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February 12, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 -- 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 7

Thompson leads 'M'

Forwards struggling in 'D' zone

By GLENN MILLER JR.
Daily Sports Writer
The past few weeks have been a
series of ups and downs for Mich-
igan women's basketball senior
guard Kate Thompson. The all-
time program record holder for
3-pointers has led the team to
its best start in program history,
but the Wolverines will need her
deep ball now more than ever as
they head into the final stretch of
conference play.
The 6-foot-4 native of Plym-
outh, Minn. surely isn't the loud-
est player on the court, but her
sharpshooting does most of the
talking. Thompson's 15.3 points
per game and her 43.5 shooting
percentage from behind the arc
leads the entire Michigan roster.
It comes as no surprise,
then, that when Thompson hits
3-pointers, the Wolverines tend
to win games. But when she
struggles to find the bottom of
the net, Michigan (7-4 Big Ten,
18-6 overall) can't find offensive
consistency elsewhere. Prior to
Sunday's upset at Purdue, the
Wolverines had lost four of six

with Thompson's worst slump of
the year.
Against Penn State, Thompson
hit just 3 of 14 attempts from deep
in a losing effort. Though Michi-
gan bounced back with a vic-
tory at Indiana three days later,
Thompson continued to struggle,
and shot 3 of 9 from 3-point range.
A 1-for-5 shooting performance
against Iowa was followed by
her resilient effort in Minnesota
when she finished with 18 points
in the loss.
"I think in her mind, she shoots
from wherever," said senior guard
Nya Jordan. "Kate will shoot a
half-court 3-pointer and it will
go in, because she doesn't care
where she shoots it from. She has
so much confidence that she'll
shoot it wherever, whenever."
Thompson's past three games
have mimicked her team's roller-
coaster ride through conference
play. Michigan State's Klarissa
Bell locked down Thompson's
perimeter shooting and forced
her into making just two 3-point-
ers on 10 attempts. Though her
5-for-15 shooting clip against Illi-
nois wasn't efficient, Thompson's
1C al nn..a n:- xza a l-nicrl

to help Michigan preserve a
momentum-changing win.
"Sometimes when you are a
shooter and you don't shoot the
ball well, you become a little hesi-
tant," said Michigan coach Kim
Barnes Arico. "You are not shoot-
ing it with as much confidence,
and it is almost like you are trying
to force the ball to go in. I thought
she did that a few times in the Illi-
nois game when she was 5-for-16.
She made two late (3-pointers)
that she didn't even think about
because we needed her to make
them. I think her biggest thing
is that she cannot hesitate, and
she did a tremendous job (against
Purdue)."
With her 22-point perfor-
mance against the Boilermakers,
Thompson has now turned in two
straight Big Ten performances in
which she finished with double-
digit point totals. Purdue might
just be the game that sets Thomp-
son - and the Wolverines - back
on a winning track.
"I think that is a big thing as
a shooter, to know that we (the
team) have confidence in you and
you have the green light," Barnes
A..:n ca

By MICHAEL LAURILA
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan hockey coach Red
Berenson has emphasized all
season that the players who earn
regular spots in the lineup will be
plus players.
Senior forward Lindsay
Sparks, who has played sporadi-
cally this year, hasn't seen his
name on the lineup chart since
Michigan's 5-1 loss to Bowling
Green on Jan. 8. Sparks finished
that game with a minus-four rat-
ing and was a major factor in one
of the Wolverines' worst defen-
sive performances of the year.
"I think our team is in desper-
ate need to play better hockey
defensively," Berenson said.
"That was a game where our
team got embarrassed by Bowl-
ing Green, and Lindsay was
one of the guys that we've had a
microscope on."
The defensive struggles have
been a problem for the entire
team, but Berenson isn't afraid
to point out specific players who
need improvement, and fast. He
also hasn't hesitated to sit players
who have been productive offen-
sively but fail to show up on the
defensive end. .I
And Berenson isn't only look-
ing for two-way players, but also
players who have some of the
intangibles - such as knowing
where to be on the ice or antici-
pating an opponent's next move.
Sometimes these intangibles
come instinctively, but if they
don't, practice and repetition
become that much more impor-
tant.
"Lindsay has got to play bet-
ter without the puck," Beren-
son said. "If he plays well with
the puck that's a bonus, but in
the meantime, he can't hurt us
defensively. (The Bowling Green
game) was a nightmare night for
Lindsay, and our team since then
has been reeling.

