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September 22, 2006 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-22

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Friday
September 22, 2006
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

SPORTSe lculgan

8A

A

Blue plays
,.
'kickballi m
upset loss
By Alex Prosperi
For the Daily
Wake-up calls are no fun. And this one wasn't
any different.
To many people's disbelief, the Michigan
women's soccer team lost 2-1 to Oakland Uni-
versity.
No one in attendance would have thought
twice about the final outcome after watching the
first 15 minutes of play.
The Wolverines absolutely dominated it.
They attacked on
offense, played tough
defense and out-hustled the
Golden Grizzlies. Michi-
gan capped it off with an arching shot from
senior captain Judy Coffman that found the top
right corner of the goal.
But it was obvious after that point that the
game was beginning to shift. For the remaining
75 minutes, Oakland was the attacking team.
Michigan's defense, which looked like a version
of the steel curtain during those first 15 minutes,
began to crumble. The Golden Grizzlies then
took advantage of their opportunities, and goals
in the 48th and 68th minutes put Oakland up for
good.
In the second half, Wolverine junior Melissa
Dobbyn had two great opportunities to find the
back of the net, but came up short on both tries.
One of those shots hit the left post after slipping
under the goalie.
And with nearly 10 minutes to play, Coffman
slipped her way through the Golden Grizzlies'
defense but couldn't capitalize.
The Wolverines (4-3-2) had the most scoring
chances, but it was Oakland (3-6-0) who made
the most of its limited opportunities.
"We played well for the first 15 minutes,"

Varsity hopes
to avoid slip-up
against Badgers

Senior Judy Coffman scored Michigan's lone goal in its 2-1 defeat to Oakland.

Michigancoach Debbie Rademachersaid. "Then
we just sat back and started playing kickball."
Rademacher described this frustrating loss as
a turning point in the season. A team can have
a hard time bouncing back from these types of
shocking defeats. But Rademacher is sure that
this group of players is mature enough to bounce
back the right way.
And the Wolverines will not have much time
to mope about this loss anyways. No. 9 Penn
State is the next opponent on Michigan's sched-
ule, in a game that serves as the Wolverines'
conference opener. This game may be the big-
gest of the season for the Michigan, which wants
to avoid missing the NCAA tournament for the
second year in a row.
"We are ready to start the Big Ten;' Radem-
acher said. "We play Penn State, and how can
you not be ready to play Penn State?"
The Nittany Lions will be the third ranked

opponent the Wolverines have faced this year.
With a loss to No. 1 Notre Dame and a victory
over No. 17 Arizona, a win over Penn State would
put Michigan over .500 versus ranked opponents.
Although the Nittany Lions are a highly
skilled team, Coffman is confident that the team
will be mentally ready.
"Come tomorrow, it's a new day, and a new
focus;' Coffman said. "We have to put this game
behind us and look ahead to Penn State."
Coffman made it clear that in order to beat
Penn State, the team can't play the way it played
tonight and must come out with more intensity.
"This game is a reminder to respect our oppo-
nent;' Coffman said. "And to not be satisfied
with a 1-0 lead"
The Wolverines will be ready to play the Nit-
tany Lions come Sunday afternoon. And they
will try to give Penn State a wake-up call of
its own.

By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Editor
Big wins tend
to bring big let-
downs.
The Wolverines TomoR
certainly notched
a big victory last No.6'Mi
Saturday when Noo
they demolished Michigan
then-No. 2 Notre
Dame, 47-21, in Eps
South Bend.
Tomorrow No.
6 Michigan (3-0)
will try to avoid the letdown
when it kicks off its Big Ten
schedule against Wisconsin.
At Monday's press confer-
ence, Michigan coach Lloyd
Carr said he has been prepar-
ing his squad for this challenge
since before the season started.
Win or lose, Carr knew the
Notre Dame game would be an
emotional one for the Wolver-
ines.
If Michigan won, it would
have pulled off the greatest
upset of the young season.
If the Wolverines lost, they
would have to listen to another
chorus of critics claiming the
program isn't what it used to
be.

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So Carr warned his players
that they would need to work
harder to regain their focus
heading into their
matchup with the
Badgers, and the
RW7M Wolverines seem
to have heeded his
ch.gan advice.
n "We are definite-
tdm ly focused," corner-
back Morgan Trent
said. "We have a
lot to prove. (Wis-
consin) beat us last
year, and that is
enough right there. We proved
a lot on Saturday to the coun-
try that we can do it, but we are
still not there yet."
Last season's 23-20 loss
to the Badgers continues to
loom large for the Wolverines.
Michigan led 13-6 after three
quarters before collapsing in
the fourth. Wisconsin tailback
Brian Calhoun rushed for 155
yards, including 111 in the sec-
ond half, and helped keep the
Badgers' offense on the field
for more than 20 minutes after
halftime.
It was the first time in 24
years Michigan dropped its Big
Ten opener.
"Certainly every guy on our
football team knows what hap-
pened a year ago," Carr said.
"We couldn't move the football,
and we couldn't stop them. So
we know what Wisconsin will
bring."
Not exactly. Although many
of Wisconsin's key players are
back, including quarterback
John Stocco,a lot has changed
for the Badgers (3-0) over the
past year.
Long-time coach Barry
Alvarez gave up his coach-
ing duties to work full-time as
Wisconsin's athletic director.
His replacement, Bret Bielema,
is no stranger to the program:
He spent two years as defensive
coordinator. But the new coach
is still adjusting to the demands
of being a head coach in the Big
Ten.
On top of that, the Bad-
gers feature a young offense.
The most notable newcomer
is freshman tailback P.J. Hill,
who replaces the graduated
Calhoun. A big, physical back,
Hill has impressed in his first
three games, amassing 415
yards and five touchdowns. But
coming off an easy nonconfer-
ence schedule, Hill, like many
of Wisconsin's starters, hasn't
been tested - yet.
"Anybody that was a part of
that game (against Michigan) a
year ago needs to try to share
that experience as much as pos-
sible with our younger kids, the
guys that haven't been in this
type of situation or taken a snap
against Michigan," Bielema
said.
Mix the Badgers' inexperi-
ence with the national hype
Michigan is currently receiving,
and you get a recipe for distrac-
tion capable of derailing even
the most disciplined squad.
But the Wolverines' desire
to get revenge might be just
enough to prevent that letdown.
"(Wisconsin) beat us last
year," right tackle Rueben Riley
said. "We do not need any more
motivation than that."

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