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November 08, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-08

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8A - Friday, November 8, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com,'

8A ~ Friday, November 8, 2013 The Michigan Daily - mithigandailytom *

Roa to Fial Four egins

FIELD HOCKEY
Late-game magic
comes to an end

By SIMON KAUFMAN
Daily Sports Writer
The last time Final Four ban-
hers were in motion at the Crisler
Center, they were coming down
from the rafters - not going up.
Friday night, for the first time
since the ban-
ners from the
1992 and 1993 UMaSS
Final Fours Lowell at
were removed Michan
because of
NCAA sanc- Matchup:
tions, a banner UMass 0-0;
will be lifted to Michigan 0-0
the rafters. This When: Fri-
time, it sees to day 7 p.m.
remain there Where: Crisler
permanently. Center
After the TV/Radio:
lights go down BT N
and the banner
commemorat-
ing last year's
Final Four run goes up, a new era
of Michigan basketball will com-
mence, as the Wolverines kick
off their regular season against
UMass Lowell.
But Michigan won't be playing
with its eyes on the banner. It'll
be looking toward another trip
to the championship game in 150
days.
"Any time we have a banner
raised, you know it's something
special," said Michigan coach
John Beilein. "At the same time,
we just get ready to play again
because we do want to have more
success obviously. We want to
keep this program growing."
This Michigan team will have
a different look than the one that
came up just short against Louis-
;*yille in last year's championship
ame. Namely, former stars Trey
Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. left
for the NBA. But in two exhibi-
tion showings, it's clear that this
team still has many of the parts
that contributed during its NCAA
tournament run.
Last year, a cast of freshmen
played supporting roles to Burke
and Hardaway. This year, the

By MATTHEW KIPNIS
Daily Sports Writer
With the No. 18 Michigan
field hockey team down by one
late in Thursday's game against
Iowa, Michigan coach Mar-
cia Pankratz called a timeout.
Could the Wolverines find their
late game magic that led to five
wins in their last six games of
the regu-
lar sea- MICHIGAN 0
son? IOWA 1
The
magic ran out, though, as Michi-
gan exited earlier than expected
in the Big Ten Tournament to
Iowa on Thursday morning in
Columbus.
Despite the 1-0 upset, Pan-
kratz believes the Wolverines
"may have an outside shot" at
making the NCAA Tournament,
but it seems unlikely. -
"We expected a lot of our-
selves, which is why everyone is
pretty upset about it," said.fifth-
year senior goalkeeper Haley
Jones. "When you expected to
do great things, it's worse when
you lose, and you really feel it. It
is a sign that we were proud of
where we could have gone, and.
it is unfortunate that we lost so
early, but the sun rises tomor-
row. We have to move on and be
thankful for the season we had."
The Wolverines won on last-
second goals in three of their
last five wins, including the
last game against Iowa. They
couldn't pull out another one in
Columbus.
"Up until the last second, I
really thought we would be able
to tie it up," Pankratz said. "It
just didn't work out for us today,
and we just couldn't quite fin-
ish."
Neither team scored until the
58th minute, when Iowa scored
off a counter attack from a turn-
over at midfield. Iowa forward
Natalie Cafone brought the ball

into the Wolverine circle and
crossed to forward Stephanie
Norlander, who knocked the
ball into the net around Jones'
diving attempt to block the ball.
After the timeout with one
minute left in the game, Michi-
gan had possession of the ball
near the Iowa 25 and substi-
tuted all their offensive threats
into the game. The Wolverines
couldn't get the ball into the
circle, and the Hawkeyes man-
aged to take control of the ball
and finished the clock.
Michigan had the advan-
tage in shots, 11-8, and penalty
corners, 5-3, but couldn't take
advantage of these breaks. Jones.
played well in the cage with four
saves, but the lone goal was all
Iowa needed.
"It is a battle to get the ball
in the net, and they had a good
break and got the goal in," Jones
said. "Their defense held up and
ours just had a flaw, and they got
lucky with the goal."
After being upset by Michi-
gan in early October, it looked as
if Iowa was happy to-return the
favor and avenge its earlier loss
when it really mattered. Iowa
will now play Penn State, which
beat Michigan 2-0 in the finals
of last year's Big Ten tourna-
ment.
"It's the end of the line for
the seniors, which I have been
very proud of," Pankratz said.
"They have had a very outstand-
ing career as they are two-time
Big Ten champs, and they have
represented the program with
grace and a championship men-
tality. And the underclassman,
we are going to get back at it in
January. We are going to come
back and start training and keep
our sights on the 2014 season.
We have a great incoming class
and a lot of really experienced
returnees, who I know will be
ready to avenge this disappoint-
ment."

