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April 02, 2012 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-04-02

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4B -April 2, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

T 'M' places 10th at LSU

Senior defenseman Rob Healy and the Wolverines made a second-half comeback but couldn't topple Harvard.
Crimson edges Blue

Daily Sports Writer
It was a tale of two teams in the
Michigan men's lacrosse team's
loss to Harvard on Saturday in
Cambridge. Mass. The Wolver-
ines (1-9) had a balanced attack,
but the
Crimson MICHIGAN 7
(5-4) rode HARVARD 11
Jeff Cohen's seven goals to an
11-7 victory.
Michigan's loss was due in
large part to its inability to
respond to the 5-1 deficit it found
itself in at the end of the first
quarter and its failure to stop
Cohen. Cohen matched the total
offensive production of the Wol-
verines with seven goals, leading
a scoring run in the first quarter,
and producing his own three-
goal run in the third.
The seven-goal performance
by Cohen was something that the
Wolverines had yet to see before
this season, but they know they
will have to learn how to stop
other players with his talent in
the future.
"We are going to come up
against plenty of opponents of
(Cohen's) caliber," said Michigan
coach John Paul. "The differ-
ence between a great player like
(Cohen), and the other players
on any team is that when he does
get opportunities, he is probably
going to finish."
The Wolverines, on the other
hand, didn't rely on one main
scorer, instead spreading out
their scoring among freshman
attackman David McCormack,
senior attackman Trevor Yealy
and junior attackman Thomas
Paras, who each had two goals.
Sophomore midfielder Doug
Bryant tallied another goal and
freshman attackman Will Meter
contributed three assists for the

Yet the
next fiv
their op
to justt
The Wt
after ha
from B
goals a
10-4 lat
each fin
and fou
was una
ning the
had on
than th
fall forI
that thk
allow th
tated by
now to
Paul sa

ines as well. defensive style that is trying to
rday started off well for limit total opportunity for the
an when McCormack other team. We are choosing to
the first goal of the game. play a team-style defense right
drought that followed, in now. They only had four other
the Crimson netted the goals so I feel like ... that was one
e goals, revealed the Wol- of our better defensive perfor-
struggles with answering mances of the year."
ponents' scoring. Even though Cohen matched
r falling behind in the first the number of goals Michigan
, Michigan held Harvard scored, the team doesn't believe
two goals in the second. it was beaten by one player's per-
olverines came out strong formance. Instead, it blames its
tlftime, scoring two goals own play in the first quarter for
Bryant and Paras. But its inability to close the gap late.
tallied three consecutive "It's very tough to come back
s the lead ballooned to from being down early," McCor-
e in the third quarter. mack said. "We haven't had that
igan kept fighting, with opportunity much this season
because we usually start out
pretty fast. In the games, when
we have been beaten pretty bad
W eiss) is an in the first quarter, we haven't
been able to come back."
ortant piece A bright spot for the Wolver-
ines was the return of fresh-
our overall man goalie Emil Weiss, who
missed the previous game
M s success." against Mount St. Mary's with
an injured hand. With 13 saves,
Weiss was only two short of his
season high.
mack, Paras and Yealy "He is a big part of our team,"
ding the net in the third Paul said. "Just like any sport
rth quarters, but the team where the team relies upon
able to close the gap any the goalie being the last line of
defense, he is an important piece
Wolverines ended up win- of our overall team's success."
e faceoff battle, 12-10, and The Wolverines hope to get
ly four more turnovers past some of their inexperience
e Crimson. But Cohen's and disappointment from this
performance, and the game before they cross sticks
y to play good defense against their next opponent,
ntly, spelled the down- Delaware, who is known for its
Michigan. unconventional style of play.
ite Cohen's high-scoring "They are a very dangerous
nance, Paul is adamant team," Paul said. "They play
re Wolverines will not with a little bit more loose, kind
heir style of play to be dic- of unstructured style. Because
a single opposing player. of that they may give us some
aren't playing a style right opportunities, and they will have
take away one player," some opportunities that we are
id. "We are playing a going to be challenged to stop."

For the Daily
Chris Whitten's job has not
been easy this year.
The Michigan men's golf coach
lost Lion Kim - the Wolverines'
top scorer of the 2010-11 season,
and a Masters participant, to
boot - and fellow senior Alex-
ander Sitompul to graduation,
while Joey Garber - last season's
freshman standout who started
every tournament last year and
was third on the team in scoring
average - transferred to the Uni-
versity of Georgia.
Whitten's had to face all of
this, while also learning the
ropes asa first-year head coach.
Andrew Sapp, Michigan's for-
mer coach, left after last season
to coach the University of North
Carolina men's team.
In the face of adversity, Whit-
ten has looked to his lone senior,
Matt Thompson, for leadership
on and off the course.
"Having Matt on the team
really makes things a lot easier,
because he's such a leader on the
course and with the guys," Whit-
ten said. "They can all see what
he does at home and (they can)
see why he plays so well."
Two weeks ago, Thompson
contributed a stellar 10-under
performance for Michigan at the
Furman Intercollegiate, finishing
in second place for the 54-hole
event - his third top-two finish
of the year. He led the Wolverines
to a 16th-place finish overall.
But this week, Thompson fin-
ished at six-over-par and 20th
individually at the LSU Intercol-
legiate in Baton Rouge, La.
"(On Saturday), I was fighting
all day to put everything togeth-
er," Thompson said. "Every time
I thought I was climbing back
into it, I would make another
bogey. I just couldn't really get
into a rhythm."
Thompson fared better on
Sunday, shooting an even-par
72, even after bogeying his final
three holes.
"(Matt) maybe tried to force it
a little bit," Whitten said. "(How-
ever), he's such a good player that
he can make those decisions.
He had a green light and it just
didn't work out this time, but that
doesn't really reflect where his
game is at. ... We don't (focus on)
results, we talk more about the
process,just getting prepared."
After a steady first half of the
year for the Wolverines - a peri-
od where Thompson finished in


