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September 17, 2007 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-17

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Bluie 's
Daily Sports Writer
In a weekend sandwiched between four
games against top-to teams, the No. 15 Michi-
gan women's field hockey needed to build con-
fidence, gain momentum and win some games,
especially with the rigors of conference play
looming just around the corner.
And the Wolverines did just that.
With a 5-0 blanking of Vermont on Satur-
day and a 3-2 victory over No.16 Louisville the
previous night, Michigan (4-4),pulled itself
up from the dregs of a sub-.500 start, led by
senior Lucia Belassi's five points (two goals
and three assists).
Belassi came out of the gates swinging Fri-
day night, netting two goals in the game's first
stanza to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead over
the Cardinals (3-4).
Just two minutes into the game, Belassi
took advantage of Michigan's first penalty
corner and snuck it behind goalkeeper Marie-
Claire Heller. The goal marked the first time
that the Wolverines notched the first point in
any match this season.
"(Michigan) coach Nancy Cox and I have
been working on my shot," said Belassi, who
had a hand in every point scored against Lou-
isville (two goals and an assist). "I tend to pass
a lot to get assists. She told me that if I'm in the
zone, I should just take the shot, and it worked
for me this weekend."
Belassi's newfound aggressiveness worked
for her again late in the first period when she
fielded a pass from sophomore Paige Laytos at
the top of the circle and fired it past Heller for
her second consecutive goal.
Michigan held off the Cardinals fierce
comeback attempt long enough to record.its
second victory over a ranked opponent in as
many weekends.
And according to Cox, this could be the
most important non-conference win of the
year for the Wolverines.
"It was just a huge win for us," Cox said.
"Louisville's in our region, so if we don't go
out and win the Big Ten championship, the
selection committee will look at games like
this when they're giving out at-large bids."
Michigan continued its weekend domi-
nance against Vermont on Saturday, posting
five goals from five different players while
shutting out the Catamounts.

Monday, September 17, 2007 - 3B

From page lB
things were, the defense was slow
to react to Georgia Tech's efficient
game plan.
"We just rallied around each.
other, nothing more to it," junior
Beth Karpiak said. "We knew what
we had to do, instead of looking
outside, instead of looking inside
ourselves, we looked to each other
and really fed off each others'
energy and what everyone else was
In game four, it was Karpiak's
five kills and Bruzdzinski's eight
that put Michigan into its third
five-game match of the season.
Even though it was nearing 10
p.m., about 30 Michigan fans in
"The Zone" kept Cliff Keen Arena
jumping. The Wolverines needed
it, as there were nine ties and six
lead changes in the first-to-fifteen
final game.
Knotted at 11, Michigan came
up empty on two kills to take the
lead, but on the third try, sopho-
more Veronica Rood, who had
struggled mightily earlier in the
evening, recorded her ninth kill of

the match, giving the Wolverines
momentum to wrap up the match.
Karpiak, who recorded 15 kills
with a .481 attack percentage in
the match, blocked a Georgia Tech
termination to put the Wolver-
ines up two. Another Rood kill
and a textbook bump-set-spike
from Bruzdzinski, freshman Lexi
Zimmerman and Karpiak secured
Michigan's twelfth win of the
Senior libero Stesha Selsky, who
now sits in fifth place on the Big
Ten all-time digs list with 1,705,
recorded 38 digs, the fourth-high-
est single-match tally in Michigan
history, while playing, as Rosen put
it, "really, really under the weath-
Rosen, who is now 27 victories
behind Sandy Vong's record for
career wins at Michigan, recorded
his 150th victory as Michigan head
"We aren't as good as we need
to be out there," Rosen said. "Lots
of times we learn those things in a
loss, and I'm kind of thankful that
tonight that we could learn those
things, at the same time not have to
take the loss."
Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Senior Lucia Beiassi tallied two goals and three assists in a weekend sweep of Vermont and Louisville.

Freshman Meredith Way reaped the ben-
efits of the Wolverines' scoring party, record-
ing her first collegiate goal at the 13:38 mark
of the first half.
While Michigan struggled to cap off scor-
ing opportunities in prior games, that was not
the case this weekend.
"We had great distribution of the ball," Cox
said. "Our forward line and our midline had
great productivity, so we weren't relying on
Belassi and (fifth-year senior Kristen) Tiner.

Our productivity is really progressing."
Added Belassi of Michigan's improved
offensive output: "It's just what we needed.
This weekend was a huge confidence booster
for us, especially after not being able to finish
the last few weekends."
That added confidence will come in handy
next weekend as the Wolverines continue
their brutal schedule with home games against
fifth-ranked Iowa and seventh-ranked Penn
State in the first weekend of conference play.

. StudentUniverse.com


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