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NFL | CMU rookies adjust to playing pro football, 3B

SPORTS Central Michigan Life

Section B

FIELD HOCKEY | Sights set

| Thursday, August 18, 2011

high for 2011 season 6B SOCCER | Match ends with loss

against Mountaineers, 6B

| cm-life.com

BACK TO BUSINESS CMU looks to improve on 3-9 season under head coach Dan Enos’ leadership By John Manzo | Sports Editor

Central Michigan quarterback Ryan Radcliff and wide receiver Cody Wilson are the offensive leaders on a team looking to get back to its winning ways. Last season was tough for CMU fans, especially after just getting out of an era that contained former CMU quarterback Dan LeFevour. LeFevour was arguably the face of CMU during his career. He broke CMU records for most passing yards (12,905), rushing touchdowns (47), touchdown passes (102), and total offense (15,853) along with having the most pass attempts and completions. Radcliff’s previous season certainly didn’t compare with LeFevour’s final one. Radcliff passed for 3,358 yards and had 18 total touchdowns. LeFevour threw for 3,438 yards with 43 touchdowns total. However, it’s a new era of Chippewas’ football. Wilson said he knows that this team will work together through thick and thin. “I think regardless of what happens, I know our team, obviously last year going through some hard stuff, we stuck together the whole time and nobody stopped working any harder,” he said. “We’re going to stick together regardless of what happens.” Last season’s 3-9 record is a far cry from the previous season, which ended with 11 wins, a 29-27 victory over Michigan State and a top-25 ranking for the first time in school history. Despite a vibe of doubt, history is on Enos’ side. Success didn’t occur in season one for former head coaches at CMU, Brian Kelly and Butch Jones. It was a process to get to where they left the program. Kelly coached three seasons at CMU. Improving on a 2004 season, in which the team finished 4-7, he turned his next season into a 6-5 record. Finally, he achieved a nine-win season and qualified for a bowl game. Jones inherited a better team, but it wasn’t a bed of roses. His first season ended with an 8-6 record. He improved it in the loss column, going 8-5 the next season. Then it was the 11-win season in LeFevour’s senior season. Neither went 3-9, but can fans expect a year two like Kelly? “I feel more comfortable with our football team now,” Enos said. “I feel we’re better in a lot of areas and have a lot of experience in a lot of different areas. I think that our football team has a blue collar workman-like attitude right now and I think they have a chip on their shoulder.”

Jeff Smith/Photo Editor

A ENOS | 3B

Zeigler: Pat Miller ‘right fit’ Women’s Soccer opens regular as men’s basketball assistant season Friday against Detroit By John Manzo Sports Editor

When head coach Ernie Zeigler and Pat Miller first met, Miller was the coaching Zeigler at Northwood. Now they reunite, but this time Miller’s not coaching Zeigler, he’s coaching with him. The Central Michigan men’s basketball team hired of Pat Miller as an assistant coach after the departure of Keith Noftz. Zeigler wanted a coach that he was comfortable with, and he found him. “There’s a comfort level,” he said. “And comfort level is a huge part in any immediate camaraderie you’re able to have, particularly when you have to have a new addition to your staff. All of our staff is very much familiar with coach through my relationship with him.” Miller, a shooting instructor for multiple

playing levels, is expected to improve an offense that finished 11th in the Mid-American Conference in scoring offense with 59.4 points per game. “I think I bring a wealth of experience,” he said. “I’ve been involved with basketball Pat Miller for a long time at multiple levels.” Zeigler and Miller had a player-coach relationship at Northwood University. Miller said it’s an honor to work with someone who was once a former player of his. “It’s quite an honor,” he said. “All players don’t necessarily like their coaches, nor do they respect them. And to have one of your for-

By Ryan Zuke Staff Reporter

Central Michigan’s women’s soccer team looks to kick off the regular season Friday at the CMU Soccer Complex against Detroit Mercy. After ending in a tie with the Titans last season, CMU expects a more positive outcome for this season’s match. “I think last year’s game was very choppy and that is credit to Detroit,” head coach Neil Stafford said. “But we have to create and we have to score. If we can do that and Jeff Smith/Photo Editor

A miller | 3b

A Soccer | 2b

Senior defender Liesel Toth practices drills on Tuesday evening at the CMU soccer complex.

