The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 13
Forward Bonnell has all-field talent M
By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
In the midst of Sunday's thrilling 1-0 victory against
Northwestern on the U-M Soccer Field, which was soak-
ing wet due to the day's inclement weather, Michigan
men's soccer freshman Steve Bonnell proved he isn't
afraid to get down ana dirty - in fact, he craves it.
Bonnell was seen running all over the field, sliding and
tackling the Northwestern players amidst mother nature's
downpour. And Sunday wasn't the first time Bonnell
shined in such a way for Michigan (1-0 Big Ten, 6-2-0
"I'm a big fan of slide tackling," Bonnell said. "I think
that's one of the best parts of my game - defending and
chasing after the ball."
Ironically, Bonnell isn't listed as a defender. Michigan
coach Steve Burns placed Bonnell in the position of an
attacking forward. But the freshman doesn't see his role
limited to goal-scoring.
"Most of the time, forwards are the players that say,
'Look at my name. I'm a forward, Coach. Let everyone
else defend and you just get me the ball, and I'll do my
thing.' But Steve loves defending, and he's good at it,"
Burns said. "He works hard and covers a tremendous
amount of ground."
Scoring his lone goal of the season in Michigan's 2-0
victory against Detroit on Sept. 1 , Bonnell is still learn-
ing to find his form on the team and adjust to the Big Ten
style of play.
- "I think I started off (the season) playing pretty well,"
Bonnell said. "I kind of tapered off. But now I think I'm
going to get back up there. It takes a little bit to get used to
the changes in the game. It's much faster and much more
physical. Coming from club and high school, (college soc-
cer) is 100 times more physical. You need to get big"
Burns seemuch potential in Bonnell's role as a power
forward, especially because Michigan has been attempt-
ing to transition into a new offensive shape this year.
"In the 4-4-2 shape, Bonnell is for sure one of the two
(forwards)," Burns said. "He's a target forward. He's got a
tremendous work rate. He's a great kid and a great player."
As a Michigan native, Bonnell was extremely enthusi-
astic about joining the Michigan soccer program - even
well before the fall.
"Bonnell was our first verbal commitment of the fresh-
man class a year ago," Burns said. "He knew he wanted
to come here."
Living in St. Clair Shores, Bonnell was no stranger to
the University and acknowledged that he was certainly
eager to be a part of the program here.
"I love the coaches here," Bonnell said. "I pretty much
grew up around (Ann Arbor). I was on campus all the
time. I went to football games. I looked at Northwest-
ern and other places, but none of them felt the same (as
Bonnell graduated from Detroit Country Day High
School, where he was awarded both the NSCAA/Adidas
Michigan Player of the Year Award and the Gatorade
Michigan Player of the Year Award in 2004. As a senior,
Bonnell wrote his name in his high school's history books
for career goals (92 goals) and season goals (36 goals).
Aside from soccer, Bonnell's high school days also
prepared him for the academic aspect of being a student-
athlete at Michigan.
"I came from Detroit Country Day High School, and
it was supposed to adjust you to college (well)," Bonnell
said. "Here, my classes are going well. So, I'm pretty
much adjusting really well."
Bonnell will lead a rejuvenated Michigan team -
which has won four of its last five games - against Day-
ton on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Freshman Steve Bonnell was named Michigan Player of the Year in 2004.
Statement games on slate in Big Ten
By Max Sanders
and Dan Feldman
For the Daily
Notre Dame 31, Purdue 21
It's -official: the world that is the Big Ten has
gone mad. Black is white, perennial winners are
losers and hot snow is falling up. Teams like Penn
State and Indiana remain unde-
feated while Iowa and shock-
ingly, Michigan have lost not
just once, but twice.1
It really is a new Big Ten. I
Michigan State and its dark-
horse Heisman candidate,
quarterback Drew Stanton, have put up obscene
numbers on their way to a top-15 ranking. The
only development from Saturday that wasn't a
surprise was the sight of a highly ranked Purdue
team suffering a tumble.
