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September 19, 2005 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-19

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I

The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 19, 2005 - 7B

Irish strike at Blue in South Bend

By Max Kardon
Daily Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND - A streak of luck does not
make a champion.
A fortunate turn of events may win a game, but
true achievement is a daily grind.
The Notre Dame women's soccer team made its
mark last year as it fought its way to a national title.
Though the Irish always welcome the aid of lepre-
chauns, their continued success has nothing to do
with rainbows or pots of gold.
Unfortunately for Michigan, Notre Dame has
kept the proverbial ball rolling in 2005 - the
defending champs already sport a 7-1-0 record.
The Wolverines learned the hard way yesterday
afternoon in South Bend, as they suffered a thor-
ough thrashing that recalled their 5-0 loss to the
Irish in 2004.
Some Michigan players held back tears as the
Irish goalie corralled sophomore Melissa Dob-
byn's long arching shot, a play accompanied by
the announcer's recitation of the game's final sec-
onds. Though the match was out of hand early in
the second half, the Wolverines' tears were not
a reflection of failure, but Notre Dame's refusal
to allow the possibility of success. The show of
emotion was prompted by the mounting and ulti-
mately insurmountable frustration that dogged
the team throughout a long, hot day that ended in
a 3-0 defeat.

Dominating on both sides of field - Notre Dame
spent much of the day around the Michigan net
- the Irish had no need for luck. Swarming, effi-
cient defensive play allowed the Irish midfielders to
stifle any Michigan attempt at offense, and Notre
Dame's offensive juggernaut rolled all game despite
the pounding heat that beat on the packed bleachers
of Alumni Field.
As Michigan's hope for victory evaporated in the
closing minutes, the teams jawed and jostled, forc-
ing the referees to intervene on several occasions.
The Irish did not ease back after Susan Pinnock
hit the top left corner of the net for the team's
third and final goal at 71:38. The goal reaffirmed
Notre Dame's command, although one goal would
have sufficed.
Following a 5-3 victory over Western Michigan
on Friday night - a game in which senior Therese
Heaton recorded her first career hat-trick - Mich-
igan's venerable offense was never allowed to
materialize.
Rendered impotent by a battery of Irish defend-
ers, The Wolverines were unable to assemble in the
offensive zone.
"That third goal was the nail in the coffin," coach
Debbie Rademacher said.
"Against a top team like Notre Dame, it's really
tough to fight your way back. It was definitely a
change of pace from Western Michigan, but we did
our best."
Despite a comfortably secure lead, the Irish

showed the relentless confidence of champions.
They chose to maintain their up-tempo attack for
all ninety minutes, never offering the Michigan
defense a moment of relief.
Outshot 23-3, Michigan was made painfully
aware that the 2004 champions are again serious
contenders. The Wolverines managed just one shot
on goal in the second half -Dobbyn's 11th-hour
attempt - and the Irish demonstrated why they
merit a No. 5 national ranking.
Hard-pressed for a moment's rest, sophomore
goalkeeper Megan Tuura weathered her biggest
challenge of the season. The score could have been
much more lopsided had Tuura not turned in yet
another stellar performance.
The loss was disheartening but not devastat-
ing. Although the Wolverines appeared relieved to
hop on the bus out of South Bend, they managed
to remain upbeat about upcoming conference play.
They expect to put the loss behind them when they
face off at home against archrival Ohio State on Fri-
day night.
A mud-splattered and visibly exhausted Tuura
was excited about the prospect of going toe to toe
with conference opponents.
"We're gonna bounce back," Tuura said, wiping
sweat from her dirty brow. "Once a goal's on the
board, there's nothing you can do but maintain your
composure. You have to take the hit, bounce back
up and keep playing. I'm still on my feet, so bring
it on Big Ten."

Goalie Megan Tuura made 20 saves in yesterday's loss to Notre Dame.
WOME'S ROWING

'M'.
By Sara Livingst
Daily Sports Writer

rowers get their feet wet in new racing format

ton

BELLEVILLE - With its fall sea-
son underway, the Michigan wom-
en's rowing team launched out onto
the water, eager to find out where it
matched up against the competition.
Led by seniors Stesha Carle, Janine
Hanson and Cristin McCarty, the Wol-
verines raced three varsity eight boats
against Notre Dame, Eastern Michi-
gan and Michigan State yesterday.
Instead of racing neck-to-neck -
as is usually done in rowing - the
boats raced in a head style, similar to
time trials, in which the boats leave
the starting line at 25-second inter-
vals. This new format, which will
be used for much of the fall season,
eliminates the . direct competition
between boats on the water because
the rowers never know which boat
is in the lead or has won until the
race is over. Instead, the rowers find
themselves racing against the clock
and trying to determine whether or
not they have decreased their dis-
tance from the boat in front of them
during the race.
In addition, the new format of
the three-kilometer race pushed the
starting line further down Belleville
Lake. This added several turns to the

course that are usually absent from
the event, typically two kilometers.
"I think it is good, but clearly the
format is very different," coach Mark
Rothstein said. "It is much more
dependent on the coxswain steering,
but I think that there were a lot of
variables today. But at this time in
the year, I thought it was a good for-
mat to use."
Michigan considered this meet - as
well as its other meets in the fall sea-
son - a warmup for the spring season
and an opportunity to judge how com-
fortable its crews are in the water.
"It's good to see these teams because
it gives us a starting point to see how
far along we are at this point in the
season," Hanson said. "I think the first
time in the water against other teams
we kind of realized that we need to
take what we learned in practice and
apply it to the races. It's a good oppor-
tunity to see where we are and how we
are doing in the water."
While Hanson's boat won two out
of the three races - and came in sec-
ond place in the last race - the team
knows these finishes are not accurate
representations of how the boats will
perform the rest of the season. The
lineups used in this race will more than
likely not carry through to the end of
the season and were just used yester-

day to see how the rowers performed in
the water. Throe -hout the season, the
lineups will be altered dozens of times
in order to find the perfect fit for suc-
cess in the postseason.
"We change our lineups daily at this
point in the season just so we can get

a chance to row with everyone," Carle
said. "That allows us to get some dif-
ferent lineups together and get more
practice in."
With a roster consisting mainly of
underclassmen, many of the rowers
are still wet behind the ears and are

using these races as vital learning
experiences. Heading into this meet,
Rothstein was well aware that the
team has a lot more work to do both in
the gym and out on the lake.
"I think we will be faster a week
from now than we were today, and

we will be that much faster the week
after," Rothstein said. "I just think
we are going to be getting better each
week. It will just be a matter of getting
better and improving. I like this team.
I think they are great, but we have a
long way to go."

I , V7r

CONNEC ED

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