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April 21, 2014 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-21

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48 -- April 21, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

48 - April 21, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

First half dooms 'M'

By AZALEA HINOJOSA
Daily Sports Writer
Coming off a pair of wins
over California and Detroit,
the Michigan women's lacrosse
team was prepared to take on
Vanderbilt Saturday. But to its
dismaythegamedevelopedmuch
the same
way it had MICHIGAN 9
in previous VANDERBILT 16
ALC
competitions. That is, the
Wolverines were forced to play
frombehind.
But it didn't start that way.
Just 54 seconds in, freshman
attacker Tess Korten raced
downfield, cradling the ball
closely and ducking stick checks
from the Commodores' defense.
A few passes later, along the
eight-meter mark, freshman
midfielder Anna Schueler drove
straight for the goal and notched
the first point of the game.
At home, Michigan (0-6,
3-12 overall) dominated early
on, forcing turnovers and

outshooting its opponent at
the net. But a quick change in
Vanderbilt's defensive game
plan caused panic among the
Wolverines and it answered the
fast break with not one or two
goals,buteight.TheCommodores
(2-4,5-il) went onto win, 16-9.
"Coming out was a little
difficult," said freshman
midfielder Kim Coughlan. "We
were a little startled by their
defense, but by the second
half, we had more confidence
and we learned how their
defense worked."
It wasn't until the last few
minutes of the first half that the
Wolverines notched their second
goal, this time from freshman
attacker Jess Angerman. At the
break, Vanderbilt led 9-2.
By then, the Wolverines knew
coming back from such a deficit
vwould be a struggle - a struggle
that has been all too common for
the team of freshmen.
"At halftime, I just focused
them on the plan," said Michigan
coach Jennifer Ulehla. "I told

them they needed to believe that
they can get out there and make
a difference and just goal by goal
try to get back into this game.
I thought they did a great job at
doingthat."
The second half saw a
transformed Michigan team.
Freshman midfielder
Madeline Dion began on the
right note, netting a goal for the
Wolverines less than a minute
in. Schueler and Coughlan were
responsible for the next five
tallies - the first two whipped in
back-to-back by Schueler. With
three goals, Coughlan recorded
her second straight hat trick.
Angerman was the last
Wolverine to tally a point, doing
so just asthe game cameto aclose.
But the Commodores continued
to attack and added on to their
already insuperable lead, scoring
in between Michigan goals - the
last of theirs was marked with
eight seconds remaining.
Michigan matched
Vanderbilt's power and agility
in the second half, where both
teams recorded seven points.
That was the team that stuck
to the plan. That was the team
that the first half missed.
"It takes 60 minutes to win a
game," Ulehla said. "Today, we
played 30.
"We came back in a sense that
we really got ourselves back in
the game, in the hunt. But when
you go down seven goals against
a program like that, you can
work to get close, but it's going
to be tough, with all freshmen, to
really pull that out. We needed to
play more than a second half."
The growth that Ulehla sees in
her young team on a daily basis
has become evident. A team that
has once trailed by more than
10 points against conference
opponents cut the lead down to
seven in its weekend matchup.
Confidence is key, and 'Team
One' knows it.
Read more exclusive coverage
at Michigan lycon

Sachi Sugiyama earned a spot in the vault finals, but Michigan struggled in balance beam and finished in fifth of six.
M ich igan takes fifth

By CINDY YU Their 48.350 was the lowest total
Daily Sports Writer on any event in that session.
This came as a surprise to
The No. 7 Michigan Plocki, as her team executed
women's gymnastics team successful routines and appeared
posted the highest uneven confident in practice, postseason
bars total, 49.325, in the first competition and even in
semifinal session of the NCAA warm-ups.
Championships on Friday. "I wish I had the answer,"
Every Wolverine stuck her Plocki said. "I don't really know
landing and scored at least 9.800. what happened. I just never
Recording identical scores of would've predicted that."
9.875 on bars, senior Shelby Gies At the halfway point, Michigan
and freshman Nicole Artz earned recuperated in the locker room
their first career NCAA All- during a bye rotation before
American honors. competing in floor exercise. As
Senior the team has
Joanna demonstrated
Sampson "I don't really know time after time
posted the throughout
team's highest what happened." the season,
score. Her it wanted
9.900 not only to make a

