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December 01, 2008 - Image 10

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2B - December 1, 2008

S-portsMonday

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 40

2B - December 1, 2008 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom 6

Michigan fans
actually have things
to be thankfulfor

Senior midfielder Jake Stacy is one of the seven seniors on the Michigan men's soccer team.
Seniors pave way for
Blue's future success

By CHANTEL JENNINGS
Daily Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON - After Satur-
day's third-round NCAA Tourna-
ment loss to Indiana, Michigan men's
soccer coach Steve Burns brought
his seven graduating seniors togeth-
er as their teammates applauded the
unit's impressive accomplishments.
Starts: 325.
Assists: 46.
Goals: 36, including eight game-
winners.
But more than anything, the
loud clapping by the underclassmen
acknowledged the seniors' leader-
ship.
"Their work ethic is one of the
main things I'll take away from
them," redshirt freshman Adam
Shaw said. "They were always work-
ing, always wanting to do more to
succeed and help the team, and I
think that I've really come to real-
ize that you really have to put in the
extra effort to go to the next level, to
be at the next level and to win at the
next level."
As the Wolverines look forward to
next year, they are quickly realizing
that leadership roles are what really

need to be filled, beyond a shutdown
defender like Michael Holody, a fast
midfielder with a strong foot like
Santos Perez or a solid forward like
Steve Bonnell.
"We just have to take what (the
seniors) taught us throughout the
season and take it to next season and
hopefully we can have the same suc-
cess we had this year and give the
same thing back to the players that
are beneath us," junior forward Peri
Marosevic said.
One thing next year's leaders will
try to duplicate will be the family
vibe this year's seniors instilled in
the team.
"I made it clear to everybody, we
work as a team but we're family, so
we're going to make sacrifices for
each other, and we're going to fight
for each other," Perez said.
But the family atmosphere start-
ed more than four years ago, when
Burns recruited this year's senior
class. Most of the players already
knew each other before they moved
into South Quad together because
they had played together or against
each other on various club teams.
"We were all kind of deciding
where we wanted to go," senior mid-

fielder Jake Stacy said. "We were
always talking about it and for me it
impacted my decision knowing that
I was going to be spending four years
with all those guys."
It was the first time that many of
the players were the youngest and
most inexperienced members of a
soccer team, despite their impressive
resumes which include accolades
ranging from Michigan Mr. Soccer
to Gatorade Player of the Year to the
State Dream Team.
As the seniors move on to the
next phase of their lives, whether it
includes soccer or not, Burns hopes
his players understand the magni-
tude of what they were a part of at
Michigan, and that they will look
back at their college years with no
regrets.
Most of the seniors haven't come
to the realization that their college
playing days are over yet and have
yet to understand the impression
they will leave on the underclass-
men.
"I haven't missed anything yet
because the other guys haven't start-
ed their winter practices," Stacy
said. "But I'll miss being a Wolverine
for sure."

Just days removed from a
3-9 football season, a lot of
Michigan fans may have
been asking
themselves
what they
had to be Y
thankful for
on Thanks-
giving.
Not a trip
to a bowl NATE
game played SANDALS
in warm
weather over
winter break.
Not a win over Ohio State. Not a
top-five recruiting class arriving
on campus next summer.
But even though the football
team may have left Michigan
fans wanting more this fall, there
is plenty to be thankful in the
Michigan Athletic Department.
Here are a few things that stick
out as bright spots in an other-
wise gloomy season for Michigan
fans.
RICH RODRIGUEZ'S FRIEND-
SHIP WITH OKLAHOMA OFFEN-
SIVE COORDINATOR KEVIN
WILSON. For years, Wilson and
his staff would visit Rodriguez
and company during the off-
season to talk about the spread
offense and bounce ideas off each
other. Last week, Rodriguez said
he might return the favor with a
trip to Norman this winter.
That sounds like a pretty
good idea. The spread arrived in
Ann Arbor this fall, but it never
got going. Wilson, on the other
hand, had plenty of success with
the Sooners. Oklahoma has the
nation's top scoring offense, aver-
aging over 53 points per game.
Michigan fans would be espe-
cially thankful if Rodriguez can
find a way to fit some of those
points in his carry-on bag on the
flight back. The Wolverines scor-