Senior forward Lindsay Sparks hasn't played in a game since Jan. 8.
"We've been trying to get worried about scoring goals."
going and he's been out of the The Wolverines came out of
mix. I don't know if he's going to this past weekend's sweep at
get back inor not, but we'll see." the hands of Notre Dame having
Sparks wasn't necessar- allowed an abysmal 13 goals in
ily benched as an example to the those two games. This puts them
team that forwards should be as up to 88 goals allowed in 24 con-
worried about their defensive ference games, or 3.67 goals per
play as they are their offensive game - .76 more per game than
play, but it wasn't due to his lack Lake Superior State, the next-
of productivity on offense either. worse team.
The Oakville, Ont. native has The defensive struggles are
constantly struggled to.stick with not something that's one player's
his man in the defensive zone, fault, or even one issue - they're
leading to wide-open chances on a culmination of poor coverage
net for opposing teams. and communication. Though
Berenson has a reputation for Sparks might be under a closer
recruiting players who are more microscope than other players,
offensively minded, but there's he's certainly not the only for-
always a plan for them to become ward on Michigan's roster that's
two-way players. It's forwards hurt the team with poor defen-
like former Wolverine Luke sive play.
Glendening, who epitomized Despite his forthcomings,
what Berenson considers to be a Sparks can only have improved
two-way player, that made Mich- since his poor performance
igan the team it was offensively against Bowling Green. And
and defensively. while he hasn't dressed in over a
"If our players walk into the month, he's used his time in the
rink every night and all they're stands during games to learn.
thinking about is scoring goals, "I think just stick with the sys-
we're not going to be very good tem and focus on the 'D' before
without the puck," Berenson anything else," Sparks said
said. "I can tell you the guys that when asked what he can do bet-
are scoring goals for the most ter defensively. "Just play harder
part are not coming to the rink and with more grit"

Senior forward Kate Thompson has finished her last two games with double-digit points, including 22 against Purdue.

For Wojciechowski,
By RAJAT KHARE swimming and it was pretty much pursued Wojciechowski's
Daily Sports Writer the only sport I was good at, so I ent. In fact, Wojciechowski
went with that." decided to join California
"Wojciechowski. Yeah, it has By age six, John had already visiting the facility his senior
been a nightmare pronounc- begun to swim competitively. But after taking a recruiting t
ing that last name," junior John Having found a sport he could Michigan, his intentions chat
Wojciechowski said with a chuck- finally excel in, Wojciechowski "After my trip to Michig
le. With respect to his journey began refining his skills. always definitely knew I w
for success, though, the degree of Upon moving to Arizona, regret going to Cal and not b
difficulty in pronouncing his last Wojciechowski worked with able to swim at Michig
name pales in comparison. coach Dave Gibson throughout Wojciechowski said. "I just
It's a unique enough last name, high school to improve upon not more comfortable with the
but on the roster sheet of the No. only his technique but also his on the team. ... And that's h
1 Michigan men's swimming team strength and conditioning. His ended up at Michigan."
that's stacked with the likes of training paid off, as Wojciechows- For as much success
juniors Connor Jaeger, an Olympi- ki racked up accolades as three- Wojciechowski enjoyed in
an already, and Kyle Whitaker, as time Arizona state champion in school, collegiate triumph
well as freshman sensation Dylan the 100-yard butterfly, two-time much harder to come by
Bosch, it sometimes seems to get East Valley Tribune Swimmer of the end of his freshmen
lost in the crowd. the Year (2008-09), and Arizona Wojciechowski's stat sheet
This fact doesn't dawn much on Republic Swimmer of the Year peppered with career-best ti
Wojciechowski, though. Because (2009) during his 'high school but no event wins.
for him, it's all about a different career. But what he really wanted "Freshman year, I didn't
kind of'W' was to test his ability at the colle- well - grades or swimming,
Though his hometown is listed giate level. - as expected," Wojciecho
as Scottsdale, Ariz., Wojciechows- "I had always hoped that I said. "I didn't make the N
ki's swimming roots trace all the would be able to swim in college," meet and scored only maybe
way back to the Washington, D.C. Wojciechowski said. "I was ini- points for the team during th
area. tially motivated to swim well in Ten meet."
"I started out doing a bunch of high school just so I could swim Using his disappointin
different sports: baseball, soccer, and be. able to go to whatever col- motivation, Wojciecho
basketball, tennis," Wojciechows- lege I wanted to, preferably on a trained throughout the summ
ki said. "But I was pretty bad at scholarship" order to come back as a contr
all of them, to be honest, because Apart from Michigan, Arizona, ing member of the team. His
I wasn't very coordinated. I tried Texas and California Berkley all work and progress materia

