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November 18, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-18

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, November 18,2014-7

The ichganDail - ichgandilyom uesdy, oveber1, 214-

Stevens in line to
fill seniors' shoes

Seniors leave lasting mark for''M'

For the Daily
There are bigshoesto fill on the
Michigan men's soccer team.
The Wolverines (3-3-2 Big Ten,
6-9-3 overall) ended their season
on Nov. 9 in a1-O loss to Ohio State
in the first round of the Big Ten
Tournament, and they'll graduate
six seniors.
The senior class, including
its captains goalkeeper Adam
Grinwis and midfielder Tyler
Arnone, won't be easy to replace.
Grinwis started 10 .games for
the Wolverines, recorded two
shutouts and posted a .684 save
percentage. In addition, Arnone
was a consistent force in the
midfield, where he started 16
games and recorded one goal and
three assists.
However, the departure of a
strong senior class leaves room
for younger talent like freshman
defender Billy Stevens to settle
into amore influential role.
Stevens was quick to emphasize
his high hopes for the team at the
beginning of the season.
"I expected a lot from us,"
Stevens said. "We came in early
with captainpracticesearlierthan
actual scheduled practices. We all
started to play together, and gel,
and try to work everything out
earlier at the beginning of the
season rather than face problems
The season was a tale of
two teams, as the Wolverines
were plagued by inconsistency.
Michigan settled for a 0-0 tie in a
contestwith DetroitonOct. 21but
recorded a 3-2 victory against No.
6 Notre Dame on Oct. 7.
"I think it's just that, more
mentally, we would prepare
ourselves a lot more for games
against the Notre Dames and the
Marylands, all those top teams,"
Stevens said. "We would also
prepare for teams like Bowling
Green and Detroit, but I feel like
most of us would not think that
they would be more of a challenge
than playing Notre Dame."
Itwas clear that the Wolverines
leaned on their freshman class
this season, playing four of six
recruits in 10 or more games.

"I thought the majority of us
contributed very well," Stevens
said. "I felt like we contributed a
good amount for being freshmen
coming in, not knowing about
how good our conference is with
all the good teams that are in it.
I think we did pretty well, but I
thought also that we could have
done better."
The freshman defender
credited the leadership of the
senior class for such a large
contribution this fall, but stressed
that his fellow freshmen are ready
and capable of embracing the
challenges that Michigan will
face next season.
"I feel like the experience is
going to be here," Stevens said. "I
feel like we're going to know a lot
more about the college game and
feel that we're going to be able to
contribute alot more."
If Stevens and freshman
forward Ahinga Selemani are
any indication of the success that
will follow this freshman class,
the Wolverines have reason to be
optimistic. Both players garnered
All-Big Ten Freshman Team
honors Nov.12.
"It's a great feeling because
it shows my hard work paying
off," Stevens said. "I always try
to strive for more but it's a step in
the right direction. I feel that I'm
blessed to receive it."
After starting 17 games for
Michigan, Stevens isn't ready
to rest on his laurels. He hopes
to get stronger and faster this
offseason. In addition, Stevens
hopes to improve his on-the-ball
ability and his defensive game,
in which he wants to become
more consistent with his standing
More important than anything
else, though, the young defender
commented on an attribute
that is often innately possessed:
"I want to become more of a
leader," Stevens said. "I mean, I
am still a young guy on the team
but I feel that I could help lead
these guys into battle week in,
week out."
The Wolverines have a void to
fill, and Billy Stevens is the man
to do it.

for theDaily
The Michigan field hockey
team finished off the season
earlier than it wanted, failing to
make the NCAA tournament.
At the Big Ten Tournament,
the Wolverines came out strong
in the first round, defeating Rut-
gers 3-0 in their first matchup.
Bolstered by this performance,
senior back Leslie Smith recalls
feeling excited about her next
game, not focusing in on the fact
that it could be the last of her col-
legiate career.
In the second round, Michi-
gan held off Northwestern to a
2-2 tie at the end of regulation
time, but Northwestern scored
just a minute into overtime, end-
ing the Wolverines' chance for
automatic qualification into the
NCAA tournament.
But Michigan still hoped for
the last at-large bid in the tour-
nament until the selection show
on Nov. 9.
"It was really sad when our
name wasn't called during the
show," Smith said. "It Was devas-
tating to say the least.
"For me, I think the hardest
part was just accepting that it
was my final year."
Though play has officially
ended, Smith and senior mid-
fielder Ainsely McCallister were
given one last chance to play
before their seasons and careers
are over in the National Field
Hockey Coaches Association
on Nov. 22. The game sets up
two teams comprising the best
seniors in the nation to compete
for a final time.
"I've heard it's just a really
fun game and notsuper competi-
tive," Smith said. "So I'm really
looking forward to it.
"I have a ton of friends from
other universities who will also
be playing, so it will be fun to
compete and have a positive way
to go out.".
The two 'seniors end their
careers on a high note, after play-
ing key roles in the program's
success for the past five years.
Smith's career got off to a slow
start; she played only the season
opener in 2010 before being red-
shirted. It wasn't until her red-
shirt sophomore year that Smith

