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2B - November 18, 2013

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28 - November18, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Wolverines cruise past UW-Milwaukee
in opening round of NCAA Tournament

M' bests Detroit

By JAKE LOURIM
Daily Sports Writer
In the first round of her final
go-round in the NCAA Tour-
nament, senior forward Nkem
Ezurike wasn't ready to hold
anythingback..
Ezurike scored twice in the
first half
to lead UW-MILWAUKEE 0
Michigan MICHIGAN 4
to a 4-0
rout of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
in the first round of the NCAA
Tournament on Saturday at U-M
Soccer Stadium.
The senior forward wasted
no time getting the Wolverines
on the board early, taking a pass
from freshman forward Madis-
son Lewis on the left flank - her
fourth
assist to ma
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tinger.
"It's Noea
a match - este,,Mc
made in (2)5ruet
heav-
en,"
said Michigan coach Greg Ryan.
"I mean, you've got Madi Lewis,
who's faster than a rocket ship
and can run past defenders at
will. And then you've got Nkem,
who loves to sit in front of the
goal and knock them into the
back of the net."
Michigan (9-1-1 Big Ten, 16-3-
1 overall) almost gave away the
lead three minutes later, though,
when the Panthers tipped a
shot toward the goal. The ball
appeared to cross the goal line,
but play continued and the Wol-
verines cleared it away.

J

Freshman goalie Taylor Buck-
lin needed only one save on the
night, a point-blank stop after
fifth-year senior defender Holly
Hein gave the ball away in the
box. The Michigan defense set-
tled down from there, securing
its sixth shutout in eight games.
Besides the early near-goal,
the Wolverines were strong from
the outset, recovering from a
first-round Big Ten Tournament
loss last week.
"We weren't satisfied, weren't
happy with what happened at the
Big Ten Tournament," Hein said.
"We wanted to come out hard
against Milwaukee, and I think
that showed in our performance
that we scored in the first five
minutes and kept going at them."
Wisconsin-Milwaukee turned
up the
NCAAWomn's aggres-
013 sion, push-
Soccer Tournament
log players
forward
and allow-
ing Michi-
gan plenty
of space to
operate in
the final
third of
the field.
By half-
Michigan's time, the
Region game was
out of
reach.
"Just from the start of the
game, when we were preparing,
we wanted to get forward and
get after them in the first couple
minutes of the game," Ezurike
said. "I think we did a very good
job of that, getting behind the
defense."
Shots were even at nine in the
first half, but the Wolverines'
three goals came in and around
the box, while the Panthers
fired shots from outside the box.
Michigan started to play back in
the second half, limiting Wis-
consin-Milwaukee (6-1-0 Hori-

Senior forward Nkem Ezurike scored twice in the first half in Michigan's 4-0 win.

