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October 12, 2007 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-10-12

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8A - Friday, October 12, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'M' faces stiff
test in opener

Blue must counter spread

By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Writer
Freshmen make up.nearly half of
the Michigan hockey team's roster.
And in the Wolverines' sea-
son opener, they'll play last year's
NCAA runner-up, No. 2 Boston
College, 11 hours from home.
But if you're wondering if Michi-
gan has a legitimate chance against
the Eagles, you've asked the wrong
question.
"This (weekend) isn't about Bos-
ton College - it's about Michigan,"
Berenson said. "We're not going
there just for practice. We want to
play well, and this will be a good
measuring stick of where we are."
As part of this weekend's Ice
Breaker Invitational at the Xcel
Energy Center in St. Paul, the Wol-
verines will play the Eagles tonight
and will face either No. 6 Minneso-
ta or Rensselaer Polytechnic Insti-
tute (RPI) tomorrow evening.
Boston College returns both its
leading scorer and top defense-
man, but its weakness is sure to be
between the pipes - none of the
goalies on this year's roster have
game experience.
Michigan goalie Billy Sauer
wasn't seriously tested against
Western Ontario in last Sunday's
exhibition matchup, but the Wol-
verines' backup goalie situation
is bleak. Highly touted freshman
Bryan Hogan is out with mononu-
cleosis, and freshman Shawn Hun-
wick missed last weekend's games

because of illness.
Junior forward and alternate
captain Tim Miller said the key to
succeeding this weekend. will be
pressuring the opponents' offense
and sustaining the gritty, aggres-
sive play the Wolverines brought
last weekend.
"(Boston College has) good,
small guys, so we're going to play
physical against them and keep
them off the puck as much as pos-
sible," Miller said.
Added junior Mark Mitera,
Michigan's sole upperclass defen-
seman: "With a lot of young play-
ers, I think the most important
thing (this weekend) is to play well
without the puck."
During practice this week, the
Wolverines worked on backcheck-
ing drills and 5-on-5 play in zones,
attempting to improve their physi-
cal presence and clarify defensive
responsibilities for this weekend.
Berenson said team goals will
begin to take shape after this week-
end's game, and there is no better
team to beat than Boston College to
elicit talk about the NCAATourna-
ment.
But after having just one week of
coaches' practices, Michigan will
have to continue to learn quickly in
order to perform well.
"We're going to be in a hostile
environment, and the games are
going to be a lot faster," Miller said.
"It's goingtobe atoughgame.We're
goingto try to limit our mistakes in
the first game of the season."

ByKEVIN WRIGHT
Daily SportsEditor
It's surprising the difference
four weeks can make.
Following an 0-2 start to the
season, the Michigan football team
continued to raise the possibility
of a Big Ten championship - but
most outsiders thought that goal
was out of reach.
Now,theWolverines arejustone
of three unbeaten Big Ten teams.
"Really, the Big Ten race is wide
open," safety Brandent Englemon
said. "Whoever gets hot at this
time of year will take the Big Ten
Championship. We're right there
in the mix of everything."
To stay undefeated in the con-
ference, Michigan (2-0 Big Ten, 4-
2 overall) will have to find a way to
start off a game with the intensity
it has in the second half. Against
both Northwestern and Eastern
Michigan, the Wolverines played
close games until the fourth quar-
ter, and pulled away late.
If Michigan can't shake its habit
of lethargic starts, it could be in
trouble against a Purdue team
looking to avenge a disappointing
home loss to Ohio State last week.
The Boilermakers (1-1, 5-1)
played the Buckeyes under the
lights at Ross-Ade Stadium. Ohio
State jumped out early, and its
defense dominated the line of
scrimmage. The Buckeyes dis-
rupted Purdue quarterback Cur-
tis Painter's rhythm, holding the
Big Ten's top offense to just seven
points in garbage time.
Still, the Wolverines are wary of
Purdue's quick-strike capability.
"We know they have avery high-
powered offense that is capable of
putting points up on the board,"
cornerback Morgan Trent said on
Monday. "We need to be in there,
know what we are going to do, get
our gameplan down and study a lot
of film this week."

