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November 18, 2008 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-18

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07r

8 - Tuesday, November 18, 2008

6
6

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Blue heading
back to NCAAs

Wolverines earn No.
11 seed in tourney
By CHANTEL JENNINGS
Daily Sports Writer
With their eyes glued to a tele-
vision at the Junge Family Cham-
pions Center, the Michigan men's
soccer team went silent when the
brackets arrived on the screen.
The Wolverines, a lock for the
NCAA tournament, kept their eyes
on the Big Ten teams, knowing they
could gauge their seed based on
where the other Big Ten teams fell.
The first conference team
announced was Ohio State, a team
Michigan defeated 1-0. Second was
Northwestern, who Michigan ran
over the Wildcats 3-1 earlier this
season. Michigan State earned the
No. 4 seed after winning the Big
Ten Tournament and conference
and narrowly beat the Wolverines
1-0.
And finally, Michigan's name
appeared next to the number 11.
The bracket showed that the
Wolverines will take the field in
Ann Arbor next Tuesday against
the winner of the game between
UC-Davis and Denver, to be played
Saturday in California.
The players jumped out of their
seats and quickly congregated
around Michigan coach Steve Burns
in the middle of the room. He gave
a short congratulatory speech to
his players, looked around and said,
"Take a deep breath. Enjoy it."
After three years without an
NCAA appearance, the Wolverines
will field one of the toughest teams
in the tournament.
"We're definitely one of the top
teams in the country in terms of the
way we play," assistant coach Chris
Grassie said. "We've got three
guys who can score goals. The best
defense, I think, in the country. A
very good goalkeeper and the mid-

field is tough."
Getting a top-16 seed was impor-
tant for the Wolverines, because it
meant that they would have a bye
the first round and play their first
game inAnn Arbor.
The NCAA picks the top16 teams
in the country. Those teams have
first-round byes, while the other 32
teams play this weekend. The win-
ner of first round games advances
on to play one of the top 16 teams.
UC-Davisflourishedinthebegin-
ning of their season with a 12-1-1
start. But, in the final stretch, the
Aggies struggled and finished 1-3-3
in their last seven games. UC-Davis
is making its second consecutive
NCAA appearance under long-time
coach Dwayne Shaffer.
Denver is a strong team coming
off an 8-1-1 conference record in the
Mountain Pacific Sports Federa-
tion Conference under second-year
coach Bobby Muuss.
If the Wolverines win their first
game, they will likely match up
against Indiana in a rematch
of the Big Ten Tournament
semifinal. Last Friday in
Madison, the Wolverines lost
1-0 to Indiana in a physical
game, and are looking for-
ward to another chance to
play the Hoosiers.
"I think we're ready for ,
it," redshirt sophomore for-
ward Cam Cameron said.
"We're obviously disap-
pointed (about the Big Ten
Tournament outcome) and
thought we were the bet-
ter team.... We'd love to
meet them again."
While other teams
in the tournamentrely
on their NCAA tour-
nament experience,
Burns isn't worried
that only fifth-
year senior Jun
Michael off
Parke has Da

tournament experience.
"A lot of people putstock into the
experience factor with the NCAAs.
... but it's not imperative," Burns
said.
Instead, Michigan will rely on
its aggressive scoring trio of senior
Jake Stacy and juniors Mauro
Fuzetti and Peri Marosevic. The
strong Wolverine defense, coupled
with the outstanding play of red-
shirt junior goalie Patrick Sperry,
will also be crucial.
The No. 11 seed is Michigan's
highest in its three NCAA tourna-
ment appearances. The team has
previously played in the tourna-
ment as the No.12 seed in 2003 and
as an unranked team in 2004.
"You're a seeded team," Burns
said. "You have to act like a seeded
team and play like a seeded team,
which means play well. So it puts
a little pressure on them, which I
think is good."
But more than anything, Burns is
happy that his players are
seeingthe directresult
of their commitment.
"These are
moments where
all of the work
and the long
nights, and the
time away from
family and all that
you sacrifice as a
coach, that makes
you feel absolutely
fulfilled," Burns said.