Senior Leslie Smith'sseason may be over, but she'll be able to continue to play in this month's NFHCA Senior Game.

began to show true potential,
tallying career highs in goals,.
assists and points. Among the
highlights from the season was
her game-winning goal scored
against Indiana in the Big Ten
Tournament semifinals. Smith
was also selected to the All-Big
Ten Second Team in 2012 - her
first such honor.
A shoulder injury that
required later surgery plagued

her 2010 freshman season, she
appeared in seven games, but
was then medically redshirted
during her junior year, though
she was still one of four captains.
When she returned to play
in 2013, McCallister recorded
a career high six goals and was
selected to the All-Big Ten First
Team for the first time. This sea-
son, she joined Smith starting for
every game and ranked second

her redshirt in the Big Ten
junior season, with 18 assists.
creating even Her favorite
more pressure "The hardest part memory of the
for her to per- season came
form well in was accepting while playing
her final sea- at Penn State
son. that it was my in September.
"I really , After com-
wanted to do final year. ing back from
something a rough first
special this half, the Wol-
year," Smith verines tied
said. "I wanted to show myself the game up 2-2. Just four min-
what I could do." utes into overtime, McCallister
So she started all 18 games of drove the game-winninggoal.
the season and led the team with "I think I'l always remember
33 points, while also completing the feeling of beating Penn State
a career-best 12 goals and boast- on their own turf," McCallister
ing a six-game scoring streak in said.
October. Both players' contributions
For her accomplishments, during the season were honored
Smith was selected to the All- in their selection for first team
Big Ten First Team along with NFHCA All-West Region team
McCallister, whose career fol- and first team All-Big Ten. Each
lowed a similar trajectory. In felt their play exceeded that of

previous seasons because of
heightened expectations.
With a limited number of
games to look forward to, it was
difficult for her to not get hung
up on mistakes.
"In your last year, there is
no saying 'there's always next
year,"' Smith said. "It's a real
driving factor to give it your all
and lay it all down on the line."
The senior class hoped to
pass down a do-or-die mindset
to the underclassmen the same
way they had role models who
showed them how to eat, sleep
and breathe field hockey their
freshmen year.
"I know the team is going to
do great next year, because I
really feel that our senior class
has set them up for success,"
Smith said.
Much of their achievements
on the field have stemmed from
the cohesiveness of the entire
team, another aspect the seniors
are glad to take credit for. It's
that kind of success that will
stay with them long beyond
memories of wins or losses.
"We've all come together as
one group, not a bunch of differ-
ent cliques making up a whole,"
McCallister said. "We didn't let
any distraction come in our way
of having fun playing the sport
we love."

Five things we learned

In place of playmakers, role
players end scoring drought

ByMINH DOAN Michigan close. Dunston finished
Daily Sports Writer with 10 pointson the game.

Michigan women's basketball
coach Kim Barnes Arico's third
season with the Wolverines got
off to a hot start as her squad
won two games over Detroit
and Bucknell, 76-57 and 68-61,
Expected to come out of the
weekend undefeated, Michigan
didn't disappoint early with
matchups against two teams
that were under.500 last season.
Here are five (early) things
we learned from Michigan's
first weekend of action.
L Scoring will come from
many different players.
Friday against Detroit, six
different players ended the
game scoring in double figures.
Sunday, four players reached the
mark. Four starters - freshman,
guard Katelynn Flaherty,
senior forward Cyesha Goree,
senior guard Nicole Elmblad
and sophomore guard Siera
Thompson scored double
digits in both games.
And Sunday, when senior
guard Shannon Smith,
the leading scorer for the
Wolverines last season, was
in foul trouble early, the other
starters stepped up to fill the
scoring void.
But it wasn't just the starters.
When the Wolverines
struggled to shoot the ball in the
last 10 minutes of the first half
against Detroit, it was freshman
forward Jillian Dunston who
stepped up with eight points in
a span of four minutes to keep

2.Goree will drawattention.
After an All-Big Ten Second
Team performance last year,
Goree is going to see a lot more
double-teams this season.
Detroit double-teamed Goree
the minute she touched the ball,
denying her a chance to operate
in the blocks. Goree's presence
attracted the opposing team's
other forward to slide over to
defend her, leaving Michigan's
other forward wide open.
For most of the second half,
Elmblad was the beneficiary.
Elmblad scored a majority, if
not all, of her points off assists
from Goree after she was double-
teamed down low.
3. Ball protection is critical.
While the second half went
the way of the Wolverines
against Detroit, the first half
went the complete opposite.
The first half saw Michigan
turn the ball over 10 times in a
variety of different situations.
Most came in transition, when
the Wolverines tried to force the
ball to a teammate, but others
came when the guards tried to
feed it down low to no success.
Whatever the case may be,
Barnes Arico said Michigan
needs to slow down the game and
be patient with the ball. It tried
to playat a fast pace and force the
ball when better options were
It could've been first-game
jitters, but the Wolverines will
need to protect the ball this
season if they want success.

