The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 9A
Kickers fall in
0 MEN'S TENNIS
bring home gold
By Anne Uible
Daily Sports Writer
After back-to-back losses to No. 8
Indiana and St. Louis, the Michigan
men's soccer team (6-5-1) needed to find
a way to get back in the saddle. But they
weren't able to tame the horse last night
in Kalamazoo and fell 2-1 in double
overtime to the Western Michigan Bron-
"We were all WESTERN MICHGN'
over their team,"
Steve Burns said. "It was an exciting
game, but I just wish it could have swung
our way. To cover them so well and not
have any chances at the goal is tough."
Michigan bolstered its backfield in
preparation for the oncoming Broncos
during the first overtime and into the
better half of the second overtime. But,
in the 107th minute of the game, Oat-
ley made a counterattack on Michigan's
defense. Slipping through the Wolver-
ines' defenders, Oatley was able to make
a cut to the net and slide the ball under
senior goalkeeper Peter Dzubay. The
goal was Oatley's third overtime shot-
winner this season.
After Western Michigan's Chadd
Caraballi scored in the 40th minute of the
game, the game fell on the shoulders of
Michigan's midfield and backfield play-
ers. With attacks coming from the Bron-
cos' senior wide-midfielder Javier Arana
and sophomore forward Tom Oatley, the
Wolverines had their hands full and gave
up 10 shots on goal.
Junior defender Kevin Savitskie
responded to the Broncos' first-half goal
in the 77th minute of the game when he
caught a crossed ball from senior cap-
tain Ryan Sterba and sent the ball into
the Broncos' net. Savitskie's goal man-
aged to keep the Wolverines in the game
and send it into overtime. "Oatley kept
the pace of the game throughout the
entire game," Burns said. "He pressured
our defense and made them work."
Burns said senior captain Kevin Hall
was one of the crucial defenders in the
"When Kevin entered the game in the
55th minute, I thought things started to go
our way," Burns said. "He really stepped
up and made a difference."
Burns was also pleased with the leader-
ship of Sterba.
"Sterba played with his heart on his
sleeve," Burns said. "He did his best to
will the team to victory."
While Burns was relatively pleased
with the work of his backfield, he was dis-
appointed with his three primary attack-
ing players. He specifically pointed to the
fact that they need to find their form and
get more aggressive on goal. Otherwise,
Burns said that his team will have to come
up with a different way to win games.
By Katie Field
For the Daily
Junior Kevin Savitskie scored Michigan's only goal in its 2-1 overtime loss yesterday.
"We need to find the difference makers
on our team," Burns said. "They need to
step up because we need them now more
than ever. The pressure is falling on their
shoulders. Until we can find our form and
those attacking players can win games,
we need to play with the things we can
certainly win games with - like grit and
heart and tenacity."
Burns felt his underclassmen were
lacking those traits last night.
"I think the older players were the most
disappointed in the loss, especially one
like this." Burns said.
With Michigan State on the horizon
this Sunday, Burns has a lot of work to
get his team prepared for its Big Ten rival.
The Spartans were the 2004 conference
champions and have beat the Wolverines
four of the six times the two teams have
played. Michigan will take on the Spar-
tans in East Lansing at 1 p.m.
Ever wonder what it would feel
like to win a gold medal for your
After this summer, three Wolverines
no longer have to.
In July, Michigan tennis juniors
Ryan Heller and Steve Peretz and
freshman Andrew Mazlin traveled
to Jerusalem to compete in the 17th
Maccabiah International Jewish
Olympics, which are held every four
years. Despite tough competition
- the Maccabiah Games attract the
best Jewish athletes from around the
world - all three earned the cov-
eted top spots, and all the glory that
goes with it.
Victory sure is sweet and a gold
medal even more so. But it was
being in Israel that made the expe-
rience one that the teammates will
never forget. For Heller, seeing the
Western Wall and the Dead Sea
were definitive highlights of the
trip. Mazlin, who traveled to Israel
once when he was younger, found
that being there for the second time
allowed him to enjoy the experience
more and better understand what he
saw. It also made him more appre-
ciative of being able to participate in
"I saw a lot of things 1 had never
seen before and, tocompete for your
country in the games - that was
really a cool thing for me," said Maz-
lin, who won both the singles and
doubles titles in the junior division.
The Maccabiah Games also gave
Heller, Peretz and Mazlin the oppor-
tunity to get to know other Jewish
athletes from around the world.
"It was great meeting other guys
from other countries and playing
matches against them," Heller said.
"It was a good experience. It was a
great place to be."
Having family with him in Israel
made the Maccabiah Games much
more significant for Peretz, whose
win with doubles partner Heller is
something he will always remember.
"It was an amazing experience
for all of us I'm sure," Peretz said.
"Ryan and I took gold in doubles,
which was a special moment for us.
My dad came running down onto
the court and said 'Now I can die
a happy man.' It meant a lot to him
and me and the family."