CMU Defensive back Lorenzo White found guilty of larceny

Player receives three months probation, not expected to miss season By John Manzo Sports Editor

Central Michigan defensive back Lorenzo White, a Florida junior, was found guilty on one count of larceny

greater than $200 on July 29 and received three months probation with $630 on court fines and charges. According to Isabella County court documents, the Lorenzo White CMU Police Department ran a “Bait Bike” operation and caught White. “Bait Bike” is an opera-

tion that allows the department to track a bike’s location with a GPS system. The bike was originally placed in a bike rack near the Education and Human Services Building on Ojibway Ct., and investigated once the GPS notified Central Police Dispatch its location had changed, police said. White was found at McDonalds, 1804 S. Mission St., when the CMU Police confronted him about the

missing bike. He said he didn’t know the owner of the bike and wasn’t granted permission to use it, police said. Head coach Dan Enos and his staff said the issue was resolved internally over the summer, according to Scott Rex assistant sports information director White is not expected to miss any games. sports@cm-life.com

John Manzo, Sports Editor | sports@cm-life.com | 989.774.5433

BIO Brief Lorenzo White w Position: Defensive back w Height: 6’0" w Weight: 180 lbs. w Class: Junior w Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


2B || Thursday, August 18, 2011 || Central Michigan Life

cm-life.com/category/sports

[Sports]

Soccer| continued from 1b

keep a clean sheet then, we will be successful.” Once again, the Chippewas defense is expected to be a major strength for their team. The past two seasons they have posted 32 shutouts and a 0.615 goals against average. Seniors Liesel Toth and Claire Horton will help anchor the defensive side of the field as they look to extend their streak of starting every game in their collegiate careers. However, the team will have to move on without goalkeeper Shay Mannino, the program’s all-time leader in wins, shutouts and goals against average. But the team is confident

that junior Stefanie Turner and red-shirt freshman Grace Labrecque will be able to fill that role admirably. “It was hard losing Shay and the other seniors because it was a very good back line and we had our shutout streak with her,” Toth said. “But I have complete confidence in Turner and Labrecque and I am very excited to see what they can do.” After a hard-fought exhibition loss to No. 13 ranked West Virginia, Toth is excited to begin regular season play and believes that the high level of competition has prepared the team for another successful season. “It’s good to play against that kind of skill and quality, but we have that as well,” Toth said. The Chippewas will face numerous other tough oppo-

nents such as: Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan and Mid-American Conference favorite, Toledo—all which will require organized and disciplined play by the Chippewas to come out victorious. But the team and coaching staff realize every opponent poses a threat and they need to focus on one game at a time. “If you get too focused on anyone else besides the next opponent, then you are just going to shoot yourself in the foot,” Stafford said. “The schedule is very difficult, the competition is super competitive and we know that as soon as we get into conference play, that target is huge on our back and we need to be prepared to play in every game.” sports@cm-life.com

Andrew Kuhn/Assistant Photo editor

Ireland native Ian Carry joins the CMU soccer staff as the newest assistant coach for the upcoming season. Carry steps into his new role with the Chippewas after playing professionally since 1993.

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Carry good fit as assistant soccer coach

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By Matt Thompson Assistant Sports Editor

When new Central Michigan assistant soccer coach Ian Carry started this month, he instantly meshed with players and coaches, making an immediate impact. “It’s a great fit chemistrywise,” said junior goalkeeper Stefanie Turner. “Love his energy. He keeps things light.” Carry is starting his first college coaching position in America. Since 2000, he’s been coaching overseas. Carry also has been a goalkeeper since 1993. “He’s done a real great job, better than we thought it’d go starting out,” said head coach Neil Stafford. “The fact is, I’m surprised by how fast he has fit in. I’m not surprised how quickly our coaching staff has come together as one.” For Carry, it’s important to fit in, living “three and a half thousand miles” from his home in Ireland. He said the transition has gone smoother because of how the staff has been so welcoming.

Carry’s official title is assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. When he first started the job he was very confident with recruiting. “It’s an easy program to sell with all the success,” Carry said. “And when you look at academics, CMU has had six years in a row with the highest GPA in the nation.” His team shares that confidence. “Recruiting is about being real honest and having a good personality,” Stafford said. “It’s about getting to know people and their needs and seeing if they match with ours.” Stafford said Carry already passed his NCAA exam for recruiting. “He’s got all the tools to be a good recruiter and coach. Now we just need him to fix his hair and he’ll be complete,” Stafford joked. The players also see what Stafford sees in Carry with how he relates to younger players. “He’ll be pretty successful recruiting,” Turner said. “He’s

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cm-life.com/category/sports

[Sports]

Enos wants a balanced offense attack in 2011 By John Manzo Sports Editor

File photo by Andrew Kuhn

Nick Bellore makes a tackle last season against Hampton running back Steven Robinson. Bellore is already making an impact with the New York Jets as he adjust to playing in the NFL.

