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November 03, 2006 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-03

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8A - Friday, November 3, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'M' pumped
for big rival


NCAA hopes
afloat after big
Blue victory

Daily Sports Writer
It's been a long time - 731 days,
to be exact.
The game on Nov. 20, 2004,
accomplished something the cur-
rent Michigan roster might be a
little unfamiliar with: a win over
Michigan State.
It's not like the Wolverines
haven't had their chances. Almost
every time they've matched up
against their intrastate rival, the
game has gone down to the wire.
Six of the lasteightgames against
the Spartans went into overtime.
Five of those ended in a tie.
Michigan's record in those con-
tests is a disappointing0-3-5.
This season, there's a whole
group of Wolverines who don't
want that trend to continue.
"I hate green and white, and I
know everybody in the locker room
does, too," sophomore forward
DannyFardigsaid. "We tied enough
last year. We need a win."
The opportunity to do what they
haven't done in almost two years
will come tonight, when the ninth-
ranked Wolverines take on No. 5
Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena
in the opener of the home-and-
home series.
It's the first road game in Mich-
igan's (1-1-0 CCHA, 4-2-0 overall)
home-heavy schedule.
Each teamhas one blemish on its
CCHA record. Michigan's comes
from a 4-1 loss to defending CCHA
champion Miami (Ohio). The Spar-
tans (1-1-0, 3-1-0) lostto CCHA bot-
tom-feeder Western Michigan.
Entering the season, the Wolver-
ines were picked to finish first in the
CCHA by the media and second in
the coaches' poll. Michigan State

was slotted first by the coaches and
second by the media.
Similar records, polls and stand-
ings in the CCHA (both are part of
a five-waytie for sixth) suggest that
another tie might be inevitable. But
coaches and players alike insist that
Michigan is stepping it up for the
rivalry - and that should make a
"Last year, a couple of the games
we tied we should have won," Mich-
igan coach Red Berenson said. "We
have something to prove.... There's
some pride on the line."
Said senior forward David
Rohlfs: "It's our rival, right across
town. Every time we play them, the
intensity's a little more the week
before. Getting ready for it every
day, you're just getting more and
more into it and wanting to play
that game on Friday."
A complete weekend of intense
play is a bit foreign to Michigan.
After the firsttwo weekends of play,
both of the Wolverines' series have
ended in splits.
Michigan tends to come out
blazing one night, then sit back as
a vengeful team takes away any
chance of a weekend sweep. It hap-
pened the first week of the season
with the RedHawks,thenlast week-
end with unranked Northeastern.
"We've got to continue for two
games instead of just the one," Far-

Senior forward David Rohlfs and his Wolverine teammates will take n Entrastate
rival and CCHA foe Michigan State this weekend.

Daily Sports Writer
Michigan women's soccer
player Lindsey MacDonald must
have a knack for good timing. The
junior midfielder's first collegiate
goal pro-
pelled INDIANA 1
the Wol- MICHIGAN 2
to a crucial first-round Big Ten
Tournament win over No. 4 seed-
ed Indiana 2-1 at chilly State Col-
The victory greatly bolsters
Michigan's chances of earning a
berth to the NCAA Tournament
and avenges a 2-1 loss to the Hoo-
siers earlier in the season.
Early in the first half, Indi-
ana (5-5-1 Big Ten, 9-8-4 over-
all) opened the scoring, with a
little help from their opponents. A
Michigan defender inadvertently
headed the ball past senior goal-
keeper Megan Tuura at 15:22.
The cards appeared stacked
against the fifth-seeded Wol-
verines (5-3-3, 10-6-5), until the
Hoosiers also joined in the giv-
ing holiday spirit a few weeks too
Another own-goal provided the
tying marker four minutes later,
when an attempted Indiana clear
went the wrong way.
"We had some chances, and
then Indiana's first chance ended
up in our net on the own goal,"
Michigan coach Debbie Radem-
acher said. "It really just felt good

to come back down and get that
goal, any way possible."
And then MacDonald came up
huge for Michigan.
Senior striker Judy Coffman
sent a corner into the penalty box.
Although Indiana won the airball,
a clearing header went over to the
far post. MacDonald was in the
perfect spot at the perfect time,
and she volleyed home a rocket to
the upper right corner at 28:18 that
held up as the game-winner.
"I was far post, and, normally,
the ball doesn't come to me," Mac-
Donald said. "I had this feeling
so I was really ready. I inched in
towards the goal a little more and
the ball went right to my foot."
MacDonald and other less-
experienced Wolverines have
been a surprise story for the team.
Their play in the midfield has been
solid in the absence of starting
midfielders Danelle Underwood
and Jamie Artsis, both lost to sea-
son-ending injuries in the middle
of the season.
"It's really satisfying to look
to the whole team and be confi-
dent that anyone can contribute,"
Rademacher said.
Another story of the season
has been the team's shut-down
defense, and it did not let up last
night. Indiana mustered just nine
total shots, and Tuura made four
saves to ensure that the lead held.
Michigan has little time to
savor the clutch victory. It will
face tournament host and No. 12
Penn State tonight at 7:30 p.m.


