Sept. 10, 2013
The University of Michigan men's soccer team (1-0-2) wraps its homestand on Friday night (Sept. 13) at 7 p.m., hosting the Marquette Golden Eagles (2-1-1) at U-M Soccer Stadium. The Wolverines received 10 votes in this week's NSCAA national poll, while Marquette got 19.
Single-game and season tickets are available for purchase through the Michigan Athletics Ticket Office. To purchase, please call (866) 296-MTIX or visit www.MGoBlue.com/tickets.
The Wolverines enter Friday's match against Marquette with a three-match unbeaten streak to begin the season after battling to a 1-1 draw against USF on Friday night. Last season at Marquette, U-M fell to the then-No. 17 Golden Eagles by a 2-1 count.
TJ VanSlooten and James Murphy have led the Wolverine offense thus far, as VanSlooten leads the Big Ten in goals with three (six points), and Murphy is No. 2 in points with five (two goals, one assist). Tyler Arnone and Ezekiel Harris are tied for the team, as well as conference lead, in assists with two. As a team, the Wolverines are No. 1 in the conference in points (23), goals (7) and assists (9). Last year, it took four matches for the Wolverines to score seven goals.
In the first two home matches this season, U-M has seen a total of 3,186 fans in attendance, the most in a two-match span since 2011, when there were 4,434 fans total in matches against Butler (Sept. 2) and Northern Illinois (Sept. 4).
Fabio Pereira is creeping up the Michigan career record books in assists, shots attempted and games played. Most notably is the program assist record, as he holds 18, which are 10 behind program leader Adam Bruh (2002-05), who paces the program records with 28. Pereira had five shots in his season debut, and he is now No. 7 in career shots attempted with 151, 37 shots behind program leader Mauro Fuzetti (2006-09), who leads the records with 186. Additionally, the Wolverine senior has played in 64 matches, 21 behind former teammate Latif Alashe (2009-12), who played in 85 matches in his Maize and Blue career.
The last time U-M had at least two ties in the month of September was during the 2010 College Cup season, as the Wolverines played five overtime matches that resulted in three draws. Coincidentally, two of the draws came against Notre Dame and Marquette, each of which are the 2013 Wolverine slate.
Sophomore forward James Murphy had a big opening weekend with a pair of goals against Loyola-Chicago and an assist against Bowling Green. For his efforts, Murphy garnered Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. The last U-M player to win B1G Offensive Player of the Week honors was Soony Saad in 2010.
In the opening weekend of action, three newcomers -- freshman Rylee Woods, freshman Andre Morris and junior transfer Marcos Ugarte -- found themselves in the starting XI. Additionally, freshmen Brett Nason, Lars Eckenrode, and Ali Jawad all made their initial appearances. Against Loyola-Chicago, senior Tyler Leppek earned the first starting nod of his career after coming off the bench in all 12 previous appearances. He logged 63 minutes of action at left back.
Several Wolverines spent the summer months training with multiple Major League Soccer clubs. Arnone (Philadelphia Union, Sporting KC), Pereira (Sporting KC), Ugarte (Houston Dynamo), Grinwis (Columbus Crew) and freshman Rylee Woods (Columbus Crew) had training stints. Additionally, Lars Eckenrode appeared in several reserve league matches for D.C. United.
U-M welcomes the No. 8 recruiting class in the country according to College Soccer News, as well as the No. 10 recruiting class according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. The class is comprised of nine freshmen and Ugarte and is led by left back Woods (No. 26 player in 2013 class by College Soccer News), Brett Nason (No. 47) and Eckenrode (No. 64).
Michigan has racked up several preseason accolades, highlighted Pereira making the TopDrawerSoccer.com Best XI and being named the No. 10 player in the nation by the website. College Sports Madness named T.J. Roehn and Pereira to the 2013 Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Team, while Arnone and Grinwis found their names on the second team. Pereira also found himself on the College Sports Madness Preseason All-American third team.
In the annual Big Ten Preseason list, Pereira, Grinwis and Arnone were also named to the Big Ten Players to Watch List.
As a team, U-M was named the No. 15 squad in preseason polls by both College Sports Madness and TopDrawerSoccer.com. College Soccer News has U-M listed as the No. 28 squad in its preseason poll.
U-M returns a little more than 75 percent of its scoring output from a year ago, including its top four goal scorers, and currently holds a four-match home winning streak after going a combined 8-3-1 in 2013 home matches. The four-match streak includes a 3-1 win over Niagara on Nov. 15 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Last fall, Chaka Daley led the Wolverines to a six-win turnaround and 11-10-1 overall record, a berth in the Big Ten championship game and an NCAA Tournament victory. The squad returns 2012 All-Big Ten first team midfielder Tyler Arnone, All-Big Ten second team goalkeeper Adam Grinwis, All-Big Ten Freshman honoree James Murphy and 2011-12 leading goal scorer Fabio Villas Boas Pereira.
U-M will appear live twice on the Big Ten Network this season, beginning with a non-conference matchup versus the Creighton Blue Jays on Tuesday (Oct. 15) at 7:30 p.m. at U-M Soccer Stadium. Less than two weeks later, the Wolverines will once again appear on the network, hosting the defending NCAA national champion Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday (Oct. 26) at 7 p.m. Additionally, U-M will appear on the Big Ten Student U Network for matches against Northwestern (Sept. 28), Western Michigan (Oct. 2), Wisconsin (Oct. 20), and Akron (Oct. 30).
Michigan now has three active Major League Soccer players in Justin Meram (2009-10), Soony Saad (2010) and Kofi Opare (2009-12). Meram in his third season with the Columbus Crew and has played in 15 matches with nine starting nods this season, scoring one goal and dishing out one assist. He has started the last two matches for Columbus. Saad, of Sporting KC, has been a regular in the starting XI this season, starting 11 of 18 matches this season and 10 of the last 12 and has four goals as well as four assists on 51 shots.
The recent graduate Opare earned his first start on Sept. 9 in a 1-0 defeat against the Colorado Rapids. He went the full 90, had a shot, drew a pair of fouls and caused a foul.
Marquette -- Marquette (2-1-1) earned its first two victories of the season this past weekend, including its first shutout with a 3-0 clean sheet Friday (Sept. 6) against Bowling Green in the opening match of the 39th Panther Invitational at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Engelmann Stadium. MU then cruised to a 4-1 home win Sunday over Drake (Sept. 8) to claim the tournament title.
Midfielders Brady Wahl and Louis Bennett II and forward Adam Lysak were named to the 11-person All-Panther Invitational Team, along with central defender Axel Sjoberg, who garnered Most Valuable Player honors.
MU out-scored its opponents 7-1 on the weekend behind six different goal scorers. The Golden Eagles were led offensively by underclassmen Coco Navarro, C. Nortey and Bennett II, who chipped in four points each in the pair of victories.
Navarro and Nortey both have two goals and two assists on the season to share the overall team lead with six points apiece through four matches.
Tuesday, Sept. 17 -- at Notre Dame (South Bend), 7:30 p.m.
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