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November 01, 2013 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-01

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6 - Friday, November1, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Still searching for lineup

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Senior defenseman Derek DeBlois described Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson as "a player's coach."
amiliar face returns

By ALEJANDRO ZUNIGA
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan Tech may have beat-
en the Michigan hockey team in
the semifinals of the Great Lakes
Invitational last winter, but there
won't be much animosity toward
the Huskies when the two teams
meet this weekend at Yost Ice
Arena.
In fact, many of Michigan's
players and
coaches share Michigan
a special con-
nection with TchCat.
Michigan Tech Michigan
coach Mel
Pearson, who Ma u
was a member Tech 1-4-1;
of the Wolver- Michigan 4-1-1
ine program for When: Friday
23years. 7:35 P.M.,
Pearson Saturday
spent over 7 P.M.
two decades Where: Yost
in Ann Arbor Ice Arena
as an assistant
and associate TV/Radio:
cahadws MGo~lue com,
coach and was Fox Sports
an integral Detroit
part of Michi-
gan's recruit-
ing efforts. After the 1999-2000
season, in which the Wolverines
won the CCHA regular-season
championship, Pearson earned
the TerryFlanaganAward,which
recognizes a coach for his career
accomplishments. f
Senior forward Luke Moffatt
and junior forward Alex Guptill
were both recruited by Pearson,
and he was later the forwards
coach when the high-powered

Wolverines reached the NCAA
Tournament final in 2011.
"He was like a player's coach,"
said senior forward Derek DeB-
lois. "He was a guy that messed
around with you a little bit,
always had a smile on and was
always making jokes. He was fun
to have around."
Now in his 30th season, Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson was
around for the entirety of Pear-
son's tenure. And though the
former assistant will be coming
to Ann Arbor this weekend with
an opposing team, Berenson will
welcome him warmly.
."He's still a good friend,"
Berenson said, adding that the
two stay in touch.
Pearson's duties at Michi-
gan included scheduling, and
he never once organized a game
between his alma mater, Michi-
gan Tech, and the Wolverines.
The two schools have faced each
other more than 200 times -
with Michigan holding a 120-91-
4 series lead - but haven't met at
either school's home arena since
1984, playing almost solely at the
GLI.
"I'm sure they'll be excited to
play here," Berenson said.
Still, there have been plenty of
memorable matchups between
the two rivals. In 2007, Michigan
survived the Huskies in double
overtime to win the GLI, the
fourth time that the Wolverines
clinched the championship over
Michigan Tech. But the Huskies
had the last laugh when they met
in Detroit last year. Goaltender
Pheonix Copley stopped all 38 of

the Wolverines' shots for a shut-
out, and he thenblanked Western
Michigan the following night to
earn the Most Valuable Player
award and give his team the title.
Copley is still around, and it
might be just as hard to put a
puck past him. He was recently
crowned WCHA Defensive Play-
er of the Week, ranks second in
his conference in goals-against
average and comes in at seventh
nationally in save percentage.
That could pose an issue for
the Wolverines. Disregarding
a seven-goal outburst against
Rochester Institute of Technol-
ogy, Michigan is averaging just
two goals per contest.
But by far the biggest battle
of the weekend could be on spe-
cial teams. The Wolverines rank
fourth in the nation with the man
advantage, converting on 30.4
percent of their opportunities.
Meanwhile, Michigan Tech has
had to kill off 33 penalties - more
than any other team in the nation
- but does so at a solid 83.7 per-
cent, good for 21st in the NCAA.
The Huskies have also scored two
short-handed goals.
With Pearson at the helm of
Michigan Tech, the Huskies have
compiled the second-best two-
year stretch in school history.
And as Michigan experienced
harshly last season, a history of
success over their rivals from the
Upper Peninsula matters little
when the puck drops.
"Every game in college hockey,
as we learned last year, is a diffi-
cult one," DeBlois said.

By MAX COHEN
Daily Sports Writer
ROSEMONT, Ill. - In a college
basketball game, there are 200
available minutes to be played.
This year, the Michigan women's
basketball team enters the season
returning just 44.2 of those min-
utes from last year.
At Big Ten Media Day on Thurs-
day, Michigan
coach Kim NOTEBOOK
Barnes Arico
readily admitted that this year
will likely have many bumps in
the road for the Wolverines, echo-
ing the same sentiments as from
Michigan's media day last week.
"It's going to be a bit of a tran-
sition year for us," Barnes Arico
said. "We have a lot of inexperi-
ence, we have a lot of youth, but
we're really excited about the
opportunity to get on the court."
She doesn't know who will fill
all of the minutes in question,
and she doesn't expect to know
any time soon. Barnes Arico said
returning starting guard Nicole
Elmblad, freshman guard Siera
Thompson and junior forward
Cyeesha Goree have earned start-
ing spots, and junior guard Shan-
non Smith also likely has a spot.
The last starting spot and the
remaining minutes are up in the
air, and Barnes Arico expects the
battles to be in the rotation to last
well into the season and to include
almost every healthy body on the
roster.
"It's good to have the kids
unsure of who has the start-
ing role because then practices
become a little more competitive,
and everybody is fighting for the
opportunity to get on the court,"

