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September 07, 2011 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-07

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 7A
Balanced attack will open up field for Wolverines

Michigan counting
on more than just
Ezurike on offense
this season
By STEVEN BRAID
Daily Sports Writer
Last year, the Michigan wom-
en's soccer team depended on a
freshman - Nkem Ezurike - to
carry the load offensively.
While Ezurike has continued
to be an offensive force so far
this season for the Wolverines
(4-2 overall), it looks like last
year's top goal scorer will have
more company in that category
this year, as her teammates have
displayed' a more aggressive
mindset on the offensive end this
season.
Michigan's new offensive
attitude could potentially limit
Ezurike's scoring opportunities,
as a multitude of players have
shown an ability to rack up goals.
But Michigan coach Greg
Ryan believes the scoring bal-
ance will not only give Ezurike
more opportunities to score, but
will also open up the field for the
rest of the Wolverines.
"It will probably help them
score more goals, because if you
have balanced scoring it's harder
for (opponents) to focus on one

confidence and now a lot of expe-
rience under their belt," Ryan
said. "Ezurike, obviously, is a
good goal scorer. Clare Stachel
has really stepped up as a player
that has that drive to get a goal.
(Sophomore midfielder) Meghan
Toohey, if she keeps on attack-
ing, I think the goals will come
from her.
"I think that, in a sense,
they're taking more responsibil-
ity to be goal scorers (this year).
Players that score goals want
that pressure. I think this year,
you just see more determination
to go forward and score goals
from this group of players."
When Ryan took over four
years ago, the team was a
defense-orientated squad, scor-
ing around one goal per game.
Now, Michigan is averaging
more than two goals per game.
Michigan's offensive depth
couldn't have been exhibited any
better than in its game against
Duquesne roughly two weeks
ago. Six different players ham-
mered home goals and three
players notched assists en route
to a dominating 6-0 win.
The Wolverines's sudden
boost on offense can be tied back
to the emergence of Stachel.
Entering the season with five
career goals, Stachel looks well
on her way towards surpassing
that total this season alone. Sta-

chel has attacked more aggres-
sively this year and already has
a three-game scoring streak,
which culminated in a game-
winning goal off of a penalty kick
against UC-Riverside.
"Partly, it's the maturing of
some very good freshman that
started for us last year and part
of it is Clare Stachel stepping up
and saying, 'Hey, I'm the experi-
"They're
taking more
responsibility to
be goal scorers."
enced player here and I need to
have the drive to push this team
forward and score goals,' " Ryan
said. "She's doing a great job."
Like Ryan, Ezurike under-
stands that a more balanced
attack could open up more scor-
ing chances for her, so she's wel-
comed the help with open arms.
"I feel like we've been mesh-
ing really well," Ezurike said.
"It's just a great positive for the
team to know that so many play-
ers that we put on the field can
score goals."

Ass C
Michigan sophomore Nkem Ezurike wont hase to carry Michigan's offensive load as much as she did last season.

or two players," Ryan said. "Last
year, it was pretty much Nkem
getting most of our goals and a
few other players chipping in.
"I'm really hoping that some
of the attention will be taken
off of Nkem and that she'll actu-
ally have more opportunities to
score. We're trying to do some
things in our attack to put her in
better positions to score."
Through its first six games,

Michigan has scored 13 goals -
the Wolverines' most explosive
start in six years.
Not only have the Wolverines
improved their offense mark-
edly from last year, but they're
also getting contributions from
a profusion of players. Eight dif-
ferent players have tallied goals,
while 10 have recorded at least
one assist.
Among those setting the pace

offensively for the team are
Ezurike and redshirt junior for-
ward and captain Clare Stachel,
who are tied for a team-best
three goals.
Michigan has received a spark
off the bench from sophomore
Shelby Chambers-Garcia, who
has netted two goals coming off
the bench.
"We've got a very good group
of attacking players with a lot of