I6
6
6

Junior Adrian Arrington wants to wove the chains via the long ball against a vulnerable Purdue secondary.

The last time Michigan faced
Purdue, the Wolverines escaped
from West Lafayette with a 16-14
winin2004.Thegameended when
Michigan safety Ernest Shazor
stripped Purdue wide receiver
Dorien Bryant, and the Wolverines
ran out the clock.
Three years later, Bryant has a
chance to make up for his costly
mistake. He is the focal point of
the Purdue spread offense, which
often features four- or five-wide
receiver sets, similar to the offen-
sive alignments of Appalachian
State and Oregon.

"There are only so many things
you can do defensively when
there's five wide receivers or when
there's four wide receivers and a
tight end or there's nobody in the
backfield," Michigan coach Lloyd
Carr said.
The Wolverine defense, which
was without three starters last
week, hopes to return to full
strength with linebackers John
Thompson and Chris Graham
and defensive tackle Will Johnson
returningto practice this week.
And if the Wolverines do learn
something from the Purdue-Ohio

State game last weekend, wide
receiver Adrian Arrington would
like to see the Michigan offense
take advantage of a shaky Boil-
ermaker defense with the deep
ball, something that's been miss-
ing from the Wolverine attack this
season.
"I feel that we got a lot of guys
who can stretch the field, so I hope
to see that every game," Arrington
said. "I think that could be a big
part of this offense, so we'll see."
With another win, the Big Ten
championship talk would grow a
little louder.

Procrastination
station

Purdue 37
Michigan 26
Before every football game this
season, two of the Daily's football
writers will take the weekend's
matchup to the PlayStation 2
and then let you know what hap-
pened.
- Play of the game - After Michi-
gan cut the deficit to l0 in the fourth
quarter, Purdue QB #12 went deep
down the right sideline to WR #9
to put the game away. The 63-yard
connection put Purdue in the red
zone and led to its fifth touchdown.
- Player of the game - Purdue QB
# 12. The signal-caller went 20-of-
30 for 341 yards and four touch-
downs, having his way with a weak
Michigan secondary. All four of his
touchdown passes went to differ-
ent targets.
- Press conference
Purdue coach Scott Bell:
"Do we really need to do this press
conference every week? I'm always.
going to win, and it's not going to be

Coach, seniors
make strides

very close. Rinse, lather, repeat."
"I think coach Wright heard a lot of
complaints about the predictability
of his offense, so he decided to play
from 4-wide and 5-wide shotgun all
the time. I guess it didn't help him
that he was playing from behind all
game."
Michigan coach Kevin Wright:
"Well, there's not much to say. I
lost, and it wasn't very close."
"Yeah, I only ran Mike Hart six
times, but it's kind of hard to when
the offensive line can't block."
"I'm not sure why WR #80 isn't
playing more this year. He had more
than 100 yards and even made a
critical tackle after an interception
on a two-point conversion."
"I would say this is my worst per-
formance ever, but then I remem-
bered I played with Ball State last
season."

By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Writer
It's all about the next play.
That's Michigan coach Kevin
Borseth's philosophy as he leads
the Michigan women's basketball
team into the coming season.
"We will play one play at a
time," Borseth said. "If you win
the next play, you will have a
chance to win the next one."
Borseth comes to Michigan
hoping to resurrect a team that
has had five straight losing sea-
sons and finished 3-17 in Big Ten
play last season.
Borseth spent the last nine
years at the University of Wiscon-
sin Green Bay. He brings a pas-
sionate and fundamental brand of
basketball to Michigan. - one he
hopes to translate into wins.
"Our coaching staff is very
energetic and very positive,
which makes us fresh and ready
to go," junior Stephany Skrba
said.
Michigan hasn't lost any of its
veteran players from last year's
squad and will be led by seniors
Janelle Cooper, Krista Clement,
Ta'Shia Walker and Katie Dier-
dorf.
Borseth said he thinks his
seniors will have their best sea-
sons in their four years at Michi-
gan.
"These four seniors that we
have are outstanding people,"