Peretz gained valuable experi-
ence that he feels will be useful in
future tennis matches at Michigan.
Competing at such a high level and
knowing how much he wanted to
win gave Peretz the extra drive he
needed to regain the lead when he
was behind during a match.
"Now I think I'll be able to apply
coming back in a lot of matches
because I really wanted to win more
than my opponent," Peretz said.
"I learned how to come back from
There were some big moments
at the Maccabiah Games. Some
were on tennis courts, others beside
the Dead Sea. They were between
fathers and sons and teammates.
Wherever they occurred, it is certain
the 7,700 athletes who took part are
still feeling the impact.
The closing ceremony ended the
Maccabiah Games with unity and
"It was a joyous moment for us,"
said Peretz. "It was also a celebra-
tion for us being in Israel. Everybody
there was grateful that we came, and
we were really happy to be there."
0 WOMENS CROSS COUNTRY
Running together keeps Blue ahead
By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
With one kilometer to go, the Wolverines found them-
selves behind the pack at the Notre Dame Invitational
two weeks ago. Largely due to its group support, Michi-
gan was able to come back and finish strong, gaining cru-
cial positions in the final leg and going on to win.
"When you get yourself in a hole, it's a lot easier to fill
it up with two shovels than one," coach Mike McGuire
There is strength in numbers and, in the middle of a
five-kilometer race, just after the runners make their way
up one of the many hills, there is no place they'd rather be
then right next to their best friends and teammates.
During races, the members of the No. 2 women's
cross country team run in clusters - determined main-
ly by the athlete's ability - that allow them to offer
each other support and act as a safeguard between their
teammates and other runners in the field.
"We're more than teammates - we're friends,"
junior Arianna Field said. "We don't just run together,
we encourage each other, and, if one of us is having a
bad day, we have someone there to help us and push us.
It's about working together to get better."
The continuity between their practice groups and
race clusters helps Michigan keep away any race-day
butterflies that may pop up. More importantly, the pres-
ence of their teammates helps the Wolverines maintain
a steady pace throughout the race by making sure they
stay on track to not only finish strong, but to pass others
along the way.
"It helps ease the anxiety to know that you have your
teammates there," sophomore Erin Webster said. "A lot
of times, you can get really nervous, and it just helps to
know that they are there with you, just kind of sharing
the burden. '
"It doesn't matter if it's your first time running or if
you're a senior, it's always comforting to know you have
someone right next to you at your side."
In the Wolverines' last three races, all of their run-
ners finished close together - something that is cru-
cial when needing low team scores to win. If Michigan
spreads itself out, it opens the door for other teams to
position their runners between the Wolverines, making
it more difficult for Michigan to regain good position-
ing for a strong finish.
"It's a team sport, and the objective is to get all nine
runners to run at an optimal level," McGuire said. "For
me, cross country is about winning the races within the
actual race. Obviously there is first place but then there
is a race within the race for the other places, and run-
ners have to go out in a certain wave and that gives them
the opportunity to stay together and win the race."
But for the last 500 meters, it's anyone's game. The
runners break out of their clusters and sprint to the fin-
ish, hoping to pass as many athletes as possible, making
up vital points that will unquestionably help their team
score in the end.
"Other teams are going to kick it at the end of the
race to beat people, so we want to do that to prevent
those teams from beating us," senior Ana Gjesdal said.
"We sprint at the end, but it's to try and beat other teams
more than beat each other for a better finish time."
But, in a crowded field - which the Wolverines will
come across this weekend at the NCAA Pre-Nationals
- it is often difficult for teammates to find each other.
They frequently have to contend with a small running
space while trying to maintain a strong pace on their
own. Michigan will face a field of 255 runners for Pre-
Nationals, where it will be critical for the Wolverines
not only to start strong, but to find their teammates in a
field of top-ranked runners.
"There are just so many people that it's hard to get a
positioning right next to someone," Webster said, "It's
second nature in the race whereby if you see Maize and
Blue, then you know that's where you need to be and
who you need to be running with."
Continued from page 8A
started throwing curveballs, my dad
would too. He wasn't Sandy Koufax
or Barry Zito, but he did the best he
could - even if he hit me in the head
quite a few times when the ball got
away from him.
My mom couldn't complain too
much, because all the sports kept us
happy and made me a better student.
She came to all my games, paid for
the registration, encouraged me when
things didn't always go well and took
care of-me-when I hurt my knee badly.
So what's the point? Well, Michi-
gan's football season hasn't gone well
so far - no one denies that. But it's
just one season, and, hopefully, we
can all remember where we would be
without sports and appreciate those
who helped us love them. I know I
probably wouldn't be getting a degree
from Michigan without them, and
I probably would have driven my
Happy Birthday Mom.
- Matt Venegoni swears he's
not a mama's boy. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Share your space, but live on your own.
'sxrnw p t~n. ewd~i ... ,.,.. K" r ..P. h .i.+ . . . U