Rookie setter is
the new Lexwi
in town for Blue

Michigan releases finalized 2011
Big Ten slate, television coverage

z
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Dan
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Dannemiller game, the biggest adjustments
she has had to make are the high-
replaces Lexi er expectations the coaches hold
for her as well as the increased
immerman as intensity of the practices.
ichigan's setter While it's usually the setters
leading and directing their other
teammates, the role js reversed
NEAL ROTHSCHILD this year with a freshman hold-
Daily Sports Writer ing the position because it's the
other positions helping her out.
e setters named Lexi are "We knew Lexi (Zimmerman)
g new to the Michigan was going to graduate and that
tall team. But for the first we were going to have a fresh-
n five years, it's not Lexi man setter," redshirt junior right
erman dishing out the side Claire McElheny said. "And
(junior setter) Catherine Yager
t Chester, Ohio product is coming back so it's good to
Dannemiller is quickly have some experience so Lexi
ng herself as the Wolver- Dannemiller has someone to
next floor leader, putting show her the ropes.
ble-doubles and 40-assist "She's a very fast player so it's
to help the Wolverines only taken a couple of weeks, but
rut to a 6-0 start. she's learning as she goes and
e's very skilled and she's there are a lot of veteran hitters
thletic," Michigan coach that are trying to make her job as
Rosen said. "But the pace easy as possible."
uch faster and is so much This has included everything
omplex than what it is at from taking Dannemiller to the
gh school or club level, so grocery store, walking her to
guring that out." her classes, answering all of her
ugh it's taking some time questions and providing support
e freshman Dannemiller on the court.
ust to the pace of college As for the comparisons to
hasn't stopped her from Zimmerman? Lexi Dannemiller
doesn't see it.
"We're two different people,"
she said. "But being a freshman
(am) excited, in this spot, there's a lot of pres-
sure. But I think I'm handling
ut ... I know it OK. I expected it to be worse,
but everyone has been really sup-
t I'm still not portive and it hasn't been that
bad of a transition."
it my peak. As Michigan starts to end its
early season road trips and gears
up for more substantial compe-
tition, her responsibilities will
ming well in the first two grow along with the expecta-
of competition. In her first tions.
ate match, she served up But if her coach's words are
sts en route to a straight- any indication, those obstacles
in over Marshall. And won't prove to be too big for her.
hen, things have only got- "She's getting a lot better
ter. defensively," Rosen said. "She's
weekend in the Utah catching up to the speed of the
Invitational, Dannemi- game. She's got a lot better in
corded at least 40 assists transition. We're still verynewto
of the matches and tallied her so we're still learning about
er-high 51 in Saturday's her and her development, but she
over Santa Clara. A day picks up things very quickly and
she notched the first dou- processes information rapidly."
uble of her career with 40 In the first few weeks of play,
and 10 digs. The result of Rosen has used simple offensive
-formance? Big Ten Fresh- sets that have helped Dannemi-
the Week honors. ller transition into college volley-
vas excited," Dannemiller ball. However, as he continues to
f the honor. "But at the add wrinkles to the offense, she
ime I know that that's not will have to adjust.
o be my peak. I still have But if she handles these chal-
better and I still have to lenges like she's dealt with the
is team better." others so far this year, Michigan
nemiller said that aside could be looking at its setter -
he heightened speed of the and Lexi - of the future.

re

4' will kick off
eason against
ayne State in
novated arena
By BEN ESTES
Daily Sports Editor

all Big Ten games not televised
by the larger national outlets to
be shown on
the Big Ten First seen on
Network. -the game
Michigan
coach John Beilein and his team
will tip off the season with an
exhibition against Wayne State
at the newly renovated Crisler
Arena on Nov, 4.
The arena added a new high-
definition scoreboard, new seat-
ing and a player-development
center.
The $52 million project is slat-
ed to finish by winter of 2014. The
first phase of renovations began
as early as winter of 2010 and the
focus was on improvements to

the building's infrastructure.
The Wolverines begin with
the season opener coming a week
later against Ferris State. The
Wolverines play away from home
relatively often in the nonconfer-
ence season. -
After a surprise run to the
round of 32 in the 2011 NCAA
Tournament, Michigan will
headline the Maui Invitational
in Hawaii, alongside Mem-
phis, Kansas, Duke, Tennessee,
Georgetown, UCLA, Belmont,
Chaminade and others.
The tournament runs from
Nov. 21-23, while Michigan plays
at Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten
Challenge on Nov. 29 and takes on
Oakland at the Palace of Auburn

Hills on Dec. 10.
Big Ten season begins for the
Wolverines on Dec. 29 against
Penn State, and they'll also play
on New Years' Day against Min-
nesota.
Both games are at home. Other
highlights of the conference
portion of the schedule include
CBS-televised games against
Wisconsin on Jan. 8 and at Michi-
gan State on Feb. 5 and a tilt
against Ohio State on Feb. 18 that
features a visit from ESPN's Col-
lege Gameday. Michigan will take
a break from conference play and
travel to Arkansas on Jan. 21.
Senior day for the Wolverines
will be either Feb. 25 or 26 against
Purdue.

With the Big Ten's release of
the Big Ten Network-televised
conference games on Wednes-
day, the Michigan men's basket-
ball team finally has its full slate
of games - both conference and
non-conference - finalized.
The Wolverines will play on
ESPN/CBS 11 times in 2011-12 -
six more than last season - with
JOIN SPORTS!
Meetings at 1 PM
every Sunday
NO ON a aA A DERO
"Rocky and His Friends"
Saturdays l 11a & 5p
"The Bullwinkle Show"
Saturdays at 11:30a & 5:30p

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Contact U-M Peace Corps Representatives:
Scott Burgess and Mackenzie Knowling
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updates at www.peacecorps.gov/info
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- Grad school programs for credit/financial assistance
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