ing offense ranked 98th in the
nation. Time to share the wealth,
Mr. Wilson.
JOHNBEILEIN'S COMMIT-
MENT TO HIS SYSTEM. Not long
ago, Michigan fans were worried
about Beilein as much as they're
now worried about Rodriguez.
In his first year in Ann Arbor,
Beilein's team lost 22 games, the
most in program history.
Sound familiar?
Well, the difference between
seasons one and two has been
glaring. The Wolverines knocked
off then-No. 4 UCLA two weeks
ago and look like the up-and-
coming team of the Big Ten.
With a year under their belt, Bei-
lein's players have a better under-
standing of his system and their
play has improved accordingly.
Also, the coach's first recruit-
ing class is already making an
impact. Freshmen Stu Douglass
and Zack Novak are seeing regu-
lar minutes and contributing on
both ends of the floor.
Rodriguez bashers should take
note, and don't be surprised if the
football squad makes a similar
jump next year.
NOTRE DAME AND CHARLIE
WEIS FALLING FLAT ON THEIR
FACES. Admit it, you take plea-
sure in the suffering of others
and the schadenfreude has set in
for Michigan fans eying South
Bend.
After starting the season 4-1,
the Fighting Irish have lost five
of their last seven games, includ-
ing a home loss to Syracuse on
Senior Day. To top it all off, Notre
Dame students pelting their own
team with snowballs at the end
of the game.
The Fighting Irish followed
that up with a season-ending
blowout loss at Southern Cal.
The Jimmy Clausen-led offense
didn't get a first down until the

last play of the third quarter.
Michigan wasn't even that bad
this season.
Enjoy watching the Notre
Dame administration squirm
trying to find a way out of the
10-year extension they gave Weis
seven games into his first season.
BARACK OBAMA PUSHING
FOR A COLLEGE FOOTBALL
PLAYOFF. It's time for change
to come to the Division-I college
football postseason - change we
can believe in.
There's madness in the Big
12 South, where Oklahoma,
Texas and Texas Tech finished
with identical records. But the
Sooners getting a spot in the
conference championship game
because they had the highest
BCS ranking is just about the last
straw. Texas gets left out, despite
beating Oklahoma head-to-head
on a neutral field.
And it's possible there will
be even more controversy. Say
Oklahoma loses to Missouri on
Saturday, if things break right,
the idle Longhorns could make
the BCS Championship Game.
How do you play for the national
title without even winning your
division, let alone your confer-
ence?
Obama is not the first to call
for an eight-team playoff, but he's
the most powerful. The beauty of
a playoff for Michigan fans: the
annual loss to Ohio State won't
dash all hopes fora national title,
so long as the Wolverines are 11-0
heading into "The Game."
Of course, it's important to
be thankful for our health, our
friends and family and all that
other good stuff. But for Michi-
gan sports fans this year, a little
digging was required.
-Sandals can be reached
at nsandals@umich.edu.

I
6

6
6

HOOSIERS
From Page1B
defenseman Michael Holody said.
"I just believed we were eventually
going to get it."
Coming out of halftime, the Wol-
verines fought hard to find a hole
in the Indianadefense, remaining
confident the tables would eventu-
ally turn.
"There was one point where
there were 25 minutes left, and we
were down one goal and I just kept
saying 'just keep pushing' ... 'let's
just keep going, we have 25 minutes
left, there's still alot of time on the
clock,' " junior forward Peri Maro-
sevic said.
But Michigan struggled to find
a rhythm early in the second half
until Burns changed formations. To
create more attacking opportunities
and spread out Indiana's defense,
Burns moved Holody from defense
up to forward.
The Wolverines immediately saw
the tactical move pay off. Just a few
minutes later, Marosevic had two
quality scoring chances.
The first came with Indiana's
defense expecting a penalty call, but
the Wolverines played through as
the Hoosiers awaited a whistle that
never came. Holody sent a quick pass

through three defenders to Maro-
sevic in front of the net. Marosevic
got a shot off but Indiana's goalie
was there to make the save.
Moments later, Marosevic got
another open shot from the right
side. Looking to even out the score,
he blasted the ball toward the top
of the goal, but it hit the center of
the cross bar and rebounded back
into play before the Hoosier defense
cleared it.
While the shift ignited the Wol-
verine offense, it also came at a cost
to the defense. Indiana took advan-
tage of the weakened backline and
scored goals in the 76th and 81st
minute.
"You take (Holody) out of the
back and you're definitely exposed,
so we took a chance and we almost
got the reward, but it stung us as we
eventually pushed forward," red-
shirt junior goalie Patrick Sperry
said.
And while the Hoosiers outshot
Michigan 18-9, the Wolverines con-
tinued to push through to the final
whistle.
"I think our attack is one of the
best in the country," senior mid-
fielder Santos Perez said. "But we
didn'tconvert. When itcomes down
to it, the team that finishes the little
chances that they have is the one
that comes out on top."

Top-ranked Nittany Lions sweep 'M'