TERRA MOLLENGRAFF/Daily
Redshirt junior Jon Horford is expected to start in place of injured sophomore center Mitch McGary on Friday.

sophomores will share the spot- In two lopsided exhibition
light. With sophomore forward wins, the Wolverines won 117-44
Mitch McGary out with a back and 79-60, respectively. It's likely
injury, Beilein will be forced to get that they'll be on the right side.

more creative
with his lineup.
In the two exhi-
bition games,
he started red-
shirt junior Jon
Horford and
fifth-year senior
Jordan Mor-
gan to make up
for McGary's
absence in the
post. Beilein

of another
crooked score
Friday night.
"We want UMass Low-
.eli won't just
to keep thS be playing its
first regular-
program season game
r n against Mich-
grow ing. igan - it'll be
its first game
as a Division-
I team. Last

to highly-touted freshman Jahad
Thomas to the equation, and it
looks as though UMass Lowell's
welcome to the top tier of college
basketball could be a quick reality
check.
But don't expect Michigan to
get caught up in the banner cel-
ebrations or the beatings it may
dish out to the inferior teams
that fill many of its early-sea-
son games. They know a trip to
Arlington won't come easy.
"We didn't get the job done, but
we had a great season (last year),"
said sophomore guard Caris
Levert. "We'll be feeling really
excited but not accomplished,
though, because we still have a lot
of work to do. We have a long sea-
son ahead of us."

wouldn't share his starting five year, the River Hawks went 15-13,
for Friday night's game though, and 10-2 in the Division-II North-
saying only, "I like our starting east-10 Conference.
lineup." Add a new coach and an injury

MEN'S SOCCER
Wolverines look to.
keep Big Bear Trophy

Michigan faces early litmus test "

By MINH DOAN
Daily Sports Writer
Like its football counterparts,
the Michigan men's soccer team
is looking to walk out of East
Lansing with a win. But the Wol-
verines can only hope their result
turns out better than the football
team's fortunes did last weekend
and they retain the Big Bear Tro-
phy, given to the winner of the
annual rivalry
game. Michigan
Last year, .Raig
Michigan won at vICuigan
the trophy after State
a goal by Kofi Matchup:
Opare - now Michigan 8-5-
playing with 3; MSU 9-4-3
the Los Angeles
Galaxy of Major dhen: Sat-
League Soccer
- off acorner Where:
kick in the 70th DeMartin Soc-
minute lifted cer Complex
for an exciting TV/Radio:
and physical 1-0 mgoblue.com
victory in last
season's match-.
up between the two teams. But
the Spartans had the last laugh as
they beat the Wolverines in last
season's Big Ten Championship
overtime thriller, 2-1.
"There's alittle bit of a revenge
aspect," said senior midfielder
Dylan Mencia. "But the game
means a lot in other aspects too
in that we could clinch an NCAA
spot while also being a local
rivalry."
But getting revenge and over-
coming Michigan State's home-
field advantage could prove
difficult for Michigan.
The Wolverines have won just
two out of six road games this
year and going into East Lan-
sing to win won't be an easy task.
Michigan will be looking for just
its second-ever win at Michigan
State and its first in10 years.
"We're in a very great place,
mentality-wise," Mencia said.
"We're excited and ready to go."

JAMES cOLLER/Daily
Senior midfielder Dylan Mencia said "there's a little bit of a revenge aspect."

The Wolverines will enter
the DeMartin Soccer Complex
in their last game of the regular
season looking to take the No. 2
seed in next week's Big Ten Tour-
nament in Columbus. Penn State
wrapped up the regular-season
title last Sunday. Michigan could
also wrap up an NCAA Tourna-
ment at-large bid with a win.
- "I think if we win this game,
we're in (the NCAA Tourna-
ment)," Daley said. "But it will
certainly be a tough game."
No. 22 Michigan State, cur-
rently fourth in the Big Ten
standings, comes in two points
behind the Wolverines and would
jump to 2nd place with a victory.
The Wolverines come in riding
a 1-0 victory over Valparaiso on
Monday night. Senior midfielder
Fabio Pereira scored the game-
winning penalty kick in his final
regular-season game at the U-M
Soccer Stadium. The game ended
a successful five-game home-
stand in which Michigan was
victorious over No. 16 Wisconsin
and No. 25 Creighton.
But to get the all-important
win in East Lansing on Saturday,
the Wolverines offense will need
to get past a stalwart goalie, 2012
All-Big Ten Freshman Zach Ben-
nett.