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By MAX COHEN The 3-point line was also a
Daily Sports Writer friend to Michigan in the half
Ristovski, Smith and freshman
TROIT -The Detroit guard Paige Rakers combined
y women's basketball team to go five-of-six from beyond the
e first laugh Saturday when arc, inflating the Wolverine lead
Senee Shearer slashed to to 47-29bythe half.Smith ledthe
gan's hoop and scored in way for Michigan with 12 first-
st minute of the game. half points.
the Wolverines got the The second half started off
augh, and a few more after similarly for the Wolverines.
on Goree opened the half with
way MICHIGAN 83 a bucket near the basket, and
11-2 DETROIT 63 Smith followed it with another
they 3-pointer. Detroit failed once
relinquished. The Titans again to make a significant run,
to muster a single signifi- ebbing slightly into Michigan's
comeback, and Michigan lead. Still, the Titansweren't able
ed its way to an 83-63 vic- to cut the lead fewer than 15.
Smith's offensive fireworks
e Wolverines' offensive persisted in the second half. She
al worked on all cylinders finished the game with 32 points
first half. Whether scyth- on 10-of-14 shooting, including
the basket or posting up going five-of-six from 3-point
d the 3-point line, Michi- range. Smith provided thepro-
ontinued to pile up points gram its first 30-point game
way to a big lead. since 2005, when Ta'Shia Walker
chigan sophomore guard scored 32 against St. Bonaven-
son Ristovski started ture.
1-0 Wolverine run with a "It was good to shoot well,"
nter from the corner. Junior Smith said. "It's just a thing of
1 Shannon Smith and junior consistency. My coaches talk
rd Cyesha Goree contin- about that all the time."
t by driving to the basket Before the game, Smith set
ores that were the result goals with Barnes Arico of gath-
od positioning. By the first ering in eight rebounds and
a timeout, Michigan had a going to the free-throw line
sanding 13-4 lead. seven times. Smith accomplished
e final score made it seem both goals, meeting her target of
etroit had more of a chance eight rebounds and exceeding
it did. The Wolverines con- her free-throw goal by going to
d to score baskets from the line nine times.
where on the court with "Shannon made shots today,
resistance from the Titans. but it really is those other things
re shared the basket- that really made a difference,"
eally well, we had a lot of Barnes Arico said.
s, we made extra passes," As a. team, the Wolverines
Michigan coach Kim Barnes shot 52.6 percent from beyond
. "I thought overall it was a the 3-point line in the rout, a vast
performance." improvement from its 17.6 per-
chigan shot 53.8 percent cent mark in their previous game
the field in the first half, the against Xavier.
uct of its sturdy position- "I think sometimes we're
nder the basket for much of going to make shots, sometimes
alf. Everyone got involved we're not," Barnes Arico said.
e scoring for the Wolver- "That's why it's important for us
Of the nine players who to be able to get to the free-throw
laying time in the first half, line and be able to do different
scored at least four points. things."

zon League, 10-8-1 overall) to
only five shots.
From there, it was all Michi-
gan. Senior midfielder Meghan
Toohey added an insurance goal
in the 17th iinute from just out-
side the 18-yard box off a pass
from senior midfielder Tori
McCombs.
In the 28th minute, Lewis
tapped in a cross, but she was
called offside. Two minutes
later, Ezurike added her second
goal, cutting across the middle of
the field and taking a pass from
sophomore midfielder Corinne
Harris.
Ezurike, who also scored the
overtime game winner in Michi-
gan's first-round NCAA Tourna-
ment win last year, pulled within
one point of Michigan's all-time
points record. She did set the
school record with four NCAA
Tournament goals, however.
"We were so fast in the coun-
ter and so quick with Madi Lewis
and Nkem and Toohey and then

Corinne at the end," Ryan said.
"If you look at the quality of
chances, we created chances that
would be difficult to miss."
Harris added the exclamation
point in the 85th minute, redi-
recting a cross from Lewis in the
box.
The goal-line call wasn't the
only break the Wolverines got.
Illinois State upset Louisville,
meaning Michigan will play the
Redbirds on Friday. Then, West-
ern Michigan (9-5-5) stunned
No. 2 seed Marquette (18-3), the
equivalent of a No. 15 seed beat-
ing a No. 2 seed in the first round
of the NCAA Basketball Tourna-
ment.
That means that Michigan's
next two games would be at
home against unranked teams.
"We were just glad we weren't
the third upset," Ryan said. "It's
fantastic - stay at home, kids
get to sleep in their own beds,
prepare here. Everybody else is
traveling."

5 Things We Learned: UNO

Is two good goalies
really a good problem ?