Borseth said. " They are great
leaders, and I can sense inside of
them that they really want to do
well. They are starving because
they want to win so bad."
But the Wolverines recognize
their upcoming challenges.
In addition to adapting to a
new coach, Michigan plays a non-
conference schedulethatincludes
visits to Texas A&M and Notre
Dame and home games against
Kentucky and Southern Cal.
Michigan also has to overconie
the mental hurdle that comes
with five straight losing seasons.
"(Borseth) wants us all to be
on the same page and to have
one goal," Cooper said. "And that
goal is to win. We know he was
brought in to help us with that."
Borseth believes in a more
relaxed style of play, contrasting
Michigan's mentality in previous
seasons.
"We tell our players three
thing: to do what's right, to do
their best and be their best and to
treat people good," Borseth said.
"If you do those three things,
things will shape up."
The Wolverines hope Borseth's
offensive mind will translate into
wins. He brings a .735 career
winning percentage and has 19
straight winning seasons. The
team has focused on shooting so
far, with the hope of improving
their 37 percent shooting from
the floor last year.

The adventures of Huckleberry Finn come
alive in this Tony Award-winning musical

Senior Janelle Cooper thinks new coach Kevin Borseth can take the Wolverines to
a new level of success this season.
"He recommends that we do , "I think we are so talented
300 shots a day minimum," Skrba and we are so deep," Skrba said.
said. "We do a lot of midrange "I think we have the most talent
shots, a lost of threes and a mix- in the Big Ten, and we can take
ture of both." it so far. Our mindset has com-
Hopefully with the added pletely changed this year. We are
workload, Michigan might finally all stronger mentally, and that is
put together a winning season. going to push us so far."

60

Club lacrosse to face D-I champs

Music and lyrics by Roger Miller
Book by William Hauptman
Directed by Mark Madama
Musical Direction by Catherine Walker Adams
Department of Musical Theatre
Oct. 11 at 7:30 PM " Oct. 12 & 13 at 8 PM
Oct. 14 at 2 PM 'Mendelssohn Theatre
Tickets $24 and $18 " Students $9 with ID
League Ticket Office 734-764-2538
: si cl n< i
Music,Theatre & Dance

By DANIEL BERMAN
For the Daily
The Michigan men's club
lacrosse team will host Johns
Hopkins and Army in the Wol-
verine Showcase tonight, giving
fans to get a sneak peek at this
year's team before the competi-
tive season begins in February.
But that's not the only reason
to go to Elbel Field this evening.
Johns Hopkins and Army will
again be two of the top teams in
the country this season. Johns
Hopkins is coming off its ninth
National Championship and is

one of the most storied programs
in NCAA lacrosse history.
"Lacrosse is their No. 1 sport,"
Michigan coach John Paul said.
"The head coaching job there is
as important as Lloyd Carr's job
is here."
This meeting will mark the
first time in 20 years that the Blue
Jays have traveled to the state of
Michigan.
"For us, it's an honor not only
that they'll play us, butcthat they'll
come out here to do it," Paul said.
"It shows the level that our pro-
gram has reached in the eyes of
the lacrosse world."

Paul insisted that his team is
ready for, the challenge of play-
ing a lacrosse power and said the
Wolverines have played well in
the past against Division I oppo-
nents.
"These are blue-chip recruits
that may be bigger, faster and a
bit more skilled, but we have to
not be intimidated and work," he
said.
With aMichigan defense thatis
rebuilding this fall, Paul has sim-
plified the gameplan to prepare
to face one of the best offenses
in the nation. Although Michi-
gan will try to stay competitive,

it will use tonight's preseason
scrimmages as a way to evaluate
the talent of this year's team.
"This is the offseason, so all
three teams will be approach-
ing these games differently,"
Paul said. "We will go deep into
our depth chart to see where we
stand and where we need to go
before the season."
With no college varsity
lacrosse programs in Michi-
gan, Paul hopes that events
like tonight's scrimmages will
increase exposure to the sport
and boost student awareness of
the Wolverines' club squad.

01

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