Bennett leads the Big Ten in
shutouts, with eight. While only a
sophomore, Bennett has already
rewritten the Spartan record
book - he is Michigan State's all-
time leader in wins, saves, save
percentage and minutes played
by a goalie. The Michigan offense
will need to play its best attack-
ing game to get a goal past Ben-
nett.
The Spartans, led by fifth-year
coach Damon Rensing, will look
to attack and pressure ahead
early and throughout the game to
try to create chances. They will
also look to create corners and
free kicks close to the Wolverine
goal and convert those chances.
At the head of the Spartan'
attack are forwards Adam Mon-
tague and Tim Kreutz. While the
reigning All-Big Ten first-teamer
Montague is the all-time Spartan
leader in both goals and assists,
Kreutz has taken over the spot-
light this season. He leads the
team in goals, with eight, and
will look to increase that count
against Michigan.
"(The Spartan offense) is orga-
nized, they don't make a lot of
mistakes," said Michigan coach
Chaka Daley. "They're also very,
very good on set pieces. That will .
be very challenging for us."

By LEVFACHER
Daily Sports Writer
After a 26-point exhibition win
against a Division I team last Fri-
day, the short honeymoon is over
for the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team
and the 2013-
14 season. Michigan
Now Bowl- atBowing
ing Green
awaits, fresh Green
off a 24-11 Matchup:
campaign Michigan
and looking 0-0; Bowling
to build on Green 0-0
its run to the When: Fri-
third round day 4 p.m.
of the WNIT Where: New
last year. Rochelle,
But the New York
faces of both TV/Radio:
teams have
changed dras- mgoblue.com
tically. When
the Wolver-
ines tip off the Iona Tournament
in New Rochelle, N.Y., they'll find
themselves in a battle between
two teams that lost the bulk of
their scoring ability from last sea-
son. The graduations of Chrissy
Steffen and Danielle Havel leave
Bowling Green in search of a com-
bined 17.1 points and 9.7 rebounds
per game, but the Falcons are
still the more experienced squad,
given Michigan's youth.
The Wolverines are likely to
sport the same starting five they
used last week against Wayne
State. That's in large part to an
impressive performance by soph-
omore guard Madison Ristovski,
who scored 15 points and added
four assists in 31 minutes.
Three juniors - forward Cye-
sha Goree and guards NicoleElm-
blad and Shannon Smith - had
already been considered probable
candidates to start, along with
freshman guard Siera Thompson.
That left the final spot up for
grabs. Barnes Arico and her staff
decided to go with Ristovski in
the exhibition game after the
team's practice the day before,
and it's more than likely Ristovs-
ki will be on the floor from the
game's beginning.
The second-year coach has
indicated a willingness to switch

up her rotation based on recent
performance, but none, of the
original four starters did any-
thing to cost themselves a spot in
the starting lineup last week, and
Ristovski's performance went a
long way toward impressing the
coach.
"I thought she did a great
job," Barnes Arico said following
Michigan's 81-55 win last Friday.
"(She was) able to contribute on'
the offensive end, and knock
down some shots."
The tournament opener
against Bowling Green, of course,.
is by no means a must-win game.
However, it's games like these
that will come to define Michi-
gan's season.
The Wolverines will struggle
to compete against the Big Ten's
top tier, but they'll coast through
the easier parts of their sched-
ule, which features matchups
with the likes of Alcorn State and
Western Michigan.
It's the games against teams
that are good but not elite that
could make or break Michigan's
season and push the Wolverines
over or under the .500 mark,
and the Falcons will provide an
early test for a Michigan team
that's too youngto have found its
identity just yet. The Wolverines
hold a slight size advantage over

the Falcons, but that's certainly
not a luxury they should get
used to. Michigan's tallest play-
ers - Goree and senior forward
Val Driscoll - stand 6-foot-3
and 6-foot-4, respectively, which
would make both of them taller
than anybody on the Falcon ros-
ter. But throughout the rest of the
season, Michigan's guards will
have to pickup the slack rebound-
ing-wise, a trend that might need
to begin as, soon as Saturday,
when the Wolverines take on
either Iona or Arizona, depending
on Friday's results.
"We pride ourselves on being
the hardest-working team in
America," said Ristovski after the
victory over Wayne State. "We
have to make sure we work hard
in practice, and in games too,
to make sure that we pull those
boards."
A weekend in New Rochelle
isn't going to decide much, if
anything, about Michigan's sea-
son. But the first step this young
team takes in what Barnes Arico
admits is a transition year is an
important one nonetheless. If
Michigan wants to play a factor
in the Big Ten race and turn itself
into a surprise contender, it's
games like these that will show
whether those hopes are realistic
or a year premature.

maCsY KO/Daily
Junior guard Nicole Elmhlad is a veteran who started 32 games last year.

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