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November 19, 2012 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-19

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2B - November 19, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Afina, fondfarewellfor 'Team 133' seniors

The final chapter is always
the hardest to put down.
The Michigan football
team's 18 seniors bade farewell'to
Michigan Stadium for the final
time with a 42-17 victory over
Iowa on Saturday. They each
exited differently, each lingered
longer than the man before.
Craig Roh
walked side--
by-side across
the field with
Will Camp-
bell, burning
a hole in the ,
turf with his
blank down-
ward stare. STEPHEN J.
He looked up, NESBITT
gazed up at
the rows and
rows of emptying bleachers.
Jordan Kovacs took his time,
slowly blazing a path to the tun-
nel. When he got there, he spread
his arms wide to greet fans on
both sides of the entrance with a
high-five.
"It was bittersweet," Kovacs
said. "Obviously, it was a big win
for us. That was exciting. For
it to be the last time in The Big
House, I'm not ready for it to
end. It's been quite the journey,
and I'm ready to ride it out."
But before they stepped off
the field, they each looked back.
They looked to see the iconic
block 'M' at midfield once more.
They looked to admire the his-
toric stadium in which 112,000
watched them win 14 games
and lose none in the past two
seasons. They looked to see who
came after.
Kenny Demens came after,
followed by Steve Wilson, J.T.
Floyd and Roy Roundtree, each
leaving a legacy behind him
as he stepped off the turf and
started up the tunnel.
Finally there was only one

locker room.
Brown is still a familiar name,
but he comes from a different
time, a darker time.
Brown spent four seasons at
Michigan, enduring the rapid
down-trend when Rich Rodri-
guez took the reins from Lloyd
Carr as head coach. He was here
when Roh was a true freshman
trying to get his feet under him
asa starter. He was here when
Kovacs was just joining the team
as a student-body walk-on. He
was here when Robinson was
just a blip on the radar, a backup
quarterback to Tate Forcier.
There are no do-overs in col-
lege football, no second chances
at finishing things right. Brown's
senior day was a 21-10 loss to
Ohio State, a merciful end to a
five-game losing streak to close
his career. That's not the way he
ever dreamt it would end.
There's a reason Hoke says
this is the seniors' team and
charges them to lead. They don't
get a second chance, and they'll
fight harder than those who
higan fans. have a next year. They are guar-
anteed nothing. Nothing other
ped on shoulder than the assurance that this is it,
since they were S this is the end.
do it again after And, in the end, they enjoyed
cl game. And they a proper send-off at Michigan
another stadium Stadium and kept the goal of
a Big Ten title within reach, if
only for another week.
*** Someday, they'll return like
Brown did on Saturday. But they
to greet the won't be remembered as fixtures
hey entered the from a darker time. They'll be
w York Giants remembered for hoisting Michi-
rown. He was one gan back in its right standing
channel, who among the nation's elite.
eam alive. They'll return with their
ile and hug for heads high to revisit that final
hey darted by, chapter, the one they'll never put
ubled back to down.

0

Senior quarterback Denard Robinson finished his career at Michigan Stadium with the same flashes of brilliance that have endeared hirrto Mic

left. It was the man who filled
the stadium when Michigan
couldn't field a team worth
watching. The one who tran-
scends the quarterback position,
the alpha position in college
athletics, and does it all with a
smile. The one whose swan song
ended with an ESPN interview
at center stage of the largest
stage in the country.
Denard Robinson closed his
final chapter at Michigan Sta-
dium just the way he should.
The flicker in his eyes re-lit,
Robinson trotted past throngs
of adoring fans and disappeared
into the darkness of the tunnel
for the final time.

They didn't all make the same
impact.
Jack Kennedy only took snaps
when stadiums had been half-
emptied and TVs were shut off.
But everyone was watching as
Kennedy, not Robinson or Devin
Gardner, led the offense to lead
Michigan onto the field for the
last snap.
Kennedy took the snap,
hesitated and dipped his right
knee to the turf. As the last
seconds started to tick off the
clock, Kennedy spun to the man
behind him in the victory forma-
tion, grinned and embraced him.
It was Joe Reynolds, a redshirt
junior receiver, and the two
know each other better off the

