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September 05, 2006 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-05

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - September 5, 2006
0 SCR
Wolverines still struggling to
score as winless streak continues

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
The first two minutes of Sunday's game sum
up how the Michigan men's soccer team started
its season - creating opportunities to score
without the exclamation point.
Playing in their second game of the Michigan
State Invitational at Old College Field in East
Lansing this weekend, the Wolverines (1-3-0)
came out of the gates against No. 3 New Mexico
(1-1-1) with a taste for an upset. After earning its
first win of the season (against Northern Illinois
on Friday), Michigan had some early chances
on net against a nationally recognized power-
house, but came up short.
Immediately after kickoff, Michigan put
together an impressive series of six or seven
passes to set up a shot on goal but failed to con-
vert. Then, in the next minute, sophomore Jake
Stacy barely missed the net with a diving toe
shot.
After two great chances turned up empty for
Michigan, it was New Mexico's turn to fire. At
the two-minute mark, the Lobos took an early
1-0 lead off a corner kick.
The Wolverines couldn't climb their way out
of an early hole and fell to New Mexico, 3-0.
"It wasn't a just result for us," Michigan coach
Steve Burns said. "The shot count was pretty

close, and we got in behind them defensively so
often. But we really needed to put a couple of
goals on the board."
The Lobos continued to capitalize on several
freshman mistakes made by some of Michi-
gan's newcomers. At the 29-minute mark, New
Mexico threw a long pass inside the goal box
that dropped on the foot of one Michigan's play-
ers. Though he had time to clear, the Wolverine
miss-hit the ball. It went just 18 yards out, right
to New Mexico's awaiting attacker, David Gual-
daram, who converted the shot.
"When you have young players, they have
to make those mistakes, have those fears and
undergo that criticism before they can believe
in themselves to play at a (higher) level," Burns
said. "We're right in the middle of that learning
curve."
Even though Michigan remained competitive,
the nail in the coffin came at 43:18 when New
Mexico's Brandon Barklage carved up a pair of
Michigan players in a counterattack, ending the
Lobos' first-half onslaught with what proved to
be the final tally of the contest.
Michigan found a handful of offensive
opportunities in the second period, with seniors
Kevin Hall, Brian Popeney and Bobby Trybula
coming off the bench to create scoring chances.
But not even these veterans could find the back
of the net.

Burns explained that there were obvious dif-
ferences in the two teams' attack strategies and
it seemed to favor the Lobos in this contest.
"New Mexico has a lot of players 6-foot-3
and taller, and so they're going to play a game in
the air" Burns said. "We have a team of smaller,
more mobile players that play on the ground.
The air game is a little easier to play. But when
our ground game does come together, it is so
difficult to stop compared to the air game."
In contrast to the 2005 season, when Michi-
gan posted wins in four out of its first five con-
tests, this year's batch of Wolverines is still
working out the kinks.
Though freshman Peri Marosevic was quiet-
ed in the game against New Mexico, Burns said
he sees promise in the rookie, who scored his
first goal of the season against Northern Illinois
on Friday. Burns said that it's "special players"
like Marosevic who need to step up and make
things happen for Michigan - and sooner rath-
er than later.
"We're not in this position often," Burns said.
"But there is still a lot of confidence and great
leadership from the senior class. There is a real
strong belief from everybody that this team is
doing all the right things. We know that the
wins are going to come for us. They are right
around the corner. ... Everyone is feeling as
good about things as you can at 1-3."

Junior Katie Bruzdzinski led Michigan to a second straight tournament title.
CYCLONES
Continued from Page 1B
the most. A lot of times you take that over playing well because competing
is more important."
The purpose of the tournament was to prepare the team for the
same challenges it would face during the Big Ten season. Iowa
State and San Diego are both big, strong-hitting teams in the
same mold as a Big Ten team.
Junior Katie Bruzdzinski took home tournament MVP honors, while
Penn and junior Stesha Selsky were named to the all-tournament team.
The last time the volleyball team started 7-0 was two years ago when it
began the season with eight wins before falling to Western Michigan. That
start was the best for a Michigan team during Rosen's tenure.

I

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