The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 12, 2005 - 3B
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
As the saying goes, "there are no prizes
given for halftime scores."
The Michigan men's golf team learned it
the hard way when it finished play in the final
round of the Hawkeye Intercollegiate in Iowa
City on Sunday.
The Wolverines started the tournament
with a solid first round of 289 on Satur-
day morning and then finished the second
round in second place with a team score
Entering the final 18 holes on Sunday, the
Wolverines seemed poised to take the over-
all lead and Western Illinois but faltered
slightly from their third-round score and
finished the last round in third place with a
score of 289.
"We compete to win," Michigan coach
Andrew Sapp said. "Whether we finish
first, second or third, we want to compete
going into the final round. We wanted to try
to beat both Western Illinois and Iowa on
Sunday, but unfortunately, it didn't work out
Senior Christian Vozza paced Michi-
gan in the first two rounds of the tourna-
ment, shooting 70 twice to finish Saturday
four under par. Vozza was tied for fourth
place behind Tim Streng of Western Illi-
nois who led the individual golfers with
a 10-under 134 before Sunday's final
Even though the Wolverines had three
golfers finish in the top 15 after the first two
rounds, Sunday was a different story. Vozza,
senior Brandon Duff and freshman Bill
Rankin were the only Michigan golfers to
finish in the top 20. Vozza followed his solid
start with a disappointing 5-over 77 on Sun-
day to finish with a 1-under performance over
Meanwhile both Duff and Rankin fin-
ished with a 71 on Sunday to ensure that
the Wolverines did not fall further down the
"Bill Rankin ever played a bad round,"
Sapp said. "He hit the ball well all weekend,
Jeff Samardzija caught a touchdown off of Michigan linebacker Chris Grahams's tip.
For Notre Dame, luck
actor is a W ays
Christian Vozza shot a disappointed 77 in final round as the Wolverines claimed third place.
When we were waiting for the press elevator
at the end of the game, the four of us foot-
ball writers were discussing the luck of the
Irish. Another writer interrupted us to say, "Not luck
of the Irish, the suck of Michigan."
I know it's unfair to talk about the luck of the Irish.
It's like Keyser Soze - everyone knows it exists, but
it's almost impossible to prove. For any of us who have
been here for the last four years, it's difficult to dispute
it. Last year, a Notre Dame team that had been embar-
rassed by BYU turned around the next week to beat
* Michigan. The Wolverines finished the season with a
9-3 record and made the trip to the Rose
Bowl; Notre Dame went 6-6. At that
time, no one had heard of Darius Walker.
But he ran for 131 yards anyway. Walker
didn't do all that much the rest of the sea-
son, rushing for just 655 more yards. Two
years before that, when the Irish won 25-
23, the Wolverines held Notre Dame to
3-of-13 on third down conversions. And
we all remember Carlyle Holiday scoring
that three-yard keeper just before half-
time, when Holiday fumbled on the goal I
line but got the points counted for the HE
Irish anyway (This was obviously before HE
replay). As far as luck goes, that play was The Spo
off the charts. Co
Maybe luck is not a great word this
year because the Irish looked like they might be a
great team. And they definitely beat Michigan sound-
ly. But in case you forgot Saturday's game - whether
by accident, through drinking or on purpose - let me
give you a short list of some of the "lucky" things that
went the way of the Irish this weekend. Each play is
rated on a luck scale out of a maximum five clovers:
1. The week before the biggest nonconference game
of the year, senior tight end Tim Massaquoi injured his
arm. How big of a deal was it? Well, Massaquoi was
preseason All-Big Ten first team. With a team-high
seven catches for 74 yards, senior Tyler Ecker did a
great job filling in, but it's tough to replace Massaquoi
- at least in terms of scaring defenses. Massaquoi is
not a blocking tight end, so there's no chance of him
playing with a cast the way offensive linemen might
do. Notre Dame had some players injured during the
game, but at least the started out healthy.
2. Backup right tackle Mike Kolodziej, who was
filling in for Jake Long, also didn't play. He was
injured, but coach Lloyd Carr said he didn't know
what was wrong. So starting at right tackle for the
Wolverines was Rueben Riley - more than capable,
but still the third string for that position. Michigan
traditionally has one of the best offensive lines in the
country, but Notre Dame overloaded the right side of
the line a couple of times early and got to quarterback
Chad Henne, rattling the true sophomore. Henne had
trouble stepping up in the pocket all day, and you
can't tell me that the Irish weren't lucky that Kolodziej
wasn't in there.
Luck factor: ;
3. Mike Hart. Ah, Mike Hart. The Wolverines' star
running back hurt himself this week. This is the kind
of thing that we've come to expect the week before
Notre Dame. Hart played just a couple drives before
getting hit hard and coming out of the game. Kevin
Grady did his part, rushing for 79 yards on 18 car-
ries. But it's the combination of Grady's pure size and
Hart's shiftiness that make them impossible to con-
tain. This is why Carr has said every week that he's
happy to have such great running backs. But I don't
think even the biggest Notre Dame fans would argue
that Hart being out of the game wasn't a bit of luck
shining down on the Irish from above.