field than they do on it. Kennedy
used his last season to follow
another passion and kickstart a
band with Reynolds they later
dubbed 'JDK and Rey.'
Senior day is a bittersweet
occasion. You realize that they
don't all have futures in football.
Hardly any of them do. In pro-
fessional football, there's always
next year. On senior day, there
rarely is a next year.
College graduation is billed
as "commencement" - a new
beginning. Senior day is any-
thing but. For a lot of these guys,
they don't flip the channel and
play on Sundays. This is it.
With the exception of a few
players, the members of Michi-
gan's 'Team 133' senior class

who have strap
pads and cleats
years old won't
Michigan's boe
will never have
to call home.
The last man
seniors before t
tunnel was Nev
safety Stevie Br
who did flip the
did keep the dr
He had a smi
each senior as t
stopped and do
greet him. "Ste
vie" fans chant
followed Robin

6

vie, Stevie, Ste-
ed as Brown
son toward the

- Nesbitt can be reached
at stnesbit@umich.edu.

Wolverines left looking for answers
after being swept by Fighting Irish

Michigan falls to No. 1
Akron in 2nd round

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan hockey team
didn't want to believe that
things could any worse this
weekend.
After all, they had already
lost 3-1
to No. NOTRE DAME 3
7 Notre MICHIGAN 1
Dame on -- --
Friday, NOTRE DAME 4
when MICHIGAN 1
the 12th-
ranked Wolverines collapsed
under themselves.
Though visibly distressed
over the loss, at least there was
some hope for Michigan that
things could turn around the
next night.
But hope doesn't always
translate into results, and the
Wolverines fumbled their way
to a 4-1 loss, the first time they'd
been swept at Yost Ice Arena
this season.
"I think our team came out
(tonight) with renewed ener-
gy," said Michigan coach Red
Berenson. "They felt bad about
last night's game and they
wanted to make up for it, and
they.couldn't do it.
"We just couldn't get the
offense going and it was a
defensive battle."
The first period had the mak-
ing of a picture-perfect stanza,
with crisp passes and consid-
erate puck handling in both
zones - a far cry from the slop-
piness that tore Michigan (2-5-1
CCHA, 4-6-1 overall) apart the
night before.
Considering Michigan's
man advantage was abysmal
on Friday, it wasn't necessarily
comforting to them when they
took the first-power play of the
night. The Wolverines' power
play unit stayed solid through-
out the first frame - even if it
wasn't scoring goals, at least it
wasn't giving them up.
But it was the other special-
teams unit that faltered first,
when Notre Dame (5-1, 8-3)
scored a power-play goal with
a snipe from the point midway
through the frame.
The remainder of the period

Freshman goaltender Steve Racine hasn't been helped by the Michigan defense, which made a pair of crical mistakes.

By JEREMY SUMMITT
Daily Sports Writer
AKRON, Ohio - No match
against Akron, the perennial
NCAA men's soccer power, is
ever the most pleasant experi-
ence. But the Michigan men's
soccer team
may have AKRON 2
caught MICHIGAN 1
the Zips
at the worst possible time - in
the midst of a 14-game winning
streak.
Top-ranked Akron added
another tally to its tremendous
streak on Sunday night, edging
out the Wolverines, 2-1, in the
second round of the NCAA tour-
nament. The Zips haven't lost
a match since Sept. 9, and they
have outscored their opponents
by a staggering 36-2 margin dur-
ingthat span.
Redshirt sophomore goal-
keeper Adam Grinwis may have
played the best match of his
career for the Wolverines, but
Akron proved too much for the
improved Michigan defense. The
Zips (7-0 MAC, 18-1-2 overall)
controlled most of the possession
throughout the match, leading
to numerous plays that showed
off their crafty footwork and ball
skills.
"We did some the best stuff
early on in the second half that
I've ever seen out of any Akron
team I've had," said Akron
coach Caleb Porter. "Some of
the sequences and combinations
were fantastic."
Grinwis kept Michigan (5-3-
1 Big Ten, 11-10-1) in the game
after making a string of crucial
saves in the last 10 minutes of
the initial frame, each coming
from point-blank range inside
the 18-yard box. But even Grin-
wis's extraordinary performance
wasn't enough to keep the Zips
scoreless heading into halftime.
In the 43rd minute, it was mid-
fielder Eric Stevenson who struck
a laser to the top right corner giv-
ing Akron a 1-0 advantage just
before the break.
In the secondhalf,Grinwiswas
even more impressive, making
six out of his nine saves against
the Zips' relentless attack.

