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September 24, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 7A

Nittany Lions seek
redemption against
Iowa in Happy Valley

Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Ryan Van Bergen tallied four tackles against Eastern Michigan last Saturday and makes a mean burger.
Van Brge' burgers

Teammates
impressed by
defensive tackle's
culinary skills
By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Editor
This summer, Donovan War-
ren ate one of the best hamburgers
since he's been in Ann Arbor.
To Warren's preference, it was
well done.
And instead of ordering from
a gourmet hamburger restaurant
like Grizzly Peak, it came from
Ryan Van Bergen's backyard.
Over the summer, the redshirt
scphomore defensive tackle enter-
tained teammates Warren, David
Molk and Steve Watson and show-
cased his grilling skills.
"He knows how to cook good
hamburgers," Warren said, smiling
at the thought.
And when Van Bergen made the
switch from defensive end to defen-

sive tackle this season, the burgers
were good enough to add 10 pounds
to his 261-pound frame.
Of course, all the weight didn't
come from samplinghis handiwork,
but at his new position, Van Bergen
is beginning to hit his stride. The
Whitehall native has started every
game at defensive tackle this year,
tallying a career-high four tackles
and assisting on a sack last Satur-
day against Eastern Michigan.
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez
has praised Van Bergen as one of
the team's hardest workers.
"You can just tell, his passion,
every practice," Rich Rodriguez
said. "He's on special teams, and
he'll do anything we want. He
would play on every special team
we want him to."
What makes Van Bergen so ver-
satile is his speed - with a time of
4.9 in the 40-yard dash, Van Ber-
gen can compete at any spot on the
line.
Despite losing three starters to
graduation, the defensive line has
shown marked improvements from
last season. After three games, the

defensive line has tallied 53 tack-
les, compared to 45 at this time last
season.
Some of that extra explosiveness
comes from better off-field prepa-
ration, and Van Bergen says he feels
more conditioned than at this time
last year. Whether it's defending a
short slant play, out route or screen
pass, Van Bergen said the defensive
line has made running to the foot-
ball a priority.
"You see a lot of clips at the end
of film where there's 11 hats on
the ball, and something (defensive
coordinator Greg) Robinson really
preaches and I think we're doing a
good job so far," Van Bergen said.
With senior Brandon Graham
having the status he does, oppos-
ing offenses definitely take notice,
often giving the star defensive end
double coverage. Playing No. 2
behind Graham last season was a
learning experience for Van Ber-
gen on and off the field. A year later,
Van Bergen is taking charge in his
new role.
"I'm just trying to complement
Brandon Graham," Van Bergen said

during fall camp. "As a senior, he's a
leader by actions, and words aren't
really his best aspect of leader-
ship. I try to fill that gap and try to
motivate the team and the defense,
along with Obi (Ezeh) and Dono-
van Warren. Everybody is just try-
ing to play a little bit bigger role,
leadership-wise."
NOTES: Redshirt sophomore
safety Mike Williams wore a red
jersey during Wednesday's prac-
tice and rode a training bike. Red-
shirt freshman and former walk-on
Jordan Kovacs took reps with the
No. 1 offense in Williams' place.
... With redshirt sophomore cen-
ter David Molk sidelined for four
to six weeks with a broken foot,
Rodriguez said fifth-year senior
David Moosman will start at center
against Indiana. Filling Moosman's
spot at right guard will either be
redshirt junior John Ferrara with
redshirt sophomore Mark Huyge at
right tackle or Huyge at guard and
redshirt junior Perry Dorrestein at
tackle. At Wednesday's practice,
Hugye and Dorrestein took reps
with the No.1 offense.

By ALEX HERMANN
For the Daily
As the Big Ten season begins this
weekend, several teams already
find themselves in desperate need
of a win or big-time statement.
More than 100,000 fans will fill
Beaver Stadium on Saturday night
when No. 5 Penn State (3-0) seeks
revenge against Iowa for dealing
out the Nittany Lions' only regu-
lar-season loss of 2008. Under the
lights in Happy Valley, this game
will serve as an early-season fore-
caster for the Big Ten title.
Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno,
the Division I all-time wins leader,
possesses one of the best backfields
in the conference with senior quar-
terback Daryll Clark and junior
running back Evan Royster.
The Hawkeyes (3-0) can't claim
similar talent at the skill positions,
especially after Iowa starting run-
ning back Jewel Hampton was
declared out for the season after
sustaining a knee injury this sum-
mer. Yet the Hawkeyes can lay
legitimate claim to having one of
the best offensive lines and defens-
es in the Big Ten.
With a win, the Hawkeyes could
climb back into the Top 25. But
Iowa has bounced back since and
poses a large threat to the highest-
ranked Big Ten team.
Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and
the rest of the College GameDay
crew will be present at the prime-
time ABC game in what has the
potentialto be one ofthe best games
of this early season.
MICHIGAN STATE AT
WISCONSIN
Neither the GameDay crew,
the accompanying hype, nor Joe
Pa Legend will be in attendance
at Camp Randall on Saturday. But
stakes will still be high for both
teams.
Back-to-back losses to Central
Michigan and Notre Dame have
critics claiming "Same Ol' Sparty."
Michigan State (1-2) has stumbled
out of the blocks, and with high