Nick Bellore, other former Chippewas adjust to NFL game

Miller in process of learning two O-line positions

By John Manzo Sports Editor

The National Football League is a supersized version of college football. Just ask former CMU linebacker Nick Bellore. He signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent. “I think everything is quite a bit faster and the size has increased from college,” Bellore said. “There are bigger guys and a lot faster guys. I think there’s a lot more that goes into it than in college. Playbooks are a lot more complex.” Bellore joined a team that isn’t in rebuilding mode. The Jets have been to the AFC Championship game the past two seasons. The roster is highlighted by quarterback Matt Sanchez and running back LaDainian Tomlinson, also with Rex Ryan as head coach. It’s a star-studded locker room and Bellore is a part of it. “It was crazy seeing LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) for the first time,” he said. “I’ve watched him and he’s still unbelievable.” Bellore might have been in awe at first, but quickly realized that being star struck can’t last too long. “You have to get over it pretty quick because you’re out there competing with them,” he said. In all the hustle and bustle of his new life, post-CMU, he does have one familiar face nearby. His roommate and fellow Jets player: Linebacker Matt Berning. The two led the linebackers for the Chippewas last season. Now they get the chance to go through the NFL experience together, even though it

Miller | continued from 1B

mer players, that has reached a level in this profession that Ernie has, to ask me to join his staff and be a part of what he’s trying to do, it’s a good compliment. I feel honored by the fact that he’s giving me the opportunity.” Zeigler said it’s the right fit and timing. He feels fortunate to have one of his mentors on his staff. “It’s definitely full-circle when you have an opportunity to do something again with someone you respect and

ENOS | continued from 1b

Enos now has a year of head coaching ability under his belt and knows more about his team and himself. “I found out 100 percent who I was going to be as a person and what my character was going to be like through adversity,” Enos said. “I think my leadership qualities and my character were challenged and hopefully our team understands and I know our coaches understood that win or lose, that I was go-

Central Michigan Life || Thursday, August 18, 2011 || 3B

didn’t always look like a possibility. “That was awesome for that to work out that way,” Bellore said. “We thought Colin Miller it wasn’t going to happen. It was pretty cool, we’re roommates. It’s like nothing has really changed.” Berning is helping Bellore with the transition and vice versa. “It’s nice having someone that we’re familiar with and feel comfortable with and that you’ve been playing for years with,” Bellore said. “It makes the transition easier.” The starting linebacker positions are set with David Harris and Bart Scott, but backup positions are still undecided. Bellore and Berning’s main competition are Josh Mauga and Brashton Satele. Bellore appears to already be on Ryan’s good side. Ryan called Bellore the biggest surprise on defense, according to ESPN New York. While Bellore is happy to hear his name being mentioned, he knows it can change as soon as the next practice. “It’s pretty cool that he acknowledged me,” he said. “It’s a day-to-day business. If I have a bad practice then he’ll have a different opinion. You just have to take it with a grain of salt. It doesn’t mean a whole lot a week or month from now.” Former CMU offensive lineman Colin Miller has more to handle than some NFL rookies. He’s trying to learn two positions for his new team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s playing guard and center. “I’m coming along pretty well, I’ve got the offense down,” he said. “It was a little bit up and down in the beginning, but I’m starting to level off now.” Bellore and Berning fell looked at as a mentor and a person that helped shape and guide your life,” he said. Miller knows that expectations were high, partly because of Trey Zeigler, Ernie’s son, but he said it’s not just about Trey. However, he can help and others can play off of him. “I’ve certainly had a relationship with Trey since he was a little kid, just starting to play basketball,” Miller said. “It’s not just about Trey Zeigler. There are other significant players and personalities on this team that have to step up and contribute and play off of Trey for us to be successful.” sports@cm-life.com

ing to be with them and we weren’t going to point fingers at one another and we were all going to work as a team to try and move forward.” Senior linebacker Armond Staten sees this team moving forward, not back. “The only thing that’s really changed is that there’s continuity on the team,” he said. “We’re real bonded, we understand the system, everything’s clicking and we know what to expect of the coaches and everything. Everything has been stepping forward, not backward.” sports@cm-life.com