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico
said eneryone has a chance to start.
Barnes Arico said.
Even among her presumed
starters, Barnes Arico acknowl-
edged the lack of prior playing
time will be a factor. For example,
Goree has played only 33 min-
utes over the first two years of
her career, and Barnes Arico has
said she may play more than 33
minutes in some single games this
season.
STIFF EXHIBITION COMPETI-
TION AHEAD: Barnes Arico's first
opportunity to tinker with her
rotation will be Friday night in an
exhibition against Wayne State.
Though just an exhibition, Barnes
Arico views the game as a valuable
opportunity to see how her inex-
perienced players will perform in
game situations.
"It'll be interesting to see who
responds and who steps up when
the lights go on," Barnes Arico
said.
The Warriors aren't your typi-
cal Division II opponent, as they
will be sending out three Divi-
sion I transfers in the exhibi-
tion. Wayne State center Shareta

Brown was the University of
Detroit's leading scorer last sea-
son and averaged 21 points per
game, including a 19-point perfor-
mance against a more experienced
Michigan squad last November.
No matter the- competition,
Barnes Arico expects the team's
early season games to be a learn-
ing experience for her players
while she works toward determin-
ing individual roles for each play-
er. Last year, the process was very
different with the team's experi-
enced seniors clearly ahead of the
young, inexperienced players.
"Now, everybody's kind of on
the same level," Barnes Arico said.
"So it will give an opportunity, if a
kid's not playing well, hey, let's try
a new kid. This kid's not playing
well, let's try a new kid."
MORE INJURY WOES: For the
past two seasons, the Wolverines
have not caught many breaks
when it comes to injuries. Last
season, five Michigan players tore
their anterior cruciate ligaments,
causing them to miss the entire
season..
The prognosis looked brighter
heading into this season, before
sophomore guard Kelsey Mitch- 0
ell broke her foot early in the fall
after suffering an ACL tear last
season. Then, freshman guard
Danielle Williams broke a finger
on her left hand last week. Wil-
liams is expected to miss about a
month, after undergoing surgery
last Thursday.
"It is unfortunate that this hap-
pened to Danielle so close to the
beginning of the season," Barnes
Arico said in astatement."She was
expected to play a major role on
this team, and losing her greatly
impacts us moving forward."

Against Buckeyes, Michigan
still hopes for first Big Ten title

By JAKE LOURIM
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's soc-
cer team must win Saturday to
preserve a chance at home-field

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advantage through the third
round of the NCAA Tournament.
But it must do so against Ohio
State, on the Wolverines' emo-
tional senior night, for their first
win over the Buckeyes since 2008.
And that still might not be
enough to give the Wolverines
their first-ever regular-season Big
Ten championship.
No. 8 Michigan (8-1-1 Big Ten,
14-2-1 overall) enters Saturday's
showdown with the Buckeyes
(4-4-2, 10-5-3) riding a seven-
game winning streak that dates
back to Sept. 29, but first-place
Nebraska has matched the Wol-
verines win for win - including
a double-overtime upset of Penn
State on Sunday.
Even Michigan's 2-1 victory at
Nebraska (9-1, 14-3-1) on Oct. 6
wasn'tenough to springboard the
Wolverines in the Big Ten stand-
ings.
"It's especially frustrating
because, head-to-head, we beat
Nebraska," said senior defender
Kayla Mannino. "But regardless
of how Nebraska does on Friday,
I'm still going to be proud of this
team and the season we've had."
Now, Michigan has just one
more chance for a Nebraska loss:
Indiana (6-4-0,13-4-1) in Lincoln.
The catch is that the game is Fri-
day, which means the Wolverines
are split between not wanting to
find out the score and being the
biggest Indiana soccer fans in the
country.
"I'll look, I think," said senior
defender Holly Hein with a smile.
"I'll want to know."
Added Mannino: "It's kind of a
split amongst our team. I person-
ally am not going to watch it. I
don't want to know about it."
If Indiana's upset bid does fall
short, Michigan still has plenty to
play for the next day. The seniors
have never beaten Ohio State, and
the rivalry will always be there.
"We're happy to have one of
the best finishes - regardless of
what happens this weekend - in
Michigan soccer history," Hein

said. "We'd be even (happier) if
it goes our way this weekend, but
we'll see."
On top of it all, Michigan is
playing for home-field advantage
in the NCAA Tournament. The
top 32 teams play one home game,
and the top eight play three. This
week, Michigan sits right on the
edge in eighth but will have to
wait out the selection show after
the Big Ten Tournament.
The last time the two ,rivals
met, Ohio State ousted Michigan
from the Big Ten Tournament
Ryan said the game should be
like most others the Wolverines.
have played, a physical Big Ten
battle. His team practiced playing
that style all week.
Hein said one of the team's
goals this week has been to start
faster. The Wolverines haven't
scored in the first 23 minutes of
the game since Oct. 3 at Michigan
State.
Michigan has, however, bal-
anced out its scoring in recent
games. Seven different players
have tallied its last eight goals.
Hein said starting fastwouldn't
be a problem despite the emotion
before the game., The seniors will
be honored before the game with
their parents. Hein, who is from
Castaic, Calif., is playing in front
of her whole family for the first
time since high school.
"To be honest, I've been trying
not to think about it too much,"
Mannino said. "Emotionally, I
don't know how I'm going to feel
about it until Saturday, when I
step on the field. I still haven't
really accepted it."
Still, Ryan and the players
refuse to acknowledge the stakes,
focusing only on their matchup
with the Buckeyes.
"It's not tough for me, and
I don't think it's tough for the
players," Ryan -said. "If we get
help from Indiana, great. If not,
we still finished better than any
Michigan team in the history of
the program."

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