expectations going into this season,
coach Mark Dantonio can't afford
to begin the season 1-3.
The game rests on whether the
Spartan defense can finally live
up to its preseason billing, and if
Dantonio can end his quarterback
"competition" and name sopho-
more Kirk Cousins the full-time
starter.
Wisconsin, though undefeated,
struggled against Northern Illinois
and Fresno State and has much to
prove.
Expect whispers concerning
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema's job
security to grow louder and more
frequent if the Badgers lose to a
stumbling Spartan team - at home.
ILLINOIS AT
NO.13 OHIO STATE
A month ago, this matchup con-
tained a great deal more luster.
At that point, many pundits had
Illinois (1-1) labeled a conference
dark horse, and Ohio State sopho-
more quarterback Terrelle Pryor
was still considered football's great
prodigy.
But going into The Horseshoe,
Illinois coach Ron Zook finds him-
self on the hot seat. He needs a
signature win against a top team,
followed by a string of consistent
play
The Illini will need a great effort
out of talented senior quarterback
Juice Williams. But a transcendent
four-touchdown performance, like
the one Williams had two years
ago that helped topple the then
top-ranked Buckeyes, seems highly
unlikely.
With top Big Ten wideout junior
Arrelious Benn and Williams pre-
sumably healthy together for the
first time this year, Illinois could
give Ohio State (2-1) a scare. If
everything goes right for the Illini
and their defense can make a few
timely stops, Illinois could sneak
out of Columbus with its eight win
in 11tries at the Shoe.

Michigan's three keys to success

Junior Justin Meram (right) scored a hat trick in M ichigan's 5-1 win.
Meran s hat trick
sparks Blue's offense

The Michigan women's
soccer team was tired,
injured and coming off a
disappointing loss.
The Wolverines were playing
Southern Cal on Sept. 13 - ateam
that had a preseason No. 8 ranking.
- with a ragtag group of starters,
second-stringers and youngsters
making their
first career TIM
starts. ROHAN
Michigan
led for most of On women's
the tightly con- soccer
tested game.
The Wolverines lost 2-1, but even
in defeat, Michigan learned it can
play with physical and talented
teams this year. Not next year, or
the year after - this year.
Expectations haven't been high
for awhile. The Wolverines were
4-10-5 last season, in Ryan's first
year, and the program hasn't had a
winning record since 2006.
But since the Wolverines' game
against Southern Cal, they have
been playing winning soccer. That
culminated in last Sunday's win
over Miami (Fla.)
Michigan (5-5) beat the Hur-
ricanes 1-0 and passed last year's
win total. With 20 seconds left in
the first half, freshman Holly Hein

kicked in her own rebound off of a
free kick from junior Jackie Car-
ron to score the game's winning
goal.
After the game, Michigan coach
Greg Ryan said he knew how
important the win was for his
team.
"It means that the girls can start
believing in themselves," Ryan
said. "These girls, going into the
Big Ten season, are going to say,
'Okay, maybe this team has a little
bit more experience and more
depth.'... We can beat these level
teams if we playthe right way."
There are three keys to Michi-
gan's recent resurgence, and if
the Wolverines continue to follow
these, the rest of the season will be
a success.
First and foremost, the goalie
competition is over - Michigan
needs redshirt freshman Haley
Kopmeyer to be the netminder.
When the Wolverines' defense
did make mistakes against the
Hurricanes, Kopmeyer made the
necessary plays to win. She also
made multiple saves to preserve a
shutout on Sept. 16, when Michi-
gan topped Oakland 3-0.
Kopmeyer had been splitting
time in the net with redshirt
sophomore Kristen Keane, with

