First Touch #4: U-M Welcomes BGSU, Opens Big Ten Action at Penn State

Sept. 22, 2009

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m. -- vs. Bowling Green (U-M Soccer Complex)
Live Stats
Sunday, Sept. 27, 2 p.m. -- at Penn State (University Park, Pa.)
Live Stats

The No. 24-ranked University of Michigan men's soccer team (6-1-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten) has two games this week as it continues the non-conference portion of the schedule and opens Big Ten play. The Wolverines host Bowling Green on Wednesday (Sept. 23) at 7 p.m. at the U-M Soccer Complex before hitting the road for their Big Ten opener against Penn State on Sunday at Jeffery Field in University Park, Pa.

U-M opens Big Ten action on the road for the second consecutive season after opening league play at Wisconsin last season. U-M has a 2-5-2 record in Big Ten openers and a 20-27-7 overall record in regular-season Big Ten action.


High School Team Day -- Local high school men's soccer teams will be in attendance at Wednesday's game. Each team in attendance will get special recognition.

Bowling Green -- U-M leads, 4-2-0
Penn State -- Penn State leads, 3-7-1

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. -- at Oakland (Pontiac, Mich.)
Sunday, Oct. 4, 1 p.m. -- vs. Wisconsin (U-M Soccer Complex)

Complete Stats: Through 9/19/09

2009 Leaders

Mauro Fuzetti66214
Justin Meram7259
Hamoody Saad7237

Chris Blais6-66-1-01.19.778

Justin Meram
(Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College)
Meram, the 2008 National Junior College Player of the Year, is in his first season with the University of Michigan men's soccer team and has formed a 1-2 offensive tandem with senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford). Meram leads the Wolverines in assists with five helpers on the season and is second on the team in points (9), shots (18), goals (2), and shots on goal (18). He has twice recorded a multi-point game with a goal and an assist in U-M wins over Valparaiso (Sept. 6) and Western Michigan (Sept. 19). He also scored the gamewinner against Valparaiso (Sept. 6) -- his first goal as a Wolverine.

Wolverines in Big Ten Openers
The Wolverines have a 2-5-2 record in Big Ten openers and for the last two seasons have opened the Big Ten regular season with a tie. Last season, U-M tied Wisconsin, 1-1, and in 2007 the Wolverines tied the Badgers, 2-2, to open the league slate. U-M's game against Penn State marks the first time since the 2002 season that the Wolverines have opened against the Nittany Lions. U-M has a 3-7-1 record against Penn State and a 0-3 record against Penn State in Big Ten openers. For the second straight season, U-M opens Big Ten action on the road. Michigan owns a 0-3-1 record in road league openers.

Moving Up the Ranks
Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) is poised to make some noise in the U-M record book this season. Fuzetti, who scored a goal against Detroit (Setp. 16), moves into a tie with former Wolverine Peri Marosevic (2006-08) with 55 career points. Fuzetti is also fifth all-time with 21 career goals.

Just Blais
Junior/sophomore goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) has been stellar between the pipes for the Wolverines in his first season as the starting goalkeeper. He posted a career-high six saves against Notre Dame (Sept. 1) and has posted two shutouts this season while also going 258:49 minutes without being scored on until giving up a goal in the 28th minute against Detroit (Sept. 16). He also has not given up a second-half goal since Sept. 6 against Valparaiso.

A Week of Firsts
U-M had several players reach milestones against Western Michigan. Senior/junior forward Cam Cameron (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) and junior Alex Wood (Northville, Mich./Northville) scored their first goals of the season, while sophomore/freshman Alex Klein (Seattle, Wash./The Bush School) added his first career tally. Freshman/sophomore Tim Bergsma (Beverley Hills, Mich./Southfield Christian) also made his first appearance in goal for the Wolverines, making one save in his debut.

Starting Off on the Right Foot
U-M is 6-1 through the first seven games of the season and its six wins are the most to start a season since going 7-0 to open the 2007 campaign. This is the third time in the last four seasons the Wolverines have had at least six wins to open the season.

