First Touch #5: U-M Clashes with Penn State on Big Ten Network

Sept. 28, 2010

Michigan vs. Penn State
U-M Soccer Stadium • Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sunday, Oct. 3: U-M vs. Penn State, 1 p.m. • TV: Big Ten Network (same-day delay, 7 p.m.)
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In its lone contest of the week, the University of Michigan men's soccer team (4-2-3, 0-1-0 Big Ten) welcomes Big Ten rival Penn State to the U-M Soccer Stadium for a televised contest on the Big Ten Network on Sunday (Oct.3). The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff and will be aired on a tape-delay basis on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

TV Time -- The Wolverines make their season debut on the Big Ten Network when they host Penn State on Sunday at 1 p.m. Michigan has made eight appearances on the Big Ten's flagship network in the last three years and boasts an 1-6-1 all-time record in televised contests. The Wolverines picked up their first-ever win on the Big Ten Network in dramatic fashion with a 1-0 double overtime win over No. 12 Northwestern last season. This marks the second time Michigan and Penn State have met in a televised contest. The Wolverines will also take on Indiana on the Big Ten Network on Oct. 16 in Bloomington, Ind.

Getting Back on Track -- Michigan dropped its first contest in six games in a 1-0 loss to Ohio State in its Big Ten opener on Saturday (Sept. 25), but if history holds right, the Wolverines will get back on track this week. In eight of the 10 seasons when Michigan has opened the Big Ten season with a loss, it has rebounded with a win or a tie in its next game.

All Saad, All The Time -- Freshman Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) has cemented his name in U-M's record books just nine games into his rookie campaign. Against Kentucky, Saad posted his first career hat trick and became the seventh player in program history to net a hat trick during his collegiate career. Saad leads U-M's offense with seven of U-M's 12 goals, including two game-winners. Saad's hat trick against the Wildcats marked the third time in the last three seasons a Wolverine has netted a hat trick. Prior to Sonny's hat trick, senior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower) recorded U-M's last hat trick against Bowling Green last season.

Saad Named Big Ten Player of the Week and to National Team of the Week -- U-M freshman forward Soony Saad earned Michigan's fist Player of the Week Award on Monday (Sept. 27) after being named co-Offensive Player of the Week. Saad is U-M's first Big Ten Player of the Week award winner since Matt Schmitt (Muskegon, Mich./Reeths-Puffer) earned the honor last season. Saad was also named to the National Team of the Week for his performance. It's the second time this season he has been named to the National Team of the Week.

Michigan Has Prolific Offense -- Michigan leads the Big Ten in shots with 229, nearly 100 more than Penn State (133). Freshman Soony Saad has taken 68 shots this season and senior Justin Meram has taken 45 shots, ranking Saad and Meram No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the Big Ten. Saad leads the Big Ten in shots per game with 7.56, taking a shot more than Penn State's Corey Hertzog, who is No. 2 in the league with 6.29 shots per game. Although the U-M offense is tops in the Big Ten, it is only averaging 1.33 goals per game and has yet to score more than three goals in a single game this season.

Leaders of The Big Ten -- The Wolverines continue to lead the Big Ten in shots (229) and shots per game (25.44), saves (42), corners (74) and offside's (19). Freshman Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) also leads the league in shots (68) and shots per game (7.56), while goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Mich./Kennedy Memorial) leads the league in saves with 39.

Wolverines in the National Rankings -- Freshman Soony Saad is making his way up the NCAA statistics rankings. Saad is currently fourth in total goals (7), 11th in total points with (14) and 14th in goals per game (0.78). Senior Justin Meram is also tied for 20th in assists with four.

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That -- Michigan comes in at No. 9 in the NSCAA Great Lakes region poll this week, moving up from its No. 10 ranking last week. The Wolverines are also ranked No. 42 in the Tournament 48 poll ... Brothers Hamoody and Soony Saad have tallied nine goals between the two of them and one of the Saad's has scored at least one goal in five of Michigan's nine games. Both of them scored goals against Detroit on Sept. 1 and Seattle on Sept. 12. They are the second set of brothers to play for the Wolverines and the first set to score goals in the same game ... sophomore Latif Alashe (Northville, Mich./Northville) has played in 27 consecutive games entering this week's game. Alashe was the lone freshman last season to start every game last season ... The Big Ten Network is also scheduled to televise Michigan's game at 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. Penn State -- 3-9-1
U-M at U-M Soccer Complex -- 10-11-1
U-M at Home -- 57-24-8
U-M on the Big Ten Network -- 1-6-1

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m. -- vs. Cincinnati (U-M Soccer Stadium)
Sunday, Oct. 10, 2:30 p.m. CDT -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.)

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

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