Oct. 24, 2012
Saturday, Oct. 27 -- vs. Valparaiso (U-M Soccer Stadium), 2 p.m. EDT
Tuesday, Oct. 30 -- vs. Detroit (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m. EDT
The University of Michigan men's soccer team (5-8-1, 2-2-1 Big Ten) will look to get back to their winning ways with a pair of home matches at U-M Soccer Stadium, beginning Saturday (Oct. 27) against the Valparaiso Crusaders (4-6-5) at 2 p.m., followed by a Tuesday night (Oct. 30) tilt against the Detroit Titans (8-7-0) at 7 p.m.
Valparaiso enters the match riding a three-game win streak and is coming off a 2-1 win over Wright State on Wednesday (Oct. 24). Six Crusaders lead the team with a pair of goals, while Jordan Aidoud has three assists on the year. Kyle Zobeck boasts a 0.74 goals-against average, with 44 saves and four clean sheets. Valparaiso has outscored its opponents 15-12 on the season.
The Titans are coming off a 1-0 win over Milwaukee on Wednesday (Oct. 24) and will take on Loyola on Saturday (Oct. 27) prior to traveling to Ann Arbor. Overall, U-D is 8-7 on the season and is 4-1 in Horizon League action. Adam Bedell leads the squad in goals (8), assists (5) and points (21), while goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher has played every minute of every match. He has made 63 saves to go along with a trio of clean sheets.
Michigan is 2-0 all-time against the Crusaders. The Wolverines have outscored Valparaiso, 6-3, during the home-and-home series that began in 2009 in Valparaiso. In that game, the Wolverines took the match by a 2-1 count on Sept. 6, 2009. Michigan followed up the win the following year on Oct. 13, 2010, at U-M Soccer Stadium with a 4-2 win, as the Wolverines tallied four scores in the second half of action.
In terms of common opponents, the Crusaders began the 2012 season with a 2-0 win against the Oakland Grizzlies and battled to a 0-0 draw against both Michigan State and Cleveland State. Most recently, the Crusaders defeated the Detroit Titans by a 2-0 count on Oct. 21 in Detroit.
Michigan will carry an 8-0-2 all-time record against Detroit and has been victorious in five straight matches while outscoring UDM, 16-4, in that span. The two ties in the series came in 2002 and 2006. The two programs have squared off every season during their existence, with the exception of the 2003 season.
Last season in Detroit, Etienne Lussiez scored a trio of goals in the second half as U-M defeated the Titans, 4-1. He was the only Big Ten player on the season to register a hat trick. Tyler Arnone added a score in the first half to aid in the Michigan win.
In terms of common opponents, Detroit defeated Bowling Green, 2-0, upended Cleveland State, 3-1, beat Oakland, 4-0, and lost, 1-0, to Michigan State in matches dating back to Sept. 18.
Senior tri-captain Latif Alashe has now started 77 matches in his career and now sits alone in third place in program history in the category. Additionally, he is tied for eighth all-time in program history in matches played.
Three Wolverines have found themselves in the starting XI in each match this season: Latif Alashe, Tyler Arnone and Adam Grinwis have received nods in the first 14 matches. Grinwis has been the lone Wolverine to play every minute of every match.
Michigan has now outscored teams 11-6 in the first half this season but has been outscored by a 13-5 margin in the second stanza.
Four Wolverines have at least 19 shots on the season in Fabio Pereira (19), Arnone (19), Alashe (20) and James Murphy (23).
Michigan is 1-1-1 in overtime matches this season. All three overtime matches have gone into double overtime.
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-4 on penalty attempts, with his first successful attempt coming against Kentucky last season in a 2-1 defeat. Most recently, he was stopped by Bowling Green's Michael Wiest in a 2-0 defeat to Bowling Green on Oct. 23.
Of their eight losses this season, five have been by just one marker.
The Oct. 19 win over Indiana marked the first road victory for the Wolverines in the Chaka Daley era and is the first U-M win over a ranked opponent since last season's win over No. 4 Akron (Oct. 18, 2011). The victory is also the first road win versus a ranked opponent since U-M downed No. 3 Maryland on Dec. 4, 2010, in the College Cup quarterfinals.
The win over Indiana was the first over the Hoosiers since Oct. 4, 2008, when the Wolverines knocked off IU, 1-0, in Bloomington. The win also dealt Indiana its first Big Ten defeat of the season.
The Wolverines are ranked No. 26 in the most-recent RPI and have played the No. 1 most-difficult schedule in the country, as four of their opponents (No. 3 Akron, No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 7 Indiana, and No. 11 Marquette) rank in the top 15. Eight of Michigan's opponents rank in the top 50 in the ratings percentage index. Overall, U-M opponents hold a combined record 124-58-26.
Eleven players have scored at least one goal for the Wolverines this season, equaling last season's total of 11 players scoring for the Wolverines. The program record for goal scorers in a season is 13, which was set in 2007.
Tyler Arnone leads the team in goals this season with three, while Pereira has a team-high five assists. Pereira is tied for third in the Big Ten in assists, while goalkeeper Adam Grinwis leads the league in saves with 68.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| Dylan Mencia |
Q: What has the transition been like with Coach Daley and his new staff?
A: Any transition in an entire coaching staff will undoubtedly be tough. However, the transition has been welcomed with open arms and from day one everyone has bought into the system. We all have tremendous respect for the coaching staff and their knowledge of the game.
Q: What is the best part about being a Michigan Wolverine?
A: The best part about being a Michigan Wolverine is having the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Everyone on this team and at this school bleeds Maize and Blue. It is the students and faculties unwavering passion that makes this school truly amazing.
Q: What has been your most memorable moment in your career thus far?
A: It is tough to have one most memorable moment, but our recent win away at Indiana (for only the second time in program history) is definitely up there. The team fought the entire game and we were rewarded with a very important road victory.
Q: You're able to play both outside midfielder and on the back line. What do you attribute your versatility to?
A: I have played everywhere since I was very young. I can say at this point in my career that there is no position that I have not legitimately played at some point in my soccer career (and yes, this includes a brief stint as a young and aspiring goalkeeper). So, basically from a young age I have been taught to play multiple positions, which has proved to be very helpful as my career progressed.
Q: The team has played one of the toughest schedules in the country this season. How does that prepare you for the stretch run in the season and the Big Ten Tournament?
A: Our schedule has certainly been tough thus far. However, we have shown that we can compete consistently with some of the top teams in the country. As a result, we will carry that confidence and our recent momentum into a four-game home stretch and finally into the Big Ten Tournament in order to cement ourselves an NCAA Tournament bid.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite outshooting the Bowling Green Falcons by a 22-10 margin, the Wolverines fell by a 2-0 count Tuesday (Oct. 23) at U-M Soccer Stadium. Two early second-half scores for the Falcons proved to be the difference in the match as the Wolverines returned home after a three-match road swing that featured Wisconsin, No. 3 Akron and No. 11 Indiana.
Saturday, Nov. 3 -- vs. Michigan State - Battle for Big Bear Trophy/Senior Day (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m. EDT
Wed-Sun., Nov. 7-11 -- at Big Ten Tournament (Evanston, Ill.)