First Touch #9: U-M Closes 2009 Home Slate vs. Wildcats on TV
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MGOBLUE

Oct. 27, 2009

TAKING TO THE PITCH
Sunday, Nov. 1, 2 p.m. -- vs. Northwestern (U-M Soccer Complex-West Practice Field)
Live Stats

The University of Michigan men's soccer team (9-5-1, 1-3-0 Big Ten) closes out the 2009 home schedule with a televised match against Big Ten foe Northwestern on Sunday (Nov. 1). Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on the West practice field at the U-M Soccer Complex. The contest will air live on the Big Ten Network. The Wolverines will also honor the 2009 senior class of Mauro Fuzetti, Daniel Gray, Tom McCurdy and Julian Robles for their contributions to the program.

The Wolverines have a 1-3-0 record in league action and will face their second Big Ten opponent in televised action. U-M also played Indiana on Oct. 10 in a televised contest, a 1-0 IU victory. The Wolverines are 0-5-1 all-time in televised contests.

PROMOTIONS

Sunday, Nov. 1
Senior Night -- Join the Wolverines as they celebrate the achievements of the 2009 Senior Class. The Wolverines will honor seniors Mauro Fuzetti, Daniel Gray, Tom McCurdy and Julian Robles.

ALL-TIME VS. THE OPPONENTS
Northwestern -- Michigan leads, 7-4-1

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Saturday, Nov. 7, 6 p.m. -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio)

MICHIGAN BY THE NUMBERS
Complete Stats: Through 10/25/09

2009 Leaders

NameGPGAP
Justin Meram157620
Mauro Fuzetti148319
Hamoody Saad155515

NameGP-SW-L-TGAASV%
Chris Blais15-159-5-11.30.736


WOLVERINE TO WATCH
Matt Schmitt (Muskegon, Mich./Reeths-Puffer)
Senior/junior forward Matt Schmitt (Muskegon, Mich./Reeths-Puffer) has only played in seven games this season due to injury, but he made his presence felt in U-M's matchup with Michigan State on Sunday (Oct. 25). Schmitt led the Wolverines in assists last season with seven helpers and scored U-M's lone goal against MSU in the annual battle for the Big Bear Trophy. He has scored five career goals and has eight career assists.


WOLVERINE TIDBITS
Wolverines Look To Get Back on Track Against Northwestern
The Wolverines, who have lost their last two games, are looking to get back on track when they take on Northwestern on Sunday (Nov. 1). This is the first time this season that the Wolverines have dropped back-to-back contests. U-M enters the weekend with a 1-3-0 league record and is looking for its first league victory since defeating Wisconsin, 3-0, on Oct. 4.

TV Time
The Wolverines and Wildcats will battle for the 13th time when they meet on Sunday, but it will be the first time the teams have played each other in front of a nationally televised audience. The Wolverines have a 0-5-1 all-time record on the Big Ten Network and dropped a 1-0 contest to Indiana on the Big Ten Network on Oct. 10. Michigan will also take on Ohio State on the Big Ten Network on Nov. 7.

Michigan Offense on Empty
Michigan's offense this season has been quite prolific, outscoring opponents 30-20 and 21-12 in the second half, but in their last two outings U-M's offense has been stalled. The Wolverines fell to No. 1 Akron on Oct. 20 by a score of 5-1 and followed that up with a 2-1 loss to Michigan State on Oct. 25. U-M's offensive trio of senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford), junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) and freshman Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) has been held to only two goals between the three of them in the last four games. The trio accounts for nearly 70 percent of the U-M offense this season.

U-M Looking To Recreate The Magic From Last Season vs. Northwestern
Michigan is looking to recreate some of the magic that was created last season when the Wolverines knocked off a top-three opponent for the first time with a 3-1 win over then-No.2 Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.. The Wolverines also knocked Northwestern from the ranks of the unbeaten with that victory. Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) scored two goals in the win.

Fuzetti and Meram on Fire
Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) has been a crucial piece to the U-M offense this season. Fuzetti is second on the team with eight goals and 19 points. In fact, Fuzetti has accounted for 30 percent of U-M's offense this season. Junior Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) leads the team in points with seven goals and six assists for 20 points.

Fuzetti Moving Up the Ranks
Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti (Houston, Texas/Stratford) is making 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 second all-time with 171 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 five 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 six multi-point games and has 15 points on the season. He was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week on Sept. 22 for his two assists and a 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 on Sept. 1 and also posted back-to-back shutouts against Wright State on Sept. 11 and Lipscomb on Sept. 13 at the Michigan Invitational. He went 258:49 minutes without being scored on until Detroit scored a goal in the 28th minute. He recently collected his third and fourth shutouts of the season with a 0-0 tie against Oakland on Sept. 30 and a 3-0 win over Wisconsin on Oct. 4. Blais was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week on Oct. 19 for picking up his fifth shutout of the season in a 2-0 win at Cincinnati while tying his career high with six saves.

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 99-77-19 program record heading into this weekend and needs only one 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.

Headed to the West Practice Field
U-M's game against Akron (Oct. 14) 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 is set to begin. The Wolverines played four games on the west practice field last season went 3-1.

The Week That Was
The Wolverines dropped two consecutive games for the first time this season, falling to No.1 Akron, 5-1, on Tuesday (Oct. 20) and dropping a 2-1 contest to Michigan State on Sunday (Oct. 25). The Wolverines were overmatched by the country's top-ranked team in Akron on Tuesday. The Zips scored three first-half goals and rolled to a 5-1 victory. Junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Yavapai College) became one of three players to score on Akron this season with U-M's lone goal in the second half. In the battle of the Big Bear Trophy against Michigan State, the Wolverines outshot the Spartans, 19-7, and posted 10 shots on goal but could only muster one goal in the 2-1 loss. Senior/junior Matt Schmitt (Muskegon, Mich./Reeths-Puffer) scored U-M's lone goal off the bench. The loss to Michigan State kept the Big Bear Trophy with the Spartans for the fifth consecutive game.

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 second in points per game (1.36), goals per game (0.57) and goals (8). He is third in shots per game (3.79) and is fourth in points (19) and fourth in shots (53). Junior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich. /Yavapai College) is tied for second in the league in assists with six helpers on the season and in points with 20 points on the year. He is third in assists per game (0.40), while freshman midfielder Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich. /Dearborn) is tied for second with six assists. Junior/sophomore goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash. /Kennedy Memorial) is second in the league in saves with 53 and is fifth with five shutouts on the season. Blais is also sixth in saves percentage (.736) and fifth in saves per game (3.53). As a team, U-M leads the league in points (94), goals (30), goals per game (2.00), assists (34) and assists per game (2.27) and is second in shots with 255.

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 is 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.

In The National Rankings This Week
The Wolverines are just outside the rankings in the latest NSCAA/adidas national poll released on Oct. 27. In the NSCAA/adidas Great Lakes region poll, U-M is also receiving votes. Last week, the Wolverines were just outside the rankings in the national poll and we ranked No. 10 in the regional poll. Additionally, the Maize and Blue is ranked No. 26 in TopDrawerSoccer.com's tournament 48 poll.

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. [ Check it out here ]

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 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 senior Julian Robles (Los Angeles, Calif. /Damien) will be serving as assistant captains.

Captains Corner
U-M senior captain Daniel Gray (Setauket, N.Y./Chaminade) will give MGoBlue.com 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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