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September 29, 2008 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-09-29

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6B - September 29, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Way's hat trick
leads Wolverines
to shutout win

Michigan rebounds
after disappointing
overtime loss to
California last week
By RYAN A. PODGES
Daily Sports Writer
After last Thursday's overtime
loss to California, Michigan field
hockey senior co-captain Sarah
Wilhite said the result was disap-
pointing, but what mattered most
was winning games against Big
Ten teams.
So before the team's Big Ten
season opener against North-
western Saturday, she and her
co-captains decided to bring in
some help.
The players asked several
Michigan field hockey alumni,
including Lori Hillman (class
of '06) and Adrienne Hortillosa
(class of '05) to come to campus,
talk to the team and pump them
up for their upcoming Big Ten
season.
And it worked.
Michigan (1-0 Big Ten, 4-6
overall) easily defeated the Wild-
cats, 3-0, at Phyllis Ocker Field.
Michigan has now won its last
17 games against Northwestern,
with the last loss in the series
came in 1997.
The pep talk and the victory
came at just the right time for
the Wolverines. Before Saturday,
the defending Big Ten champions
had lost two consecutive over-
time contests and had gone 0-6
against ranlked opponents this
season.
"It was really cool to have
some big-time names here like
Hillman and Hortillosa," sopho-
more Meredith Way said. "The
alumni came in and told us about
how every season they started off
struggling and ended up winning

Big Tens and making the NCAA
Tournament. And just hearing
that helped us remember that the
Big Ten season is a fresh start."
No. 19 Michigan controlled the
game from start to finish - the
complete opposite of its overtime
loss to California. In that game,
the Wolverines tallied eight shots
on goal, and took just four pen-
alty corner shots compared to the
Bears' 11.
Michigan out-shot the Wild-
cats 20-4, including a 13-2 dif-
ferential in the second half. The
Wolverines also took 11 pen-
alty corner shots while limiting
Northwestern to just three.
Way had another outstand-
ing game, scoring all three of the
game's goals on penalty-corner
conversions and improving her
season total to nine. The hat-trick
performance was her second of
the season, an achievement no
Wolverine has accomplished
since Jessica Blake posted four-
goal and a three-goal efforts in
2004. She has now recorded at
least one point in seven of the
team's 10 games this season,
including the last three.
Wilhite recorded an assist
on Way's first and third goals.
Though she didn't earn points
during the first game of the sea-
son, she has tallied at least one
point in each of the nine games
since. She leads the team with 24
points.
Michigan coach Nancy Cox
also praised the efforts of her
forwards in their improved per-
formance on Saturday.
"One of the things about when
you have a young group, in terms
of our overall presence on the
field, is they occasionally aren't
so confident," Cox said. "Today,
what you saw was young women
stepping up to play like we know
that they can. Our force, our pres-
ence on the field was much better
today than it has been."

6
I
6

Olympian Michael Phelps was honored before the Wisconsin game for his record-setting performance at the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer.
Phelps draws cheers in A visit

By NATE SANDALS
Daily Sports Editor
Until the Michigan football team
turned things around in the second
half, it seemed Michael Phelps's
appearance at the Big House would
garner more attention than the
actual game.
Phelps, who won a record eight
gold medals at the Beijing Olym-
pics, was back in Ann Arbor this
weekend for the first time since late
June.
Phelps was the last person intro-
duced before kickoff, after all the
other Michigan athletes who com-
peted in the Olympic Games or the
Olympic Trials. Not surprisingly,
the largest cheer of the pregame
ceremony went to Phelps, who has
become one of the most recogniz-
able athletes in the world.

