Sept. 16, 2013
The defeat against Marquette on Friday (Sept. 13) snapped a three-match unbeaten streak for the Wolverines, the fifth time in program history U-M has opened the season with at least a three-match unbeaten streak (2001,'04, '07, '08).
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 156, 33 shots behind program leader Mauro Fuzetti (2006-09), who leads the records with 186. Additionally, the Wolverine senior has played in 65 matches, 20 behind former teammate Latif Alashe (2009-12), who played in 85 matches in his Maize and Blue career.
Pereira leads the Big Ten in shots per game with four per content, while TJ VanSlooten is second in the conference in goals with three, and third in points per game at 1.50. Ezekiel Harris and Tyler Arnone are tied for fifth in the conference with two helpers, while Adam Grinwis is No. 2 in saves per contest (3.75) and third overall in saves with 15.
In the first two home matches this season, U-M saw 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).
Sophomore forward James Murphy had a big opening weekend with a pair of goals against Loyola-Chicago and an assist against Bowling Green. He leads the team with five points and four shots, all of which have come on goal. For his efforts, Murphy garnered Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
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. Nason earned a starting nod versus USF, while Eckenrode earned a starting stop against Marquette. 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 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).
Notre Dame -- The matchup vs. Notre Dame is the first ranked opponent the Wolverines will face this year, as the No. 4 Irish -- now ranked No. 2 as of Tuesday, Sept. 17 -- defeated No. 25 Syracuse, 3-0, on Saturday. Last season, the Wolverines fell in overtime to the Fighting Irish is Ann Arbor by a 1-0 count on Sept. 16. Overall, Michigan is 1-6-2 all-time against Notre Dame. The lone win in the series for Michigan came in 2008, as the Wolverines downed then-No. 8 ND 3-1. ND enters with a 2-0-2 overall record and has played one of the top slates in the country, drawing against UCLA, 0-0, on Aug. 30, beating SMU, 2-1, on Sept. 1, tying North Carolina, 1-1, on Sept. 8 and most recently blanking Syracuse, 3-0, on Sept. 13.
West Virginia -- The Wolverines and Mountaineers are facing each other for the first time in program history. West Virginia will enter the tilt with a 3-2-1 record and 2-0-1 home record with a marquee win over No. 8 Indiana by a 5-4 count on Sept. 8. Offensively, the squad is led by Andy Bevin (4g, 3a) and Majed Osman (3g, 3a), while Lee Johnston is the man in goal with 18 saves and a clean sheet.
Tuesday, Sept. 24 -- at Oakland (Rochester, Mich.), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28 -- vs. Northwestern (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
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Contact: Scott Kemps (734) 763-4423l