By JEREMY SUMMITT
Daily Sports Editor
1. The power play is emerging as
one of the nation's best.
Just two weeks ago in Michi-
gan's series against Michigan
Tech, the power play was doing
just fine. The Wolverines had
converted 25 percent of their
power-play chances heading into
Nebraska-Omaha but had netted
only one goal on the man advan-
tage since Oct.18.
That all took a turn for the bet-
ter when Michigan capitalized
on three of its eight power-play
opportunities this weekend, good
for a 38-percent success rate.
"It's funny because a lot of
them were broken plays," said
senior ; forward Andrew Copp.
"But the two (Friday), we ended
up hitting Moffatt in the middle
for a good play."
Boasting the fourth-best
power play in the nation - con-
verting on 11-of-40 opportunities
this season - the Wolverines'
offense now has something to
build off of after a slow start to
the season.
2. .T. Compher is finding his
groove.
The highly touted freshman
forward hadn't scored in any
games leading up to the weekend
series in Omaha but hit twine
twice to silence the critics.
To be clear, there wasn't much
skepticism about Compher's abil-
ities as a first-line center to begin
with. But this week after prac-
tice, some of his teammates jok-
ingly told him to talk to the media
about how he hasn't gotten his
first goal ina Michigan sweater.
Compher's first tally came off a
one-timer from the left circle late
in the second period in Friday's
loss. He had been working from
that spot in practice all week and
watched the puck fly into the top
corner tobreak his drought.
Compher is now second on the
team in points, tied with junior
forward Phil Di Giuseppe with
eight.

3. The defense was exposed for the first
time all season.

You could say Nebraska-
Omaha's explosive, speed-laden
offense was the reason Michi- '4$ &
gan's defense didn't look like a3
unit that's allowing just two goals
per game. Boasting one of the
nation's top scorers in forward
Josh Archibald, the Mavericks
were never going to be easy to,
contain.
But with just one final tune-
up game before the Big Ten
season gets rolling, the Wolver- PATRICK BARRON/Daiy
ines have to be concerned about Freshman goaltender Zach Nagel-
allowing six goals in two nights.
On Nebraska-Omaha's game- saves in his first start since sus-
winning goal Friday, Archibald taining a groin injury on Oct.18.
blazed by the defense and fooled Having two starting goalten-
freshman goaltender Zach Nagel- ders shouldn't stir up any contro-
voort for an easy breakaway tally. versy for the Wolverines, though.
It wasn't just that the Mav- Multiple players have expressed
ericks were faster than some of full confidence in both netmind-
Michigan's defensemen. Guys ers, and the rare luxury provides
were caught flat-footed, even a slight advantage against other
once on a 4-on-4 where you can't conference foes.
afford such a mental lapse.
"That's just a little detail mis- 5. The line shuffling doesn't look
take on us," said senior forward like it will subside.
Luke Moffatt. "They're a fast
team, and we're a fast team. It's Berenson has shuffled his
just a positioning mistake." lines, both offensive and defen-
To be fair, Michigan coach Red sive, nearly every game this sea-,
Berenson had little to work with son. In hopes to find the right
in terms of blue-line pairings, combinations before Big Ten play
as freshman Kevin Lohan and starts, he made changes to every
junior Mike Szuma were unable offensive trio heading into Friday.
to travel with the team this week- The most noticeable change
end. Lohan will be sidelined for came with splitting up the fresh-
three months with a knee injury, man line that had accumulated 11
though Szuma isn't expected to points together. Some good did
miss much time after suffering come from disbanding the team's
an undisclosed injury in practice second-most productive line, as
Wednesday. the Wolverines posted more than
three goals for just the second
4. No one knows if there will be time all year.
a true No.1 goaltender anytime Berenson did a bit more of
soon. his experimenting in Saturday's
game when he decided to place
Berenson decided to play both junior forward Andrew Sinelli in
Nagelvoort and sophomore Steve place of sharpshooting freshman
Racine in between the pipes this Evan Allen on the fourth line.
weekend on Friday and Saturday, The offensive combinations
respectively. Both performed to were arguably the most effec-
Berenson's liking, despite allow- tive they've been all season.
ing three goals each. The defensive pairings simply
Nagelvoort made 25 saves and weren't, and the possibility of
staved off several 2-on-I opportu- more shuffling seems inevitable
nities, while Racine recorded 40 for the coming weeks.

