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October 24, 2014 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-24

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Friday, October 24, 2014 - 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wolverines set
for big fixture

Michigan battles Hockey East

By SYED FAHD AHSAN
For theDaily
In what could prove to be
a turning point in the Big Ten
race, the Michigan men's soccer
team hosts No. 8 Indiana this
Sunday.
October has
proved to be a Indiana at
great month for Michigan
the Wolverines
who have won Indiana 9-2-
three games 3; Michigan
out of five, 4-6-3
including a 3-2 When: Sun-
victory over day 12 P.M.
No. 6 Notre,
Dame. They Where:
will be hoping U Soccer
to end the
month on a
positive note after failing to score
in their last two fixtures.
The Hoosiers (2-2-1 Big Ten,
9-2-3 overall) have had an almost
identical last 30 days which have
also seen them win three games
out of five, including a 1-0 win
over the Fighting Irish as well.
In a conference where the
difference between second and
sixth place is a mere two points, a
lot can change over one weekend.
"It's exciting to play in such
an excellent and competitive
*league," said Michigan coach
Chaka Daley.
With a rough start to the
season, Michigan (2-1-2 Big
Ten, 4-6-3 overall) finds itself
one point above seventh-place
Indiana, but a win could very
well set them up for a title
charge.
- "We shouldn't look too much
at the record," Daley said. "We
need to keep our minds right and
look at what we can still achieve."
. Having moved to a new

possession-based style of play
this season, it has taken time
for the players to grow into the
new system. But after a rough
first month, the team has shown
signs of improvement as it grows
into its new soccer philosophy.
With a 1-1-1 record against
ranked teams, Michigan has
fared much better against
opponents that try to win the
ball back as soon as possible,
and look to attack regularly. It
struggles against teams that sit
back and "park the bus."
The Wolverines press high up
the pitch and almost always have
the lion's share of possession.
For all their dominance in the
middle ofthe pitch,they struggle
to create chances. And when
these chances do come, they fail
to find the net. Michigan has
scored 12 goals in 14 games -
the only team scoring less than a
goal a game in the Big Ten.
The Hoosiers, on the other
hand, have no problem scoring
goals, and have already bagged
21 this season - one behind
league-leader Penn State.
Indiana's top scorer is Femi
Hollinger-Janzen with four
goals, but it has three more
players with three goals each,
highlighting the Hoosiers'
flexibility and depth. The
Wolverines, in contrast, have
had half their goals scored by
redshirt junior forward Colin
McAtee, who stands third in the
scoring charts having played one
game fewer than the players in
second and first.
Provided other results go its
way, Michigan could find itself
in third place by the end of the
weekend. Sunday afternoon
promises 90 minutes of suspense
and action.

By JEREMY SUMMITT
Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan hockey team's
first weekend-long road trip
of the year won't be to an
unfamiliar location.
As the 14th-ranked Wolverines
(1-2) head to Massachusetts this
weekend, Michigan coach Red
Berenson and associate coach
Billy Powers will find themselves
immersed in nostalgia. Berenson
played his first NHL game at the
old Boston Garden on St. Patrick's
Day in 1962. Powers spent his
childhood and adolescence just
outside Boston in Somerville,
Massachusetts.
While the memories of trips
to Boston will resonate in both
Berenson and Powers' minds,
there won't be much time to
reminisce about the past as
Michigan will be tested against a
pair of ranked foes. Friday's game
pits the Wolverines against No.
7 UMass-Lowell (2-0-1) before
they travel, to No. 12 Boston
University (1-0) on Saturday.
"We're looking to make some
memories rather than look back
on memories," Berenson said.
Just traveling to UMass-
Lowell will be a new experience,
as Friday's matchup marks
the first time Michigan will
play the River Hawks on the
road. The Wolverines are
expecting a raucous crowd at
the Paul E. Tsongas Center with
homecoming weekend looming.
"They've got everything
set up for them to have a great
crowd and a great environment,"
Berenson said. "And we've got to
go in and be a spoiler."
Michigan leads the all-time
series against UMass-Lowell,
2-1, with the most recent defeat
coming in a 2-1 loss at Yost Ice
Arena in 2013.
In a weekend split against
New Hampshire last weekend,
Michigan allowed 67 shots on