"Adam made some superb
saves in the second half that defi-
nitely kept us in the game," said
Michigan coach Chaka Daley. "I
think both keepers were excel-
lent tonight."
But the Wolverines' defense
faltered again in the 59th minute
when Akron forward Thomas
Schmitt chipped a loose ball over
Grinwis to give his team a 2-0
lead. To make matters worse for
Michigan, three minutes later,
freshman forward Colin McAtee
was shown a red card for stomp-
ing on an Akron defender follow-
ing a hard tackle.
On top of a two-goal deficit,
the Wolverines were down to ten
men on the field for the second
time this season against Akron.
But a minute later, off the ensu-
ing free kick, freshman forward
James Murphy revitalized the
Michigan squad after striking a
rocket into the left side of the net
to cut the Zips' lead to one.
"It was a little ironic," Daley
said regardingthe quick goal fol-
lowing the red card.
Perhaps it was a bit strange,
but more importantly for the I
Wolverines, Murphy's strike
meant they still had a chance.
After McAtee's red card,
the Wolverines showed more
urgency than it had in the first
sixty minutes of the match.
Daley switched formations to
push more attackers toward
the Akron goal, but goalkeeper
David Meves sealed the deal
for the Zips, as he made a leap-
ing save from junior midfielder
Fabio Pereira's shot with just
four minutes left.
"It looked good off of
(Pereira's) foot," Daley said. "It
looked like it was going in the
top pocket, but (Meves) got his
hand to it and he made a great
save."
The Wolverines' season may
be over, but Daley said that this
season, his first at Michigan, has
been a great experience for him-
self and the team.
"As a new coach, and to get
buy-in from your team, I think
our guys have grown a lot (dur-
ing the season)," Daley said.
"There will be better days for
Michigan soccer for sure."

see-sawed with back-and-forth
penalties, but neither team con-
verted. Michigan had just four
shots on goal, with no real qual-
ity looks.
Freshman defenseman Jacob
Trouba was the one who finally
lit up the sluggish offense that
was still lethargic throughout
the second stanza. With seven
minutes left, the defenseman
found a loose puck at the top of
the circle and rocketed it past
Fighting Irish goalie Steven
Summerhays's glove to knot the
game at one.
If Michigan was asleep
before, Trouba lightingthe lamp
certainly woke the team up. The
Wolverines kept possession of
the puck and had more better
looks in the last five minutes of
that period than they did in the
previous night and first frame
of Saturday combined - sopho-
more forward Phil Di Giuseppe
fired a breakaway backhand
that bounced off both posts and
Summerhays but never crossed
the line.
It was almost unfortunate for

Michigan, then, that the second
period had to end. As they came
out for the third period, the
momentum that the Wolverines
had been carrying seemed lost
as Notre Dame began to swarm
freshman netminder Steve
Racine.
"You like to keep the game
going," Berenson said. "We're
playing well and we've got a
little bit of momentum and we
need to .feed off every little bit
we can.
"It's was a close, hard-fought
game, and you had to battle for
every inch. We did, and they
did, and they finally broke us."
Racine made the big saves he
should have, and for a while,
the defense held true. Instead
of faltering in front of him, both
the blue liners and the forwards
went out of their way to clear
the zone and stop good Fighting
Irish looks on net.
The good fortune could only
hang on for so long, though.
Senior defenseman Lee Mof-
fie mishandled a puck behind
the net, passing along the end

boards right to a Notre Dame
stick, which turned into the go-
ahead goal. Just minutes later
the Fighting Irish scored again
after another defensive mishap
gave Notre Dame a loose puck
in the slot.
That marked the all-too-
familiar third-period collapse
for Michigan, a team so des-
perate that it pulled its goalie
with 3:20 left in the game, only
to lead to an empty-net goal for
the Fighting Irish.
If anything, the weekend
only confused the Wolverines
more.
Whereas in past games it was
either a weak defensive corps
or a lack of offensive produc-
tion, this weekend highlighted
troubles all over the board. And
time is ticking, as Michigan
approaches the midpoint of its
season.
"I just think we're struggling
to find full-team effort," said
senior forward Kevin Lynch.
"Inconsistency is what we're
fighting right now, and you've
got to find it somewhere."

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