First Touch #2: U-M Returns Home to Host the Michigan Invitational

Sept. 8, 2009

Friday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m.
-- vs. Wright State (U-M Soccer Complex)
Sunday, Sept. 13, 2:30 p.m. -- vs. Lipscomb (U-M Soccer Complex)

The University of Michigan men's soccer team (2-1-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten) kicks off the 2009 home schedule this weekend by hosting the annual Michigan Invitational. The Wolverines welcome Big Ten foe, Michigan State, Wright State and Lipscomb to the U-M Soccer Complex for the weekend tournament. U-M will take on Wright State at approximately 7 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 11) before closing the weekend against Lipscomb at approximately 2:30 on Sunday (Sept. 13).

Michigan has a 48-19-7 record at home, including going 1-0 on the competition field at the U-M Soccer Complex last season. The Wolverines are 7-2 in home openers and are 7-1 in Michigan Invitational action.

Tournament Schedule (All games will take place at the U-M Soccer Complex)
Friday, Sept. 11
Michigan State vs. Lipscomb, 5 p.m.
Michigan vs. Wright State, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 13
Michigan State vs. Wright State, Noon
Michigan vs. Lipscomb, 2:30 p.m.

Patriot Day -- Join the Wolverines as we honor those who have served our country on this National Day of Remembrance. Additionally, fans can bring things to put in care packages that we will send to Iraq and Afghanistan, and kids are invited to color pictures to send overseas.
International Student BBQ -- Calling all International Students! Join us for a fun-filled BBQ complete with games and free food. This event is being co-sponsored by the Men's Soccer Team and the International Center.
Build The M-Pire -- Join the M-Pire! The first 75 students will get a free M-Pire T-shirt and will get a voucher for a free Maize T-shirt at the Sept. 16th game against Detroit.

Youth Soccer Day -- We welcome all youth soccer teams to the U-M Soccer Complex and invite all fans to participate in our soccer pass back program and donate new or gently used soccer items for budding soccer stars. Postgame autographs from the men's soccer team will follow after the game.
Camp Reunion Day -- Calling all U-M Men's Soccer Campers! You all are invited back for today's game. The first 50 campers to come to the game wearing their camp T-shirt will receive a free adidas water bottle.
Alumni Day -- All former U-M Men's Soccer players are invited back for today's game. All alumni in attendance will be recognized.

Wright State -- U-M leads, 1-0
Lipscomb -- First Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m. -- vs. Detroit (U-M Soccer Complex)
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2 p.m. -- at Western Michigan (Kalamazoo, Mich.-WMU Soccer Complex)

Complete Stats Through 9/6/09

Top Players

Name GP G A P
Mauro Fuzetti 3 2 1 5
Justin Meram 3 1 1 3

Chris Blais 3-3 2-1-0 2.33 .632

Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford)
Fuzetti entered the 2009 season as U-M top returning scorer after tallying 24 points with nine goals and six assists last season. Fuzetti has shown he has not lost his touch after tallying two goals and one assist for five points in U-M's first week of action. Fuzetti sparked U-M's second-half rally against Valparaiso on Sunday (Sept. 6) by scoring the equalizer in the 71st minute and assisting on the game-winning goal.

Michigan in Home Openers

The Wolverines own a 7-2 record in home openers and have won their last two home openers. In fact, U-M's has only lost two home openers in program history. This weekend's home games mark the second time the Wolverines have opened the home schedule into the third week of September. This weekend's game also marks U-M's return to the competition field at the U-M Soccer Complex since defeating UC-Davis, 2-1, in NCAA Tournament action last November.

Michigan at the Michigan Invitational
This weekend's Michigan Invitational marks the fifth consecutive season that the Wolverines have hosted the Michigan Invitational. U-M owns a 7-1 record in tournament action with their last loss in the tournament coming in 2008 when the Maize and Blue fell to then-No. 16. University of Illinois-Chicago, 4-1. The Wolverines have participated in at least one in-season tournament in each of its 10 years with the exception of their first year of varsity competition in 2000. U-M has a 23-8-2 record in in-season tournament action.

Tennant Back to Form
The 2009 season marks the return of junior defender Chase Tennant (Rochester, Mich./Rochester). Tennant, who earned Big Ten All-Freshman honors in 2005, spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons serving a Mormon mission in Portland, Ore. Tennant has started in each of Michigan games this season and against Drake on Friday, Sept. 4, scored the game-winning goal; his first goal since the 2006 season.

