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September 02, 2008 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-09-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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September 2, 2008 - 7B

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Senior captain Stephanie Hoyer led the Wolverines in their two road losses this
past weekend against No.1 North Carolina and No. 3 Wake Forest
Wolverines
fall to two of
nation's best

Blue sees early,
losses as learning
opportunities
By MICHAEL BERTENTHAL
Daily Sports Writer
Though the Michigan field
hockey team lost its opening two
games of the season this weekend,
the team learned more from the
touted opponents it faced than it
did from the final scores.
Defending national champion
North Carolina shut out Michigan
6-0 on Saturday in Winston-Sa-
lem, N.C. Though Michigan went
on to lose 5-3 to No. 3 Wake Forest
the next day, the Wolverines made
marked improvements from Satur-
day's loss.
"In the second game, our energy
level was higher," said Michigan
senior captain Stephanie Hoyer..
"We got the jitters out and played
Michigan hockey, winning 50-50
balls and improving our intensity."
One lesson Michigan learned
this weekend is the danger of fall-
ing behind early. The Tar Heels
jumped out to a two-goal lead in
the first six minutes Saturday. On
Sunday, Wake Forest answered an
opening goal by sophomore mid-
fielder Meredith Way with three
unanswered tallies in the next 12
minutes.

Michigan coach Nancy Cox said
the losses won't be as important as
the improvement that will come
out of them.
"From a coaching perspective,
we learned a lot about our person-
nel because the level of play was
high," Cox said.
Way's shining play was a high-
lighofthe weekend ofthe Wolver-
ines. She netted a hat trick against
the Demon Deacons, trumping her
goal total from freshmen year.
Though Way scored Michigan's
only goals of the weekend, Cox
said Way's contribution in the
Michigan backfield was the type
of performance that doesn't show
up on the scoreboard.
The Wolverines did have con-
siderable success on Sunday
against Wake Forest. Michigan
out-shot the Demon Deacons
15-13, but struggled to arive the
ball home.
Sunday's performance showed
progress from Saturday, when
Michigan was out-shot 21-6.
For now, Cox and her squad
will try to build off of the tacti-
cal improvements they observed
in the weekend losses, in the hope
they will translate to more favor-
able results.
"We saw more positives than
negatives in just one day," said
Hoyer. "We are a very good team.
Now we have to rise to the occa-
sion."

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