Nov. 15, 2012
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Soccer Stadium)
Event: NCAA Tournament (First Round)
Score: Michigan 3, Niagara 1
Records: U-M (11-9-1), Niagara (13-2-4)
Next Match: Sunday, Nov. 18 -- vs. Akron - NCAA Championship Second Round (Akron, Ohio), 4:30 p.m. [ Tickets ]
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's soccer team trailed 1-0 with 21 minutes remaining, but a trio of goals from junior Fabio Villas Boas Pereira (Sao Paolo, Brazil/South Kent [Conn.]) in seven minutes proved to be the difference as the Wolverines defeated the Niagara Purple Eagles, 3-1, on Thursday (Nov. 15) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at U-M Soccer Stadium. The Wolverines will take on Akron Sunday (Nov. 18) at 4:30 p.m. at Cub Cadet Field in Akron, Ohio.
Michigan (11-9-1) controlled the action in the first half, outshooting the Purple Eagles by a 16-1 margin. The Wolverines used six chances from the foot of junior/sophomore Tyler Arnone (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville), as well as three from freshman James Murphy (Oxford, England/Henry Box School), but neither were able to find the back of the net.
Niagara (13-2-4) found the first breakthrough of the match in the 59th-minute on a counter attack. Michah Paulino sent a ball inside the 18 to Bryan Da Cruz, who beat Michigan goalkeeper junior/sophomore Adam Grinwis (Ada, Mich./Forest Hills) lower right for the first goal of the contest, giving the Purple Eagles the early advantage.
A shot in the 66th-minute by Latif Alashe (Northville, Mich./Northville) resulted in a handball inside the box and a penalty attempt for the Wolverines. Pereira's attempt was converted, knotting the contest at 1-1 with 24 minutes to play. The Brazilain struck again 2:18 later, ripping a shot from 25-yards out that deflected off a Niagara defender and found the lower right corner of the goal to give U-M a 2-1 lead.
Michigan's final tally came in the 73rd-minute on U-M's second penalty of the night, as Pereira buried another shot to seal the 3-1 victory. The hat trick is the first of his career and the first since teammate Etienne Lussiez (Livonia, Mich./Winston Churchill) netted a trio of scores against Detroit last season on Sept. 14.
The Wolverines advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history and will take on national power Akron on Sunday (Nov. 18) at 4:30 p.m. inside Cub Cadet Field/First Energy Stadium in Akron, Ohio. Michigan will look to avenge an earlier season loss, as U-M fell to the Zips, 1-0 after playing with 10 men for the majority of the match, on Oct. 16. Michigan holds a 1-1 all-time record against the Zips in the NCAA Tournament. [ Tickets ]
Scoring, Time (Assists)
2nd -- Niagara, Bryan Da Cruz, 58:59 (Micah Paulino)
2nd -- U-M, Fabio Pereira, 65:37 (Penalty Kick)
2nd -- U-M, Pereira, 67:55 (unassisted)
2nd -- U-M, Pereira, 72:20 (Penalty Kick)
Shots: U-M 26, Niagara 7
Shots on Goal: U-M 13, Niagara 3
Saves: U-M 2 (Adam Grinwis), Niagara 10 (Brett Petricek)
Corner Kicks: U-M 2, Niagara 5
N O T E S
Pereria's hat trick is the ninth in program history. He also leads the team in goals with six and is 3-of-4 on penalty attempts this season.
With his 84th career start against Niagara, senior tri-captain Latif Alashe has now started the most matches in U-M history, after recently surpassing Ryan Sterba (2002-05).
Alashe has seen his name in the starting 11 every game during his four years in Ann Arbor. Additionally, he broke the program record for minutes played with his full 90 tonight, surpassing Chase Tennant (2005-06,2009-10).
Michigan is now 6-1 over its last seven matches.
U-M improves to 8-4 all-time in the NCAA Tourney, as well as 5-0 at home.