Blais Makes His Mark Between the Pipes
Junior/sophomore Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) is in his first season as U-M's starting goalkeeper and has been impressive from the outset. In U-M's season-opening loss to No. 12 Notre Dame he posted a career-high six saves.

Two Times, Twice as Nice
The Maize and Blue seems to have a knack for getting its offense up and running in the second half. Against Drake, U-M posted two second-half goals after entering halftime tied at 0-0 to take a 2-1 win and against Valparaiso the Wolverines found themselves trailing 1-0 and fought back with two second-half goals to take a 2-1 victory. Oddly enough, both of U-M's victories this season have been by a score of 2-1 and the Wolverines also earned a 2-1 exhibition win over Xavier.

U-M Men's Soccer Program is approaching 100th program victory
The Wolverine men's soccer team is fast approaching its 100th program victory. U-M has a 92-71-18 program record heading into this weekend and needs only eight more wins to reach the century mark. Head coach Steve Burns will also pick up his 100th career victory at the helm of the program; Burns has the distinction of being the only head coach in U-M men's soccer history.

The Week That Was
The No. 22-ranked Wolverines opened the 2009 season with a 2-1-0 record. After trailing No. 12 Notre Dame by one goal heading into halftime, No. 12 Notre Dame had a four-goal second half to defeat the Wolverines, 5-0, in the season opener. The Maize and Blue rebounded with a 2-1 road victory at Drake and closed the weekend with a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over Valparaiso. Goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) netted 12 saves on the week, while senior midfielder Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) posted two goals and an assist for five points on the week.

2009 Season Marks U-M's First Decade
The U-M men's soccer team will celebrate its first decade this season. The Wolverines played their first season as a varsity team in 2000 and have been to three NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2003, their first appearance in the national tournament. Stay tuned to for upcoming events celebrating U-M's first decade.

Introducing the Captain and his helper
Senior defender Danny Gray (Setauket, N.Y./Chaminade) is serving as a captain for the second consecutive season. Last season, Gray served as a tri-captain with Mike Holody and Jake Stacy, but this season Gray is leading the Wolverines by himself but not without help. In something new this season, junior defender Chase Tennant (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) will be serving as an assistant captain.

Hey ... We're on Twitter!
Michigan men's soccer is now on Twitter. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (Michigan_msocc) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

2009 Yearbook and Record Book
Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, the University of Michigan athletics department will no longer print media guides. U-M fans and media can still obtain all the information they're used to, only now it's available online. If you're looking for in-depth historical information, statistics, records, archives, etc., the Record Book is what you'll need. For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook.

The U-M Soccer Complex
The Wolverines moved into the U-M Soccer Complex during the 2008 campaign, a three-field, soccer-exclusive facility that is part of a $6 million project that is funded by Intercollegiate Athletics resources and gifts. Work will begin on the stadium, slated to open in the fall of 2010, in October on the site of the current competition field. The men's soccer team played its home games at the Michigan Soccer Field, an all-grass field on South State Street since its inaugural season in 2000 and compiled a 38-18-7 record in eight seasons. The first game played by the men's team was a 1-0 victory over DePaul. The field also played host to 2004 Big Ten Championship and twice was the site of a U-M NCAA Tournament contest.

The Leader of the Maize and Blue
Steve Burns enters his 10th season at the helm of the University of Michigan men's soccer program. He has guided the Wolverines to three NCAA Tournament appearances, seen the team to varsity status, overseen the proposition and execution of the new U-M Soccer Complex and built a program that is consistently among the nation's elite. Burn's resume also includes leading the U-M club soccer team to back-to-back national titles.
Burns' staff is made up of associate head coach Paul Snape, assistant coach Chris Grassie and volunteer assistant Waldir DeSouza. Snape is in his seventh season with the U-M program and was recently elevated to his current position of associate head coach after spending six seasons as the first assistant. Prior to his tenure at Michigan, Snape spent seven seasons playing with the Mid-Michigan Bucks. Grassie, who enters his third season with the Wolverines, played professionally in England, most recently with Kidsgrove Athletic, then a part of the Alliance Premier League, and Northwich when it was part of the Football Conference. He also spent the 2004-06 season on staff at Marshall University where he focused on team training, goalkeepers and recruiting. DeSouza is back with head coach Burns for his 10th season and will continue to help the Wolverines with the management of team training and fitness.

Rank and File
Michigan earned a No. 22 preseason ranking by the National Soccer Coaches of American (NSCAA) and a No. 24 ranking in TopDrawerSoccer's preseason edition of the 2009 men's tournament 48 ranking. The Tournament 64 rankings are a running attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth.

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

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