Oct. 3, 2012
The University of Michigan men's soccer team (3-5, 1-1 Big Ten) will host its second straight nationally televised home contest on the Big Ten Network this Saturday night (Oct. 6, 7 p.m.) against the Penn State Nittany Lions from U-M Soccer Stadium. Michigan is 6-9-1 all-time against the Nittany Lions and has won the last two meetings by a 2-1 count. The Wolverines are 3-3 at home this season and are 1-1 in nationally televised matches after most recently defeating Ohio State in double overtime this past Sunday (Sept. 30) by a 3-2 score line in front of a season-high 1,402 fans at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Last season in State College, the Wolverines upset the No. 19 Penn State by a 2-1 count, as Ezekiel Harris scored with 63 seconds left in regulation to lift the Wolverines to victory 18 seconds after the Nittany Lions tied the match at 1-1. All three scores were tallied in the final 15 minutes of match action.
On Tuesday (Oct. 9), the Wolverines will welcome the Oakland Grizzlies to U-M Soccer Stadium for a 7 p.m. kick. Michigan is 7-1-3 all-time against Oakland. Last season in Rochester, U-M downed the Grizzlies by a 2-1 count in double overtime on a golden goal by Noble Sullivan in the 105th minute on assists from Latif Alashe and Fabio Pereira in a match where the Wolverines outshot the Grizzlies by a 24-6 margin.
• Elementary School Day #1 -- All Ann Arbor Public School Students received a flyer that gets them FREE admission to the game. Parents are able to purchase $1 tickets online using a promotions code or at the gates by showing the voucher to the ticket sellers.
• Ohio State Soccer Ticket Discount -- All Ohio State men's soccer ticket purchasers will be emailed with an opportunity to purchase a chairback ticket for $4 to the game. This will all be done online using a promotions code and will not be available for purchase at the gates.
• Postgame Autographs -- Junior Class.
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• Senior Latif Alashe is riding a consecutive start streak of 71 matches heading into the weekend, having never missed a match in his Maize and Blue career. He is now ranked No. 5 on the U-M all-time match start list, behind Adam Bruh (2002-05) with 72 starts, and is looking to catch Ryan Sterba (2002-05), who tops the list with 81 starting nods in his U-M career.
• Fabio Pereira leads the team in points with seven this season, with all seven points coming in two matches. Pereira had four points (one goal, two assists) against Northeastern and three points (goal, assist) against Ohio State.
• Michigan has outscored teams 7-3 in the first half this season but has been outscored by a 9-4 margin in the second stanza. Overall, U-M has been outscored by a narrow 13-12 margin on the season.
• Nine players have scored at least one goal for the Wolverines this season.
• The Wolverines have played four ranked opponents this season. Teams Michigan has squared off against hold an overall record of 49-20-10.
• Ezekiel Harris has now scored two of his three goals against Ohio State in his career, with one coming in 2011 and 2012.
• Junior Fabio Pereira converted his first penalty kick of the season against Northeastern in the 27th-minute, marking the second successful try in his career. In his three seasons in Ann Arbor, Pereira is 2-for-3 on penalty attempts, with his first successful attempt coming against Kentucky last season in a 2-1 defeat.
• Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis was named the Professional Development League Goalkeeper of the Year as well as Rookie of the Year on Aug. 6. He also earned a spot on the all-league and all-central conference teams for his summer club squad, the Michigan Bucks.
• This season's kits feature new wrinkles, most notably on the back and arm of the jersey. Just under the back collar of the jersey is a stitched in 'Hail to the Victors,' while block 'M's are located in the bottom of each digit on each player's back. Additionally, the right arm features a stitched-on patch of a Big Ten logo.
• Two former Wolverines have seen action in Major League Soccer matches this season in Justin Meram (2009-10) and Soony Saad (2010), both of whom starred on the 2010 squad's magical run to the College Cup. Meram, who plays for the Columbus Crew, has played in 19 matches, with 10 starts, and has tallied a trio of scores on the season. Additionally, he has chipped in one assist and has 23 shots. Saad has seen action in nine matches this season, with a pair of starts, and has fired seven shots, with two on goal.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| Nick Lewin
Walled Lake, Mich.
Q: What is the major difference between this year's defensive system and last year's system?
A: There is a big difference between this year and last year. We started off this year under Coach Daley by getting back to basics, making sure we were all on the same page in the defensive third. We are more organized this year and our communication has been much better.
Q: After being named the team's most improved played last season, how have you continued to grow?
A: I go to practice each day to get better and my game has continued to grow due to changing positions from central midfield to a central and outside back defender this season. I have to really focus and be ready to learn to be successful in the new rule I have taken this season.
Q: How will playing the tough schedule thus far benefit the team as the season goes on?
A: It's great that we play such a tough schedule. Each team we have played thus far has taught us a lesson that we can learn from and apply in future games. Every team in the Big Ten is talented, so it is great that we are already used to playing high-quality opponents to prime us for a Big Ten run.
Q: What is the team morale like after beating a rival like Ohio State?
A: Team morale is very high heading into this weekend against Penn State. Even before the Ohio State game, we had not been getting results, but we all had great belief in our staff and our coaches that we could turn it around. We're taking it one game at a time and the recent win has given us more confidence in our ability to win games.
Q: Who is the funniest player on the squad?
A: I would say that the funniest player on the team is Malcolm Miller. He is always in the limelight cracking jokes and making guys laugh in the locker room. He is just a guy that is really fun to be around.
LAST TIME OUT
Ann Arbor native and freshman Jack Brown gave the Wolverines the game-winner with 46 seconds left in double overtime on a 65-yard free kick against the Ohio State Buckeyes to give the Maize and Blue a 3-2 win Sunday (Sept. 30) at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Michigan led early, as junior Ezekiel Harris put U-M on the board in the 34th minute on a header off a Fabio Pereira corner. Trailing 2-1 with 29 minutes left, Pereira knotted the score line a 2-2 in the 61st minute off a rebound, which eventually set the match into overtime.
In the last minute of the second overtime, Brown sent in the 65-yard free kick, where TJ VanSlooten shielded Ohio State goalkeeper and allowed the blast to find the back of the net to send U-M over the Buckeyes and give the Wolverines their first Big Ten win of the season and the first Big Ten triumph under first year head coach Chaka Daley.
Tuesday, Oct. 9 -- vs. Oakland (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 7 p.m. CDT