into a nice situation as teammates, but Miller also joined a familiar face. Former CMU wide receiver Antonio Brown is in his second season with the Steelers. Despite being paired in different groups, the two talk daily. “I see him every day,” Miller said. “We talk in the halls. He showed me around a little bit once I first got here.” Other rookie Chippewas have made appearances for NFL teams. Defensive back Vince Agnew, who signed as an undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins, had an interception against the Atlanta Falcons in a 28-23 win in his first NFL preseason game and punter Brett Hartmann is competing for the starting job for the Houston Texans with veteran Brad Maynard. CMU rookies who were signed, but then waived include: offensive lineman Jeff Maddux and defensive lineman Sean Murnane. sports@cm-life.com

The Central Michigan football team had its struggles last season and their running game was no exception. They averaged 105.8 rushing yards per game, finishing 11th in the Mid-American Conference. This season head coach Dan Enos expects there to be competition at spots, which can provide opportunities to get better, ultimately balancing the offense. “We’re a different football team than we were a year ago,” he said. “In the first spring when I arrived we had one tight end for the entire spring practice and two

quarterbacks practicing.” Senior running back Paris Cotton is expected to handle the bulk of the carries for the CMU, but junior Zurlon Tipton and sophomore Tim Phillips are also in contention. “We’re going to have depth and we’re going to have competition in spots and when you have competition as a coach, you have a chance,” Enos said. “Some guys can’t just win the position by default anymore; it’ll be because they earned it.” A better rushing attack could improve on a passing offense that already ranked second in the MAC, averaging 284 yards per game. “I think we’re way more comfortable and just being

familiar with the ins and outs of the offense,” junior receiver Cody Wilson said. “I’m more comfortable with the plays in general, with the teammates and obviously Ryan (Radcliff ) throwing me the ball for the second year and more comfortable with coach Enos and getting to know coach Stubblefield for a year now.” The offensive line will also play a vital role in balancing out the offense. Sophomore Aaron McCord and juniors Jake Olsen, Darren Keyton and Mike Repovz are all coming off of offseason surgery. Enos also announced junior Eric Fisher will be the starting left tackle.


4B || Thursday, August 18, 2011 || Central Michigan Life

cm-life.com/category/sports

[Sports]

CMU quarterback Alex Niznak expected to be redshirted By John Manzo Sports Editor

File Photo by Jeff Smith

Then sophomore wide receiver Cody Wilson runs downfield during an October 2010 game against Miami of Ohio at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Chippewas try to eliminate dropped passes by receivers By John Manzo Sports Editor

The Central Michigan football team will have a hard time improving on a 3-9 record if it continues to drop passes. Fortunately, players expect to learn from their mistakes. Head coach Dan Enos wasn’t thrilled with the 51 dropped passes from 2010, especially the third down variety. “We dropped 51 balls, which is an astronomical amount,” he said. “We went through and watched all the drops. I think 16 of those were on third down, with that, every drive you’re off the field.” He discussed the amount of drops with passing game coordinator and quarterbacks’ coach Morris Watts, a coach since 1961, and even he hasn’t been a part of a 51drop team. Junior wide receiver Cody Wilson knows it they can’t

have those same troubles. “We need to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said. But, it’s a new year, a fresh start and another season to gain knowledge and experience in Enos’ system. Not just for Wilson, but for junior quarterback Ryan Radcliff and the rest of the Chippewas’ offense. “(Radcliff’s) going to give us better balls and that’s going to happen,” Wilson said. “It’s not on one guy; maybe he had pressure in his face.” A 51-drop season isn’t something CMU wants to remember, but can certainly be optimistic about it. Despite the 51 dropped passes, the Chippewas still finished second in the MidAmerican Conference in passing offense with 284 yards per game, 1.8 yards below the average of in-state rival, Western Michigan. Being more comfortable in the system will help, but

sometimes mastering the basics is all it takes. If Radcliff can cut down on his 17 interceptions, improvements will be made. And it gets even more basic than that. If receivers hold onto the foot ball, drops won’t happen and drives continue. “If the ball touches our hands, we’re always taught that you have to catch it,” Wilson said. “That comes on us.” Enos took Wilson’s comments a step further. He wants his team to catch the balls it should, but also the ones it shouldn’t. “We’ve got to start catching the football,” he said. “Not only the ones we’re supposed to catch, but we need to catch some that we’re not supposed to catch. I call it the ‘Wow’s.’ We didn’t have enough of those last year. I can think of one or two off the top of my head.” sports@cm-life.com