it's about another 'W'

tal-
had
after
year.
rip to
nged.
an, I
ould
being
gan,"
t felt
guys
ow I
sas
high
was
. At
year,
was
imes,
do as
wise
'wski
CAA
nine
e Big
g as
wski
er in
ribut-
hard
lized

into results, as he competed at the
NCAA Championships, won the
200-yard medley relay and placed
third in the 200-yard butterfly at
the Big Ten Championship and
posted multiple first-place finishes
in meets throughout the year.
According to this progres-
sion, this year was supposed to be
Wojciechowski's breakout season
- though things haven't exactly
gone to plan.
"I had hernia surgery (during
the offseason) and was out for
about two months," Wojciechows-
ki said. "And then, as soon as I got
back into shape from that, I broke
my foot. I remember the practices
were really brutal and I would
always not be able to finish the
workouts."

Swimming is a sport that's reg-
ularly decided by the slimmest of
margins. The smallest details dis-
tinguish winners from losers. It's
a sport where you cannot afford to
give your opponent an advantage
of even an inch, let alone a healthy
foot.
"I went to meets with my foot
broken and wasn't swimming
nearly as well as I was the pre-
vious year at the same meet,"
Wojciechowski said. "It was frus-
trating but somehow I used that as
an opportunity to work on aspects
of my swimming that I could still
do with my broken foot and it
ended up making my kicks stron-
ger, and I think I actually grew
from these injuries."
With injuries behind him,.

Wojciechowski is looking to make
the best out of the remainder of
the season. And judging by recent
performances against Big Ten
rivals Ohio and Michigan State,
where he finished in first place in
the 100- and 200-yard butterfly to
go along with a 400-yard medley
relay win, and set a pool record in
the 100-yard butterfly, respective-
ly, things are looking promising
for this season.
"This is myjunior year.Iwant to
step up as a leader," Wojciechows-
ki said. "To lead, you also have to
lead by your actions, what you say,
and also you have to leadbyexam-
ple and how you swim."
He's really just trying to make a
name for himself, but with a name
that nobody else can pronunce.

The Hoard for
Student Publications
seeks, New Members
The University of Michigan Board for Student Publications is
recruiting new members for three year terms beginning in April.
The Board is responsible for three publications: The Michigan
Daily, the Michiganensian yearbook, and the Gargoyle.
Because the Board is committed to realizing diversity's benefits
for itself and for the publications it oversees, the Board is
particularly interested in recruiting members of the University
community (faculty, staff and students) or the general public who
are members of underrepresented groups and who have
experience and expertise in journalism, law, finance or fund
raising.
All interested persons are encouraged to apply.
For more information and application forms, please contact Mark
Bealafeld, Student Publications General Manager at (734) 418-
4115 extension 1246 or mbealafe@umich.edu.
The deadline for applications is February 13th

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