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October 30, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 7A

Hoke tries to crack
Spartan defense

Redshirtjunior midfielder Lauren Hauge tore her anterior cruciate ligament, then her medial collateral ligament, then her ACL again, hefore her retarn thin season.
Lauren iHauge: Staying
made hrstronger,

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily SportsEditor
Monday, Michigan football
coach Brady Hoke - who had
spent the earlier part of his press
conference admiring the Michi-
gan State defense - was asked, if
given the opportunity, would he
switch the Wolverines' defense
with that of the Spartans?
Hoke looked incredulously at
the reporter.
"No, no," he said. "I love these
kids."
Few coaches would prob-
ably want to swap their team for
another. But for as frequently as
he used the word "consistency"
when describing how the defense
would ideally perform, there have
to be times where the defensive-
minded Hoke wouldn't mind if the
Michigan defense took a page out
of the Spartans' book.
Michigan State boasts argu-
ably the top defense in the nation,
ranking in the top five for all major
defensive categories with nine
upperclassmen starting.
"They've done a nice job," Hoke
said. "Probably five or six pro play-
ers on that defense that they do a
nice job with."
And how many NFL-caliber
players do the Wolverines have on
their defense?
"Less than five or six," Hoke
said.
Come Saturday, Michigan will
be up against that staunch Spar-
tans defense, and all eyes will-be
on how the matchup between that
defense and the Wolverines' elec-
tric offense plays out.
For as many big offensive plays
the Wolverines make, there are an
equal number of big mistakes in
execution.
"Turnovers" and "ball securi-
ty" have once again become buzz-
words associated with the key
to beating the Spartans' defense.
Offensive coordinator Al Borges
talked Tuesday about how fre-
quently and effectively Michigan

State capitalizes on turnovers,
saying that if Spartans are able to
force redshirt junior quarterback
Devin Gardner into makinga mis-
take, it could easily turn "a bad
play (into) a disaster."
"You're goingto have a certain
number of plays during the course
of a game that are a little ugly,"
Borges said. "As much as you'd like
to think that everything's going to
turn out exactly as you planned,
that's just not the real world of
football."
The Spartans allow just 3.55
rushing yards per attempt - the
second-lowest number in the
nation. Michigan has spent most
of this season tinkering with its
offensive line to try and maxi-
mize the ground game even more.
Fifth-year senior running back
Fitzgerald Toussaint guaranteed
that the interior line would be
ready to show up on Saturday to
help him run the ball. Freshman
guard Kyle Bosch got into a skir-
mish with junior linebacker Jake
Ryan on Sunday, so Toussaint and
the coaches know the line is pre-
pared to be aggressive enough to
counter Michigan State.
Scuffles during practice aside,
the rest of the Wolverines are
doing as much as they can to pre-
pare for the weekend.
Fifth-year senior left tackle
Taylor Lewan said he has already
watched 12 hours of film on the
Spartans' defense, defensive end
Shilique Calhoun in particular.
Fifth-year senior wide receiver
Jeremy Gallon said the receivers
have an increased emphasis on
blocking this week to try and cre-
ate even more opportunities for
Toussaint.
Hoke said he's liked the focus
from practice so far thisweek, and
that the other major key to crack-
ing Michigan State will be the
coaching staff making the right
play calls.
"We'll have a planthat will give
our guys the best chance to win,"
he said.

BySIMON KAUFMAN
Daily Sports Writer
0 n Oct. 6, the Hauge
family went out to
dinner to celebrate a
family birthday when Lori Hauge
took out her phone to record a
video of the family - 20 in all.
It wasn't to capture the waiter
bringing out a special birthday
dessert with a candle in it. It
was a congratulatory video for
her daughter, Lauren, a redshirt
junior on Michigan's field hockey
team. Lauren had just scored her
firstcollegiategoalbyknockingin
a rebound late in a game against
Ball State. 900 miles away back
honie in Tulsa, Okla. her fam-
ily had been following the game
online.
Hauge made her college debut
earlier this year in the Wolver-
ines' first regular-season game
against Massachusetts.
Hauge won't remember the
details of either game though -
she'll remember that, for the first
time in her college career, she
got to be out on the field. Playing
for the first time and scoring her
first college goal four years after
she graduated from high school
wasn't Hauge's plan, but injuries
didn't adhere to her schedule.
Hauge made a hobby of col-
lectingvarsity letters on the fields
and A's in the classroom in high
school. The four-year honor-roll
student earned 12 total varsity
letters in soccer, field hockey and
track and field. For a while, she
thought that soccer would be the
sport she would pursue in college.
The three-sport athlete had the
opportunity to stay close to home
in Tulsa, where she could have
played soccer at Tulsa or Okla-
homa. She would have been able
to go to school where she grew up,
close to friends and family.
"As my senior year rolled
around, I was like, I kind of want
to get away, and see the world and
do all that," Hauge said.
And with that see-the-world
mindset, she decided to forgo soc-
cer - a sport she'd played since
she could walk - and instead
pursue field hockey, which she'd
only played during high school.
She took an official visit to Michi-
gan in January 2010, and being on
campusewas a "game changer" for
her. She watched the men's bas-
ketball team take on Indiana, met
former Michigan fpotball coach
Lloyd Carr and went to a field
hockey morning workout.
A basketball win over Indi-
ana and a.handshake with Carr
were enough to convince Hauge
that Michigan was the place for
her. She eventually left home and
headed to Ann Arbor.
Hauge elected to redshirt her
freshman year in order to develop
as a player.
"Lauren's very competitive,"

