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October 07, 2008 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 7, 2008 -


Rodriguez bashes Blue's 'soft' play

Coach mum on
Stonum's status
following suspension
against Illinois
Daily Sports Editor
A week ago, Michigan coach Rich
Rodriguez said the worst thing a
coach could hear about his players
was that they were soft and lazy.
Two days after NOTEBOOK
the Wolverines
lost 45-20 at home to Illinois, Rodri-
guez didn't hold back while evaluat-
inghis team's performance.
"I thought we played a little soft,
and that was the most disappoint-
ing thing about it," Rodriguez said
at his Monday press conference.
Rodriguez said his team needed
play tougher in all three phases of
the game, criticizing them from
choosing to be "the hammer"
instead of "the nail" at the point
of collision. Though Rodriguez
acknowledged that growing pains
are no surprise for his young team,
he said over-thinking on plays

his team's lack of physicality. He
also put some of the burden for
the letdown on the coaching staff,
which he said could do a better job
preparing the team and motivating
Despite the big swing in emo-
tions from the upset win over
Wisconsin to the big loss against
Illinois, Rodriguez said his team
shouldn't become complacent even
with a Mid-American Conference
opponent, Toledo, on the schedule
this week.
"If our guys let down, then they
shouldn't be playing football - for
Michigan or for anybody," Rodri-
guez said.
INJURY REPORT: A number of
players came out of the Illinois
game dinged up.
Freshman slot receiver Mar-
tavious Odoms, who accounted
for more than half of Michigan's
total yards in the game, suffered a
sprained shoulder and didn't par-
ticipate in Sunday's practice. Rodri-
guez expects Odoms to'be ready to
go against Toledo on Saturday.
Another first-year player, nose
tackle Mike Martin, suffered an
arm injury against Illinois. He wore

a sling as he left Michigan Stadium
on Saturday night, but Rodriguez
expects him to be ready to go this
Redshirt sophomore Perry Dor-
restein, who started at left tackle
against Illinois, got a ding to his
head during the game but should
also be available against the Rock-
Junior running' back Carlos
Brown and sophomore wide receiv-
er Junior Hemingway remain out
with long-term injuries.
Junior Brandon Graham is still
battling a leg infection, which could
result in more playing time for red-.
shirt freshman defensive end Ryan
Van Bergen, Rodriguez said. Van
Bergen isn't so sure.
"If Brandon needs to take a cou-
ple plays off, I'm readyto play," Van
Bergen said. "ButI know Brandon is
a tough guy, unlesshe's got a serious
injury, he's not going to come out."
wide receiver Darryl Stonum's sta-
tus for the-Toledo game remains "to
be determined," Rodriguez said.
Stonum did not play against Illinois
for what Rodriguez called a viola-
tion of team rules.


Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said in his Monday press conference that his team looked slow in its 45-20 loss to Illinois.
wasn't a valid excuse this far into entire team saw it on film Sunday said. "That's a word that you hope
the season. and took it to heart. never comes up. Of course, we're
Without calling out any specific "That's something you never disappointed to hear that."
players for being soft against the want to hear on defense," fifth-year Rodriguez didn't announce any
Fighting Illini, Rodriguez said the senior cornerback Morgan Trent personnel changes in response to

Without clutch putts, win streak ends at two

inder-par rounds
few and far between
in Illinois tourney
For theDaily
After finishing firstin its firsttwo
events of the season, the Michigan
men's golf team put up high scores
at the Windon Memorial Classic,

rarely threatening to break par.
The 12th-ranked Wolverines
posted a team 'score of 877, 25 over
par, and finished seventh of 15
teams in the Classic held at the
par-71 North Shore Country Club
Course in Glenview, II. Illinois won
the tournament handily, carding a
nine-under-par 843.
Among the Big Ten teams in the
tournament also finishing ahead of
Michigan were Indiana, Northwest-
ern, and Purdue.

