First Touch #10: U-M Closes Regular Season with Trip to Northwestern
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MGOBLUE

MGOBLUE

Nov. 2, 2010

Michigan at Northwestern
Lakeside Field • Evanston, Ill.
Saturday, Nov. 6: U-M at Northwestern, 5 p.m. CDT • Live Stats | Live Blog
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TAKING TO THE PITCH
The University of Michigan men's soccer team (10-4-3, 3-2-0 Big Ten) closes the 2010 regular season on Saturday (Nov. 6), traveling to Evanston, Ill., to take on the Northwestern Wildcats (8-6-2, 2-2-1 Big Ten) in U-M's lone contest of the week. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. CDT at Lakeside Field. The Wolverines are looking to close the regular season with their third consecutive win and third straight win over the Wildcats.

WOLVERINE TIDBITS

Lots at Stake Saturday -- Michigan will be closing the regular season on the road for the second consecutive season and for the third time in the last four seasons. On the line for the Wolverines is a chance for a winning Big Ten record for the second time in the last seven seasons and their second consecutive victory over a Big Ten opponent.

Ranked Opponents = No Problem -- With its 3-2 OT win over No. 23 Michigan State (Oct. 30), the Wolverines picked up their second win over a ranked opponent this season. Michigan also defeated No. 24 Penn State on Oct. 3. The Wolverines have faced five ranked opponents this season (2-3) and own a 13-29-2 all-time record against ranked foes. Michigan also defeated two or more ranked opponents for the third consecutive season; U-M defeated a program-best four ranked opponents in 2008.

Michigan Posts Double-Figure Wins for Fourth Consecutive Season -- Michigan picked up its 10th win over season with its win over in-state rival Michigan State on Saturday (Oct. 30). The Wolverines have posted at least 10 victories in each of the last four seasons and in 11 years as a varsity program have reached double-figure win totals in eight of those years. Michigan has posted four consecutive winning seasons twice, 2001-04 and 2007-10.

OT is the Right Time -- Michigan picked up its third overtime victory with the Oct. 30 win over the Spartans. U-M also won overtime games against Detroit on Sept. 1 and Kentucky on Sept. 22. The Wolverines have played in six overtime games this season and have a 3-0-3 record in extra time. Michigan's six overtime games this season are the most since playing six in 2006. The program record for overtime games in 10 during the 2004 season.

Justin Meram Named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week -- Senior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower ) earned his first career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award for his seven point-effort -- three goals, one assist -- in U-M's wins over Bowling Green (Oct. 27) and No. 23 Michigan State (Oct. 30). Meram tallied his first multi-goal game of the season with two goals against Bowling Green and added a goal and an assist in U-M's win over No. 23 Michigan State.

Meram is on a Roll -- Justin Meram leads the team with seven assists and in game-winners with four this season, including the game-winning goal against Bowling Green.

Michigan Offense Looking Good -- Michigan snapped its two-game losing streak in impressive fashion by scoring eight goals in two victories against Bowling Green (Oct. 27) and Michigan State (Oct. 30). U-M's five goals against Bowling Green are the most scored by the Wolverines this season, while Michigan's three goals against Michigan State tie for the most goals scored by the Wolverines in Big Ten action this season. Justin Meram has scored three goals in the last two games, while sophomore midfielder Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) has a goal and two assists in the last two games. Meram and the Saad brothers have accounted for nearly 80 percent of Michigan's offense this season.

Leaders of the Big Ten -- The Wolverines continue to lead the Big Ten in shots (332) and shots per game (19.53), corners (108) and fouls (211). Michigan freshman forward Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) also leads the league in shots (103) and shots per game (6.44), while forward Justin Meram is tied for second in the league in game-winning goals with four.

Wolverines in the National Rankings -- Freshman Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) is making his way up the NCAA statistics rankings and is currently tied for third in total goals (14), third in goals per game (0.88), fifth in points per game (1.94) and fifth in total point (31). As a team, the Wolverines are 28th in scoring offense (1.94 goals per game), 14th in total goals (33) and are tied for 28th in winning percentage (0.676).

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That -- Michigan comes in at No. 8 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Region poll this week. The Wolverines are also ranked No. 39 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Tournament 48 poll and are No. 30 in the RPI ... Sophomore midfielder Latif Alashe (Northville, Mich./Northville) tallied his first career goal against No. 23 Michigan State (Oct. 30). Alashe has started in 37 consecutive games and has yet to miss a start in his U-M career ...Justin Meram has scored a goal in each of U-M's last two games and, with a goal against Northwestern, would have his second three-game scoring streak this season ... Soony Saad had his five-game scoring streak snapped against Michigan State; Saad has scored at least one goal in 10 of the 16 games played in this season ... The Wolverines next head to the Big Ten Tournament (Nov. 11-14) at Penn State's Jeffrey Field. If the Wolverines advance past the first round, they will play live on the Big Ten Network in the semifinals and finals.

NUMBERS GAME
U-M vs. Northwestern
- 8-4-1
U-M on the road
- 31-47-13
U-M in Big Ten Road Games
- 11-19-2

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Thu-Sun., Nov. 11-14
-- at Big Ten Tournament (State College, Pa.)

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423


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