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October 11, 2007 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-10-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 11, 2007 -- 9A

A Texan who came
north reigns for 'M'

Fast start, no goals-for 'M'

By NICOLE AUERBACH
For the Daily
High school football is king in
Texas, but for Tex McCullough,
the other football captured his
attention.
"My dad was a ,football coach
and always
wanted me to
play football,"
McCullough
said. "But I
used to have
seizures' when
I was younger,
so I couldn't McCULLOUGH
play any con-
tact sports. So I
started playing soccer."
The seizures eventually stopped
as he grew older, but his passion
for soccer didn't fade away.
And as one of seven freshmen on
the Michigan men's soccer team,
McCullough has been an impact
player in his limited time on the
field.
Playing behind sophomore
standout and United States Nation-
al Team athlete Peri Marosevic has
given McCullough, a forward, the
opportunity to learn before being
pushed into a full-time starting
role.
"I'm kind of training for when
he leaves," McCullough said.
"Since our team is mostly domi-
nated by sophomores and juniors
who are starters and play a lot, the
freshmen are learning and getting

experience."
When Marosevic received a red
card against Wisconsin on Sept.
23, the coaches gave the freshman
the opportunity to start three days
later.
In the eighth minute against
Oakland, McCullough scored his
first goal as a Wolverine. It turned
out to be the game-winner, in
Michigan's 2-0 victory.
"I haven't gotten to score in
awhile," McCullough said. "I loved
it. I was so glad to finally be able to
contribute to this team."
Michigan has suffered tough
losses recently, including a disap-
pointing shutout to No. 3 Notre
Dame. But the 21st-ranked Wol-
verines are optimistic they can
finish strong in the final six games
before the Big Ten Tournament in
early November.
McCullough knew the team
would be very competitive this
year, which is one of the reasons
he chose to come to Michigan.
"It's not like there are lots of
strong Division I soccer schoola
down south," McCullough said.
"There's only one sport down
there, anyway. I went far away
from home so I could be a part of'a
good program."
Fortunately for the Wolverines,
this Southerner took a chance at
a sport that was unusual in his
native state.
Now he looks to help his new
team conquer the Midwest and the
Big Ten.

By ANTHONY OLIVEIRA
Daily Sports Writer
A flash of arrogance is all it takes.
And last night, that one moment for the No. 21
Michigan men's soccer team proved costly.
In what seemed like a harmless throw-in,
St. John sophomore Ryan Soroka tossed it to a
unsuspecting Michi-
gan defense. Catch- MICHIGAN 0
ing the Wolverines ST. JOHN'S 2,
off guard, Red Storm
midfielder Nelson Beccera took the ball and sent
the game-winner past Michigan' goalkeeper
Patrick Sperry. The Wolverines would fall in
their second straight shutout, 2-0.
"They capitalized on the mistakes we made,
and we didn't capitalize on the mistakes they
made," Michigan coach Steve Burns said.
' OnItalian Ice night at Belson Stadium, Mich-

igan (8-3-1 overall) went cold after the opening
minutes of each half. The Wolverines pushed
aggressively on offense and even tougher on
defense. Through the first 23 minutes of play,
they tallied three shots-on-goal. But Beccera's
score suddenly stifled the Michigan attack. The
Wolverines didn't let off another shot in the
stanza. St. John responded with a storm of its
own - six straight shots to close up the half.
Michigan came out of the locker room equal-
izing the intensity of the game's opening min-
utes, controlling the ball and putting it on net.
The Red Storm (6-4-2) were outshot 3-1 in the
first 10 minutes of the second half
But with nothing working for Michigan, frus-
tration set in as junior captain Alex Morisset and
sophomore Peri Marosevic each earned a yellow
card. Five minutes after the second yellow, Red
Storm senior Omar Alfonso danced past Sperry
on the right side and trickled in the dagger.

The Wolverines put on a series of desper-
ate attempts but only gained a red card against
them in the 85th minute. As Morisset sailed one
of many balls over the net, a scuffle broke loose
between St. John's Joel Gustafsson and Michigan
junior Michael Holoday. Unfortunately, Holoday
was on the wrong side of it. But it seemed fitting
that an altercation ended the rough affair.
With most shots at the keeper, the hardest
from Marosevic late in the match, the Wol-
verines didn't make St. John goalkeeper Jason
Landers work hard for his fifth shutout of the
year. With its second-consecutive blanking,
Michigan is receiving some payback for shutting
out six of its opponents earlier this season.
"Here's a theme: A good team makes you pay,"
Burns said. "With that theme, our back half of
the field, we've gottoswallowour pride abitand
say, 'You know what, maybe we're not as good as
we think we are in these situations.'"