dig said. "That's what we're looking
to do: find some consistency and
find some persistence."
One constant in Michigan's
lineup, standout defenseman
Jack Johnson, won't be on the ice
tonight in East Lansing. The soph-
omore received a game disqualifi-
cation after confronting a Husky
forward who charged Wolverine
netminder Billy Sauer. Johnson
threw several punches and was
escorted off the ice.
"I just told Jack, 'I think you did
the right thing. I just wish that we
didn't lose you,' " Berenson said.
"We have to overcome that."
Johnson often leads Michigan in

ice time. Last Friday's game against
Northeastern, he saw a team-high
30:06 of play.
Senior Tim Cook will attempt to
fill that void, returning to his natu-
ral position on the blue line. He has
played forward all season because
of a wealth of defensemen. Senior
Morgan Ward will occupy Cook's
vacancy up front.
The Johnson-less Wolverines
want to stop that 731-day drought
tonight - and a weekend sweep
wouldn't be too bad, either.
"We haven't done as well as we
want to do against Michigan State,"
Berenson said. "We've got to take a
step forward."


Tennant, Wolverines
redeemed with win in
first round of Big Tens

Daily Sports Writer
Sept. 17 is a day that Chase Tennant of the Michi-
gan men's soccer team would probably like to forget.
Michigan dropped its Big Ten season opener
against Wisconsin in overtime as a result of an own
goal caused by Tennant.
But against the Badgers WISCONSIN. 0
in yesterday's first-round MICHIGA N 1
Big Ten Tournament game
in Columbus, the sophomore earned his chance to
erase that bitter memory.
And with the Wolverines fighting for an NCAA bid
they can only receive if they win the tournament, the
timing couldn't have been better.
After a scoreless first half, Michigan led the attack
in the second frame. Crossing the half line, sopho-
more Steve Bonnell struck a 60-yard ball diagonally
through traffic to freshman Mauro Fuzetti. Faced
with a one-on-one matchup, Fuzetti took his Wis-
consin defender on the dribble and hit a cross to Ten-
nant standing on the back side of the goal.
In the 67th minute, Tennant nailed a header into
the left side of Wisconsin's net, giving the Wolverines
a 1-0 lead.
"Chase went up like a salmon spawning upstream
(and scored the goal)," Michigan coach Steve Burns
said. "To get the game-winner, I'm sure it was a lot of
redemption for him."
The one-goal advantage proved enough for the No.
6 seed Michigan to upset No. 3 seed Wisconsin. Com-
ing off a recent nine-game winless streak and four-
game scoreless skid, Tennant's goal - his first of the
season - shouted a loud-and-clear message to the
rest of the Big Ten teams in Columbus: The Wolver-
ines are back and foaming at the mouth for a miracle
post-season run.
"After our game against Wisconsin (on Sept. 17),
we really feltlike we were the better teambut just ran
out of time in that game," Burns said. "We were just
hopingthatwe would (face) Wisconsin in the tourna-
ment. We had 90 minutes to show up and prove that
we are the better team, and we did. ... Right now, we
have that belief and the momentum."

Michigan (1-2-3 Big Ten, 7-9-4 overall) came out
aggressively against Wisconsin. The Wolverines cre-
ated several scoring opportunities in the first half,
but failed to convert.
Less than two minutes into game, Wisconsin
goalkeeper Jake Settle made a diving save to prevent
Michigan sophomore Alex Morisset from hitting
net from six yards out. In the 15th minute of play,
senior tri-captain Kevin Hall struck a ball 17 yards
out toward the upper right corner of the Badgers' net.
But Settle just got a hand on the ball, causing it to hit
the upper crossbar - preventing Michigan from get-
ting on the scoreboard.
By the game's end, Michigan outshot Wisconsin
22 to nine.
On the defensive end, the Wolverines silenced
the Badgers' attack with goalkeeper Patrick Sperry
- who was named Big Ten Conference Defensive
Player of the Week on Monday - notching two saves.
Six minutes into the second half, Sperry made a div-
ing save on a Wisconsin shot from 19 yards out.
Burns said most of the credit for containing Wis-
consin (3-2-1, 9-8-2) goes to Michigan's back four -
sophomore Michael Holody, senior Michael O'Reilly,
senior Kevin Savitske and Tennant.
"We felt that our central midfield was better than
Wisconsin's, so we forced them to play a direct and
predictable game," Burns said. "Our defenders won
a lot of balls coming at them in the air. More impor-
tantly, we picked up those second balls ... It was a
good defensive effort from the team."
Michigan's upset earned it the right to play host
Ohio State - the No. 2 seed - in the semifinals
tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. When the Wolverines
last faced the Buckeyes on Oct. 22, the game ended in
a 0-0 draw after double overtime.
Michigan is certainly the underdog, but Burns
sticks by his mantra of "belief."
"More than anything, we're talking to the team
about our focus, taking it one game at a time," Burns
said. "We do have a bit of momentum. We had the
jump in our warmup and that look in our eyes (yes-
terday). I want to believe that we are in form and
peaking right now. It took long enough to get there,
and hopefully it pays off."

