Sept. 11, 2009
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Soccer Complex)
Event: Michigan Invitational
Score: Michigan 3, Wright State 0
Records: U-M (3-1-0), Wright State (1-2-0)
Next U-M Game: Sunday, Sept. 13 -- vs. Lipscomb (U-M Soccer Complex), 2:30 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Freshman defender Kofi Opare (Niagara Falls, Ontario/St. Paul) scored the gamewinner in the 75th minute and senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) added penalty kick and free kick conversions to lead the University of Michigan men's soccer team to a 3-0, home-opening win over Wright State on Friday night (Sept. 11) at the U-M Soccer Complex.
Junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) picked up his third assist of the season, helping out on Opare's goal, while junior/sophomore Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) made three saves on the night in the cage. The Maize and Blue held a staggering statistical advantage, outshooting the Raiders, 28-7, and taking four corner kicks to Wright State's two.
The squads entered the final 15 minutes deadlocked at 0-0. After a long ball out of the back, the Wolverines packed into the 18-yard box as Meram gathered the ball and sent it towards the goal. Opare collected it in front and sent it in for the score and the 1-0 advantage. Fuzetti continued his dominance on the front line and converted on a penalty kick after a takedown in the box, and minutes later added another insurance goal off a free kick just outside the 18-yard box.
The Wolverines and Raiders went into the halftime break tied, 0-0, but it was not for lack of opportunity as Fuzetti had six of U-M's 14 halftime shots. Meram had a chance to end the stalemate in the 44th minute after a spin that beat a Wright State defender but was stymied by Wright State's Matt Koewler.
Wright State also had a good scoring opportunity in the 28th minute. After slipping through the U-M defense, Brian Cothern put the ball on target, but it grazed the post and rolled out of bounds.
The Wolverines return to the pitch on Sunday (Sept. 13) when they take on Lipscomb. Kickoff is set for approximately 2:30 p.m. at the U-M Soccer Complex.
Scoring, Time (Assist)
2nd -- U-M, Kofi Opare, 74:27 (Justin Meram)
2nd -- U-M, Mauro Fuzetti, 84:19 (Penalty Kick)
2nd -- U-M, Fuzetti, 88:59 (unassisted)
Shots: U-M 28, WSU 9
Shots on Goal: U-M 11, WSU 3
Saves: U-M 3 (Chris Blais), WSU 4 (Matt Koewler 8)
Corner Kicks: U-M 4, WSU 2
Fouls: U-M 10, WSU 12
Cards: WSU, Jonah Longino, 4:45 (Yellow); WSU, Uros Grujic, 64:27 (Yellow); WSU, Ivan Yanez, 83:34 (Yellow).
N O T E S
Today's game was the second meeting between Michigan and Wright State. The Wolverines hold a 2-0 advantage over the Raiders, defeating them tonight and 3-1 during the 2002 season.
The Wolverines move to 8-2 all-time in Michigan Invitational action. U-M has only lost one game in Michigan Invitational action, falling to University of Illinois-Chicago last season.
Junior defender Jeff Quijano earned his first start of the season in tonight's contest.
Freshman defender Kofi Opare earned his first career goal in tonight's contest.
Mauro Fuzetti scored the first U-M goal on a penalty kick in tonight's contest. It is the first PK conversion for U-M this season.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Steve Burns
On the game ... I thought we played pretty poorly in the first half, surprisingly, but we made up for it by scoring three goals. Overall, the difference in the game was the fact that our central midfield really got going with Mauro Fuzetti and Adam Shaw, who played great games. I think Justin Meram was effective up front, getting in behind and he was worthy of the assist on the first goal. It was nice to see Kofi (Opare) score his first goal in a Michigan uniform -- the first of many. I like the steps we're taking moving forward and we are getting ready for the next game on Sunday."
Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423