2011 Central Michigan Football schedule w vs. South Carolina State Thursday, Sept. 1, 1 p.m. w At Kentucky Saturday, Sept. 10, 12 p.m. w At Western Michigan Saturday, Sept. 17, 12 p.m. w vs. Northern Illinois Saturday, Oct. 1, 3:30 p.m.

w at North Carolina State Saturday, Oct. 8, TBA

w At Kent State Friday, Nov. 4, 6 p.m.

w vs. Eastern Michigan Saturday Oct. 15, 3 p.m. (homecoming) w At Ball State Saturday, Oct. 22, 2 p.m.

w vs. Ohio Thursday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m. w vs. Toledo Friday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m.

w At Akron Saturday Oct. 29, 12 p.m.

Central Michigan freshman quarterback Alex Niznak is expected to be redshirted this season, said head coach Dan Enos at CMU’s Media Day on Tuesday. “The plan would be to try and redshirt Alex,” he said. “I think that would be in his best interest at this point.” If Niznak is redshirted, that means he isn’t allowed to participate in any games this season. However, it will enable him to retain all four years of eligibility. With that decision, junior Ryan Radcliff would be the projected starting quarterback; meanwhile, senior Brandon Fricke and sophomore A.J. Westendorp would compete for the backup position. The thought of redshirting Niznak might have happened in the recruiting phase.

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Niznak said. Niznak said he looks at it as an opportunity. “I’m looking at it as 100 percent of an opportunity that I’ll be so much smarter as a fifth year senior than I ever will be as a true freshman,” he said. “Even coming in early, everything is still new to me.” Niznak, an Ithaca native, led Ithaca High School to a 14-0 season during his senior year, en route to a Division 6 state championship. In that game, he completed 22-26 passes for 251 yards, rushing for 138 yards and set a state championship record File photo by Andrew kuhn with five touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Alex Niznak throws a pass “Hopefully, if I get the opportunity to redshirt, during spring practice. it means we have great “Coach Enos came and talked to depth on our team,” he my parents when I was in high school said. and he was thinking of redshirting me, so it’s not a big surprise to me,” sports@cm-life.com

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[Volleyball]

Central Michigan Life || Thursday, August 18, 2011 || 5B

Chippewas start season with Maroon & Gold Game Exhibition game gives fans first look at team By Kristopher Lodes Staff Reporter

Andrew Kuhn/Assistant Photo Editor

Grand Blanc junior and outside hitter Katie Schuette digs for a serve during practice Thursday afternoon at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant.

Veteran team shows strong leadership; position battles arise By Kristopher Lodes Staff Reporter

Head coach Erik Olson and his staff have something special brewing with Central Michigan volleyball this season. After two seasons as one of the youngest teams in the Mid-American Conference, this team is now one of the oldest and filled with veteran leadership. Senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Schultz, which is looking for her fourth All-MAC honor, would make her the most decorated player in CMU volleyball history. Position battles arise with a veteran team and four straight nationally ranked recruiting classes. Arguably one of the more interesting battles is at setter, between sophomore Kelly Maxwell and incumbent starter, senior Catherine Ludwig. “Maxwell has started off camp very strong,” Olson

said. “It will be interesting to see who emerges out of preseason when both have made tremendous improvements.” The outside hitter position is between juniors Katie Schuette, Val DeWeerd, Lindsey Dulude and freshman Kaitlyn McIntyre. At the right side position, is junior Jocelyn VerVelde, who currently has a broken finger, but should be back next week. If she can’t go by week one, then freshman Hallie Enderle would be the projected starter. “She led us in kills and hitting percentage last spring and I expect her to be AllMAC,” Olson said of VerVelde. “I expect big things out of her, she just hasn’t been able to train at the same intensity. She has been blocking with one hand and making a difference.” As of now, the libero will be sophomore Jenna Coats and the defensive specialist is senior Kelsey Detweiler. Junior Samantha Brawley has

become a leader and captain and will find playing time. Freshman Haley Barker will be transitioning into a defensive specialist, as she continues to grow into the position. There is still a battle for the number two spot behind Schultz. It’s between redshirt sophomore Danielle Gotham and Enderle. “Enderle knows how to play and she is a fighter,” Olsen said. “It’s not always pretty, but she is winning in practice.” Each team in the MAC West is ranked in the top 100 in the nation. It will be battle for the top spot, but CMU seems up for that battle. “Our overall goal is to win the MAC and compete in the NCAA Tournament,” Schultz said. No matter who ends up on the floor for CMU, they will be battletested and ready to compete for the programs first MAC championship. sports@cm-life.com

Upcoming CMU Volleyball schedule Iowa Invitational at Iowa City, Iowa w vs. Iowa Aug. 26, 8 p.m. w vs. Marquette Aug. 27, 11 a.m. w vs. Saint Louis Aug. 27, 5:30 p.m.

