First Touch #4: U-M Welcomes Kentucky, No. 23 Ohio State

Sept. 20, 2010

Michigan vs. Kentucky, vs. #23 Ohio State
U-M Soccer Stadium • Ann Arbor, Mich.
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The University of Michigan men's soccer team (3-1-3, 0-0-0 Big Ten) plays host to Kentucky on Wednesday (Sept. 22) in a non-conference game and welcomes Big Ten rival and 23rd-ranked Ohio State for the Big Ten conference opener for both teams on Saturday (Sept. 25). Saturday's game is the highlight of the men's soccer annual Alumni Weekend. Both games will have a 7 p.m. kickoff at the U-M Soccer Stadium.

The Wolverines will honor the Michigan men's soccer alumni at halftime of Saturday's game against Ohio State. The program will also be recognizing its all-decade team, which will be announced on Friday (Sept. 24) on
Receive free admission to the 7 p.m. men's soccer game against Ohio State with your Bowling Green football ticket.


Let's Get it Started -- The Wolverines will open the Big Ten slate this week when they host Ohio State on Saturday at 7 p.m. This will mark the first time that the Wolverines and Buckeyes will square off in a Big Ten season- opener in the 10 years of the program. The Wolverines and Nittany Lions have squared off to open the Big Ten season a record four times, including three consecutive seasons from 2000-03. Michigan also played Wisconsin three consecutive openers from 2006-08. In addition, Michigan is looking for its first win in a Big Ten opener since the 2005 season when it defeated Northwestern, 1-0, on the same date as this season's Big Ten opener (Sept. 25). Michigan has won two Big Ten openers (2003 and 2005) in its 10 years as a member of the Big Ten.

Wolverines Unbeaten in the Last Five Games -- The Wolverines have run their unbeaten streak to five games and in that span they have picked up two wins (Oakland and Illinois-Chicago) and three ties (Seattle, Notre Dame, Marquette). With 11 games remaining on the schedule, Michigan already has the same amount of ties it had in each of the last three seasons. The most ties a Michigan team has posted in one season are four (2004, 2006).

U-M vs. Buckeyes, State of Ohio -- Most folks know all about the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry on the gridiron, but it also extends to the soccer pitch. In the 13 times the Wolverines and Buckeyes have met previously, 10 games have been decided by one goal, including five of the last six meetings. There have only been two games in the series that have been decided by more than one goal -- during the 2004 season, a 2-0 Ohio State win, and a 3-0 Ohio State victory during the 2000 season, U-M's first season as a varsity program. Additionally, there has only been one tie between the teams, a 0-0 result during the 2006 season, and the teams have gone into overtime on four occasions. Additionally, the women's soccer team will be taking on the Buckeyes women's squad on Sunday (Sept. 26) at 2 p.m. Michigan also takes on Cincinnati (Oct. 6) and Akron (Oct. 19) from the Buckeye State this season.

Second Half Goals Mounting Up -- Michigan continued its streak of second-half markers against Marquette (Sept. 19), scoring its lone goal in the second frame. Of Michigan's nine goals this season, seven have come in the second 45. This result follows the Wolverines trend of taking more shots in the second half. Currently, Michigan is outshooting its opponents 97-43 in the second half and 187-105 overall. Last season, Michigan outscored their opponents 31-20 overall and 20-12 in the second half.

Emergence of the U-M Underclassmen -- Michigan has seen an emergence of underclassmen this season. The Wolverines have 13 underclassmen on their 25 player roster and 10 of those players have seen action this season. Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) leads the way for the freshmen with starts in every game. Classmates Fabio Pereira Villas Boas (Sao Paulo, Brazil/South Kent [Conn.]) and Ezekiel Harris (Flint, Mich./Carman-Ainsworth) have also seen time in the starting lineup. In addition, of Michigan's nine goals this season, six have been scored by underclassmen.

Leaders of The Big Ten -- The Wolverines continue to lead the Big Ten in shots (187) and shots per game (26.71), saves (36), and corners (60). Soony Saad also leads the league in shots (53) and shots per game (7.57), while redshirt junior goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Mich./Kennedy Memorial) leads the league in saves with 33.

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That -- Michigan comes in at No. 10 in the NSCAA Great Lakes region poll this week, marking the first time this season the Wolverines have been in the regional poll. The Wolverines are also ranked No. 40 in the Tournament 64 poll ... Michigan and Kentucky are squaring off for the first time since the 2008 season when the Wolverines suffered a 2-1 setback in Lexington ... Brothers Hamoody and Soony Saad have tallied six goals between the two of them and one of the Saad's has scored a goal in four of Michigan's seven games. Both of them scored goals against Detroit on Sept. 1 and Seattle on Sept. 12 ... The Big Ten Network is scheduled to televise Michigan's home contest against Penn State on Oct. 3 and its game against Indiana on Oct. 16. In addition, U-M will have its games against Cincinnati on Oct. 6, Valparaiso on Oct. 13 and Bowling Green on Oct. 27 streamed live on

U-M vs. Kentucky -- 4-1-0
U-M vs. Ohio State -- 5-7-1
U-M in Big Ten Openers -- 2-6-2
U-M at U-M Soccer Complex -- 9-10-1
U-M at Home -- 56-23-8

Sunday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m.
-- vs. Penn State (U-M Soccer Stadium) (TV: Big Ten Network)
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m. -- vs. Cincinnati (U-M Soccer Stadium)

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

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