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September 19, 2005 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-19

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 19, 2005

Riley sets new win record


By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
On Sunday afternoon at Ocker Field,
the Jaws theme song eerily played over
the loud speakers. For Vermont's goal-
ie Erin Hickey, the sight of three Mich-
igan players setting up for yet another
corner must have been as imposing as
a man-eating shark.
The Michigan field hockey team
attacked early and often, defeating the
Catamounts 5-0 in front of a boister-
ous home crowd. The win was the fifth
straight for the Wolverines.
"(The game) went well," Michigan
coach Nancy Cox said. "There are
many things we need to get better at
- particularly our defensive ball pat-
terns. But we're getting much better
on the attacking end and the defensive
Offensively, the Wolverines took
16 shots in the first half compared to
just two from Vermont (2-6). Michi-
gan's stifling defense kept Catamount
attacks few and far between.
"It's all because of my defense,
and today they did their part," senior
goaltender Beth Riley said. "If I don't
touch the ball it shows I have a great
team in front of me."
With the win - No. 35 for Riley
- the netminder broke Katie Oaks's

record for career wins.
"Beth is just doing awesome for us,"
Morris said. "Having her back there
gives our team so much confidence.
(Having her) come off one shut out
last week and just rolling into this one,
I couldn't be happier for her."
The match began as a game of field
position, with neither team straying
too far into the other's zone. Michi-
gan had its first scoring opportunity
of the game when senior Katie Mor-
ris had room on the left side of the
field to make a run toward the net.
But her crossing pass over the middle
was deflected by a Vermont defender,
causing it to narrowly miss the goal.
The No. 8 Wolverines (5-3) were
finally able to break through and draw
first blood on a corner at 10:49 in the
game. Freshman Sarah Wilhite pushed
the ball toward the top right side of
the circle to Morris who fired the ball
back to Wilhite. The entire left side
of the goal was still open and Wilhite
notched the first goal of the game eas-
Sophomore Lucia Belassi scored the
second goal of the game for Michigan.
After three corners in a row where
the Wolverines failed to score, senior
Nicole Lonsway received a corner push
from a few feet outside the circle and
took a laser shot that Belassi deflected

past the diving goalie.
The Wolverines continued their
scoring attack on a Morris deflection.
Wilhite fired the ball from the right
side of the circle. Morris - coming
in hard toward the middle - spun and
deflected the ball back to her right, just
past the outstretched leg of Hickey and
into the right corner of the net. Belassi
finished the first half scoring with tip
off a corner to make the game 4-0.
"Anytime you can keep the ball
down (in the circle), it's always a con-
fidence boost," Morris said. "I think
our offense felt a little better today,
and we'll just keep trying to build off
that as we go."
Michigan did not score as many
goals in the second half but there was
no lack of scoring chances. The Wol-
verines had 13 more shots in the sec-
ond half and four more corners.
But Hickey stepped it up in the sec-
ond half, only allowing one more goal.
Wilhite scored that goal on a hard slap
from the left side of the circle, and
Morris notched the assist.
"One of our goals is to maintain
our intensity and keep the tempo up,"
Morris said. "Maybe we didn't get
enough corners (in the second half),
but I think the tempo was still there.
And I thought we fought hard till the



Junior goalie Beth Riley notched her 35th win this weekend, breaking a University record.

Continued from page 1B
said. "It was a great ball. I was lucky
that the goalie didn't get me. I got
there a half second before him."
After scoring, Alexander ran
down the right sideline with his
arms spread out to his sides like
he was flying. Giving high fives as
he ran by the crowd, the rest of his
team chased him down to congratu-
late him.
"It was a fantastic feeling," Alex-
ander said. "Everyone wants to win
a game in overtime or hit a last sec-
ond shot. To get the game-winning
goal was awesome."
The Wolverines head into their
Big Ten season next week as they
open with Northwestern at home on
Sunday (1 p.m.).
"The Big Ten is different from
nonconference games," Sterba said.
"There's a lot more energy and
games are decided can be decided
by just one mistake."
Continued from page 1B
certainly expect that she's going to be
a big part of our team," Rosen said.
"She's a very intense competitor and
a very tough kid and really nothing
Katie does surprises me nowadays
because she's pretty good."
The Wolverines won the following
two games in decisive fashion, fin-
ishing off Georgia Tech in straight
sets. The triumph over the Yellow
Jackets was derived from momen-
tum carried over from the previous
evening, despite a strenuous contest
against Georgia.
Friday night's match against the
Bulldogs - a five-game grudge-
match, 27-30, 30-25, 30-28, 26-30,
15-13 - provided some impressive
milestones for the Wolverines. Bru-
zdzinski had a game-high 33 kills,
giving her the second highest single
game total in Michigan history. But
it was sophomore setter Mara Mar-
tin who complemented Bruzdzins-
ki's superior accomplishment with
one of her own. Martin became one
of only three setters in Wolverines'
history to collect 80-plus assists in a
single match.
"Everything was just going well
(Friday night)," Martin said. "It had
nothing to do with me having a bet-
ter game than other people, good
defense from the team helped me
Having won two different invita-
tional tournaments this season, the
Wolverines now stand at 6-3. Now
the toughest stretch of the season
looms ahead as they begin their Big
Ten schedule at Michigan State on
Wednesday. But after winning six
straight matches, Michigan hopes
to keep its streak into conference
"I think it's great momentum,"
Bruzdzinski said. "When you (get
wins) not at home, you feel like you
can beat pretty much whoever you're
on the court with. I think that's a big
part of it - is knowing that you can
a~ ~ 6yda~, D
OVER ... 3UT DO'

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