Oakland Tournament at Rochester Hills w vs. Oakland Sept. 2, 7 p.m. w vs. Wright State Sept. 3, 12 p.m.

Butler Tournament at Indianapolis, Ind. w vs. Austin Peay Sept. 9, 2:30 p.m. w vs. Elon Sept. 10, 11 a.m. w vs. Butler Sept. 10, 6 p.m.

Marshall Tournament at Huntington, W. Va. w vs. George Mason Sept 16, 4:30 p.m. w vs. East Carolina Sept. 17, 10:30 a.m. w vs. Marshall Sept. 17,7:30 p.m.

MAC home schedule w vs. Eastern Michigan Sept. 29, 7 p.m. w vs. Kent State Oct. 1, 8 p.m. w vs. Ball State Oct. 7, 7 p.m. w vs. Toledo Oct. 8, 7 p.m. w vs. Akron Oct. 21, 7 p.m. w vs. Buffalo Oct. 22, 7 p.m. w vs. Western Michigan Oct. 28, 7 p.m. w vs. Northern Illinois Oct. 29, 7 p.m

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The Central Michigan volleyball team opens the 2011 season on Saturday, with the Maroon and Gold match at McGuirk Arena. “It’s kind of like a spring football game,” said head coach Erik Olsen. “There will not be referees, but there will be line judges.” This will be the first season played inside at McGuirk Arena for the Chippewas. The match will give them the chance to adjust to their new arena; seats out and fans watching. Last season the team held its games at Finch Fieldhouse while McGuirk Arena was being prepared for the winter seasons. “I like it (McGuirk arena) a lot,” said senior Kaitlyn Schultz. “It feels like a great place to play. The atmosphere feels great.” But moving into a new arena has its downfalls. “A big part of this event is to get our support staff ready for this building,” Olson said. “We have yet to play on this court with everything pulled out, which changes everything.” The event also gives an opportunity for defensive coach Dave Zelenock and new offensive coach Thersea Beeckman to coach their athletes in a game setting. Beeckman was recently a head coach at Delta College and an assistant at Ferris State University.

Andrew Kuhn/Assistant Photo Editor

Highland senior and middle blocker Kaitlyn Schultz, works on serves during practice Thursday afternoon in McGuirk Arena.

“She has been amazing,” Schultz said. “She is a great addition to our team.” Since 2007, CMU has held an alumnae scrimmage, but this season is different because the alumnae weren’t able to find a team that could compete with the recent team. A few alumni may play on defense, but the offense will stay the same. This also will be the first time that the freshmen enter a game atmosphere at

the collegiate level. CMU freshmen include, Haley Barker from Clarkston, Hallie Enderle from Minn. and Kaitlyn McIntyre from Wis. The trio makes up CMU’s fourth straight nationally ranked recruiting class, meaning all 14 athletes on the roster are a part of a nationally ranked recruiting class. sports@cm-life.com


6B || Thursday, August 18, 2011 || Central Michigan Life

cm-life.com/category/sports

[Sports]

Mix of youth, experience provides high expectation By Jeff Papworth Staff Reporter

After a season without compiling a two-game winning streak, the Central Michigan field hockey team believes that maintaining a high level of play will be instrumental for it to be successful. “It’s just a matter of working hard, staying enthusiastic and dealing with the ups and downs of the season,” said CMU field hockey coach Cristy Freese. Freese pointed to inexperience as the reason for the Chippewas’ instability. At the beginning of last season, seven freshmen were on the field at one point. “You’re not going to really have that consistent season because not only are they trying to figure out the Division I college game, but it’s about a team effort too, and they have to learn how to play with each other,” Freese said. Over half the squad is underclassman, but nine of 11 starters are returning.