Phelps wore a Michigan hat and
a blue No. 8 Michigan jersey, which
represented his gold medal haul in
Beijing and not an affinity for red-
shirt sophomore quarterback Nick
Sheridan, he said.
"Coming here and living here
for four years has taught me a lot,"
Phelps said. "I'm thankful to have
the experiences that I had here,
because they've changed my life."
Phelps's coach, Bob Bowman,
who coached the Michigan men's
swimming and diving team from
2004 until this year, was intro-
duced just before Phelps. Bow-
man said he wasn't surprised that
so many Michigan athletes had a
chance to compete on the highest
international stage.
"I don't think they could support
us any better," Bowman said. "(Ath-
letic Director) Bill Martin has real-

ly committed to Olympic programs
and that's the main reason I came
here four years ago. It's just been
phenomenal."
Bowman said he and Phelps
enjoyed seeing other Michigan ath-
letes in Beijing and that the Wol-
verines, though they competed for
different nations in the Games, had
great camaraderie in the Olympic
Village.
Phelps spent his four years
between the 2004 Olympics in Ath-
ens and the 2008 Games in Beijing
training with Bowman at Canham
Natatorium. He was also a volun-
teer assistant coach for the men's
swimming and diving team.
Phelps moved back to his home-
town of Baltimore after the Olym-
pics, but he said he'll miss Ann
Arbor and plans to return often.
"I used to live on Main Street so

I could walk down to 10 amazing
restaurants," Phelps said. "It's just
little things like that that I'll really
miss and the people, the environ-
ment. This is a college'town, it's an
amazing place."
During his 15-minute pregame
press conference, Phelps talked
about hosting Saturday Night Live,
eating dinner with Demi Moore
and helping Braylon Edwards train
in the pool at Canham.
After meeting with the media,
Phelps took a picture with the
game officials and then entered the
Michigan locker room"to address
the team.
On paper it was just another busy
day in what has been a hectic few
months for Phelps. But the smile on
his face made it clear being in Ann
Arbor was more a pleasure than a
chore.

a
I

I
I

CHRIS DZOMBAK/Daily
Freshman Natalie Horner is one of the main reasons Michigan has already matched last season's win total.
Ten games in, freshmen are
making their their presence felt

0
6

First-years make
up three of four top
scorers for Blue
By EMILY FREILICH
For the Daily
Faster speed. Bigger athletes.A
more physical game.
Despite the challenges of
adjusting from high school to
college-level play, the freshmen
on the Michigan women's soccer
team are proving they've got the
moves to succeed.
So far this season, three of
the Wolverine's top four scorers
are freshmen, and sophomore
Amanda Bowery, last year's lead-
ing scorer, currently leads the
team. And, in just 10 games, more
than half the eight-deep freshman
class has contributed to Michigan
scores with a combined seven
goals and eight assists.
The freshmen have not just
helped the Wolverines on the field
- they've also improved the team
dynamic.

"It's awesome to see their
excitement and enthusiasm and
just love of the game," senior cap-
tain Kristin Thomas said. "(Their
energy) is good because we had
such a rough season last year that
to have that fresh new energy
helps the team out a lot."
After a tough 2007 season
(1-5-4 Big Ten, 3-9-6 overall), the
Wolverines' rebuilding effort is
going well, in many ways owing to
the contributions of freshmen.
So far in 2008, the freshmen
class has assisted Michigan in
matching its win total from all of
last season.
"I think that as far as estab-
lishment, we're still growing a
lot," freshman forward Natalie
Horner said. "So this year is actu-
ally a huge growth season."v
Though nervousness might be
expected, that wasn't the case for
this freshman class.
"It wasn't really so much ner-
vousness as excitement," Horner
said. "It was good to know that
(we were ranked the best recruit-
ing class) coming in so we felt
strong."

Since the season opener on
Aug. 22, every freshman has seen
game action and Horner and for-
ward Clare Stachel have started
each game. Defender Kim Siebert
(seven starts) and mid-fielder
Kelsey Rogind (five starts) are
not far behind.
But the freshmen have right-
fully earned their playing time.
"You have to prove yourself
when you first come in," Stachel
said. "Every freshman has to
prove themselves - no matter
what people have said about you
before. No matter what people
know about you, or teams you've
made."
Michigan coach Greg Ryan
said he thinks it will take a while
to get used to the physical Big
Ten style, but he has confidence
his young players will prove
themselves.
"I've been coaching for so
long and I knew the situation,"
Ryan said. "We just had to get to
working with them and they are
getting better everyday. They're
talented, athletic and I'm very
very proud of them."

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