No. 13 Notre Dame (3-1) at No.22 Purdue (2-
1 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) - 7:45 p.m. - ESPN
After beating two abysmal teams in Akron
and Arizona, Purdue was jolted awake in its Big
Ten opener last week. Saturday's overtime loss to
Minnesota put the Boilermakers in a hole in the
conference race. Climbing the Big Ten ladder will
be a tough task, but this week Purdue's task will
be to remain in the top-25. Purdue's 116th-ranked
pass defense, which has surrendered over 300
yards per game, will have a difficult time stopping
the Irish combination of coach Charlie Weis's
brilliant schemes and quarterback Brady Quinn's
arm. Running back Darius Walker should be suc-
cessful against Purdue's mediocre run defense as
well. The best thing Purdue has going for it is that
it doesn't play Michigan or Ohio State this season.
Unfortunately, that won't help them against Notre
Dame this week. The Irish - who lost their previ-
ous two matchups to the Boilermakers by a com-
bined 64-26 margin - will redeem themselves.
Indiana (3-0, 0-0) at No. 17 Wisconsin (4-0,
3-0) - noon - ESPN2
Indiana hasn't exactly been tested yet, but don't
completely disregard this team. Senior quarter-
back Blake Powers and the Hoosiers could beat
Wisconsin if they get cocky and buy into the bud-
ding hype. Wisconsin does have a stud in running
back Brian Calhoun, who thrashed Michigan with
155 yards and a touchdown, but quarterback John
Stocco throws like a little girl ... with a broken
arm ... in a rainstorm ... at night. The Wiscon-
sin defense has gelled since allowing 42 points
to Bowling Green in the season opener, but it is
still prone to mental lapses such as Saturday's flea
flicker to Michigan's Mario Manningham.
Indiana has a formidable passing game with
Powers, who threw an impressive four touch-
downs in just 22 attempts against a respectable
Kentucky team. Indiana has 19 returning starters
this season, and, while they have built up a few
freebie wins against Nicholls State and Central
Michigan, they are prepared to shock the world.
The Hoosiers have a chance to bring swift jus-
tice for all the Wolverine fans who had to endure
Indiana 30, Wisconsin 27 (OT)
No. 18 Minnesota (4-0, 1-0) at Penn State (3-
0, 1-0) - 3:30 p.m. - ABC
Nothing gets the blood pumping like a meet-
ing of paper champions. Yes, both teams are
undefeated, but Penn State has played the likes of
South Florida and Cincinnati while Minnesota has
shown their gusto against the ever-intimidating
Florida Atlantic and Tulsa. Granted, Minnesota
did defeat then-No. 14 Purdue 42-35 in overtime,
but Purdue folds quicker than Superman on laun-
dry day. This year it was just Minnesota's turn
to play spoiler. Minnesota as always, has a pat-
ented monster running game. This year they have
turned running back Laurence Maroney loose,
and he rushed for 217 yards on 46 carries against
Penn State freshman wide receiver Derrick Wil-
liams was the star of last week's victory, catching.
the game-winning touchdown in a last-minute 34-29
win against Northwestern. But Penn State has one
of the most erratic quarterbacks in the country in
Michl Robinson, who threw for three touchdowns
but also three interceptions against the Wildcats.
Robinson has lined up at receiver, running back and
quarterback in his four years at Penn State aid has
had a knack for imploding at the wrong moment,
and this game will be no different.
Minnesota 42, Penn State 21
Illinois (2-2, 0-1) at Iowa (2-2, 0-1) - 12:10
Considering they had games against No. 11
Michigan State and No. 12 California, the Fight-
ing Illini, re-energized under coach Ron Zook,
are happy to be .500 after four games. Despite
those setbacks, it's easy to see that this team,
which was 3-8 last season, is much improved. On
the other hand, Iowa is far from satisfied with its
2-2 record. After 10 wins last year, the Hawkeyes
were expected to join Michigan and Ohio State
atop the Big Ten. But losses to Iowa State and
Ohio State quickly dashed those hopes. These
two teams are much closer to each other than
expected. Iowa has scored' 27.5 point per game
this year; Illinois has scored 26.8. The difference,
however, lies in the defenses. Iowa, led by line-
backers Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway, has
given up 18.8 points a game; Illinois has surren-
dered 36.3. Iowa will start to build their confi-
dence back on Saturday.
Iowa 45, Illinois 10
Brandon Kirsch and Purdue will look to bounce back against Notre Dame on Saturday.
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