4. Notre Dame's second touch-
down was a five-yard pass to junior
Jeff Samardzija. On that play, line-
backer Chris Graham made a great
defensive play that ended up giving
the Irish an extra seven points - or
four because they'd have kicked
a field goal. The pass was thrown
AN well behind the intended receiver,
2BERT but Graham's tip gave Samardzija
just enough time to make the catch
"s"Monday and put the game out of reach. It
lumn wasn't luck that Notre Dame was
on the Michigan five-yard line, but
only against the Irish does a great defensive
play by Michigan turn into an Irish TD.
Luck factor: *No
5. Replay was introduced to the Big Ten just last
year. Both of the overturned replays in the game went
- correctly, I should add - against Michigan. You
can't argue against the success of replay because of it
gets the calls right. But why did we have to have it this
6. Even more unlucky than the goal line
fumble by Henne was the play before. After
watching the replay over and over, it's clear
that Henne made it across the line on first
down - although none of the refs gave the
signal. Instead, an illegal participation pen-
alty on Notre Dame forced the Wolverines
to redo the play. Michigan never should have
even been on the field for the fumble that cost
them the game.
Holiday's run in 2002 was easily worth five
clovers on the luck scale. And even though
there wasn't anything this week quite at that
level, I don't want anyone to forget some of
the things that happened for the Irish. Just
think to yourself: Would this have happened
if we were playing any other team?
and I was glad to see his performance.",
The Hawkeye Intercollegiate tourna-
ment started out very promising for the
Wolverines, but due to a poor showing on
Sunday, they left Iowa City without the
unparalleled high of a tournament vic-
Instead, Michigan dropped a chance to
pass Western Illinois and finished a dis-
tant third. Iowa had a strong Sunday to
claim second place.
While Western Illinois coasted to an
easy victory - Iowa finished 19 points
behind it. But the Hawkeyes used a strong
final round from Larson, Cole Peevler and
Luke Miller - who finished with a 69, 69
and 71, respectively - to pull ahead of
the Wolverines and capture second place
Continued from page 1B
The turning point of the match was during game three. With the
game tied at 29, two Illinois State players ran into each other trying
to get to the ball. The referee blew the whistle, saying that the ball
touched both players. Michigan was awarded the point and never
On Friday night, Michigan defeated Cleveland State (3-3). The
Vikings had upset Illinois State earlier in the day but failed to make
it two in a row.
Michigan fell behind early 3-1 in game one after a kill attempt
was viciously blocked..But errors by Cleveland State allowed the
Wolverines to stay in the game, and Michigan took its first lead of
the match, 7-6, after a Viking blocking error. The Wolverines ran
away with the first game 30-20.
The second game of the match began much better for Michigan.
After a kill by Pflum, the Wolverines took a commanding 8-3 lead.
Michigan continued its great blocking and solid digging throughout
the game, which was most evident at the midway point.
During a nail-biting back-and-forth rally, in which Martin made
two diving digs to save the ball, Miller put the point away with a
punishing spike to put the Wolverines up 19-7. Michigan won the
next two games easily 30-14 and 30-12.
The Wolverines' first win of the tournament came on Friday
afternoon with a three game sweep of Akron (5-4).
"We are playing out of our minds and we're just loving the
game and loving what we're doing," said Pflum on Friday night.
"We go into matches and we know we're going to win. Instead
of hoping and praying we know we're going to do this, and we
know we're going to play well, and we know we're going to get
with a team score of 864.
Although Michigan would have pre-
ferred a first-place finish, Sapp was
pleased with his team's fierce competition
in the tournament. The third-place finish
showed Sapp that even though his team
needs to improve, they are on the right
track to have a good season and a strong
"(The competition) will not just make
it more of a challenge for the golfers to
get into the starting lineup but also stay
in it," Sapp said.
After a slightly disappointing final round
in the Hawkeye Intercollegiate, the Wolver-
ines return to Ann Arbor to prepare for their
next tournament - the Wolverine Intercol-
legiate - on Sept. 24-25.
Continued from page 1B
up the left flank, beat two Long Island
defenders and found senior Ryan Alex-
ander at the far post. Alexander was then
able to slip the ball into the right corner
of the Blackbirds' net..
Burns called Blanks, who finished the
day with two goals and one assist, the
"MVP of the Tournament."
Burns added that Blanks has become
a valuable utility player for the squad,
thriving as both a starter and reserve.
Michigan totaled 10 shots on goal for
the day to Long Island's six, creating
several scoring opportunities that just
missed. Senior goalkeeper Peter Dzubay
held the Blackbirds at bay as well, tally-
ing three saves.
"This was our most complete game
yet," Burns said. "It's nice to see at this
point in the season that we are right on
track in terms of how we are coming
Michigan's 3-1 win on Sunday rounded
out a successful weekend for the invita-
On Friday, the Wolverines defeated
Louisville, 1-0, in the first game of the
Michigan Invitational. Alexander scored
the only goal a pass from freshman Jake
Stacey, slipping the ball past the Louis-
ville goalkeeper on the right side.
"Five games in, I like where we are,"
Burns said. "We're starting to see some
combinations coming together in the front
half of the field. It looks like we're start-
ing to find some form offensively."
- Ian Herbert can be reached
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