2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 11, 2006
Michigan ROTC vies for cup
By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
The Army-Navy football game is an event
marked on everyone's calendar, and even
though neither school attracts the nation's top
recruits, the contest is broadcast on national
television every year.
Both teams pursue the Commander's Cup,
which is awarded to the military academy that
fares better in head-to-head competition.
People love watching because it involves a
set of young men training to protect American
freedom. They've let it be known they're will-
ing to risk their own lives to protect the lives of
all throughout the world.
But that isn't the only competition for a
Commander's Cup. Michigan has its own ver-
sion among the various ROTC battalions on
The Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC
units compete against each other every fall in
flag football, basketball and a five-mile run to
determine who will be awarded Michigan's
Commander's Cup. In addition, the Navy
ROTC faces off against the Naval battalion at
Notre Dame and Ohio State in just flag foot-
"We take it very seriously," Navy ROTC
fifth-year senior Doug Knotts said. "There's
not a huge reward for winning, but the Com-
mander's Cup gives you bragging rights for the
The games between Michigan's Army,
Navy and Air Force ROTC units have the
same competitive nature as any other sporting
event, but because of their affiliation with the
armed services, the games havea different feel
than a college or high school game.
All of the players involved have signed up
to be in the military in some form after they
graduate from Michigan. Eventually some of
the players who are going at it in the trenches
of the football field could be side-by-side in the
trenches on the battlefield.
"It's always a hard-nosed game," Knotts
said. "But we're all on the same team. There's
mutual respect for each other after the game."
Currently, the Navy team is preparing for
its matchup against the Notre Dame Naval
ROTC in South Bend Friday night. It's held in
conjunction with the actual Michigan-Notre
Dame football game next Saturday afternoon.
Up until five years ago,the only competition
was among the Navy, Army and Air Force bat-
talions on campus. But then the Naval ROTC
began playing Ohio State's Naval battalion
before the Big Game. Last year, the NROTC
from Notre Dame was added as a yearly oppo-
nent. And don't think that these games are a
"If the game is at home, the majority of
the battalion and their families will show up,"
Knotts said. "It's not that big of a deal outside
of the ROTC. But considering it's a flag foot-
ball game, we have a good deal of people at the
games watching us."
Since the varsity football team is playing
away games against the Fighting Irish and
the Buckeyes this year, the Naval ROTC team
will be traveling to each school. When Mich-
igan's NROTC battalion faces Notre Dame's
NROTC this weekend, future comrades will
compete against each other. All members of
the Naval ROTC become a part of the Navy
"There's still a rivalry between us because
of the schools we go to," Knotts said. "But after
the game, we hang out, and the other team will
put the others up for the night. Last year, I had
three Ohio State players stay with me during
the weekend of the Big Game.'
Just like any other football team, there are
practices during the week in preparation for
the games. The games are ll-on-ll with live
action on the offensive and defensive lines.
Because it's flag football, there is no tackling
involved. Any member of the ROTC is eligible
to participate, and it's one of the last games the
future military officers will compete in.
In just a few years, the games will end and
real life combat becomes a reality.
Last year, the Naval ROTC swept all three
events to capture the Commander's Cup. The
dates for this year's event have not been set,
but it's sure to be a highly competitive battle.
aJe lM idfgrn tuiIg
Athlete of the Week
Name: Erin Webster Team: W Cross Country
Hometown: Dearborn Class: Junior
Why: Webster ran away with the Indiana Open title on Saturday, fin-
ishing 26 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. The margin of vic-
tory was the largest for a Michigan competitor since 1999.
Date Event Location Time
9/13 M Soccer @ Kentucky Lexington, Ky. 8:30 p.m.
9/15 Field Hockey vs. Ball State Ann Arbor 3 p.m.
9/15 M Cross Country East Lansing 3 p.m.
@ Spartan Invitational
9/15 W Soccer vs. Loyola Marymount Ann Arbor 7 p.m.
9/15 Volleyball vs. IUPU-Fort Wayne Ann Arbor 7:30 p.m.
9/16 W Rowing vs. Michigan State Belleville 10 am.
. ...... . - -
9/16 W Cross Country Seattle 1 p.m.
@ Sundodger Invitational
9/16 Volleyball vs. New Hampshire Ann Arbor 11a.m.
9/16 Football @ Notre Dame South Bend 3:30 p.m.
9/16 Volleyball vs. Rice Ann Arbor 7:30 p.m.
9/16 M Golf Ann Arbor TBA
9/16 W Golf East Lansing TBA
@ Lady Northern Invitational
9/17 Field Hockey vs. Louisville Ann Arbor 1 p.m.
9/17 W Soccer vs. Notre Dame Ann Arbor 1 p.m.
9/17 M Soccer @ Wisconsin Madison 4:30 p.m.