JEREMY CHO/Daily
Senior Carly Benson, seen here against Northwood, scored 13 points in Michigan's first loss of the season on Monday night.
M'can'It overcome
offensive woes

By RYAN KARTJE
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan freshman guard
Courtney Boylan looked like she
could be an offensive force for the
Wolverines after an 18-point per-
formance against Kentucky in the
season opener.
She refused to play like her age.
She looked like she'd done this
before.
But for almost 37 minutes
against Akron, Boylan looked like
a freshman again. And the rest of
the Wolverines followed suit.
Boylan was held without a field
goal until a late three-pointer
dropped for the former Minnesota
Ms. Basketball as the Wolverines
(1-1 overall) shot 29% from the
floor in a 58-49 loss to the Zips.
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth
called the Wolverines' offensive
performance "atrocious".
"We aren't good offensively,"
Borseth said. "We can't score.
That's our problem, plain and
simple."
With Boylan no longer a sur-
prise, the Zips put a hand in her
face and took her out of the game
completely. Her lack of offense
paved the way for another fresh-
man to make the difference.
Akron freshman center Kyle
Baumgartner dominated the Wol-

verines in the low post to finish
with a double-double.
With 6-foot-6 junior Krista
Phillips shut down under the bas-
ket, Baumgartner and teammate
Jolene Tambouie racked up ten
rebounds apiece.
Phillips, Michigan's leading
scorer and rebounder from last
season, finished with just one
point and three rebounds.
"Every time I put her in, we
never got anything under the bas-
ket," Borseth said. "We weren't
creating opportunities, so we had
to take her out."
The Wolverines held the lead
for most of the first half as both
teams struggled from the field.
Unable to get into an offensive
rhythm, it was the defense that
gave Michigan the halftime lead,
as they showed flashes of the
hardnosed play that gave them a
season-opening victory against
Kentucky last Saturday.
But the defense couldn't make
up for the overwhelming offensive
woes, or the lack of intensity on
the glass.
"They're getting offensive
rebounds and they keep shooting,
and we just sit there and watch,"
Borseth said. "The ball's on the
floor and we just sit there and
watch it."
After halftime, the Zips came

Berenson hopes sen
return to form at old

out with offensive force while the
Wolverines shot 25 percent from
the field for the first five minutes
of the second half.
And it only got worse from there
as Michigan hit only seven of its 30
shots in the second half.
"We were getting a lot of good
shots," senior forward Carly Ben-
son said. "They just weren't fall-
ing."
Michigan had its chances. After
an aggressive layup from sopho-
more guard Veronica Hicks the
Wolverines took the lead back
with 12 minutes remaining. But
Michigan was held scoreless for
over six minutes, a drought akin
to the one in their exhibition game
against Division II Northwood.
The Wolverines' 22 turnovers
against Akron gives them 43 total
in their first two games, a problem
that will have to stop if Michigan
hopes to stay competitive in its
next two matchups - both of them
against ranked opponents.
Borseth said without a scoring
threat he was "almost scared" for
his team's upcoming run against
powerhouses Texas A&M and
Vanderbilt at Crisler Arena this
week.
"I hope we can score," Borseth
said. "We may not score a point.
I don't know what we're going to
do."
ior can
position
both he and Berenson knew it was
much more than a one-man effort.
Hogan had to save just 10 shots in
the first two periods combined,
and Berenson said Hogan wasn't
overwhelmed at any point during
the game.
"They made it easy for me,"
said Hogan, who has a career-best
shutout streak of nearly 70 min-
utes. "I just had to make one or
two big stops to keep us in it."
The shutout pushed Hogan's
save percentage above .900 per-
cent and lowered hisgoals-against
average to 2.22. Sauer has let up
2.85 goals a game with a .893 save
percentage.
But Saturday Berenson was just
happy to see his team bounce back
from Friday's upset loss to West-
ern Michigan.
"I don't remember the last time
we came in here and got a shut-
out," Berenson said.
RANKINGS UPDATE: After
splitting its weekend series with
CCHA bottom-dweller West-
ern Michigan, the Wolverines
dropped two spots to No. 9.
Undefeated Minnesota moved
into the top spot with 42 first-
place votes. Boston University,
Colorado College, Boston College
and Notre Dame, the highest-
,anked CCHA team, round out
the top five.

Threet 'doubtful' for
game against Buckeyes

I
I

By MICHAEL EISENSTEIN
Daily Sports Editor
Senior forward Travis Turnbull
arrived in Ann Arbor four years
ago as a center, but he's rarely
played at the position since then.
Over the course of his career as a
Wolverine, he's skated primarily
at right wing.
But at prac- NOTEBOOK
tice yesterday, -
Michigan coach
Red Berenson moved him back
to center, this time on the team's
fourth line. Berenson shuffled the
lines to add offensive depth with
the Wolverines traveling to No. 7
Miami (Ohio) this weekend.
Turnbull switched places with
sophomore Ben Winnett, who's
now skating on the second line.
The senior is centering a line
with senior Brandon Naurato and
freshman Luke Glendening.
Berenson said the change was
prompted by a shoulder injury to
senior fourth-line regular Danny
Fardig. But his usual replacement,
juniorAnthony Ciraulo,has played
just two games this season.
"This is a big series and I'm
not sure that Anthony (Ciraulo) is
ready to play in this series, in this
situation," Berenson said. "But
Turnbull's played in every game
and he can be, I think, a forceful

