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November 01, 2012 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-01

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6A - Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

6A - Thursday, November 1, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Hein, Ezurike lead Michigan to victory

Michigan advances
to face Ohio State
in semifinal match
in Indiana
Daily Sports Writer
When the Michigan women's
soccer team faced then-No. 14
Wisconsin on Sep. 23, it rode a
dominating defensive effort to
pull off the upset. Wednesday
night, that same formula worked
again as the
Wolverines WISCONSIN o
(8-2-2 Big MICHIGAN 2
Ten, 14-4-
2 overall) defeated the Badgers,
2-0, in the Big Ten Tournament
quarterfinals in Bloomington.
The Michigan defense -
which has struggled of late
- shut out Wisconsin (5-6-1,
12-7-1) for its 12th clean sheet
of the season. Senior goalkeep-
er Haley Kopmeyer made four
saves for a program-record 26th
individual shutout of her career.
On the day that she also earned
Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year
Kopmeyer said it was becom-
ing routine to blank opponents.
'It's nice to see us getting
back into the swing of things
and playing the way we should,"
Kopmeyer said.
Neither goalkeeper was very
active in the first half, as each
team managed only one shot
on goal. The best early scoring
chance for either side came in
the 14th minute, when Wiscon-
sin goalkeeper Lauren Gunder-
son misplayed a free kick. Junior
forward Nkem Ezurike corralled
the ball, but her short-range shot
sailed just wide of the goalpost.
The Badgers and Wolverines
remained deadlocked into the
second half.
Both sides produced more
offensive opportunities after
halftime. In the 52nd minute,
McKenna Meuer ended a well-
executed Wisconsin counterat-
tack with a shot that missed the
crossbar by inches. The Wolver-
ines then peppered the Badgers
with three corner kicks and five
shots in under two minutes, but
hit the post twice.
In the 56th minute, red-

shirt junior defender Holly
Hem broke thescoreless draw
for good. After the Wolverines
earned their third consecutive
corner kick, Hein pushed for-
ward to provide an extra offen-
sive body. Junior forward Shelby
Chambers-Garcia took the set
piece, and Hein stood near the
far post while her teammates
all broke towards the opposite
side of the net. The Wisconsin
defenders lost their marks, and
Hein was unguarded as she
launched a header on goal. The
shot hit a defender but bounced
right back to Hein, who quickly
buried the rebound for her sec-
ond goal of the season.
"It's a good feeling," Hein
said. "(Chambers-Garcia) put
in the perfect ball to the back
Down a tally and facing tour-
nament elimination, the Badgers
began sending more players for-
ward. When they did, Ezurike
and the Michigan offense took
advantage of the extra space. In
the 75th minute. uinior midfield-

er Meghan Toohey lofted a long
through bali past the Wisconsin
defense. Ezurike settled the pass
and tapped it past Gunderson-to
double the Wolverines' lead.
It was her 12th goal of the
season in as many conference
The Badgers nearly answered
in the 82nd minute when Wis-
consin midfielder Monica Lam-
Feist dribbled into the 18-yard
box, but her powerful shot was
kept out of the net by a diving
Neither side threatened
again, and the Wolverines held
on forthe victory.
"We pressured them better
throughout the entire game,"
said Michigan coach Greg Ryan.
"We went into halftime know-
ing that ... we were going to
get enough chances to win the
Michigan advances to the
semifinals where it will face
Ohio State on Friday afternoon.
The Buckeyes defeated Nebras-
ka. 1-0, on Wednesdav.

Beams and
walk-ons to
Daily Sports Writer
Two then-freshmen runners
sat next to each other on the bus
back to North Campus - legs
sore and exhausted. Neither was
recruited by the Michigan cross
country team, but both found
their way onto the team as walk-
ons and were feeling the strug-
gles that come with collegiate
running. Both had success at
small high schools in Michigan,
but not enough to draw interest
from Michigan.
Three years later,juniors Mark
Beams and Morsi Rayyan are still
side by side and have become the
driving force of the Michigan
cross country team.
In 2010, with Michigan tempo-
rarily without.a head cross coun-
try coach, Beams walked into the
track coach's office during sum-
mer orientation to talk about the
possibility of running in college.
Based on his high school perfor-
mances, Beams got a spot on the
roster. Rayyan had a similar story,
but he just waited until closer to
the season after Michigan had
decided on a coach.
"I talked to the new coach,
which was Alex Gibby, and I
guess he just decided to give me
a shot and bring me to camp,"
Rayyan said. "I got here not
knowing what I was doing as far
as running. It was a whole new
world with a much higher level of
Now that they had gotten a
chance to be on the team, it was
up to them to prove that they
belonged there. They put in the
work during practice every day to
keep up with the rest of the team
and overcome the looming pres-
sure of getting cut.
"My freshman year, I was defi-
nitely not one of the most gifted
guys on the team," Beams said. "It
was a struggle every day."
But every day it was Beams
and Rayyan making the trip back
to their dorm rooms on North
Campus when practice ended.
They stuck together because they
had similar stories. They became
closer because of their isolation
from the rest of the recruited
teammates in South Quad Resi-
dence Hall and West Quad Resi-
dence Hall.
This helped them improve as
runners and in their first year
they each had a breakout perfor-
mance. For Rayyan, it was a 'B'
team race in Wisconsin halfway
through the season.
"He was the only guy out of
the 12 I brought there that was
remotely competitive," said
Michigan coach Alex Gibby. "He
didn't do things perfectly, but you
could tell he had no fear and he
just went out and did his best."
Beams had to wait a little lon-
ger for things to click, but they
did near the end of his freshman
year, when he ran a 10,000-meter

race unattached at Hillsdale Col-
Running unattached meant
that he was not representing
Michigan even though he was in
a collegiate race - he was run-
ning as an independent athlete.
He finished as one of the top-20
freshmen in the race.
"That really had an impact on
me, and I thought at that point
that maybe I could be a helpful
and productive collegiate runner
and help bring Michigan back to
where it should be in running,"
Beams said.
Their successes came with
help from the newly hired Gibby
who was looking to get Michi-
gan's running program back on
track. Over the past three years,
he has done just that.
At this year's Big Ten Champi-
onships last weekend, Beams and
Rayyan were side by side once
again, except this time it was on
stage as they received All-Big Ten
honors - Beams finished 14th,
while Rayyan finished 13th with
only two seconds separating the
"Now we are co-captains with
three other runners," Beams said.
"It's kind of cool that we started
in a similar place and followed a
similar path and landed on the
Big Ten stand together."


(Top) Junior forward Nkem Ezurike capped the scoring by poking a shot past Wisconsin goalie Lauren Gunderson late in the second half. (Bottom) Redshirt
junior defender Holly Hein scored early in the second half to give Michigan a 0- lead early in the second half of its victory in the Big Ten Tournament.
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