each goalie making five starts this
season. Kopmeyer has started
the last three games dating back
to the close loss at Southern Cal.
But Kopmeyer has 39 saves on the
year with an 83-percent save per-
centage. Keane has 10 saves and a
50-percent save percentage.
Kopmeyer's two consecutive
shutouts show that she deserves to
be the full-time starting goalie.
The second step to success is to
play tight and smart defense, which
has not been a problem lately for
the Wolverines. When the ball is
in their half of the zone they have
a plan to control it. And if someone
gets beaton a play, a defender cov-
ers up for her teammate. Against
Miami, Michigan allowed the Hur-
ricanes to get deep into its zone, but
then cracked down, forcing most of
Miami's shots to come from outside
the box.
All of Michigan's defenders
have been on top of their games
last week, too. Moving the ball
well and keeping in front of the
offense has proved to be a posi-
tive strategy for the Wolverines
defense.
And finally, Michigan's offense
must continue to capitalize on
opposing defenses' mistakes.
Converting on lapses on defensive

coverage and timely attacks are the
way to go. The Wolverines have
taken advantage of the few oppor-
tunities they have received, but
they need to realize that they can-
not score at will. The team doesn't
have the players to do that.
With junior Jackie Carron tak-
ing the free kicks, the Wolverines
are in a good position to continue
this style of offense, which is effi-
cient yet not too flashy.
Carron has been clutch all year
with her placement. Her team-
mates and coach all have praised
her kicks, and she leads the team
with six assists.
But this won't yield much more
offense. Michigan has scored a
meager 1.5 goals per game this
season, while opponents have tal-
lied 1.8 goals per game.
The Wolverines needto con-
tinue to cash in on the few oppor-
tunities they get per game since
with a strong defense and reliable
goalkeeper, that should be enough
to win games.
Sunday's victory over Miami
has the Wolverines' confidence
at an all-time high in the Ryan
era, and they are playing winning
soccer. But they needto keep it up
to make 2009 a competitive year
instead of another transition one.

By BEN ESTES
and JAKE FELDMAN
Daily Sports Writers
Junior forward Justin Meram
joined the Michigan men's soccer
team this season after a dominat-
ingtwo-year stint atYavapai Junior
College. He notched 50 goals in his
tiie there, but entered last night's
game against Bowling Green with
only two goals in a Michigan jer-
sey.
He MICHIGAN 5
had a lot BOWLING GREEN 1
of mak-
ing up to do.
Meram was held out of the
starting lineup due to soreness in
his right quadriceps, and watched
the Falcons take a quick 1-0 lead
on a transition goal. Early on, the
Wolverines struggled to penetrate
a 4-4-3 defense, which clogs the
middle of the field and forces the
aqtion outside.
Meram entered the match in
the 32nd minute and changed the
entire tone of the game bynotching
his first hat trick as a Wolverine.
Michigan scored five unanswered
g4als in22minutes enrouteto a 5-1
victory.
"Justin's a guy that scores, he
never turns down an opportunity
to shoot," Michigan coach Steve
Burns said. "And if you don't buy a
ticket, you're never gonna win the
lottery. He bought three of them."
Meram punished the Falcons
(1,5-2) at the UM Soccer Complex
with his timely runs and fancy
footwork, and tied the match at
one in the 40th minute on a blast
into the lower left corner.
"Today was about laving a lot of

fun," Meram said. "We were down
and I just wanted to get out there
and have a positive attitude about it
all - the injuries, not starting. Just
have fun, go out there and contrib-
ute to the team and get a victory. "
The equalizer seemed to ener-
gize the entire team, and Michigan
(7-1) carried the momentum into
the second half. In the 50th min-
ute, Meram headed home the game
winner off a beautiful cross from
freshman defender Brian Klemc-
zak.
Following an opponent's goal,
Burns emphasizes the importance
of winning the ball back within
five passes. His team answered
that call last night. Just 28 sec-
onds after Meram's go-ahead goal,
freshman midfielder Hamoody
Saad added another, extending the
lead to 3-1.
"This is a team that is starting
to grow in confidence, and they
recognize that they're a second-
half team," Burns said. "We talk-
ed about how to beat this team.
They're going to have to walk off
the field shattered, and I thinkthey
really took that to heart and really
went after it for those first 10-12
minutes of the second half and put
Bowling Green away."
Meram capped his night with
a one-timer in the 58th minute,
and senior forward Mauro Fuzetti
quickly followed by netting his
team-leading seventh goal of the
season. Since Sept. 4, the Wolver-
ines have outscored their oppo-
nents 16-1 in the second half. Their
late game heroics will be especially
helpful Sunday, when Michigan
enters Big Ten play with a road trip
to Penn Stage.

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