Women's soccer goes down to the wire, allows
By Alex Prosperi
For the Daily
The Michigan women's soccer
team couldn't have asked for a more
dramatic way to end its week.
The Wolverines were tied with
Kentucky going into the 90th and
final minute of play. Then with 41
seconds to play in regulation, a shot
by Wildcat midfielder Megan Jones
found the back of the net, prohibit-
ing Megan Turra from recording
her sixth shutout this year just seven
games into the season. The goal in
Lexington was enough to win the
match 1-0, and hand the Wolverines
their first defeat of the season.
Michigan went into yesterday's
game against Kentucky looking to
extend its five-game unbeaten streak.
"Itwas a hardfoughtgame"Mich-
igan's coach Debbie Rademacher
said. "We played well. We dominated
The Wolverines had many oppor-
tunities throughout game. They won
the shots-on-goal battle six to three
and had six corner kicks to the Wild-
cats' one. The difference is partly
attributable to the defense of the
Wolverines. In its first six games this
seasonKentucky has had at least five
shots on goal four times. But Michi-
gan was able to limit the Wildcats'
chances and create numerous looks
Yet sometimes wins and losses are
not decided by stats, but by which
team makes the most of its opportu-
"We had opportunities, we just
didn't finish," Rademacher added.
"There were 41 seconds on the clock,
which made it much more disap-
pointing. We were so close to going
A loss to a nonconference team
like Kentucky (4-2-0) in a game
where the team didn't play poorly can
be looked at asa learning experience.
With the Big Ten season lessthan two
weeks away, anail biter like this will
come in handy when Michigan (3-
1-2) encounters similar situations in
more pivotal games. But if there's one
thing that can be taken away from
this game, it's that Rademacher won't
let this defeat overshadow the early
success the Wolverines have had.
"We're gelling asa team,"Radem-
acher said. "We're playing good
enough competition to prepare for
the Big Ten. We're defending well
and playing teams tough. I feel like
we're in a good spot right now."
That's good news for a team that
got off to ahot start in 2005 but dete-
riorated toward the end of the season,
missing the NCAA tournament as it
lost six of its last nine regular-season
Michigan, led by Big Ten Offen-
sive Player of the Week Melissa
Dobbyn, will try to bounce back
from this loss against Loyola
Marymount on Friday at 7 p.m. at
the U-M Soccer Field.
Heat can't stop Webster in Indiana
By Nate Sandals
Daily Sports Writer
Overcoming a difficult course
and sultry conditions, the Michigan
women's cross country team proved
once again it belongs among the
elite squads in the nation with its
dominant performance in Saturday's
Indiana Open in Bloomington.
Michigan runners finished in 10
of the top 20 spots, including six of
the top 10 in the non-scoring event.
"Despite the heat and the difficul-
ty of the course, I thought we man-
aged well,' Michigan coach Mike
Redshirt junior Erin Webster
beat the terrain and the 80-degree
temperatures to place first (17:04).
McGuire said he was not at all sur-
prised to see Webster as the class of
"Erin is picking up right where
she left off in outdoor track (last
spring);' McGuire said.
Webster finished 26 seconds
ahead of the second-place finisher,
Indiana's Jessica Gall. It was the
largest margin of victory for a win-
ning Wolverine since Lisa Ouellet
finished 34 seconds ahead of her
teammate Katy Radkewich in a
dual meet versus Michigan State in
"I'm actually quite heat sensitive;'
Webster said. "I just tried to stay
hydrated. I was putting water on the
back of my neck at the starting line,"
Michigan captured both the third
and fourth spots as Katie Gwy-
ther (18:00) and Nicole Edwards
(18:04) completed the 5,000-meter
IU Cross Country Championship
Course nearly in sync.
The race was Gwyther's first
as a Wolverine. She's attending
Michigan as a graduate student
and competing with her final year
of eligibility following a three-year
career at Quinnipiac, where she was
named an All-American last year.
Purdue, Butler and Huntington
also competed in the event.
McGuire was pleased with the
way his team stacked up against
Indiana, but refrained from using
Saturday's race as a precursor of
things to come against the rest of
the Big Ten.
"Indiana's got a nice little team,"
he said "We'll really see where
SE Y COR PS
& Staff Sergeant Hewitt
-ar 'i o
Junior Erin Webster finished 26 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.
we're at (in the conference) when rested junior Alyson Kohlmeier.
we go up against teams like Illinois Junior Elisabeth Uible, the win-
and Minnesota." ner of last week's Michigan Open,
Many of Michigan's top runners finished in 12th (18:42).
did not compete in the event, includ- Michigan's next meet will take
ing recently elected senior captains place on the West Coast when it
Katie Erdman and Jessie Stewart. travels to compete in the Sundodger
Arianne Field, the third captain, Invitational hosted by Washington
finished sixth (18:11). McGuire also on Saturday.
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