said Bob Hauge, Lauren's dad.
"So I think the mindset of her
redshirting her first year there
was that if (Michigan coach)
Marcia Pankrat could teach her
the skills that she would need to
play at that level, what Lauren
(already) had engrained in her
was the competitive spirit or that
drive.... I think Lauren wanted to
get her skills up to a place where
she would beoa contributing mem-
ber of the team."
She didn't know at the time,
though, that she'd be on the side-
line for another two years after
that because of injuries.
The summer before her red-
shirt freshman year, Hauge got
hurt during a summer scrimmage
at a field hockey camp she was at
in Michigan. A player fell on her
knee the wrong way, causing it to
swell up so muchthat thetraining
staff couldn't even tell the extent
of her injury. Hauge didn't know
it at the time, but she had torn her
anterior cruciate ligament.
"I actually didn't think it was
torn," Hauge said. "I went up
north with one of my teammates
that weekend, and I kayaked and
talked about water skiing and
then I was like, 'You know, my
knee hurts. I probably shouldn't
do that.' Then the next week, I
went to the doctor and found out
I had torn my ACL."
Just like that, her season ended
before it even began. She had to
turn her attention from refocus-
ing on field hockey to rehabbing
her knee. She went back home to
Tulsa for surgery, where doctors
completely immobilized her knee,
forcing her to use crutches.
"It was really hard," Hauge
said. "Because you redshirt and
you make that decision that you're
going to develop as a player, and I
felt like I made some really great
strides my freshman year. So
to have (the injury) happen in
the summer before I even got a
chance to show what Ican do was
really hard."
Despite the setback, Hauge
didn't give in. She got up, worked
hard during her rehab as she was
forced to learn to walk again, pre-
pared for her junior season and
was back practicing just four and
a half months later.
***
But injuries would hinder her
progress again. During the pre-
season of her junior year, she tore
her medial collateral ligament.
She continued to play, though,
because an MCL injury heals by
itself over time. But it weakened
her recently recovered knee, and
while warming up for a game at
Bucknell, Hauge felt the same
knee pop.
Another torn ACL. Another
season on the sideline.
"It was just complete disbelief,
and I had second guesses about
what my body could do which
is scary," Hauge said. "Because
when sports is your life and sports
is what you do, you almost feel
like your body is betraying you,

and when you can't do the thing
that you love the most, it's really
scary. The second time (the inju-
ry) happened, it felt completely
out of my control."
Hauge chose field hockey over
soccer. She chose Michigan over
staying close to home. But now,
for the third year in a row, she
could only watch. What if she had
stayed in Oklahoma? What if she
had chosen soccer?
"I feel like everybody sort of
wonders, and it's sort of the whole
'the grass is greener,' "H Hauge
said. "When you're in the dark-
ness of your rehab, you might
think about ita little bit.... I made
the right choice because even
going through all of this has made
me a better person. Is it unfortu-
nate, and would it have happened
if I was playing a different sport?
I don't know. I think it made me
stronger at the end of the day."
It did make her stronger. The
injury made her a better team-
mate and abetter person.
Unable to playand stuck on the
sideline for the third consecutive
year, Hauge did what she knew
best: recovered and supported
her teammates. During her inju-
ries, she traveled with the team to
all their games except for one that
directly followed her surgery. She
was also designated as the unof-
ficial warm-up music selector.
Pankratz doesn't like her play-
ers each plugged into their own
worlds on long bus rides. She likes
them listeningto music as asteam.
Hauge was in charge of providing
the bus mixtape for trips to away
games - a job that allowed her
to feel like a part of the team and
that she was contributing.
"I think that if you're injured
and you can't do your first-best
thing, which is being successful
yourself," Hauge said, "at least
having your best friends (around)
and seeing your best friends be
successful is great."
Recovering from an ACL injury
isn't easy - recovering from two
of them is an even greater chal-
lenge.
"To have that devastating inju-
ry once is really hard," Pankratz
said. "And the ability to be resil-
ient, persevere, train like she did
and be focused on getting back -
she really was remarkable in her
rehab, and I admire her fortitude
and her strength to be able to do
that. To have it happen again and
start all over was super tough."
After surgery she worked hard
to recover again with hopes of
playingduringher redshirt junior
year - and earlier this season she
finally did. More than three and a
half years, two ACL injuries and
countless hours spent rehabbing
later, Hauge made her college
debut against Massachusetts.
Pankratz entered Hauge as
a sub, and it was as if the clouds
that had hovered above the field