4. Flaherty can shoot the
rock and she can shoot it well.
One of Michigan's strengths
this season is how well they
shoot the ball.
After this weekend, when
Flaherty shot over 55 percent
from 3-point range, scoring
29 points over the span of two
games, once again leading the
team, it is pretty clear that
she has become a part of that
offensive threat.
But give credit to the quick
ball movement of all the offense,
which allows not only Flaherty,
but the rest of the guards on the
team to take uncontested shots.
Michigan won't lose before
The Wolverines will travel
to South Bend to take on No.
3 Notre Dame in less than a
month. Between then and now,
six games separate the key
fixture on Michigan's schedule.
Of the six opponents the
Wolverines will face, only one
team - Washington State - is
receiving votes in the AP poll.
Michigan will face the Cougars
the day after Thanksgiving in
San Juan, Puerto Rico, where
it is competing in the San Juan
And of those same six
opponents, only two teams,
Washington State and
Princeton, had records over .500
last season.
It's possible that a team
relying on its shooting prowess
so much could have a cold
shooting night, but the schedule
favors the Wolverines.

outburst propels
weekend sweep
Daily Sports Writer
Midway through the second
frame on Friday night at Yost Ice
Arena, JT Compher held the puck
on his stick with what looked
to be an easy shot for the touted
sophomore center.
But instead of shooting,
Compher looked to his left, at his
linemate sophomore Max Shuart,
and passed. Shuart's shot became
the second goal of his career.
Compher is without a goal in nine
"He's going to pass the
puck," said Michigan coach Red
Berenson. "He sees good plays
and he makes them. He gave
those wingers, literally gave,
them goals."
Having scattered just nine
goals in five losses this season,
the Michigan hockey team found
twine 11 times against American
International last weekend.
The sweep - which pushed
the Wolverines' record to a
more respectable 4-5 against
non-conference competition
- featured tallies from proven
scorers as well as role players, a
sign the unit is emerging from a
seven-game drought.
Though Compher - the
reigning Big Ten Freshman of
the Year and Michigan's Most
Valuable player last year - has
struggled to find twine this
season, his presence has sparked
offense in his linemates.

"At times at center, you're
not finding the back of the net
and you feel like you should just
start making plays," said junior
forward Boo Nieves - who made,
the transition from center to
right wingthis month. "But then
you get that one lucky shot and it
goes in."
So while Compher and skaters
like him work toward their
peak, the Wolverines will rely on
role players to step into a more
prominent offensive position.
Among those is senior center
Travis Lynch, who had his first
career multi-goal game Saturday,
scoring twice and matching his
career-high for points in a game
despite the fourth line seeing
limited minutes in the third
period. A feature of the penalty
kill more than anything else,
Lynch is off to his best start in
four seasons, having scored three
goals in nine games after tallying
just two in 29 starts last season.
"It's my senior year, I might as
well make the most of it," Lynch
said. "If I don't find the back of
the net, that's totally fine. I'm not
used to playing that role at all.
I'm used to playing PK, faceoffs,
D-zone, so I really just tryto focus
on that. If I have an offensive role
with the team, whatever helps is
what I need to do."
Lynch's former linemate,
Shuart is also contributing on
offense for the first time in
his career. Shuart, who went
pointless in 11 appearances last
season, scored his first career
goal against Michigan Tech
and finished last weekend with
a goal and an assist. Compher
and Shuart found Nieves in the
slot midway through the second

period on Saturday.
It was Nieves' first goal since
netting Michigan's only goal
against Penn State in the first
round of the Big Ten Tournament
last March.
Meanwhile, sophomore
defenseman Kevin Lohan
notched his first career goal in
Friday's 5-2 win over the Yellow
Jackets and added an assist
Saturday, upping his plus/minus
ratingto plus-4 on the season.
"Everyone wants to help the
team," Berenson said. "You don't
know how you're going to help on
a given game, but when it works
out that way, then good."
That doesn't mean the
Wolverines can bank on blue-line
shots like Lohan's finding their
way past Big Ten goaltenders.
They'll need Compher and junior
forward Andrew Copp to be there
in frontto deflectgoals in.
Copp scored twice on Friday
before adding a highlight-worthy,
power-play goal in the third
period Saturday. Last season's No.
2goalscorer, Copp is back on pace
to lead Michigan in scoring.
Alex Kile - who also scored his
fourth goal Saturday - andsenior
forward Zach Hyman, Copp is
now tied for the team lead. On
the same line, Kile and Hyman
have combined for 19 points on43
shots this season.
Like Compher, Copp struggled
before the bye week. He netted his
first goal of the season on Oct. 31
against Michigan Tech. It should
only be a matter of time before
Compher, a second-round pick of
the Buffalo Sabres, follows suit.
In the meantime, role players
will need to step up on offense.





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