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January 18, 2013 - Image 6

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6 - Friday, January 18, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6 - Friday, January18, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Expect Wolverine resurgance in 2013

A couple of missed penalty
shots and a few crucial mistakes
characterized the Michigan
women's water polo team's last
loss of the 2012 season to Mary-
land at the Eastern Champion-
ships. The Wolverines settled for
a third-place
finish there, JEREMY
narrowly, SUMMITT
missing out-
on an NCAA On Water Polo
Tournament
berth.
But this time around, things
will be different. Well, that's easy
to say, right?
I'm not the only one saying it.
Michigan coach Matt Anderson
is confident in this year's group,
focusing in on the season goal,
among others, to be a part of
the final eight teams left in this
year's NCAA Tournament.
"We always want to do better
than we did before," Anderson
said. "Each team wants to set a
new standard and a new legacy.
To me, I want to be playing in the
final eight in Harvard."
Anderson persistently stresses
consistency and, along with that,
continuous improvements each

day throughout the season. By second meter Lauren Colton,
improving as players, he hopes to Michigan's second-leading scor-
prepare his team for non-athletic er last season. Beckwith will be
endeavors as well. in good hands with Colton as a
"Outside of the water, we want senior mentor to a budding star.
to be good characters and strong Pender has been on the USA
academically," Anderson said. Junior Olympic water polo team
So, let's get the popular ques- from 2001-10 and received All-
tion out of the way now: Why is Academic honors in her final
this team any different than last two seasons at the high school
year's? Why should Michigan level. Anderson calls Pender a
fans expect an "water polo
improvement? point guard,"
The and she should
answers lie in "I want to be be a key factor
good recruit- for increased
ing, impact playing in the offensive pro-
freshmen and duction.
senior attacker final eight" Thomoson
Kiki Golden, will be used
who led the mostly as a
team in goals utility play-
scored last season. er, but Anderson expects solid
This past summer, Anderson results from the freshman that
made some really loud noise on has USA Youth National Team
the recruiting trail. He landed experience in 2010 and 2011.
eight recruits and at least three She led her prep school to three
- Bryce Beckwith, Presley Pend- league titles, en route to All-First
er and Alexandra Thomoson - team honors in 2009-10.
are expected to play a big role in Finally, Golden, coming off of
the Wolverines' hopes to make a a.71-goal season, has gotten even
tournament run. better according to Anderson.
Beckwith will back up senior This might be the scariest thing

about being on the other side of
the pool against Michigan this
season. After being named the
Collegiate Water Polo Associa-
tion's Eastern Player of the Year,
how much better could she really
be?
"As well as you can ask a three
time All-American to be,"Ander-
son said. "She is even better now
than (how) she ended last year.
Knowing teams will key in on
her a little more, she knew she
needed to better herself."
So that's that. Anyone can tell
you this team is going to make to
the NCAA Tournament this time
around, but the facts are there to
fill in any doubt left.
Consistently good recruit-
ing, three freshmen that will see
significant time in the water and
Golden's improvement are rea-
sons why such high aspirations
are set at Canham Natatorium
right now.
In that very building, the Wol-
verines will host the Michigan
Kick-Off Tournament this week-
end where the road to the NCAA
Tournament gets under way.
This team is different. Just
wait and see.

What to watch for: Michigan football

ADAM GLANZMAN/Daily
Former Michigan defender Kofi Opare is the seventh Wolverine to be drafted.
O pare drafted by
MLS' LA Galaxy*

Former Michigan
defender selected
24th overall in the
second round of the
MLS SuperDraft
By ALEJANDRO ZUNIGA
Daily Sports Writer
On Thursday, the Los Angeles
Galaxy of Major League Soccer
selected senior defender Kofi
Opare in the second round of the
MLS SuperDraft in Indianapo-
lis. Opare was the 24th-overall
pick, becoming the seventh
player in Michigan soccer's
12-year history to be picked in
the SuperDraft.
Opare was one of 54 seniors
- and one of just three Big Ten

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Former Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs must impress scouts for an NFL shot.

Call: #734-418-4115
Email: dailydisplay@gmail.com

RELEASE DATE- Friday, January 18, 2013
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

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Page 3

players - to be invited to the
MLS Combine in Florida on Jan.
11-15.
There, he put the memory
of a disappointing junior cam-
paign in 2011 and a senior sea-
son marred by injuries behind
him, and impressed scouts dur-
ing the tryout. Speaking before
the draft, Opare expressed his
desire to play professional soc-
cer.
"I want to see how far I
can play," he said Wednesday.
"Hopefully it's the MLS."
When he got to the Combine,
though, Opare felt nervous. But
once he stepped onto the soccer
field, the jitters disappeared.
"I realized, 'OK, this is soc-
cer,' he said. "We play for the
joy of our lives. Let's go out and
have fun."
It worked. As defenders were
taken off the board in the first
round of the draft, ESPN listed
Opare as one of-the best remain-
ing central defenders. Then, the
good news came: Opare wasn't
going to Toronto or Montreal,
teams that struggled in 2012. He
was joining the Galaxy, the two-
time defending MLS Cup Cham-
pions.
"I'm very excited and hon-
ored to represent the University
of Michigan on the professional
level," Opare said. "It is a dream
come true and something I have
looked forward to since I was
young. Representing the Los
Angeles Galaxy is something I
am truly looking forward to."
Opare started 71 matches in
his collegiate career and played
in more contests than all but 12
players in program history. He
also ranks fifth in program his-
tory for minutes played - 6,411
- and was a captain as a senior
and defensive MVP in 2011. His
teammates in Los Angeles will
include Landon Donovan, argu-
ably the best American player of
all time.
"This is an exciting day for
Kofi and the Michigan men's
soccer program," said Michi-
gan coach Chaka Daley in a
statement to the Daily. "We are
pleased to have one of our own
go to a perennial MLS power
like the LA Galaxy."
Los Angeles already has a
starting center back in Omar
Gonzales, and it bolstered its
defense by drafting defender
Tommy Meyer from Indiana in
2012.
But the Galaxy selected two
defenders on Thursday, perhaps
in preparation for the retirement
of aging stars. Former Michigan
coach Steve Burns believes that
Opare has both the physical
capacity and the work ethic to
make an impact at the profes-
sional level.
"I think he's a good learner
and a student of the game,"
Burns said. "He watches it from
the eyes of a pro. Whether or not
he can make a roster is a differ-
ent story. He has to go out there
and prove it."

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A slightly misguided romance
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