she was able to remain in the game
and played a key part in holding off
Iowa in a one-goal game.
Later on in the match, the Wolverines
lost forward Katie Morris when a ball
struck her in the head. Morris initially
began heading right back into play, but
was forced to leave the game because
she was bleeding.

"It's just that time of year where inju-
ries happen and your body wears down
a little bit," Morris said. "It's tourna-
ment time - you have to be prepared
for it. I just had bad luck getting hit in
the head."
Morris will likely be back in action
Saturday when the Wolverines host
the Pacific Tigers in the first round of
the NCAA Tournament. But Moyneur
remains a question mark. Pankratz
believed that if there is any way she can
be on the field, she will be.
But the Wolverines can take comfort
in the fact that their bench stepped up
when they lost two key players. They
head into this weekend happy to be
hosting the tournament, knowing that
having a deep bench will help them
compete in front of their home fans even

if they lose a starter or two.
"This team has worked very hard to
put ourselves in a position to host, which
we are very excited about doing," Pan-
kratz said. "It's going to be great com-
petition; it's a difficult bracket, and all
four teams have the ability to win and
move on."
Michigan's first match will take place
on Saturday at either 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
The Wolverines defeated the Tigers 3-
0 in Iowa City in early October. Pan-
kratz refuses to look past the first-round
matchup, though.
"We'll certainly have to take a hard
look at Pacific," Pankratz said. "It's not
easy to beat a team twice in the same
year, so we'll definitely do the best we
can to get ready for them. We really just
want to take it one game at a time."

- 'j
Michigan freshman Chad Kolarik leads the team in power play goals with three, but
he still modest about his performance so far this season.

longer drought. Tambellini - who has
definitely experienced the ups and downs
of scoring during his years in Ann Arbor
- made sure that Kolarik didn't lose his
poise in the days leading up to the games
against the RedHawks.
"We'd been talking all week, keep-
ing each other going and pushing each
other," Tambellini said. "When you do
that and you have a real positive mindset,
things usually turn around and the puck
starts going in for you."
Kolarik, who has played with a vari-
ety of players so far this season, spent
the Miami series on a line with senior
captain Eric Nystrom and senior Jason
Ryznar. The freshman found it easy to
skate with the two seasoned veterans.
"(Nystrom and Ryznar) are tremen-
dous," Kolarik said. "They're big guys,
so they're working in the corners. I'm not
the biggest guy, so I stand out in front in
the slot."
Berenson was happy with the new
trio's play, making particular note of
Kolarik's confidence around the net and
play without the puck.
"I think Nystrom and Ryznar will tell
Chad things he needs to do better or how
they need him to play," Berenson said.
"On the other hand, (Kolarik) will bring
an element of offense and puckhandling

skills to the line. I'm comfortable with
him. I trust him on the ice."
Still, the quest for consistency remains
a problem area for the maturing young-
ster. Berenson recognizes that there is
often a major adjustment period for a tal-
ented player upon taking the step up to
the Division-I level.
"You have to play hard every shift,"
Berenson said. "You have to play hard
every night."
Tambellini can relate to Kolarik's
streakiness. After all, it's something the
junior feels almost every player is con-
stantly searching for, including himself.
"(Consistency) is what makes the
good players great and the average
players just average players," Tambel-
lini said. "It's a tough thing to get. Not
many people can be totally consistent.
You just have to ingrain hard work and
determination into your game. Every
day in practice, you play as hard as you
do on Friday and Saturday night, and
hopefully that pays off."
Despite having his work cut out for
him, Kolarik is finally settling down and
realizing that he can do great things at
"I'm gaining some confidence now,"
he said. "I can definitely make a differ-
ence here."

Katie Morris (14) has been one of the stars of the field hockey team this season, but
she had to leave the finals this weekend when she was hit in the head with the ball.

Blue adds another Canadian ,

I . I

By Pete Sneider
For the Daily
Freshman Mike Woods is no stranger to the pipeline that
sends top Canadian runners to the University. All-Ameri-
cans Kevin Sullivan and Nate Brannen are just a couple of
recent passengers who have enjoyed success in Ann Arbor.
Woods, a native of Ottawa, Ontario, plans to be the next
star from north of the border for the No. 7 Michigan cross
country team.
"If you're a top distance runner from Canada, you're look-
ing at Michigan - it's a great tradition," Woods said.
When he received an e-mail from Brannen last summer
urging him to be a Wolverine, it further reinforced Woods's
desire to attend Michigan.
"In high school, I idolized Nate Brannen," Woods said. It
was awesome when I got that e-mail - it was a really big
deal to me."
But Woods did explore his options - of which he had
plenty. He received offers from traditional powerhouses Wis-
consin, Arizona State and Villanova, among others. In the
end, he couldn't say no to the Michigan tradition and coach
Ron Warhurst.
"He's a special guy," Woods said of Warhurst, who has
reached iconic status during his 31 seasons in the program.
The feeling was mutual with Warhurst. He recalled Woods's
prowess as a miler on the prep scene, which earned him first

place at the 2004 Canadian National Junior Championship in
the 1,500- and 3,000-meters. But, Warhurst knew that run-
ning 8,000-meter and 10,000-meter lengths at the collegiate
level would require some progress on Woods's part.
"He was a great miler in high school and I think he's made
the adjustments quite well," Warhurst said.
Woods feels that the transition to longer distance has been
a little bumpy, but his times and finishes paint a smoother
picture. In his collegiate debut, Woods claimed second place
at the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 17 in East Lansing. One
month later, he achieved a personal-best time of 24:47.1, plac-
ing 42nd at the NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind.
Woods was disappointed with his most recent finish of
23rd at the Big Ten Championships on Oct. 31 in Iowa City.
"One of my goals before the season was to be Freshman
of the Year in the Big Ten, but I was the second freshman to
cross the line in that race," Woods said.
Woods can redeem himself on Nov.22 at the NCAA Cham-
pionships. But the Wolverines have to qualify for nationals on
Saturday at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Ypsilanti.
Woods's parents, Barry and Deanna, will be in attendance,
and Woods expects the team to qualify.
Aside from finishing the cross country season on a high
note, Woods is excited for track to begin. He sets his goals
a bit higher as he vies to be an All-American in the mile his
freshman year. If he meets his objective of running 3:54, it is
very possible.




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