SAID ALSALAH/Daily
nior Peri Marosevic will lead Michigan's
ensive attack when it plays either UC-
vis or Denver next Tuesday.

center on that line."
Before Michigan's matchup
with Alaska two weekends ago,
Berenson moved sophomore Carl
Hagelin, who played left wing
most of last season, to center, also
to increase offensive depth.
But Berenson wants to add a
strong' fourth line to the rota-
tion when the Wolverines face off
against the RedHawks, who sit
atop the CCHA standings.
MONKEY OFF THE BACK:
Sophomore goalie Bryan Hogan
is just happy the potential jinx is
gone.
The superstitious goalie, who
avoids talking about his perfect
6-0 record at all costs, finally
earned his first career shutout
Saturday in Michigan's 5-0 win at
Western Michigan.
"I have to thank the team a lot
for getting me my first shutout,"
said Hogan, who tallied 20 saves
against the Broncos. "It's nice to
get that first shutout out of the
way so I can get the jinx out."
It was the first shutout by
Hogan or senior Billy Sauer, who
is currently splitting time with
Hogan to determine a clear-cut
starter between the pipes. The
duo had let up fewer than two
goals in a game just once before
this weekend.
And while Hogan played well,

By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Editor
By the end of the season, red-
shirt sophomore quarterback Nick
Sheridan will have likely played
a key role in two road rivalry
games.
The first was
in relief at Notre NOTEBOOK
Dame, where he
struggled in the rain as the Fight-
ing Irish jumped to a 35-17 win.
The second will probably be
this Saturday.
Rodriguez said at Monday's
press conference that redshirt
freshman quarterback Steven
Threet is "doubtful" for Ohio State
with a slightly separated shoulder,
and he will be evaluated withincthe
next two days. Though Rodriguez
originally said after Saturday's
game against Northwestern that
Threet had a head or knee injury,
he confirmed Monday that those
reports were inaccurate.
Sheridan was 8-of-29 for just 61
yards in Saturday's 21-14 loss and
has played in seven of the team's 11
games.
FAMILY MATTERS: Most of the
players at Monday's press con-
ference had a story to tell about
growing up with the Michigan-
Ohio State rivalry - and some of
the best came from out-of-staters.
Junior wide receiver Greg
Mathews watched some Michi-
gan-Ohio State games while grow-
ing up in California.
But even on the West Coast,
Mathews was surrounded by
Buckeye fans. His mother is a
Columbus native and his grand-
mother was a nurse at Ohio State
for 30 years.
Mathews, who graduated from
high school in Florida, said he
didn't pay attention to the game
until he was about seven years old,
watching former Michigan run-
ning back Tim Biakabutuka play.
"He was just running up and
down the field," Mathews said of
the 1995 game, in which Biaka-
butuka ran for 313 yards. "That's
when I said I like Michigan. That's
when I learned most about the
rivalry. ... I always kind of like to
go against my parents, so that's

I
I

dTOITdGsT wA/Dily
Redshirt freshman Steven Threet will likely heot tor Saturday's gawelsn Columhss.

how I got into Michigan, because
they were Ohio State fans."
Fifth-year senior tight end
Mike Massey, a Cleveland native,
is the second in his family to cross
state lines. Mike's oldest brother,
Jim, played for Ohio State. But his
middle brother, Pat, was a defen-
sive tackle at Michigan from 2001
to 2005 and served as a captain of
the Wolverines. When Pat was at
Michigan, the Wolverines defeat-
ed the Buckeyes just once, in 2003.
Mike, like every member of Michi-
gan's roster, has yet to record a
win over Ohio State.
"I don't really leave the house
that much, especiallythe past four
years," Mike said. "(Pat) knows
what it's all about - going home
and notbeating Ohio State.... They
give me a hard time. I hear a lot
about it."
Michigan has 11 players from
Ohio on the roster, including
senior strong safety Brandon Har-
rison, redshirt junior punter Zol-
tan Mesko, freshman tight end

Kevin Koger and freshman run-
ning back Michael Shaw.
INJURY REPORT: Rodriguez
said freshman running back Sam
McGuffie had a death in the fam-
ily and may miss the Ohio State
game. McGuffie didn't play last
Saturday because he said he was
"too banged up to play." Rodriguez
said after the game McGuffie had
a knee injury.
Junior running back Brandon
Minor, who also missed the North-
western game with an assortment
of injuries, didn't miss a beat
when asked if he would be healthy
enough to play against Ohio State.
"This Saturday?" Minor asked.
"I'm playing, regardless."
NOTES: After having game cap-
tains this season, permanent cap-
tains will be announced Thursday
and will serve as game captains
against Ohio State. The team voted
Sunday. ... Brandon Harrison will
move back to strong safety Sat-
urday after playing nickel back
against Northwestern.

a

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