The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday September 30, 2010 - 7A
The Michigan Daily michigandailycom Thursday September 30, 2010 - 7A
In reserve roles,
Erwin and Toon
TOREH AN SH ARMAN/Daily EI Watch a video that goes with this
Michigan men's soccer coach Steve Burns looks on during his team's warmups at the new U-M Soccer Complex. story on MichiganDaily.com
A history lesson for the Wolverines
:shmen follow in mental game is "beingconfident in
that the team trusts (us) and that
unt's footsteps, (we're) here for a reason."
Slowly, as the season has pro-
learning by gressed, they have discovered new
strengths and made developments in
observation their respective areas of weakness.
Erwin, who was predominantly
y EMILY FONTENOT a defensive player during high
For the Daily school, is now learning her natural
talent as a power swinger and just
er hitter Alex Hunt, with how much damage she is capable
lls, has been a steady force of in Michigan's front row.
No. 22 Michigan volleyball Toon, on the other hand, has
with 18 games remaining in been able to gain confidence in
son. Behind her, two fresh- her blocking abilities which have
exi Erwin and Molly Toon, exceeded her own expectations.
merged. She said there is still room for
ay see Hunt, a junior, as a improvement.
outside hitter from the front Even with this confidence,
well as the back row. But another force driving Erwin and
asn't always in the position
up these gaudy statistics.
higan coach Mark Rosenver they
ned this week that he wasn't
sure that Hunt would make become is still
n impact as she has. After
.e didn't seen any playing an unwritten
By STEPHEN NESBITT
Daily Sports Writer
The beginning of fall classes
was still a week away, but when
the Michigan men's soccer team
gathered in its
new locker room NOTEBOOK
before taking the
field for the season debut, the Wol-
verines were given a history lesson.
In preparation for the program's
first game at its new $6-million
masterpiece stadium on Sept. 1,
Michigan coach Steve Burns sat
his team down and played a video
highlighting several major stadi-
ums, the first games played there
and the long-lasting success of the
home team in each of those com-
Included in the presentation
was Michigan's own Big House,
which was christened with a 33-0
victory over Ohio Wesleyan.
At the end, the video froze on a
photograph of the new U-M Soc-
cer Stadium. The message was
clear - it was time for this team to
mark its territory.
"When it showed our stadium
alongside some clips from last year
... that really motivated us to go out
and get that first win in our new
stadium," sophomore midfielder
Hamoody Saad said.
On top of that, Burns decided to
tack on some extra incentive for
the Wolverines (4-2-3) to capital-
ize early in their opener against
The coaching staff announced
that the player who netted the first
goal would get his name and the
ball enshrined in a glass case dis-
played in the soccer complex.
That was motivation enough to
get the offense buzzing from the
onset of the match. No one was
willing to let the opponent score
the illustrious first goal.
Sure enough, it was 28 min-
utes into the game when Ham-
oody's younger brother, freshman
Soony Saad dipped a free kick just
beneath the crossbar, etching him-
self permanently in the Michigan
said. "Everyone wants that ball, but
obviously in the end it was all about
going for the team's victory."
WOLVERINES ON TOP: Several
individuals - headlined by Soony
- have broken onto the national
scene over the last week, joining
the top ranks in the conference
and across the country.
A week after picking up his first
career hat trick, Soony was award-
ed Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of
the Week honors, a spot he shared
with Indiana forward Will Bruin.
Soony was also named to the Top-
DrawerSoccer.com National Team
of the Week.
Through nine games, he's
amassed seven of the team's 12 tal-
lies, currently putting him fourth
in the nation in goals scored.
Soony leads the conference in
shots taken (68), putting the Wol-
verines atop the Big Ten with 229
On the other side of the field,
senior goalkeeper Chris Blais has
made 39 saves, which leads the Big
THE MONTH AHEAD:In August,
the team headed to.northern Mich-
igan for a week of preseason work-
outs. The coaches split the team
into five groups and held compe-
titions to determine one winning
team at the end of the week.
on the final day, Burns took
his athletes to the Sleeping Bear
Dunes and gave them the final,
most difficult task.
"(They ran) from the base park
out to Lake Michigan and back,"
Burns said. "On that run there are
easily 20 big dunes that you have
got to climb. We really wanted to
paint a picture for them that the
dunes really represent the season
- there are a lot of ups and downs
in every season."
After losing a 1-0 match to cur-
rent-No. 19 Ohio State last Satur-
day, Michigan finds itself looking
up a towering dune in the sched-
The month of October will be an
enormous test to the team's endur-
ance and skill.
No. 24 Penn State comes to Ann
Arbor on Sunday, led by junior
Corey Hertzog - the conference's
leader in goals (8) and points (20).
But perhaps the biggest hurdle
will come when the Wolverines
travel to face currently unbeaten
and top-ranked Akron in three
Sophomore goalkeeper David
Meves backstops the Zips, and
after setting a school record with
17 shutouts last year, Meves has yet
to allow a goal in the team's first
six matches this season.
A home game against another
ranked opponent, No. 11 Michigan
State, onOct. 30 closes out the dif-
fiim onth+fir Mirhicr
time during her first 12 games at
But she didn't waste her time on
the bench, observing and analyzing
the way opponents played, particu-
larly their defenses. It aided her in
moving around the block and her
stats almost doubled from a mere
243 kills in 2008 to 465 in 2009.
Erwin and Toon are doing the
same observation Hunt did in her
freshman year, as they rotate in
and out of the other outside hit-
ter position left up for grabs on
the floor. And before one of them
permanently takes the spot, she'll
have to adjust to the differences of
"It's faster," Toon explains.
"You have to think a lot faster than
in high school."
Erwin stressed that the fun-
rl-m+nnl hnc +to nvina n ctrnno,
Toon is the competition every day
in practice. They raise each other's
level of play by constantly taking
on a competitive attitude.
"I think we work as a team,"
Toon said. "We come off the court
and help each other with what we
can get better at."
Whether it's pointing out good
spots to direct a spike or what
blocks the defense is commonly
using, they are becoming more
comfortable on the college court.
"You know I think whatever
they become is still an unwritten
story a little bit," coach Rosen said.
"But we'll see as this year pro-
LOOKING FOR A MASS MEETING?
Funny, we have one tonight.
COME BY 420 MAYNARD ST. AT 7 P.M.
* AND ALL YOUR DREAMS WILL COME TRUE.
Director, Positive Psychology Center
Zellerbach Family Profrssor of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania
* Positive Psychology &
Thursday, October 7,2010,4:00 PM
Rackham Auditorium (ground floor)
Also: Symposium on the Tanner Lecture
Ruut Veenhoven, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
Valerie Tiberius, University of Minnesota
Kennon Sheldon, University of Missouri
Friday, October 8, 2010, 9:00 AM -1:0 PM
Rackham Amphitheatre (fourth floor) Lunch ofollow
All events open to the public without charge (www~sa.umichedu/philosophy)