Second-Half Offense is on Point...
The Maize and Blue seems to have a knack for getting its offense up and running in the second half. Against Drake (Sept. 3) , U-M posted two second-half goals after entering halftime tied at 0-0 to take a 2-1 win, and against Valparaiso (Sept. 6) the Wolverines found themselves trailing 1-0 and fought back with two second-half goals to take a 2-1 victory. U-M's biggest second-half output has been three goals. U-M scored three second-half goals against Wright State (Sept. 11), Lipscomb (Sept. 13), Detroit (Sept. 16) and Western Michigan (Sept. 19). U-M is outscoring its opponents, 14-6, in the second half and four of the opponent goals came in the season-opening loss to then-No.12 Notre Dame.

First-Half Offense Comes into Play
Although the Wolverines seem to have knack for scoring in the second half, against Western Michigan (Sept. 19) U-M scored two first-half goals, the first first-half goals since scoring two against Lipscomb on Sept. 13, marking a span of two games without a first-half tally. U-M has four first-half goals as opposed to 14 second-half goals.

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 96-73-18 program record heading into this weekend and needs only four 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 Wolverines picked up two more wins with a 3-1 win over Detroit on Sept. 16 and a 5-1 win over Western Michigan on Sept. 19. U-M trailed Detroit 1-0 heading into the second half on Wednesday (Sept. 16) before second-half goals from senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford), freshman Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) and Jeff Quijano (Simi Valley, Calif./Canoga) sent the Wolverines to their fifth consecutive win. The Wolverines scored a 5-1 win over Western Michigan (Sept. 19) behind first-half goals from junior Adam Keller (Franklin, Mich./Groves) and senior/junior Cam Cameron (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline). U-M added three more goals in the second half, including a goal from Alex Klein (Seattle, Wash./The Bush School), who scored his first collegiate goal, and juniors Alex Wood (Northville, Mich./Northville) and Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College). Goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) made eight saves, while sophomore/freshman Tim Bergsma (Beverley Hills, Mich./Southfield Christian) made his first career appearance against Western Michigan and made one save off the bench.

Wolverines Rank High In Big Ten Rankings
Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) is ranked in several categories in the Big Ten offensive statistics. He leads the league in shots (27) and shots per game (4.50) and is second in points (13), points per game (2.17), goals (6) and goals per game (1.00). Junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) and freshman midfielder Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) are tied for second in the league in assists with four each.

In The National Rankings This Week
The Wolverines are No. 24 in the latest NSCAA/adidas national poll released on Sept. 22. In the NSCAA/adidas Great Lakes region poll, U-M is ranked No. 5. Last week, the Wolverines were receiving votes in the national poll and we ranked No. 9 in the regional poll. Additionally, the Maize and Blue are ranked No. 15 in's tournament 48 poll, No. 18 in Soccer America's Top 25 and No. 19 in College Soccer News' Top 30.

Former Wolverine Peri Marosevic Pens a Diary from the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt
Former Wolverine forward Peri Marosevic, a member of FC Dallas of the MLS, will be penning a Under-20 World Cup Diary of his experiences with the USA U-20 National Team at the upcoming World Cup being held Sept. 24-Oct.16 in Egypt. Peri has spent time with the Under-20 national team at the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Under-20 Championship in March in Trinidad & Tobago. Check out the blog.

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. The Wolverines honored the 2000 men's soccer team, it's first season as a varsity sport. Stay tuned to for upcoming events celebrating U-M's first decade.

Introducing the Captain and his helpers
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) and seniorJulian Robles (Los Angeles, Calif./Damien) will be serving as assistant captains.

Captains Corner
U-M senior captain Danny Gray (Setauket, N.Y./Chaminade) will give readers a glimpse inside the men's soccer program with his captain's blog, Captains Corner with Danny Gray. Check out his first post.

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 Check them both out in our new publications section.

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.

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

Sign up for Michigan Insider to be the first to learn about 2017 Michigan men's soccer ticket opportunities.