ALLISON FARRAND/daily
The Michigan hockey team hopes tocorrect several kinks when it travels tothe East Coast for a two-game weekend

goal and struggled to get pucks
through to the net from the
blue line. Cleaning up those
components and improving a
struggling special teams unit
will be of the utmost importance
if the Wolverines are to return
home unscathed.
Michigan is 0-for-9 on the
power play in three games, and
it has conceded a shorthanded
goal in two of those. Meanwhile,
the penalty-killing unit hasn't
shined either. It has allowed
two goals in nine opportunities,
despite going a perfect 4-for-4 in
a 2-1 win over New Hampshire
on Saturday.
"Our special teams should be
plus for us to be playing well, and
right now they're a big negative,
so we've got to get that fixed,"
Berenson said.
Added senior forward Zach
Hyman: "I think we need to start

gettingthe pucks in the net, start
shooting more, start sticking
with our high-percentage
plays. I think you'll see a big
improvement this weekend."
Boston University was perfect
on the penalty kill in its 5-3 win
over then-No. 3 Boston College.
But UMass-Lowell's shorthanded
performance has been suspect
at times, allowing opponents to
score with the man advantage
three of 10 times this season.
While looking to iron out the
bulky wrinkles on the special
teams units, even-strength
play hasn't been perfect either.
In the 5-1 drubbing that
Michigan suffered against New
Hampshire, it struggled to
consistently enter the offensive
zone with ease.
Puck possession has been
largely emphasized in practice
this week.

"We're focusing on
eliminating our blue-line
turnovers," Hyman said. "That's
been a big focus this week, is just
getting the puck deep and not
turning it over on our blue line
or their blue line."
It's early in the season and
there are few, if any, teams in
the country with no concerns
about their performances. The
Wolverines responded to a
lopsided loss to the Wildcats
with enthusiasm during last
Saturday's narrow victory.
Hoping to ride that small
wave of momentum, Michigan
understands the importance of
winning big games like those
slated for this weekend. A
critical boost in RPI, even this
early in the season, will provide
a firm foundation to build its
case for earning a position in the
NCAA Tournament this spring.

'M' ready for PSU, OSU

Second half of BIG
schedule begins
with tough foes
By SERENA SAAKE
For the Daily
Michigan volleyball coach
Mark Rosen starts every
practice by reminding his
players to "keep getting better
every day." If their performance
over the past weeks is any
indicator,
they've Michigan at
certainly been
taking that '
message to Matchup:
heart. OSU 14-6;
Michigan PSU 18-3;
has high hopes Michigan 10-8
to continue When: Friday
fits four-game 7 P-M-;
winning Saturday
streak as the 5:30 P.M.
team heads
on the road to face No. 7 Penn
State on Friday and No. 20 Ohio
State on Saturday. A win at Penn
State would crack a historic
X21-game losing streak against

the Nittany Lions.
The Wolverines swept
Rutgers and Maryland last
weekend on the road. Prior to
those wins, they defeated No. 8
Nebraska and Iowa.
"Getting better is a constant
focus," said sophomore middle
blocker Abby Cole. "We just want
to be the best team we can be."
Both Rosen and Cole credit
newfound cohesion on the

one point was Cole, who was
awarded the Big Ten Athlete
of the Week for the second
week in a row on Monday, a
feat that hadn't been achieved
by a Wolverine since Katie
Brudzinki in 2006.
"It's very humbling," Cole
said. "I really credit my
teammates because if we
weren't playing as well as we
are, I definitely wouldn't have

BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS
BEAT STATE NEWS

offense for the
team's recent
success.
Freshmen
Adeja
Lambert,
Claire Kieffer-
Wright and
Caroline Knop
have been
instrumental
in creating
balance on the
court and freeini
junior middle blo
Goode to score.
Knop especia
impressive sho'
the recent victi
the team with 1
MavnrA ira

received this
honor."
Kieffer-
"Hopefully you Wright also
can get them ofplaye one
matches to
helping you date against
out a bit." Maryland,
tallying four
blocks. Rosen
hopes to
utilize her
g up Cole and skill this weekend by getting
cker Krystalyn her more involved in the three-
middle system to counter Penn
lly had an State's offense.
wing during Rosen said the Nittany Lions
ories, leading are a more formidable opponent
3 kills versus than either Maryland or Rutgers,
ng her by only both of which are ranked at the
bottom of the Big Ten.
Penn State is known
for a very physical style of
volleyball and is traditionally
very low-air. With this
knowledge, Rosen has been
focusing on pushing the team
toward aggressive play and
exploiting weaknesses in the
center during practice.
But the Nittany Lions are
coming off a 3-0 sweep against
Indiana last weekend, with
junior Megan Courtney leading
the team with nine kills and
hitting .500. Senior Micha
Hancock was also critical to
their offense, hitting .500 and
completing 32 assists and five
kills. The Nittany Lions outhit
Indiana by almost double.
"It's a very similar type team,
very physical but young," Rosen
said. "If you can affect them in
some ways then hopefully you
can kind of get them helping you
out a bit. We can't be passive or
expect them to lose the game
SON FARRAND/Daily for us. We need to go aggressive
of the Week. at them."

ALa
Sophomore Abby Cole is the t wo-time reigning Big Ten Player a

a t

i

I

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