The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Olympic Sports Fall Recap A month into the fall campaign, Michigan���s six Olympic sports are experiencing varying degrees of success. Here is a look at which teams are meeting expectations, rising above them or falling below. Above Expectations Women���s Soccer: After last season���s 10-5-4 record ��� their first winning season since 2006 ��� the Wolverines looked like they were on the right track. Eleven games into 2011, they���re looking like a strong team with the Big Ten season getting underway. Michigan was 6-3-2 overall, and had scored three of more goals five times already, two more than all of last season, which ended in an NCAA Tournament appearance, the first since 2006. The Maize and Blue offense still isn���t great, ranking seventh in the Big Ten with 1.64 goals per game, but it���s a drastic improvement from the 1.37 goals per game the team averaged in 2010. Sophomore forward Nkem Ezurike is the offensive star, ranking in the top 10 of the conference in points (13), assists (five) and points per game (1.18). In net, redshirt junior Haley Kopmeyer has continued her dominant ways. She was first in the Big Ten in save percentage (.871), and also led in total saves (68), saves per game (6.18) and shutouts (five). Meeting Expectations Field Hockey: The defending Big Ten regular-season and tournament champions have notched quality home wins over No. 11 Wake Forest and No. 14 Boston University, but they missed two chances to really catch the eye of the collegiate field hockey community, losing 5-0 to No. 2 North Carolina and 2-1 to No. 1 Maryland. Regardless, Michigan head coach Marcia Pankratz has drastically improved the team since taking over in 2009 ��� the Maize and Blue were 51-36 (.586 winning percentage) in the four years (2005-08) after Pankratz left compared to 14759 (.714) during her tenure from 1996-2004. Since Pankratz���s return, the Wolverines have been 29-24 (.547) and have won a Big Ten title and started this season 7-3. Sophomore forward Rachael Mack, who blossomed last season as the go-to offensive player, has been big, scoring seven goals and ranking second in the Big Ten with 6.4 shots per game. A newcomer, freshman forward Emy Guttman, has emerged as a threat, too, adding seven goals and 1.5 points per game so far. The Wolverines, 7-3 and ranked 11th nationally through Sept. 22, have already notched three shutouts on the year, tied for second-most in the country. Below Expectations Men���s Soccer: The national polls ranked Michigan ninth to start this season ��� the highest preseason ranking ever for the program ��� after its run to the NCAA Tournament semifinals in 2010. Like many preseason polls, it was a classic case of being rewarded for past merits. Without Saad brothers Soony and Hamoody ��� Soony went pro after his freshman year and Hamoody was academically ineligible ��� and departed 80��� the wolverine��� ������ October 2011 Head coach Steve Burns and the U-M men's soccer team have rebounded from an 0-4 start to go 2-3-1 in their last six games. Photo by Per Kjeldsen seniors Justin Meram, Matt Schmitt, Jeff Quijano and Alex Wood, the Wolverines lost 94.3 percent (50 of 53 goals) of their offensive production from last season. And they���re breaking in a new starting goalie, albeit a talented one, in redshirt freshman Adam Grinwis. Although head coach Steve Burns is beginning to see the foundation for a consistently competitive program, there will still be rebuilding years ��� and 2011 will be one. The Wolverines opened the season on a four-game skid, scoring just two total goals. But the young team is improving: since then, Michigan is 2-3-1 over its last six matches for a 2-7-1 mark through Sept. 24. Watch Out For Men���s and Women���s Cross Country: The Wolverines have been competing in non-scoring events in the early weeks of the season and still have a month to gear up for the Big Ten Championships Oct. 30 in Champaign, Ill. ��� Andy Reid

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