T
F
I
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f
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i

OMAHA, Neb. -
T he members of the
Michigan hockey team
are doing what any good
teammates would do after split-
ting their series against Nebras-
ka-Omaha this weekend.
When the second-ranked Wol-
verines (7-2-1) were prompted to
weigh in on Michigan coach Red
Berenson's decision to start fresh-
man goal-
tender Zach
Nagelvoort on
Friday night
- a 3-2 loss
- and sopho-
more Steve
Racine on Sat-
urday - a 4-3 DAILY
win - their
answers were WRITER
somewhere
between that
of a broken record and a prere-
corded answering machine.
"We're definitely confident in
both of those guys, and I defi-
nitely think it's a huge bonus for
us to be confident in two guys,"
said sophomore forward Andrew
Copp.
Added senior forward Derek
DeBlois, "We know we have two'
great goalies that can come in and
win us games. It's a great situa-
tion to be in."
Earlier in the week, associate
head coach Billy Powers added:
"If the goalies can make it hard
on you, then that's a good prob-
lem."
But there's no need for it to be a
problem in the first place.
When Nagelvoort filled in
admirably after Racine suffered
a groin injury on Oct. 18 at New
Hampshire, the problem was
solved. It wasn't until almost a
month later, the week leading up
to the series against Nebraska-
Omaha, that Racine said he was
100-percent healthy.
. And now, Nagelvoort should
continue to start this season until
he gives his coaches a reason to
replace him. He may not be the

better of the two goalies, but he
does have the hotter hand, and at
this point in the season, it's neces-
sary to find consistency.
After all, the Wolverines have
almost always been a one-goalie
team - it's a strategy that worked
well enough to qualify for 22
consecutive NCAA Tourna-
ment appearances. It helps that
Michigan has had standouts like
Josh Blackburn, Marty Turco, Al
Montoya and Shawn Hunwick in
net, but they all had the spot to
themselves.
The Wolverines used a two-
goalie system three years ago,
when Berenson and the rest of the
coaching staff alternated Hun-
wick and Bryan Hogan between
the pipes until the Big Chill at the
Big House, when Berenson opted
to start Hogan.
If anything, the decision
proved to be more stressful than
effective for Hunwick. A junior at
the time, Hunwick felt the pres-
sure to win when he lost or keep
looking over his shoulder when
he did win.
"I've never really done well
when we are splitting like that,"
Hunwick said in an interview
two years ago during his senior
season. "I get a little bit too wor-
ried about the other guy, and all
that other stuff before worrying
about myself. I definitely was way
too nervous and worried about
Hogan way too much, how the
team was playing in front of him
and how they were playing in
front of me. It was hard for me
just to concentrate on the game
at hand."
But Hogan injured himself
before the game, so Hunwick
stepped in as a result. From that
game on, Hunwick continued to
play extremely well, even after
Hogan recovered.
Michigan rode Hunwick all
the way to a runner-up finish in
the NCAA Tournament later that
season.
Last season, the Wolverines
played three goalies throughout

the season. Michigan got off to
one of its worst starts in recent
program history and never recov-
ered until, you guessed it, it found
consistent goaltending.
If the system has worked so
well for so long, why change it up?
Nagelvoort allowed three
goals in Friday's loss, and Racine
allowed three goals the next
night ina win. Who's to say the
Wolverines couldn't have done
the same on Saturday in front of
Nagelvoort?
Berenson wanted to see his
original starter tested after his
absence, which of course makes
sense. But it helps when the
offense steps up, and the defense
prevents open looks.
It's not quite fair to replace
one goalie after a subpar perfor-
mance, especially after he has
posted a 1.47 goals-against aver-
age, a .947 save percentage and a
4-1-1 record prior to the weekend.
His performance would earn
him a starting job in almost any
other program. Even after his
worst performance statistically,
Nagelvoort still sits sixth nation-
ally among goaltenders in goals
allowed and save percentage.
Starting Nagelvoort allows him
to be more comfortable and find
consistency in arguablythe most
important position in hockey, on
top of helping his teammates do
the same.
Berenson can switch up the
two all he wants since both have
proved they're capable. But when
the season comes down to a do-
or-die game, and one needs to
stand out above the rest, Beren-
son will have to choose.
If it didn't work for one of the
best goalies in Michigan history,
why would it work for a true
freshman?
-Daily Sports Editor Everett
Cook contributed reporting.
- Garno can be reached
at ggarno@umich.edu or
on Twitter: @GGarno

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