* Ohio State stands alone, but
tough tests loom ahead

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Writer
It didn't hit me until about
10:30 p.m. last Saturday as I
sipped on my mixed drink pitch-
er at Scorekeeper's. Southern
Cal was in the process of losing
to lowly Stanford, and Louisiana
State was scrapping to come back
against 'defending BCS Cham-
pion, Florida. At that moment, I
had an epiphany: if the Trojans
and Tigers lose, Ohio State would
move up to No. 2 in the country.
Well, after the slew of upsets
in the past two weeks, the third-
ranked Buckeyes are sitting pret-
ty, in control of their own destiny
in the Big Ten. Now, they're no
longer under the radar. Ohio
State is back in its familiar posi-
tion as conference favorite and
must get used to having a target
squarely on its shoulder pads.
And with the Buckeyes rolling,
teams like Wisconsin and Michi-
gan State must get off the losing
schneid or else risk being left in
the dust at season's end.
Kent State (1-2 MAC, 3-3
overall) at No. 3 Ohio State (3-0
Big Ten, 6-0) - Noon, Big Ten
Network
So much for Purdue being a
Big Ten contender. The Buckeyes
were impressive last week, easily
dispatching the Boilermakers in
a 23-7 win.
Defense has carried Ohio
State all season, allowing more
than seven points just once - in
a 33-14 victory at Washington.
The Buckeyes have the nation's
top scoring defense.
But only the Harlem Globe-
trotters have a softer schedule
than Ohio State has had so far.
The win over Purdue was its first
over a ranked opponent in 2007
and the 16-point margin of vic-
tory was the closest game yet for
the team.
Luckily, Kent State presents
another opportunity for the
Buckeyes to get any leftover kinks
out of their game before the meat
of the schedule begins. From
here on out, nothing will come
easy for Ohio State. It finishes
the season with games against
Michigan State, Penn State, Wis-
consin, Illinois and Michigan.
Don't expect the Golden Flash-
* es to make this one unexpectedly
exciting, though. They are an
average MAC team at best, and
must travel to Ohio Stadium.
No. 3 Ohio State 38,
Kent State 6
No. 19 Wisconsin (2-1, 5-1) at
Penn State (1-2, 4-2) - 3:30 p.m.,
ABC
Nobody really knows what to
expect from Penn State this sea-
son.
Some said the Nittany Lions

had a shot at a BCS Championship,
or at least, a Big. Ten crown. Oth-
ers predicted the same old enigma.
of a football team that looks good
against teams it should beat, and
terrible when faced with a team
that's better on paper.
If Wisconsin is fully healthy, it
isn't a team Penn State should beat
on paper. But Saturday's matchup
is in State College, and the Bad-
gers will be missing their No. 1
receiving option. Wide receiver
Luke Swan suffered a possible
career-ending hamstring injury in
Wisconsin's upset loss to Illinois
last week and will miss the rest of
the season.
It couldn't have come at a.worse
time for the Badgers, who saw
their ranking drop 14 spots when
their 14-game winning streak
came to a surprising halt. There's
no time for Wisconsin to sulk, .
because a second straight loss
would potentially end its chances
at winning the Big Ten.
Without Swan, the Badgers

become one dimensional, allowing
Penn State to load the box against
running back P.J. Hill. The Nit-
tany Lions will win this game,
but without Swan, it shouldn't be
considered an upset or a sign of
change in Happy Valley.
Let's not forget that they have
the symbol of mediocrity- Antho-
ny Morelli - under center.
Penn State 17,
No.19 Wisconsin 14
Quick hits
Expect Michigan State to end
its two-game slide by surpris-
ing Indiana at home. Don't be
shocked if Iowa's defense keeps
it close, but upstart Illinois will
grind out the win, following up on
the biggest victory in Ron Zook's
career. Minnesota officials'fired
coach Glen Mason after last sea-
son because they were dissatisfied
with .500 seasons, but when los-
ing to Northwestern is a given,
maybo it's time to second-guess
the move.

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