Senior co-captain Nick Pumford
led the Wolverines, tying for 25th
overall. He was the only Wolverine
with an under-par round to con-
tribute to the team score, shooting
a one-under-par 70 in the second
Michigan never found momen-
tum and failed to convert on putting
opportunities throughout the tour-
nament, settling for double bogeys.
Wolverine coach Andrew Sapp said
the play wasn't horrible, but it cer-

tainly wasn't great.
"We really didn't get things going
this week," Sapp said. "We made
some birdies, but there were some
bad holes as well. Pretty surprising,
given the way we've played the last
couple of weeks."
Sapp said he saw no cause for
alarm, adding that Michigan was
not far from clicking at the tourna-
ment, both in driving and putting.
He saidhis other co-captain, senior
Bill Rankin, had his worst putting

weeks of the young season. Rankin
entered the tournament without a
three-putt on the year. But he had a
couple of them in Glenview.
"We just really didn't have our,
game," Sapp said. "It was kind of a
B-plus game for us. We need to go
back to work and get our A-games
ready for next week."
Though none of the Wolverines
finished in the top 20 in team scor-
ing, freshman Matt Thompson was
a bright spot.

Playing as an individual, not
as part of Michigan's team score,
Thompson broke the top 20 for the
second consecutive tournament,
finishing 19th on the strength of a
final round 70 (-1).
"Matt played well in his first trip
playing away from campus," Sapp
said. "He's playing really solid. It
was a good, tournament for him.
Two top-20 finishes as an individu-
al - these are great steps for him in
the right direction."


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Switching systems helps turn
around Wolverine defense

Daily Sports Writer
The members of the Michigan
women's soccer team defense
corps have gotten used to saving
each other's butts.
And it's nOt about winning or
losing - it's all about the zone
defensive system new Michigan
coach Greg Ryan has brought
with him.
"Whoever is putting pressure
on the ball has someone right
there to help them," Ryan said.
"(Last year) they played a lot of
man-to-man, and they were just
all over the place. We are much
more organized, we stay togeth-
er, and so far it's working well"
The defense lost two veteran
of last season's veteran starters
to graduation, but Ryan said he
thinks the defense has adjusted
well. According to Ryan, the
defense made the transition in
"record time."
"This year, everyone on the
backline has been playing with
passion, and with heart, and just
really fighting - not just fighting
for themselves, but for everybody
else," senior defender Skylar
Andrews said.
Ryan brought the zone defense
with him from the U.S. Women's
national team, which also used
Knowing the defensive scheme
is just the beginning. The Wol-
verines must play together,
rather than focusing on their
own assignments, like in man-to-
The ultimate goals of what
Ryan preaches in practice are
simple: limit the opponents' shots
to outside the goal box, stay com-
pact in the box, and don't let the
offense penetrate the defensive
To accomplish this every game,
Ryan needs a leader on the field
to keep the whole team thinking
defensively. He has found that
rock in Andrews.
"With younger players, you
need to be there to back them up,"
she said. ":Whether it's that vocal
support or that physical support,
(they get comfort) in them know-
ing that if they get beat, then
you're there."


Sophomore Jackie Carron has been crucial tothe Wolverines' defensive system.

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Sophomore defender Jackie
Carron has also been a key player
on defense. Andrews providesthe
smart veteran leadership, while
Carron provides extra support
for her teammates.
"If we have a tough matchup
for somebody, we put Jackie Car-
ron on that side of the field," Ryan
The team gave up just 1.2 goals
per game playing in a man-to-
man scheme last season, but the
Wolverines finished the season
with a 3-9-6 record. So far this
season, the team is givingup more
goals per game (1.75) but that stat
doesn't worry the players.
Without their 7-0 loss to Notre
Dame to start the year, they have
held the opponent to one goal or
less seven out of 11 games with an
average of 1.27 goals per game.
The Wolverines (3-5-4) already
have as manywins as theyhad last
season, and they are improvingto

the point where Ryan is pleased
with the play of his defense.
The Wolverines will take their
zone defense to a new field this
weekend. For the first time this
year, they will be playing a home
game in Ann Arbor, at the new
soccer field west of the tennis
complex on South State Street.
The women's and men's team
will play sparingly at the new
field, because little else other
than the field is ready to use as
construction of the site contin-
"I can't wait," Andrews said.
"It's a new field. I'm so excited
about the program's future."
Ryan sees a parallel in the
future of the field and the pro-
"You start to have some big-
ger crowds out here," Ryan said.
"Down the road, it's a fantastic
opportunity for the University of


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