First Touch #7: Wolverines Travel to Cincinnati for Lone Contest This Week

Oct. 13, 2009

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m. -- at Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio)

The University of Michigan men's soccer team (8-3-1, 1-2-0 Big Ten) travels to Cincinnati, Ohio, for a midweek game with the Cincinnati Bearcats. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Oct. 14) at Gettler Stadium. This will be the first-ever contest between the two squads and is the second time the Wolverines have faced a team from the Big East this season after facing Notre Dame in the season opener on Sept. 1.

The Wolverines have a 7-1-1 record in non-conference action this season and are on a six-game non-conference unbeaten streak. The only non-conference game the Wolverines have dropped this season was to Notre Dame on Sept. 1.

Cincinnati -- First Meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 4 p.m. -- vs. Akron (U-M Soccer Complex-West Practice Field)
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2 p.m. -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.)

Complete Stats: Through 10/10/09

2009 Leaders

Mauro Fuzetti118319
Justin Meram126618

Chris Blais12-128-3-11.03.766

Adam Shaw (Lone Tree, Colo./Highlands Ranch)
Junior/sophomore midfielder Adam Shaw has come into his own this season. Shaw, who started seven games for U-M last season, has made seven appearances in the starting lineup and has started each of the last three games. Shaw has stepped up his offense this season and has 12 shots, including three in U-M's 3-0 win over Wisconsin (Oct. 4). He picked up his first point of the season in a 5-1 win over Bowling Green after assisting on a goal by teammate Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College). He also had a prime scoring opportunity in U-M's loss to No. 14 Indiana on Saturday (Oct. 10) with a point-blank on target shot from 30 yards out that IU's goalkeeper had to make a phenomenal save on.

Wolverines Jump Back into Non-Conference Action
After playing back-to-back conference games, the Wolverines jump back into non-conference action for the next two games, beginning with Wednesday's midweek matchup at Cincinnati. The Wolverines are 7-1-1 in non-conference action this season and are unbeaten in their last six non-conference games. In fact, the only non-conference game the Wolverines have dropped this season was a 5-0 loss to Notre Dame in the season opener.

First Meeting
The Wolverines and Bearcats will meet for the first time in program history on Wednesday. Cincinnati is the first team on the U-M schedule this season that the Wolverines have never faced. Although U-M has never faced Cincinnati, Michigan has a 5-4-0 record against teams from the Big East. The Wolverines have already faced three teams from the Big East this season; U-M fell 5-0 to Notre Dame in regular-season action and tied Marquette, 0-0, and West Virginia, 1-1, in exhibition action.

Common Opponents
Although Cincinnati and Michigan are meeting for the first time this season the squads have played several common opponents. Both teams have played Notre Dame, Marquette and West Virginia and Wright State. In addition, Ohio State and Akron are two teams U-M will face in the coming weeks that have played Cincinnati this season.

Against Teams From Ohio
The Wolverines have a 17-14-2 record against teams from the state of Ohio and have taken on a team from the Buckeye State in each year that men's soccer has been a varsity sport.

Wolverine Offense Slowed in Losses
The Wolverines have only dropped three games this season, but in each of those losses have failed to score a goal. U-M has been held scoreless in four games this season, three of which resulted in a loss. Overall, the Wolverines are outscoring their opponents, 26-13, this season but are being outscored 8-0 in their losses.

Fuzetti on Fire
Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) has been a crucial piece to the U-M offense this season. Fuzetti, who leads the team with eight goals and 19 points, has scored in each game that he has played in this season, with the exception of the season opener at Notre Dame. In fact, Fuzetti has accounted for 30 percent of U-M's offense.

As Fuzetti Goes So Does Michigan Offense
Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) is undoubtedly an important piece in U-M's offensive scheme but just how important is Fuzetti? The Wolverines are 7-0-0 this season when Fuzetti scores a goal. The only times Fuzetti has not scored a goal have been in a 5-1 win at Western Michigan on Sept. 19 and the four games U-M has been shut out: losses to Notre Dame on Sept. 1, Penn State (Sept. 27) and Indiana (Oct. 10), as well as a 0-0 tie with Oakland (Sept. 30).

Fuzetti 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 is U-M's leading scorer with eight goals on the season, is tied for third all-time at U-M with 61 career points and is fourth with 23 career goals. He is also tied for second all-time with 163 shots. Fuzetti is also poised to break into U-M's top five all-time in assists. He currently has 15 career assists and only needs one more to move into a tie for fifth place with former U-M great Knox Cameron (2001-03).

Saad Creates U-M Offensive Trio
Freshman midfielder Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) is not playing like a freshman and his opponents are starting to take notice. Saad, who is U-M's third-leading scorer with four goals, has formed a viable offensive trio with senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) and junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College). Saad has the ability to both score and distribute, making him dangerous in the U-M offense. He has posted three multi-point games and has 12 points on the season. He was named to the National Team of the Week on Sept. 22 for his two assists and goal against Detroit on Sept. 16 and Western Michigan on Sept. 19.

