The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, September 11, 2014 -- 3A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, September11, 2014- 3A
'M' hoops aces 'The Program'
By MATTHEW KIPNIS
Daily Sports Writer
Year one is in the books for
Michigan women's golf coach
Jan Dowling. This fall, though,
four of the seven athletes on
her roster will be beginning
the first year of their own
Freshmen Megan Kim,
*Kathy Lim, Emily White and
sophomore transfer Julia
Montgomery will replace all four
graduated players, immediately
looking to revitalize a team that
in the Big Ten
faces, which is
is a reju
"I think they
to push each other this year
and make some noise very
quickly. Having new faces is a
With more than three weeks
of practice under their belts,
the new players already have a
strong grasp of mechanics, but
developing consistency is what
sets elite golfers apart.
"They know how to play golf,
that hasn't changed," Dowling
said. "You have got to make sure
you are taking care of all the
elements outside of golf. If they
adjust to the outside well, their
games are going to be just fine."
Dowling will rely on her
three returning players this
year to lead her team and its
newest members. Senior Lauren
Grogan, junior Catherine Peters
and sophomore Grace Choi will
anchor the team as the new
members make the transition.
Last year, Grogan, Peters
andChoi were Michigan's most
consistent golfers, making up
three of only four golfers to
start all 10 tournaments for the
Wolverines. Choi led the team
with an average score of 75.64,
while Grogan and Peters were
not far off, averaging a 77 and
From Page 1A
"He's a kid. He's not a
In South Bend, Indiana,
Gardner went 19-for-32 passing
for 189 yards, averaging 5.9
yards per completion and
guiding the offense into field
goal range in its first two
drives. But the quarterback also
accounted for four turnovers
- three interceptions and a
fumble - and the Wolverines
never reached the red zone.
"Was he perfect? No. He
wasn't 100 percent," Hoke said.
"Do we want to be perfect? Yes."
After the game, Hoke
explained that the several
factors were at fault for the
program's first scoreless
performance since 1984,
mentioning the offensive line,
the receivers' routes and Notre
Dame's defensive adjustments.
"When those things happen,
it happens as a team," Hoke said.
Despite Saturday's blowout,
Gardner and the first-team
offense remained in the game
until the clock read zeroes,
nearly costing the Wolverines.
Following an interception,
the quarterback was leveled
by a Notre Dame safety near
midfield, resultingin a personal-
foul penalty and nullifying an
Hoke, who has otherwise
refused to discuss injuries,
said in Tuesday's Big Ten
coaches teleconference that the
quarterback is fine and called
the hit a "bit of a cheap shot."
And for those wishing
Michigan would hand the reins
to sophomore quarterback
Shane Morris, don't hold
your breath. Hoke tempered
any speculation Wednesday,
explaining that, while Morris
has improved and everyposition
is contested, Gardner holds the
77.7 score, respectively.
Choi recorded the team's
best mark in five of 10 events,
including four of the last six
spring events, while Grogan led
in three overall. Montgomery
led her team at Oakland in
three of four events before
transferring to Michigan. Each
was named to the Big Ten's
Golfer to Watch List earlier in
Although Grogan is the senior,
this is Dowling'sateam. Last year,
Michigan had to adapt to a new
coaching staff, but now, she is
new faces strengths and
Venating can build to
ing. improve them
goal is to
be continually improving, get
better and compete," Dowling
said. "We want to be one of the
best teams in the country, and
that takes time. We trust in our
process, and we are going to go
about our business and make
sure we get our work done and
get better every day."
Michigan will be put to its
first test this weekend when it
competes in the15-team field of
the Mary Fossum Invitational,
which includes Big Ten schools
Michigan State and Iowa as
well as Montgomery's former
team, Oakland. Grogan, Choi,
Montgomery, Lim and White
will start for the Wolverines,
and Peters will travel as
The Wolverines struggled
in the fall portion of the
schedule last year, never
finishing better than ninth. In
the spring portion, the team
showed poteptial, finishing in
the top four twice, but couldn't
consistently keep up that play.
With one year at Michigan
under her belt, Dowling hopes
her rejuvenated squad can build
off the glimpses of success it
experienced last season.
"He's our quarterback," Hoke
said. "He's proved it how he's
come to practice."
OH, LINE: Though Michigan
rushed for just 100 yards
Saturday, its offensive line was
serviceable enough for Hoke.
"Right now, we like the group
wehave,"the coach said."They're
not making many mistakes."
Saturday's line consisted of
freshman Mason Cole at left
tackle, redshirt sophomore
Erik Magnuson at right guard,
redshirt junior Graham
Glasgow at right guard, redshirt
sophomore Ben Braden at right
tackle and redshirt junior Jack
Miller at center.
The Wolverines averaged 2.9
yards per carry, but the backs
found some success, especially
early in the contest.
Sophomore Derrick Green
had a seven-yard carry on
Michigan's first possession, and
De'Veon Smith followed with a
nine-yard burst later in the first
But the backs had only one
carry of more than five yards in
the second half.
Hoke hinted that perhaps
some of the blame fell on the
backfield, which may have
missed holes created by the
"The guys up front, they
weren't perfect, but you can't
put it all on them," Hoke said.
KENNY KICK?: Matt Wile's
first two games haven't exactly
The senior kicker went 1-for-
2 against Appalachian State and
then missed both attempts in
South Bend. And that might be
enough for a change.
Hoke said Wile and redshirt
sophomore Kenny Allen are
"fighting like heck" in practice
for the starting role.
Allen has made two collegiate
appearances but has never
attempted a field goal.