for the game in Orono, Maine had
suddenly cleared away.
"We have this whole thing that
we talk about all the time," Hauge
said. "It's representing the block
'M.' So going in against Massa-
chusetts was the first time I actu-
ally got to represent and wear the
block 'M.' I can't even describe
the elation. I didn't even feel
tired. I was just running all over
the place. I wasn't even thinking.
I feltso honored, and it was such a
long time coming."
Since her debut, Hauge has
appeared in 11 games this season
for Michigan (1-2 Big Ten, 8-6
overall). One of the things she is
most excited about now is getting
the opportunity to play with her
class - the fellow seniors on the
team.
"I want to make an impact.
I want to play the role that I'm
meant to play," Hauge said. "I
want to put some points on the
board. That would be great. I
can't wait for the first time my
name shows up on the stat sheet
as far as goals and assists. I think
that's the next big milestone com-
ing forward."
And on Oct. 6, with her family
followingback home, she checked
that off her list.
Every year the Wolverines win
the Big Ten, the team gets cham-
piopship rings. Each player can
choose something to engrave into
the ring..Hauge's freshman year,
she and the other members of her
class chose "Those who stay" as
the words to adorn their Big Ten
championship ring. They hoped
to finish the saying on their senior
rings. After winning the Big Ten
again her sophomore year, Hauge
chose to engrave "It made me
stronger" on her ring.
"I put that in there because,
even though I wasn't on the field
and playing in the games, I felt
like I played a role in our success,"
Hauge said. "I felt like I support-
ed everybody else's successes, and
even though it's definitely not the
way you wanta season to turn out,
just being a part of anything like
that, when it doesn't go your way,
makes you stronger."
Hauge was stronger, and so
was Michigan.,Her presence on
the field and not on the sideline
will matter that much more this
season, and she won't get tired
anytime soon of going out to play.
"At the end of the day, you're
playing for Michigan, and what
you're doing is so much bigger
than you," Hauge said. "Because
you're on the team - not only are
you on the team, you're on the
Michigan team. At the end of the
day that's just something that'll
put fire in your belly no matter
what."'
She could've chosen a different
sport, or given up, but now, with
two Big Ten championship rings
engraved with "Those who stay"
and "It made me stronger," Hauge
is working for one more that will
read "Will be champions."

A call for offense
from Michigans 'D'
By GREG GARNO "If the shooting lane is blocked,
Daily Sports Editor we have to find a passing lane.
We've got to get the puck behind
Fact: The Michigan hockey the first layer of forwards and get
team has scored more than three it to the net.
goals once this season - in a 7-4 Freshman defenseman Nolan
win over the Rochester Institute De Jong and Bennett stand out
of Technology. as the Wolverines' top offensive
Fact: The Wolverines' offense defensemen among the six that
sits exactly in the middle of the have seen time thus far.
nation in total team offense with Bennett, who excels in bring-
2.83 goals per game. ing the puck up the ice, has given
Fact: Michigan's defense his team the best chances to
hasn't scored a goal this season. score by not only sparking odd-
"We know right now that man rushes, but also pushing his
goals are at a premium," said own team down the ice faster.
Michigan coach Red Berenson. "The good thing about the
"We can't afford to give many defense is that it's our job to play
goals up because we can't score defense," Bennett said. "But at
many goals." the same time, I think if you kind
Despite the defense's lack- of be like a fourth forward in the
ing role in the production, the zone, that can cause trouble for a
fourth-ranked Wolverines still lot of teams."
hold a 4-1-1 record. But with De Jong, younger and lankier
only five assists, one of which than most of his teammates, uses
came this weekend, Michigan his powerful shot for a leg up but
will be looking for more produc- has struggled to tally shots con-
tion from its blue-line pairings sistently. This weekend against
against Michigan Tech. Boston University and UMass-
But signs like senior defen- Lowell, . De Jong combined for
seman Mac Bennett's pass this just two shots, and most of his
weekend show just how impor- attempts never made it to the
tant the defense's role on offense goaltender past the traffic.
is to the team's success. But don't fault De Jong for
Just above the left circle in the lack of offense. Along with
Friday's game against Boston freshmen teammates Michael
University, Bennett stood han- Downing and Kevin Lohan, the
dling the puck amid a flurry of focus has been on playing sound
traffic in the middle of the ice. defense, the primary role they
In a matter of seconds, Bennett were brought in to perform.
looked to his left, drawing the "I'm still getting a feel for get-
defense like a quarterback draws ting pucks at the net," De Jong
a linebacker, and slipped a pass said. "I think I'm being put in a
between traffic to his right. He good position right now to help
found freshman forward Tyler produce offense, but I think
Motte standing alone with an there's a lot of guys who can do
open net, and he got the credit that."
for a goal that Bennett devel- Part of the slow start is due
oped. in part to the forwards up front,
For the Wolverines, these who asa collective group need to
plays can be just as important as find the defense more. But for an
a goal but won't show up on the offense that hasn't been able to
scoreboard. Those plays have find the back of the net without
also been few and far between. a bit of luck, any type of produc-
"We've got to take more pride tion is welcome.
and be smarter about what we're If the offense can increase
doing with the puck," said Michi- its scoring this weekend, the
gan assistant coach Billy Powers. defense should likely fall in line.

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