All Freshmen, All The Time
U-M is no doubt a young team this season, but it does not seem to be slowing it at all. The Wolverines have 11 players that are seeing their first collegiate action, including nine that are true freshmen. In addition, U-M has four freshmen that have seen time in the starting lineup. In fact, true freshman midfielder Latif Alashe (Northville, Mich./Northville) has started every game this season, while true freshmen midfielder Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) and defender Kofi Opare (Niagara Falls, Ontario/St. Paul) have each recorded a goal this season. Redshirt freshman Alex Klein (Seattle, Wash./The Bush School) also recorded his first career marker this season.

Just Blais
Junior/sophomore goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) backstopped the Wolverines to a seven-game win streak this season and did so in impressive fashion. In his first outing, he recorded a career-best six saves against Notre Dame (Sept. 1) and also posted back-to-back shutouts against Wright State (Sept. 11) and Lipscomb (Sept. 13) at the Michigan Invitational. He went 258:49 minutes without being scored on until Detroit scored a goal in the 28th minute against Detroit. He recently collected his third and fourth shutouts of the season with a 0-0 double overtime tie against Oakland (Sept. 30) and a 3-0 win over Wisconsin (Oct. 4).

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 98-75-19 program record heading into this weekend and needs only two 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.

Moving to the West Practice Field
U-M's game against Indiana (Oct. 10) marked the last game to be played this season on the competition field at the U-M Soccer Complex. The men's and women's soccer teams will conclude the rest of the home season on the west practice field as construction on the new stadium will begin on the competition field beginning Oct. 13. The Wolverines played four games on the west practice field last season went 3-1.

The Week That Was
The Wolverines dropped a 1-0 game to No. 14 Indiana on Saturday (Oct. 10) in the lone contest of the week. The teams battled to a 0-0 halftime score but just eight minutes into the half, Indiana's Andy Adlard scored the go-ahead goal that was the only goal the Hoosiers needed for the victory. The Wolverines had several chances; including a shot from junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) that went off the post as time expired. Meram led the U-M offense with four shots while senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) had three shots. Junior/sophomore goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) made two saves in the loss.

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's tied for first in points (19) and points per game (1.73) and ranks second in shots (47), shots per game (4.27), goals (8) and goals per game (0.73). Junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) is tied for first in the league in assists with six helpers on the season and is second on the league in assists per game (0.50), while freshman midfielder Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) is tied for third with four assists. Junior/sophomore goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) is tied for second in the league in saves with 42. As a team, U-M leads the league in shots (218), points (81), goals (26), goals per game (2.17), assists (29) and assists per game (2.42).

U-M Hold Several Big Ten Team Highs
Individually, junior forward Justin Meram's (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) three goals and seven points against Bowling Green are tops of a Big Ten player this season, while Mauro Fuzetti's (Houston, Texas/Stratford) 11 shots against Wright State (Sept. 11) is tops in the Big Ten this season. As a team, the Wolverines also own several top spots. U-M's 18 points against Western Michigan (Sept. 19) and 16 points against Bowling Green (Sept. 23) are the top two team highs for a Big Ten season and the five goals U-M scored against Western Michigan (Sept. 19) and Bowling Green (Sept. 23) are among the top goals scored this season. U-M's eight assists against Western Michigan (Sept. 19) is also tops for a Big Ten team this season, while its 31 shots against Oakland (Sept. 30) is second best this season.

Several Wolverines Ranked Nationally
The U-M men's soccer team has several players that are ranked nationally. Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) is ranked 18th in points per game (1.73) and is 14th in goals per game (0.73). Junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) ranks 26th in assists per game (0.5), while the Wolverines as a team have the 14th-best scoring average (2.17) and are 33rd in win-loss percentage.

In The National Rankings This Week
The Wolverines are just outside the rankings in the latest NSCAA/adidas national poll released on Oct. 13. In the NSCAA/adidas Great Lakes region poll, U-M is ranked No. 10. Last week, the Wolverines were receiving votes the national poll and were ranked No. 8 in the regional poll. Additionally, the Maize and Blue is ranked No. 29 in's tournament 48 poll and No. 27 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, penned 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. [ Read More ]

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, at their annual alumni weekend.

Introducing the Captain and his helpers
Senior defender Daniel 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 senior Julian 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 blog ]

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.

Rank and File
Michigan earned a No. 22 preseason ranking by the National Soccer Coaches of American (NSCAA) and a No. 24 ranking in TopDrawerSoccer's preseason edition of the 2009 men's tournament 48 ranking. The Tournament 64 rankings are a running attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth.

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

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