The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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come with playing in the Big Ten. The Wolverines played in just three conference games this season that were decided by more than one goal (a 2-0 loss to Michigan State, a 3-1 win over Purdue in which the Wolverines scored two goals in the last 10 minutes, and a 4-0 loss to No.��14 Penn State). Of Kopmeyer���s 34 conference starts in her three years, 27 have been onegoal games or ties. ���No matter how good the team is, in this league, it���s a fighter���s match,��� Kopmeyer said ���It���s going to be low scoring, and you���re going to have to fight until the end. ���In the last 10 minutes, it���s usually just a free for all. Teams are just throwing everything out there, and it���s an all-out defensive battle. Those games, in the heat of the moment, can be pretty suspenseful, but when they���re done, they���re some of the more rewarding victories. We���re on such a high after those types of games.��� ��� Olympic Sports report card Michigan���s cross country teams competed in the Big Ten Championships Oct. 30. The rest of the fall teams are gearing up for the postseason. The following are The Wolverine pre-postseason grades for Michigan���s fall Olympic sports teams. ��� Field Hockey ��� A+ In a four-game stretch from Oct.�� 1 to Oct. 16, the Wolverines faced three nationally ranked conference opponents: No. 12 Iowa, No. 14 Northwestern and No. 6 Penn State. Michigan more than survived the gauntlet, blanking the Hawkeyes 2���0, squeaking out a 3-2 overtime victory at Northwestern and shutting out Penn State (the No. 1 scoring offense in the Big Ten) 2-0. That run catapulted Michigan to the regular-season Big Ten crown, capped off by a 4-2 win over Indiana in the last weekend of play. The Wolverines finished with a 13���5 overall record and were 5-1 in conference play. On Oct. 23, the Wolverines traveled to No.�� 2 North Carolina with a goal of avenging a 5-0 dismantling during the opening week of the season. Michigan battled to a 4-3 overtime loss. What���s Next: Michigan, the No. 1 seed, will be favored to win the Big Ten Tournament Nov. 4-6, in State College, Pa. which should bring a favorable seeding in the NCAA Tournament. ��� Volleyball ��� B- Redshirt junior forward Clare Stachel was the Wolverines��� second-leading scorer this season, tallying 13 points (five goals and three assists). photo by eric bronson/ 108��� the wolverine��� ������ November 2011 The Big Ten is a buzz saw of a conference this season, possibly the strongest it���s ever been. The top three league teams nationally (and in the conference standings) as of Oct. 31 ��� No. 5 Illinois, No. 2 Nebraska and No. 6 Penn State ��� have a combined 56-9 record. Four other Big Ten teams are in the rankings ��� Purdue (No. 11), Minnesota (No. 15), Ohio State (No. 22) and Michigan (No. 23). Given the level of their competition, the Wolverines��� midseason lull is understandable. In the toughest stretch of the season, facing the Cornhuskers, the Fighting Illini and Minnesota in a four-game span, Michigan lost all four, plummeting to ninth place in the Big Ten standings with a 4���8 conference record through Nov. 1. Even so, its potent offense makes the Maize and Blue a tough game for any opponent. The Wolverines rank second in the conference in both kills (14.29 per set) and service aces (1.59 per set). What���s Next: The second half of the conference slate is more favorable, with the Wolverines playing league powerhouses like Illinois (Nov.�� 19), Michigan State (Nov. 23) and Ohio State (Nov. 25) at home. The Nov.�� 4 trip to Lincoln will be a big one. ��� Men���s Soccer ��� CThe rebuilding Wolverines are finding their way with a young lineup. They���re getting chances, leading the Big Ten with 16.22 shots per game, but rank fourth in goals per game, netting just 1.22. Coming into the year, Michigan coach Steve Burns knew he���d have to retool the offense after losing consistent scorers Justin Meram and Soony and Hamoody Saad. Burns focused on making Michigan a stouter defensive team, while the offense grew, but so far, the numbers have been disappointing on that side of the field. The Wolverines rank last in the conference in goals allowed (30, while the next closest team, Wisconsin, has surrendered just 21) and goals-against average (1.72) through Oct.��31. Redshirt freshman goalie Adam Grinwis is actually having a productive year, compiling 54 saves (3.38 a game), good for fourth in the conference. What���s Next: With the regularseason finale Nov. 5 versus Northwestern, the Wolverines have a shot to build momentum towards the future with the Big Ten Tournament Nov.��9-13 in Ann Arbor. ��� Andy Reid

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