“Twelve is going to take hard work, but it’s definitely doable,” said CMU senior midfielder Paulina Lee. “Just take it game by game and work hard each and every day to reach that goal.” Lee embraced the role of leader, but realizes she needs assistance from her counterparts. “I’m very vocal. I try to use that on the field as well as in practice,” she said. “At the same time we are a team, so my teammates rely on me as much as I rely on them.” Freese expects the team to be more aggressive calling the team “hungry.” Freese has high hopes for Lee and fellow senior Brooke Sihota, along with last year’s scoring leader Erin Dye, as well as sophomore Simone Lazar and senior goalkeeper Anastasia Netto. “I think last year at this time, I wasn’t talking about that many players,” Freese said. “There were too many unknown players.” She thinks Netto’s year of guarding the net will be beneficial to this year’s team. Last season, she was in a position battle that stretched until the third game, when she notched

the first victory of her career. “Ana comes into this year our starter and she can be practicing and preparing that way,” Freese said. “She has a whole season under her belt, so we certainly anticipate that she is going to be able to step up.” High expectations for freshmen Lee believes the freshmen have brought energy, insight and skill. While it is difficult to judge the success of freshmen by highlights and a box score, Freese looks for freshmen Cayleigh Immelman and Mary Alice Moore to break through the starting lineup. An invitation to participate in the 2013 U-21 Junior World Cup is evidence of Immelmann’s success in South Africa. Before joining the team, Moore thrived as well. The New York native was a two-time all-state selection in high school. With only two players donning the Chippewa jersey for the last time this season, successful results most likely will ensue in 2012. However, CMU must begin taking steps forward this year, after tallying its lowest win total in the past 10 seasons. “Were trying to position our

team to not only push for that conference championship this year, but win the conference in 2012 and for years to come after that,” Freese said. The Chippewas open the regular season with a home game at 3 p.m.. Sept. 2 against Saint Louis at the CMU Field Hockey Complex. sports@cm-life.com

Soccer team loses 2-1 against West Virginia in only exhibition game By Brandon Champion Staff Reporter

The Central Michigan woman’s soccer team opened up its 2011 season with a 2-1 exhibition loss to West Virginia Saturday night. The trip to Morgantown wasn’t easy for the Chippewas. The Mountaineers finished last season as the No. 12 team in the country, and were in the early stages of defending their Big East Championship season. "Games like these really prepare us," CMU head coach Neil Stafford said. "We realize that the targets on our back and any time we get to play against a quality opponent like West Virginia, we get

to showcase who we are." The Chippewas are the back-to-back Mid-American Conference Champions, looking to become the third program in MAC history to win three straight tournament titles. CMU took the first shot from 16 yards out, just 3 minutes into game, but just a minute later the Mountaineers converted on a penalty kick. The 1-0 lead would remain until halftime. After a sluggish first half the Chippewas came out fast, and nearly tied the game in the 51st minute on a longrange shot attempt, but again WVU would counter with a goal shortly after, scoring in the 53rd minute.

The only CMU goal came in the 63rd minute, when senior defender Liesel Toth played a ball over top of the Mountaineers’ defense. Senior forward Chelsi Abbott then took two touches before chipping the ball past the WVU goalkeeper. "We did a good job exploiting the weak side like we were planning on doing," Abbott said. "We talked about that, so it’s good to see we did it in the game." Despite the loss, Stafford felt mostly positive about the tune-up game. He was pleased with the way his team executed the game plan. "The goal was a really classy goal," he said. "We wanted to exploit the space behind, and

to go out and do what we did in training was a real positive." He applauded the efforts of the three freshmen in the contest, and also senior defender Claire Horton, who took a leadership role at halftime by pumping up the team. "I was really pleased to see the resilience of having a poor first half and then having a better second half," he said. "It’s always nice to see a team rally itself and show the maturity were asking them to show." The Chippewas begin the regular season on Friday when they host Detroit at the CMU Soccer Complex.

Football, soccer should crate buzz on campus this year A Central Michigan sports follower will have a lot to look forward to in the fall. Does 29-27 ring a bell? Sept. 24, CMU football has a chance to upset the Spartans again, this time with the opportunity to even the career series at four. And it could be heading into Spartan Stadium with a bit of confidence. It’ll be one week removed from the in-state rivalry game against Western Michigan. A win against WMU and the Chippewas could be riding high. A loss and the itch to win might be much greater. Either way, it makes for an exciting fall for football. My question is … If Michigan beats WMU, MSU beats Michigan, and CMU beats both WMU and MSU, aren’t the Chippewas the best team in the state? It could be a 2009 repeat! Bragging rights trump all. However, football isn’t the only sport filled with bragging rights. Women’s soccer begins its quest to win its third straight Mid-American Conference championship under the leadership of new head coach Neil Stafford. The combination of a winning tradition for CMU soccer and a potential rise is soccer popularity could provide an exciting season for the sport. The U.S. women’s national team hooked me. I’m not ashamed to say I enjoyed the 2012 Women’s World Cup. The cross from Megan Rapinoe to Abby Wambach for the ty-

