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September 05, 2006 - Image 19

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-05

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Tuesday, September 5, 2006 - The Michigan Daily - 7B
Early deficits hurt Stickers again

By Chris Herring
Daily Sports Writer
Following four straight losses to
open the season, the Michigan field
hockey team should have one pri-
ority for tomorrow's game against
Kent State.
And believe it or not, it's not
winning.
After failing to take a lead in any
of their first four games, the Wolver-
ines should be first concerned with
getting ahead on the scoreboard.
The team stumbled out of the
gate on Sunday, falling behind early
to Providence, eventually dropping
the match, 2-1, in Rhode Island.
Last season, the Wolverines also
proved how important it is to jump
out to leads early. Michigan 1-1
when it tnt on the hoard first .eoinss

just 6-7 when its opponent drew
first blood.
"It's a lot more difficult," senior
captain Mary Fox said of playing
from behind. "When you're ahead,
you can be a lot more confident
and just drop back to play defense.
That's a lot easier than playing
frantically (and) trying to score a
goal before the game is over."
The Wolverines' one-goal perfor-
mance was somewhat disappoint-
ing, as they outshot Providence 8-0
in the second half.
Michigan also garnered 10 cor-
ners in the second half, while the
Friars had none.
Behind 1-0 after allowing a goal
within the first three minutes of the
match, the Wolverines rebounded
to tie the game at one on a goal by
freshman Kelly Fitzpatrick.

Unfortunately for the Wolverines,
the Friars broke the tie just nine
minutes later with another goal to
take a 2-1 advantage. Neither team
found the back of the net in the sec-
ond half, dropping Michigan to an
0-4 record to start the season.
"We just didn't score," Fox said.
"That's pretty much what it comes
down to. We didn't execute our
corners very well."
Despite the missed chances in
the previous game, there's reason to
believe that the team doesn't have
to worry.
The team started similarly last
season, losing its first three games.
But if this year's team follows in the
footsteps of last year's, things will
be looking up soon. After dropping
the first three games to start last
season, the Wolverines won 16 of

their last 21 and won the Big Ten
Tournament.
"I'm really not too concerned
yet," Fox said. "I know (0-4)
doesn't sound like a great record so
far, but really what it means is that
we just need to step and do well in
the Big Ten if we want to make the
tournament. Other than that, it's
too early to tell."
There's another reason fans
shouldn't fret about team's slow
start. Michigan has not won a sea-
son-opening game since 2000 and
has lost at least the first two games
of each season for each of the last
three years.
"I think we just all need to play to
our potential," Fox said. "Every per-
son on our team is an excellent field
hockey player. We just need to click
and play like we do in practice."

Captain mary Fox is not wornea anout tne team's poor start tois season.

I A

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