Isit LIU/Daiiy
Km Coughlan and Michigan improved in the second halt, bat it was Iolate.

qualified her
into Sunday's event finals, but
also marked her first NCAA All-
American honor on the event.
"This year reminds me a lot of
lastyear's bar rotation," Sampson
said. "It's just one of those things
that minimizes the number of
tenths we're giving away, and
that's exactly what we needed to
start off by doing."
But after counting a fall on
the balance beam, Michigan
was unable to bounce back.
The team totaled 196.425 and
finished fifth among a field of
six teams at the Birmingham
Jefferson Convention Complex in
Birmingham, Ala. The top three
teams to advance to the Super Six
onSaturdaywereNo.2 Oklahoma
(197.500), No. 6 Georgia (197.300)
and No. 3 LSU (197.100).
"Balance beam is the great
equalizer of all teams," said
Michigan coach Bev Plocki.
For Michigan, it has been
the event that has frequently
determined the outcome of the
meet throughout the season. At
nationals, the outcome did not
result in favor of the Wolverines.

statement.
The meet wasn't over, and
anything could happen.
The team put itself in a
situation to break into the top
three in case any teams opened
doors with mistakes of their own.
"We were going to do whatever
we could in our power to fight
for the finish, and I think we did
exactly that," Sampson said. "I
don't think we could've finished
any better than we did."
On the floor exercise,
Michigan rebounded and put the
disappointing beam performance
behind. Like bars, each gymnast
in the lineup scored at least 9.800.
Both Artz and Sampson
received their second NCAA All-
American honors of the season
on floor after scoring 9.900 and
9.950, respectively.
Sampson, who tied for first in
the session, had the chance to
defend her event title in Sunday's
individual event finals.
"Hopefully, I'll just do the
same floor routine I did today,"
Sampson said. "This was
probably one of the best ones
I've done this season. It's really

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exciting knowing that I have one
more opportunity to put on that
Michigan leotard and represent
the block 'M' the best way I
know how."
In their final rotation, the
Wolverines closed out their
season on a high note. Plocki
commended the performance
as one of the team's best all
season, a remarkable compliment
considering the team lost
sophomore Austin Sheppard, the
second-best vaulter in the nation,
due to an untimely ankle injury.
As she did on bars and
floor, junior Sachi Sugiyama
got the ball rolling from the
leadoff position.
"At firstIwas alittle surprised
(about going first), but I got more
comfortable as the season went
on and now I love it," Sugiyama
said. "I love how the coaches have
so much faith in me and trust me
to hit a good routine every time."
Sugiyama stuck her Yurchenko
1.5 vault cold, scoring 9.900 and
earning herself a place in the
vault finals.
"I knew we really had to come
back and have the best vault
rotation of our lives," Sugiyama
said. "It was no doubt the best
vault of my life."
Especially on vault, the way
the first gymnast in the lineup
performs often has a snowball
effect. Indeed, that is precisely
what happened after the freshly
minted All-American completed
her vault.
Artz, senior Reema Zakharia
and freshman Talia Chiarelli
immediately followed Sugiyama
with stuck landings. The
freshman duo each scored 9.850,
which marked a career high
for Artz and tied a season-best
for Chiarelli.
Michigan's all-around
competitors, Sampson and Artz,
earned All-American status after
finishing first (39.550) and third
(39.375) in the semifinal.
BY THE NUMBERS
Michigan Daily Sports 2014
Medical proceduresundergone by the
Co-Managing Sports Editors, including
visiting a chiropractor to cure a broken
hand. Chiropractors aren't real doctors
$70
Money spent in an Indianapolis bar,
definitely all onfood
$2.39
Average hourly salary for the
Co-Managing Sports Editors. Two nights
is almost enough for ameal
9
Consecutive victories over The State
News. Training to reach double digits is
in full swing.
Check
@theblockm
tomorrow for a
chance to win a
$20 gift card to

the MDen!

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