Wolverines Head to NCAA Round of 16 With OT Win Over UCF

Nov. 21, 2010

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Soccer Stadium)
Event: NCAA Tournament Second Round
Score: #19 Michigan 2, UCF 1 (OT)
Records: U-M (15-4-3), UCF (12-5-3)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Nov. 28 -- at South Carolina - NCAA Second Round (Columbia, S.C.), 2 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Latif Alashe (Northville, Mich./Northville) scored his second career goal at 94:08 to send the No. 19-ranked University of Michigan men's soccer team to a 2-1 overtime victory over the University of Central Florida in an NCAA Tournament second-round match on Sunday (Nov. 21) at the U-M Soccer Stadium. The win puts the Wolverines into the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third time in program history and the first time since the 2008 season.

Alashe sealed the Wolverines' program-record 15th win of the season just four minutes into the overtime session. The sophomore midfielder headed a free kick from Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) just behind UCF goalkeeper Shawn Doyle to send the Wolverines into the next round and to keep them undefeated in the last seven games.

Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) posted a game-high 10 shots, with four reaching the frame. In addition to goals from Alashe and Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower), Hamoody Saad and Alex Wood (Northville, Michigan/Northville) added assists in the U-M victory. Goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) made two saves in the contest and picked up his 15th win of the season and his fourth career overtime win.

The Wolverines, who found themselves trailing in the second half for just the second time in the last seven games, came out on fire in the second half. Meram picked up his eighth goal in the last six games to equalize the score at 1-1 at the 49:48 mark. The goal, just five minutes into the second half, had the momentum shifted to favor the Wolverines.

U-M picked up its offense in the second half, making some adjustments out of the halftime break. Michigan recorded a season-best 13 shots on goal and tallied 31 total shots on the afternoon, including 18 in the second half.

U-M had several fantastic scoring opportunities throughout the game, including two seemingly point-blank shots at the goal, but the UCF backline was solid and kept the Wolverines off the scoreboard until the second half.

UCF got on the board first during the ninth minute of action from a header off a throw-in which was tapped just behind Blais. That was the only scoring opportunity they would get for the remainder of the game.

The Wolverines will take on No. 18-ranked South Carolina in the Sweet 16 round on Sunday (Nov. 28) at 2 p.m. in Columbia, S.C.


By Periods 1 2 OT F
UCF 1 0 0 1
Michigan 0 1 1 2

Scoring, Time (Assist)
1st -- UCF, Nik Keown-Robson 8:54 (A.J. Nelson, Cameron Cooksey)
2nd -- U-M, Justin Meram, 49:48 (Alex Wood)
OT -- U-M, Latif Alashe, 94:08 (Hamoody Saad)

Shots: U-M 31, UCF 17
Shots on Goal: U-M 13, UCF 3
Saves: U-M 2 (Chris Blais), UCF 11 (Shawn Doyle)
Corner Kicks: U-M 14, UCF 5
Fouls: U-M 5, UCF 7
Cards: U-M, Hamoody Saad, 4:41 (Yellow), UCF, Spencer Scott, 94:04 (Yellow)


• This was the first meeting all-time between Michigan and Central Florida. Central Florida was the second team this season that the Wolverines were meeting for the first time. Michigan also took on Marquette for the first time this season.

• Michigan moves to 4-0 all-time in NCAA Championship games in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines have hosted three games in their four NCAA Championship appearances.

• The win gives Michigan its 15th win of the season which sets a new school record. The old record of 14 wins was tied last week when the Wolverines won the Big Ten Tournament. Prior to this season U-M last had 14 wins in 2003, when they advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Justin Meram's equalizing goal was his eighth goal in the last six games. Meram has scored at least one goal in each of the last six games he has played in.

• Today's game was U-M's seventh overtime game this season and its fourth overtime win. Michigan is 4-0-3 in overtime games this season.

• The nation's leading scorer, Soony Saad, was held scoreless for just the seventh time this season. Prior to today's game Saad had scored a goal in each of U-M's last four games.

• The Wolverines tied their single-game record for corner kicks with 14 in today's game.


Michigan Head Coach Steve Burns
On the game ... "The environment was electric; a special thank you to the Ultras who cheered their Maize and Blue hearts out today, and the game delivered on every level. Our guys stayed focused for the entire 90 as we needed every bit of that, and then some, against a very strong and committed UCF team. I'm really proud of how we kept our discipline in defense and composure in the attack to figure out a way to win."

On who played above and beyond today ... "Make no doubt that this was a team win today. A great win for our program and a great win for Michigan. Justin Meram and Latif Alashe got the goals, but I thought there were three guys that were just awesome and deserve a lot of the credit because they did so much of the dirty work. Adam Shaw was like a little terrier in there today at the defensive midfield position. He just snapped and yapped at everything and everybody on the field. Brian Klemczak didn't put a foot wrong all game at the center defense position and was just a stalwart in the back. But my 'Man of the Match' was defender Jeffrey Quijano at the right back position. Not only did he shut down their top scorer, but he really showed how big of an engine he has by making so many great probing runs forward into their defense. He's the inspirational leader of our team and he delivered in a big way."

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

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