Oct. 28, 2013
The University of Michigan men's soccer team (7-4-3) is set to try and avenge its 2013 NCAA Tournament defeat against the 17th-ranked Akron Zips (11-3-1) Wednesday (Oct. 30) at 7 p.m. from U-M Soccer Stadium. The match will be streamed live via the Big Ten Network Student U on MGoBlue.com. The match will also serve as a Zero-Waste affair, where all fan-related waste at the game will be either recyclable or compostable; meaning all waste at the game will be diverted from landfills.
In the all-time series, U-M is 3-10 against the Zips, with wins coming in 2004, 2007 and 2011. The most-recent win in the series came on Oct. 18 of the 2011 season in Ann Arbor, as Latif Alashe put home the match-winner in the first overtime of to lift the Wolverines to a 1-0 defeat over No. 4 Akron.
Last season, U-M was defeated by the Zips on two occasions in Akron, the first coming by a 1-0 count on Oct. 16 and the second coming in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by a 2-1 score to end the Wolverines' season. Each of the last four matches have been decided by one goal.
The Wolverines are riding their first three-match win streak of the season. Michigan is 5-1 in its last six matches, four of which are Big Ten matches (3-1). Overall, the Maize and Blue is outscoring opponents 10-6 while holding a 40-23 shot advantage during that stretch. In the Big Ten race, U-M currently sits in second place in the conference table with nine points, behind Penn State (15), which has already clinched the league title.
In the latest NCAA RPI, U-M comes in at No. 42. Two of the final three regular-season matches feature higher-ranked opponents in No. 33 Akron and No. 15 Michigan St. The final regular-season opponent, Valparaiso, checks in at No. 138. In the latest TopDrawerSoccer.com poll, U-M checks in at No. 24, the first time the Wolverines have appeared in the poll since week No. 2 of the season. According to BennettRankings.com, U-M has played the No. 32 hardest schedule in the country.
The win over the Hoosiers on Saturday (Oct. 26) marked the first win over Indiana in Ann Arbor in program history. The win was the third-ever over IU and is the second straight, as the Wolverines downed the eventual NCAA champion last year in Bloomington by a 2-1 score line.
Fabio Pereira is now tied for the team lead in assists with Tyler Arnone (4), while TJ VanSlooten is now equal for the team lead in goals (4) with James Murphy. Pereira has had a helper in the past three matches.
Michigan has broken the 1,000-fan barrier six times this season. Most recently, the Wolverines welcomed 1,263 fans to U-M Soccer Stadium for the win over Indiana. U-M is No. 2 in the Big Ten behind Indiana in home attendance, averaging 1,311 fans per match.
The win over Creighton marked U-M's first home win against a ranked opponent since the 1-0 overtime win over No. 4 Akron on Oct. 18, 2011. The last time Michigan beat a ranked team overall was on Oct. 19 of last year when the Wolverines downed No. 11 Indiana, 2-1.
The goal for freshman Lars Eckenrode against Creighton was the first of his career and marks the 11th different goal scorer for the Wolverines this season.
U-M is now 13-5-3 all-time at home under the direction of Chaka Daley and is 9-4-2 in October overall.
The match against Creighton marked the second straight in which a freshman has scored his first career marker -- Eckenrode against Creighton and Yamann Sahlool's at Penn State on Oct. 11. It was also the third time in four games a player has netted his first career U-M tally as Marcos Ugarte, who played his first two seasons at Providence, scored against Western Michigan on Oct. 2.
The 19 shots against Creighton are the most over a regular-season ranked opponent since the 2010 season when U-M had 22 shots on Oct. 30 against Michigan State.
The win over Wisconsin marked the second time this season that U-M had been outshot (13-15) but won the match. U-M has been outshot on four other occasions this year (Bowling Green, Marquette, Notre Dame, Oakland). Overall, the Wolverines hold a 211-158 shot advantage on the season.
Michigan's four overtime matches already equal last season's total of four. U-M was 1-2-1 in such matches in 2012 and 1-0-3 in OT in 2013. Prior to the 0-0 draw against Oakland (Sept. 24), the Wolverines last played to a scoreless draw on Sept. 17, 2010, against Notre Dame.
Fabio Pereira is creeping up the Michigan career record books in assists, shots attempted and games played. Most notably is the program assist record, as he holds 21, which are seven behind program leader Adam Bruh (28). Pereira is now No. 4 in career shots attempted with 180, six shots behind program leader Mauro Fuzetti (2006-09), who leads the records with 186. Additionally, the Wolverine senior has played in 74 matches, which rank just outside the top 10 in the program record book.
Akron-- The No. 17-ranked Zips will enter the matchup with an 11-3-1 overall mark and are riding a five-match unbeaten streak that includes a 0-0 draw against Michigan St. on Oct. 23 in Akron. The Zips a high-powered offense that has mustered 282 shots this season and have 17 goals, four of which from Adam Najem and Reindalo Brenes. Opponents have collected 104 shots on the season as well as nine scores.
Freshman Fernando Pina has been the choice for Akron in goal and has allowed nine scores to go along with 33 saves for a 0.57 goals-against average.
Monday, Nov. 4 -- vs. Valparaiso (U-M Soccer Stadium) 7 p.m.
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Contact: Scott Kemps (734) 763-4423