Senior Lester Abram led the Wolverines with 19 points on the way to a season-opening victory over Wayne State.
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Daily Sports Writer
It was just one game, but it might
be a sign of things to come.
All preseason, Michigan bas-
ketball coach Tommy Amaker said
this year's
team will WAYNE STATE 51
go only as MICHIGAN 85
far as the
seniors lead it.
And last night, they led the
Wolverines to a blowout 85-51 win
over Wayne State in the first of
Michigan's two exhibitions.
With a 17-10 lead at the 10-
minute mark of the first half, the
seniors simply took over.
Wayne State started the game in
a compact 2-3 zone to counteract
Michigan's huge height advantage.
(The Warriors don't have a player
on their roster taller than6 foot 5).
With no looks inside, senior Les-
ter Abram threw a skip pass over
the defense to wide- open senior
Dion Harris, who knocked down
1 R VE ER C1

his first of three 3-pointers on the
The next time down the floor
Abram and Harris did the exact
same thing to give the Wolverines
a23-10 lead. After a defensive stop,
senior Brent Petway showed off
his new array of post moves, hit-
ting a turnaround jumper to put
Michigan up by 15.
Abram followed up on the next
possession with a nice one-handed
tip-in off a Harris miss. And Har-
ris capped off the 12-0 run with a
mid-range jumper of his own to
give Michigan a 29-10 lead.
"We just started playing better
team basketball," Petway said. "All
of us were being so unselfish. Dion
was looking for me, I was looking
for Dion and Lester was looking for
both of us. It was just a matter qf a
great team basketball concept."
Things didn't start off so
smoothly for the Wolverines.
Sloppy play characterized the
beginning of the contest for both
teams. Early on, Michigan made
it a point to feed the post. Unfor-
tunately, senior Courtney Sims
botched several layups, leaving
the Wolverines scoreless for more
than three minutes.
But things finally started to get
rolling when Abram nailed two
straight 3-pointers to give Michi-
gan a 6-2 lead.
"They were packing it in (on the
interior), so it just left me open,"
Abram said.
Abram and Harris led the team
in scoring with 19 and 13 points,
For Abram, it was his first game
back with the Wolverines after
missing most of the Big Ten sea-
son last year. He didn't seem to
miss a beat and showed off a wide
array of perimeter skills.
"I wasn't out of sync or any-
thing like that because of all the
practice time with the team, and

all the basketball over the sum-
mer," Abram said. "I was just out
there playing basketball, and it
was good to play ball."
The Crisler Arena crowd got a
scare halfway through the second
half when Abram fell to the floor
in pain after committing a charge.
Luckily for Abram and Michigan,
it seems it was a harmless shot to
the midsection.
On the other end of the floor,
Petway controlled the paint with
eight total rebounds and four
Last night also saw the debut of
Michigan's freshman class. All six
saw extensive action. And as can
be expected, they had their ups
and downs.
Forward Epke Udoh showed off
some post skills and finished with
four rebounds, but missed an alley-
oop attempt halfway through the
first half. 6-foot-8 DeShawn Sims
opened up his collegiate career
by having his dunk blocked by 6-
foot-4 Wayne State forward Wynn
Sarden. But on the next possession
he came down the floor and exe-
cuted a smooth spin move down
the baseline for an easy lay-up.
Guard Reed Baker may have
left the most lasting impression of
the freshmen. Despite committing
some careless turnovers at point
guard, he nailed all four of his 3-
point attempts and finished the
game with 13 points.
But the Wolverines won't need
to count on those freshmen if the
seniors come to play like they did
last night.
"This was our first chance to
play against somebody other than
ourselves, and we knew right away
that (the seniors) had to step up for
the young guys to show it's sup-
posed to be done," Petway said.
"You have to play your hardest to
show them what's acceptable and
what's not acceptable."



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