By KELLY HALL mental toughness and our ability
Daily Sports Writer to come together as a team ... I
think that's going to really help
At 5 o'clock on Saturday us when we get to the season."
morning, the Wolverines dove The Wolverines began
into the water at Canham The Program on Friday. That
Natatorium, hoping to emerge as night's exercises focused on
a more unified team. pushing individuals to their
But these weren't the typical limits, whereas the next day,
swimmers at Canham. the challenge was to develop
The Michigan women's leadership and teamwork.
basketball squad welcomed Friday, the basketball team set
"The Program" to Ann Arbor up on an open field to complete
this weekend. The company is an exercise called four corners.
run by former military members The goal was to surpass multiple
that are trained to improve team challenges, like firefighter carries
cohesion and leadership. and pushups, in the different
The Wolverines' regular corners while listening and
season begins Nov.14, and players learning from a fellow teammate.
agreed the activities prepared "It brought out a lot of
them for battles on the court. confidence, especially in our
The Program's owner younger players," said senior
and founder, Eric Kapitulik, forward Cyesha Goree. "It
attended the United States challenged our veterans
Naval Academy, where he was a to become more vocal and
Division I lacrosse player. After challenged us in different ways."
graduating in 1995, he served in According to Elmblad, the
the Marine Corps. most difficult challenge came
He holds himself and all of on Saturday, when Michigan
The Program participants to ventured to Canham Natatorium
his company's slogan, "One for water exercises.
more." It's something easier "We were in the pool, and it's
said than done. a totally different environment
"It was the best way for us than what we're used to,"
to be challenged physically in a Elmblad said. "Because we're
way that's different," said senior basketball players, we don't
guard Nicole Elmblad. "We had really know how to swim. The
to go through a lot of different biggest challenge was coming
types of challenges. It tested our together and trusting one
another that we were going to
help each other."
For part of the morning, the
Wolverines had to tread water
while putting on and taking off
soaked sweatshirts. The athletes
had to support their teammates
in order to succeed at the task.
When The Program ended,
the team gathered to discuss
the strengths and weaknesses
that were discovered over the
weekend. After getting over the
mental hurdles that cropped up
during the event, Michigan left
feeling positive and prepared for
the upcoming season.
"The team stuck together
through the tough challenges
and we encouraged each other
and stayed together," Goree said.
"We never made anyone feel like
they were the people that were
struggling, which really shows
the kind of team we have moving
The Wolverines hope off-court exercises will benefit them come November.
Nostalgia sparks Smith.in last year
By JUSTIN MEYER
Daily Sports Writer
Leslie Smith has a lot of
stories to tell about field hockey,
but her favorite took place on
the sidelines of a high school
state championship game when
a former coach and Michigan
player called her a Wolverine for
the first time.
Just thinking about that story
gets her choked up, she says.
Smith, a redshirt senior, played
her firstgame for the recreational
league Weed Whackers in
kindergarten. Later this fall,
she'll play her last in college.
But one thing isn't lost among
the myriad memories and
nostalgia - Smith is determined
to make this season count. So far,
In just four games, Smith
has netted five goals to lead all
Michigan players, and she has
emerged as the team's top option
on set plays.
The offensive production has
been remarkable, even compared
to her 2013 totals, when she led
the team with 10 assists. All five
tallies have come inthe last three
games, including a pair of multi-
goal efforts against William &
Mary and Central Michigan,
and a dramatic overtime-forcing
score as time expired against
Michigan coach Marcia
Pankratz called Smith a big-time
player after the back's effort led
the Wolverines to a 2-0 win over
William & Mary.
"Being the old lady on the
team, I've definitely learned
a lot in my past few years,"
Smith ,said. "This is my last
chance to make a statement, to
make my name known, to give
everything I can to Michigan
field hockey. I came in with
that kind of attitude knowing
this is my last shot."
The bounce in Smith's voice
doesn't betray any hint of
sadness about her final season.
Instead, the Michigan back
with a nose for set-piece goals
talks like a girl raised in the
Smith, a Hershey,
Pennsylvania native, tells story
after story about her career, her
teammates and what it means to
be a Wolverine. She talks about
loving the pressure of overtime,
tells stories of club coaches who
set her in front of a net with
buckets of balls and warns about
the self-admitted poor dance
,moves she likes to bust out in the
Smith fondly remembers the
private lessons her dad arranged
with former Michigan standout
Kelly Fitzpatrick and admits her
teammates would probably call
her the team goofball.
disappointing 2013 finish, the
offense Smith is generating is
crucial to a team which has
struggled to score with a young
As the set-piece specialist,
though, Smith is no stranger to
scoring in spurts.
Smith has always had a knack
for burying the ball off set plays.
Though she's a defender, the
steady cockiness and hint of flair
she carries onto the field is not
unlike that of a striker taking a
penalty or a clutch kicker staring
down a field goal.
"I love that feeling of now
or never, do or die," Smith
said. "You have to have a lot of
confidence. "You have to put
that look on your face like, 'I'm
the best, I can do it, and no one's
going to beat me."'
It's a mental game that Smith
wins frequently, and one that
promises to keep her a focal
point of the offense this year.
She brought that same
attitude everywhere, from club
teams, to the Hershey High
School Trojans and even to a
stint with USA Field Hockey.
But this last stop at Michigan
has been even more special.
Smith remembers thinking
on the sideline of that state
championship game about all
the Wolverine alumni she would
be representing while in college.
This fall, she's determined not
to waste her last opportunity to
make them proud.
Leslie Smith has become Michigan's set-play specialist so far this season.
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