a

By MARK BURNS "We played very, very well,"
Daily Sports Writer Rosen said. "If we were tentative
or if we played passively, that was
Heading into Ann Arbor Satur- going to be frustrating for me. We
day night, the No.1 Penn State vol- played aggressive and I was proud
leyball team hadn't losta single set of that."
in its 31 matches. Despite the Wolverines' aggres-
The Nittany Lions had been sive play, Penn State's tenacious
ranked in the top 25 for 331 con- defense and multiple offensive
secutive weeks, and hadn't lost to schemes allowed the Nittany Lions
Michigan since 2002. to control most of the match.
But Michigan wasn't scared Every time Michigan adjusted
before its last match of the regular to the Nittany Lions' offense, Penn
season. State would change the position-
"Our team knows they're good ing of its players to confuse the
and we respect them," Michi- Wolverines.
gan coach Mark Rosen said Fri- In the first set, Michigan (12-8,
day night. "I don'tthink we fear 24-8) successfully fought off Penn
them, although we know it will State's attack. The Nittany Lions
be like climbing Mt. Everest. It's a placed their hitters on the wide
big challenge for our group, but I sides of the court and ran their
think our team is excited to climb offense from the sidelines.
Mt. Everest." Rosen and the Wolverines
In front of a sellout crowd at adjusted, keeping the first set
Cliff Keen Arena, the Wolverines close. The score was knotted at 16,
climbed the mountain but were until the Nittany Lions went on a
unable to reach the summit as the 7-3 run and eventually won the set,
Nittany Lions (20-0 Big Ten, 32-0 25-22.
overall) knocked off Michigan in For the rest of the match, Penn
three straight sets (25-22, 25-18, State constantly shifted its strat-
25-13). egy.

TO SEE MICHIGAN'S NCAA
TOURNAMENT DRAW
see michigandaily.com
"In set two, they started bring-
ing everyone in towards the center
of the court," Rosen said. "That
changed the tempo of the game
and we had to adjust to that. Then,
the next thing you know, they are
setting everybody out of the back
row."
The Nittany Lions had an attack
percentage of .471, demonstrating
why they are No.1Iin the Big Ten in
offensive production.
While the Wolverines had to
fight Penn State's powerful attack,
Michigan's offense struggled
to adjust to the Nittany Lions'
defense.
Penn State has five players on
its roster that are at least 6-feet-3
inches tall. The Wolverines start
just one player, redshirt freshman
Karlee Bruck, who is that height.
The height advantage, along
with Penn State's physical defense,

helped the Nittany Lions register q
seven blocks on the night and many
touches that prevented potential
Michigan kills.
Every time a Wolverine hitter
went up for a kill, there were two
Nittany Lion blockers staring her
straight in the face, one reason why
Penn State leads the Big Ten more
than three blocks per set.
The Wolverines hit a mediocre
.144 from the court.
The Nittany Lions did not spoil
the entire weekend for the Wolver-
ines. On Friday, Michigan celebrat-
ed Senior Night by beating Indiana
in three sets (26-24, 25-18, 25-20).
After the match, Kerry Hance and
Beth Karpiak were both recog-
nized with a video tribute to their
careers.
But Michigan hopes the match
against Penn State will give them
some added confidence as they
get ready for the post-season next
weekend.
"Playing competition as good
as Penn State is always great for
our team," Karpiak said. "This
is a great stepping stone for the
(NCAA) tournament."

STAFF PICKS
The Daily football
writers predict what will
happen in the
2008 college
football season. Dan courtney Ian Nate Bob
Feldman Ratkowiak Robinson Sandals Gartland
NolAlabama (4.5) vs Auburn Auburn Alabama Auburn Auburn Alabama
No.2 Florida (-165) at No 23 Florida State Florida Florida Stae Florida Florida Sae Florida
No.3Oklahoma (-7) at No 11 Oklahoma Ste Oklahoma Oklahoma State Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
No.4 Texas(-355)aat Texas A&M Texas TexassA&M Texas A&M
No.5 Southern Cal (-30 5) vs. Notre Dame Southern Cal Southern Cal Southern Cal Southern Cal Notre Dame
No. 7Texas Tech (-20.5) vs. Baylor Texas Tech Baylor Texas Tech Texas Tech Texas Tech
No.9 BoiseState (-21)vs Fresno State Fresno Stae.,Boise:.State,,..:,:,.,..............o,..........Boisee.State..Boise..State.
serStatei Bois StaeBoise Stae Boise State
No 12 Missouri 0-4)vs Kansas Missouri Missouri............issouri Missouri Missouri
No. Georgia Georgia Tech GeorgiaTech GeorgiaTech eorgia Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
No. 15 Bal State -11) vs Western Michigan Western Michigan Bal State all State Ball State Wesern Michigan
No.16 C-incilnnati (-22) s. Syracuse Cincinnati Syracuse Cincinnati Cincinnai Syracuse
No 17 Oregon State (-3.5) vs. No.19 Oregon Oregon Oregon State Oregon Oregon State Oregon State
N. 20 eoston College (-7) vs. Maryland . Boston College BsonColeg . . . . . . . . . . . ostn ollgeBosonColeg
No. 25Mississippi (14)vsMississippiState Mississippi State Mississippi Mississippi State Mississippi State Mississippi
Best Bet Western Michigan Baylor Georgia Tech Boston College Florida
Record This Week 6-7-1 (0-1) 8-5-1 (1-0) 7-6-1 (1-0).5-8-1 (0-0-1) 7-6-1(1-0)
Oerall tecord. 166-134-h (7-5-2) 13-14-6 (10-3-1) 171-129-6 (1-2-) . 1613 6 (67-1) 155 145 6 (8 1)

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