Senior Matt Thompson placed in the top 20 individually in Baton Rouge, La.

the top-10 three times, including
a victory at the Windon Memo-
rial Classic in mid-October -
the spring season has seen them
precipitously drop out of NCAA
contention. If Michigan wants
to extend its four-year NCAA
Regional streak, it'll have to win
the Big Ten Championships in
French Lick, Ind. in four weeks
to receive the automatic bid.
The Wolverines will have to
play better than they did in Loui-
siana this weekend, where the
team finished in a tie for tenth
with a three-round total of 907
"I'd say, overall, our perfor-
mance (this weekend) was well
below expectations," Whitten
said. "We're learning new things
every week, but we've still got a
lot of things to get better at."
Whitten is still optimistic that
his players will have an opportu-
nity to play at their home course
in May.
"I don't think there's any rea-
son that we can't go into (Big
Tens) with high expectations,"
Whitten said. "We're hoping to
do something special."
If optimism isn't enough,
Whitten should find solace that
Sapp, who also struggled in his
inaugural season as head coach
at Michigan, found success at
the year-end conference tourna-
During the 2002-03 regular
season, Sapp's first, the Wol-

Freshmen contril
Michigan's B ig Te-
Wolverines top winning the last singles point,
6-4,7-6 (5).
Purdue, Indiana in For the fourth time this sea-
son and the second time in three
weekend conference matches, the Wolverines also
won all three doubles matches on
gameplay Saturday. Sunday was a wake-up
call for the team. The Wolver-
By MARYAM SQUILLACE ines narrowly won, 4-3, but again
Daily Sports Writer the freshmen showed their skill
and made sure the team stayed
Teams with younger players undefeated. Dodge came through
are normally looked at as weak, when it was needed most - she
an opportunity for a more expe- lost the first set 0-6, then came
rienced team to get an easy win. back to win the following two
Out of the seven players on the sets, 6-4, 6-3, to earn the much-
Michigan women's tennis team, needed last point, giving Michi-
four are freshmen, yet being gan the 4-3 win over the Hoosiers.
"weak" doesn't come remotely "Kristy clinched it," said Mich-
close to defining them. igan coach Ronni Bernstein. "She
"Our class is very strong, and just hung in there, she did well,
we are very competitive," said and she competed every point
freshman Kristen Dodge. "I because the girl was really con-
think we have a really good four- trolling her early. (Dodge) just
some of us. It's difficult having a started putting out more balls
young team, but I think we have in play and hung around and got
all stepped up in leadership roles, it into a third set. Without that
doing a pretty good job in that match, obviously the outcome
aspect of things." would have been alot different."
With the help of its freshmen, Lee also played well against the
No. 14 Michigan (5-0 Big Ten, Hoosiers on Sunday, getting the
12-5 overall) defeated Purdue early point and beating her oppo-
on Saturday, 5-2. The two rook- nent, 7-5, 6-2.
ies in singles positions won their "Knowing that half the team
matches. No. 1 singles freshman was going to be freshmen, coming
Emina Bektas had the first win- in to the year I knew I had to step
ning singles point, prevailing, 6-3, it up," Lee said. "Today was a real-
6-3, and No. 3 singles freshman ly good example of that because I
Sarah Lee won a difficult match, wasn't doing too great. But I had

verines didn't place better than
ninth in any tournament. But at
the Big Ten Championships in
Bloomington, where they were
seeded last, they finished in
eighth. In the second round, they
tallied their best team total (285)
for a single round all season.
By 2008, Sapp had led Michi-
gan to its first NCAA Regional in
eight years. In 2009 - Thomp-
son's freshman season - the team
made it to the Final Four, los-
ing to eventual champion Texas
A&M in the semifinals. Thomp-*0
son's sophomore and junior sea-
sons saw similar results. The
Wolverines made it to the NCAA
Regional each year, winning the
Central Regional last season.
"It's been difficult, especially
after my first three years - where
we've been and where we came
from," Thompson said. "Nobody
likes to lose."
With roster attrition and a
first-year coach, sustaining its
past success on the course has
proven to be easier said than
done for the Michigan men's
team. But Thompson is confi-
dent in the coaching staff moving
forward, even if the Wolverines
fail to reach their fifth-straight
NCAA Regional.
"I think we've laid some pretty
good groundwork here," Whitten
said. "I think everything we're
doingnow puts us into position to
have a lot of sustainable success
going forward."
)ute to
n streak
to figure it out, stay out there as
long as possible and do it for my
teammates. Stay out as long as I
could for my teammates, because
that is all I could really do. I ended
up figuring itout, playingwell and
It's a little surprising that a
squad dominated by freshmen
has performed so well - the Wol-
verines are the highest-ranked
Big Ten team. But this road trip
served as a reminder that these
still are first-year players.
"This weekend was our first
bus ride down, and that was a new
experience for me, being a fresh-
man," Dodge said. "It's always
nice to win at home, but it's nice to
win at matches that are away. It's
a good feeling."
These freshmen have already
proven themselves forces to be
reckoned with, and they seem to
promise even better things once
they mature as players. But for
now, Bernstein is focusing her
team on next weekend against
Illinois and Northwestern at
home, which could make or break
Michigan's current record.
"Walking out with two wins
was what our goal was, but defi-
nitely a wake up call," Bernstein
said. "We were fortunate to get
through today for sure, which I
guess is a goodsign that we fought
through it, but we have got to get
a lot better before next weekend."



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