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November 15, 2010 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-15

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The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I November 15, 2010

CH-AMPIONS
First-ever
conference
title for 'M'
men's soccer
By JOHN EPPLER
For the Daily
STATE COLLEGE - The Michigan men's soccer
team won the Big Ten Tournament for the first time
in the program's 11-year histo-
ry yesterday, defeating Penn MICHIGAN 4
State by a record-settingscore PENN STATE 1
of 4-1 on the Nitanny Lions'
home field.
The win ensures a berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan came out willing to settle for nothing
less than a convincing win. In the early minutes, the
Wolverines (14-4-3) won every 50-50-ball. The hustle
quickly paid off in the fourth minute of play when Nit-
tany Lion goalkeeper Brendan Birmingham misplayed
a long ball. Freshman forward Soony Saad - the
nations leading scorer - was there to put the ball in
the back of the net.
After missing part of the quarterfinal match and the
semifinal match due to a red card, senior forward Jus-
tin Meram netted two first-half goals, both of which
were created by long individual dribbles. The Penn
State defense simply had no response to his speed.
"Being rested was actually very good for me since
my knee was hurt," Meram said after the game. "I
knew I had to come out for the team."
But the action was far from over once Michigan
took a commanding three-goal lead.
Penn State (13-7-1) sent more men forward, but
Michigan continued attacking, as both teams refused
to back down.
"We have learned that we are the kind of team that
needs to keep moving forward," Michigan coach Steve
Burns said. "If we stop pressuring, we kind of lose our
mojo."
Michigan goalkeeper Chris Blais and the Wolverine
defense kept the ball out of net for several long Penn
State attacks, but eventually senior Drew Cost put a
goal on the board for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State began the second half with a surge, but
Michigan grabbed the momentum again when Meram
See BIG TEN CHAMPS, Page 2B

BRYAN WADE/Daily Colh
The Wolverines celebrate after their first-ever Big Ten tit,

Fortunate bounces help 'M'
earn home split against Iris

By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily SportsEditor
Yost Ice Arena isn't known as a quiet
place. But for a few seconds in the Mich-
igan hockey
team's bout NOTRE DAME 3
with No. 11 MICHIGAN 1
Notre DameN
on Saturday, MICHIGAN 5
the capacity
crowd stayed
hushed. Most were looking for the puck.
Others just didn't want to give its loca-
tion away.
Midway through the second period
of the Wolverines' 5-3 win Saturday,
the puck disappeared like it was in a
magician's act from most of the 6,887 in
attendance, including most of the play-
ers on the ice midway through the sec-

ond period.
As Michigan tried to rebound from
Friday's 3-1 loss, freshman defenseman
Jon Merrill ripped a slap shot from the
point that seemed to get lost in fresh-
man forward Luke Moffatt's equipment
in front. Eyes turned on Moffatt while
he hacked at his feet, but the puck had
actually deflected off of Moffatt and
into the air, landing between the boards
and faceoff circle.
Senior defenseman Chad Langlais,,
one of the few players if not the only one
on the ice to know where the puck was,
calmly skated down from the point and
deposited it in the net as Notre Dame
goaltender Mike Johnson continued to
focus on Moffatt.
"(Sophomore Chris Brown) tipped it
- Jon Merrill's shot - and it hit me in
the pant," Moffatt said after the game.

"Everyone was kind of looking at me,
so I thought it was in my pant and it
shot out to Langlais coming downs the
boards."
The goal was the latest example of
a phenomenon Michigan coach Red
Berenson has coined "puck luck." Basi-
cally, when Berenson's teams are work-
ing hard and getting shots, they get the
bounces. But continuing the trend of the
past four weekends, the puck luck only
showed up in the second game of the
series.
Friday night, Langlais beat Johnson
five-hole, only to have the puck roll past
the far post, Saturday night, the final
three Michigan goals came off deflec-
tions: the Langlais goal, one off a Notre
Dame player and senior forward Carl
Hagelin's shin pad, and the final one off
See SPLIT, Page 3B

Freshman forward Luke Moffatt greets fans after Michigan's 5--

win over Notre Dame at Yost Arena on Satarday.

ONE AND DONE
M After one of its best bounce-back seasons
in program history, the Wolverines couldn't
get out of the tourney's first round, where
they loss to Old Dominion. Page 3B
4 1A

NOT SO'OK'STATE
0 The women's soccer team opened their
NCAA slate at host Oklahoma State's own ter-
rain. The offense couldn't get going in the first-
round loss. Page 3B

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