John Manzo Sports Editor ing goal against Brazil in the quarterfinals was what did it. The play was so remarkable that it won the ESPY for Play of the Year and it happened just a week prior. My hunch is that I’m not the only one craving more soccer. Multiple sports could

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Big Ten media members have the Spartans near or at the top of the Big Ten Legends division. People have the right to their opinion, but the favorites don’t come out on top all the time. Ask Appalachian State. They remember being the underdog after shocking U of M 34-32 in 2007. Even ask some of the CMU football players that were apart of the upset in 2009 against MSU. Predictions are different from results. It’s why the game is played.

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High hopes for men and women’s fall sports in the 2011 season create a buzz this year. And don’t count out the rest of CMU’s fall sports. Teams that win, create fans. This season I expect more wins and more fans. Last season Kelly/Shorts Stadium was vacated by the first half. The football team is now in year two of head coach Dan Enos’ system and the comfort level is at an all-time high. CMU has depth at positions and more competition for those spots. A MAC Media Day poll projected the Chippewas to finish fourth in the MAC West.

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Central Michigan Life || Thursday, August 18, 2011 || 7B

[Sports]

C r o ss c o u n t r y

Randolph expects men to finish in top three of Mid-American Conference this season By Kristopher Lodes Staff Reporter

Expectations are high for the Central Michigan men’s cross country team. CMU is not just looking to improve, they’re setting their sights on a much bigger prize after finishing eighth last season at the Mid-American Conference Championships. “We expect to be top three or better,” said cross country director Willie Randolph. “We’ve got to do small things to make the men’s team believe they are

a top program, not only in the conference, but in the nation as well.” Last season the men had just one senior and redshirted a few athletes in preparation for this season, so what was a young, inexperienced team last season, is now full of veteran leadership. Junior Jason Drudge will be leading the team. Drudge was the Chippewas star runner last season, earning first selection All-MAC by finishing seventh overall at the MAC Championships with a time of 24:58.8.

CMU had six runners finish in the top 50 in the MAC and it will be returning all of them. “We have to keep our heads in it,” Drudge said. “We didn’t perform when the time came last season and we’re hoping to improve on that this season.” Focus seems to be the key aspect the team needs to improve on its times from last season. “We need to start out healthy and focused as a team to accomplish the goals we have lined out,” Randolph said. “Every team’s goal is to finish in the top two or three in a year

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The Central Michigan women’s cross country team made strides last season, finishing second at the MidAmerican Conference Championships. However, finishing in the top half of the MAC for the past five years isn’t satisfying enough; they’re out for first. “It’s all about making sure the athletes are finishing in the highest place possible,” said cross country director Willie Randolph. “Last year we were one lady short of making that happen.” The Chippewas are returning five of their top nine runners from the MAC Championship meet, including the top two runners, Raeannne Lohner and Krista Parks. Maddie Ribant, along with Lohner and Parks, finished in the top 30 of the MAC. “With a whole other year of training under coach (Matt) Kaczor, we’ll be more prepared for the run at the end of the season,” Ribant said. Randolph thinks the incoming freshmen could make a difference for the team this season. Luran Duncan from Sylvania, Ohio; Alysaa Dyer from Ada and Breanne Lesner from Freeland., are the freshmen on the team. “The recruiting class looks pretty solid,” Randolph said. “If they run the way we need to on the day that it counts, it’ll be very different compared to last year.” The women have to focus on their goals in order to finish were they want

CMU sophomore Gideon Kiptoo of Eldoret Kenya, runs in the middle of the pack around the 1 mile mark during the men’s 5K run at the 25th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial last year at the Pleasant Hills Golf Course in Mt. Pleasant.

in and year out basis, but we also want to do great things at regionals and nationals.” The Chippewas are satisfied with the incoming freshmen. Randolph expects the upperclassmen to help their transition. “The recruiting class looks pretty solid,” Randolph said. “We have a lot of good depth and balance with a solid group of upperclassmen that can lead them.”

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8B || Thursday, August 18, 2011 || Central Michigan Life

cm-life.com/category/sports

[SPORTS]

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