Nov. 5, 2012
Friday, Nov. 9 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), 2:30 p.m. CST
Live Stats | TV: Big Ten Network
Sunday, Nov. 11 -- vs. Michigan State, Noon CST
Live Stats | TV: Big Ten Network
The third-seeded University of Michigan men's soccer team (8-8-1) begins its postseason slate on Wednesday (Nov. 7) in the first round of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, taking on the No. 6 seed Wisconsin Badgers (6-7-5) at 3:30 p.m. CST at Northwestern's Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill. The Wolverines are 2-1 all-time at Lakeside, which features a FieldTurf playing surface.
U-M enters the tournament riding a three-match win streak, its longest of the season, and is 6-3-1 in its last 10 matches. Michigan is 8-11-1 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament and is 3-1-1 against the Badgers. Michigan faced the Badgers in the first round of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament, falling to UW, 2-0, on Nov. 9, 2011, at U-M Soccer Stadium. In the all-time series, Michigan leads with a 10-4-3 record.
Must Win to Keep Hopes Alive
Michigan is in need of a .500 record to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Heading into the Big Ten Tournament, U-M must defeat Wisconsin in the first round to meet the NCAA selection committee requirements.
Against the Nation's Best
The Wolverines are ranked No. 28 in the most-recent RPI and have played the third-most difficult schedule in the country. U-M's opponents have a combined record of 170-96-53. Michigan has also taken on four teams ranked in the top 10 of the ratings percentage index in No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 2 Akron, No. 7 Marquette and No. 10 Indiana. Additionally, U-M has played four teams also in the top 50 in No. 25 South Florida, No. 32 Northeastern, No. 34 Northwestern and No. 46 Penn State.
Trio Honored by College Soccer Madness
A trio of Wolverines -- in midfielders Tyler Arnone and Fabio Villas Boas Pereira as well as defender Kofi Opare -- were recently named to the College Soccer Madness All-Big Ten Team. Forward T.J. Roehn earned a nod as one of four second-team forwards.
The Wolverines will look to avenge a 2-1 defeat suffered against the Badgers on Oct. 13 in Madison. Despite holding a 14-7 edge in shots and a 9-1 advantage on corner kicks, Michigan was on the wrong side of the outcome. Chris Prince gave the Badgers the lead early on in the seventh minute, but Tyler Arnone knotted the match at 1-1 eight minutes later on a helper from Brian Klemczak. Nick Janus gave the Badgers the game-winner in the 80th minute, on an assist from Prince, to propel the Badgers to the 2-1 victory.
The Badgers enter the first round of the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 6 seed, with a 1-3-2 conference record and a 6-7-5 record overall. In their last regular-season match, they tied Ohio State, 0-0, on Sunday (Nov. 4) in a battle for the No. 6 seed the tournament.
The Badgers are led defensively by freshman goalkeeper Chase Rau, who had six saves on the day. Rau and Max Jentsch have collectively recorded three straight shutouts in the last three matches -- against UMKC, Northwestern and Ohio State.
Wisconsin is led offensively by Prince, who has had three goals and five assists, as well as Janus, who has four goals and one assist. Defensively, Rau holds a save 76-percent save percentage. Both Michigan and Wisconsin have allowed 21 goals on the season.
Senior tri-captain Latif Alashe has now started 80 straight matches, having never missed a match in his career and sits in second place in program history in the category. He is two starts away from breaking Ryan Sterba's (2002-05) program record of 81 matches started. Additionally, Alashe is tied for fourth all-time in program history in matches played.
Three Wolverines have found themselves in the starting 11 in each match this season, as Latif Alashe, Tyler Arnone and Adam Grinwis have received nods in the first 17 matches. Grinwis has been the lone Wolverine to play every minute of every match.
Michigan has now outscored teams 12-7 in the first half this season but has been outscored by a 13-8 margin in the second stanza.
James Murphy is now the team leader in shots, with 34. Fabio Villas Boas Pereira now leads the team with 12 points and extended his team lead in assists, while Tyler Arnone leads the side in goals with four.
Michigan has outshot opponents in the past four matches (Bowling Green, Valparaiso, Detroit, Michigan State) by a combined 75-36 margin.
Saturday (Nov. 3) against Michigan State was a season-high attendance of 2,225, surpassing the previous high of 1,402, which came against Ohio State. It is also the fifth time this season U-M has played in front of at least 1,000 people. This was the highest attendance at U-M Soccer Stadium since 2,787 came out on Sept. 2, 2010, to see Michigan take on Butler.
The 28 shots against the Detroit Titans on Oct. 30 tie for the sixth most in program history. The last time U-M had 28 shots in match was on Sept. 11, 2009, when the Wolverines defeated Wright State.
Adam Grinwis has posted six career shutouts, including four this season. His last came at home against Michigan State (Nov. 3). He is tied for third in the conference in clean sheets this year.
Grinwis' 79 saves this season rank third all-time in the Michigan single-season rankings. He trails Peter Dzubay (110 saves in 2003) and former teammate Chris Blais (106 saves in 2010).
Michigan is 1-1-1 in overtime matches this season. All three overtime matches have gone into double overtime.
The Oct. 19 win over Indiana marked the first road victory for the Wolverines in the Chaka Daley era, and it 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 vs. 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.
Eleven players have scored at least one goal for the Wolverines this season, equaling last season's total of 11 players. The program record for goal scorers in a season is 13, which was set in 2007.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| Latif Alashe |
Q: With the start against Wisconsin you will tie the Michigan record for matches started with 81 and will have the potential to break the record in the second round of the tournament. What does something like that mean to you?
A: It means a lot, as a streak like that involves a lot of different aspects in health, consistency, the coaches selecting me to play, my teammates having faith in me and just winning games. I really owe it to my teammates.
Q: What is it like playing against your brother Fatai, who plays for Michigan State?
A: It was a lot more fun playing against him the second time, mostly based on the result that we earned. We are just both so competitive and going up against him is a challenge due to his caliber as a midfielder. It was enjoyable having my family, as well as Fatai, there for Senior Night. Overall, it was a great way to go out in, what is as of now, our final home match at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Q: What has been your most memorable moment in your four seasons at Michigan?
A: I would have to say I have two. The first was in 2010 when we beat Maryland in the Elite Eight on the road. We were the underdogs and it was a crazy crowd. We went there and upset the higher-seeded team. The second was winning on Senior Night against Michigan State earlier this season. There were a lot of emotions prior to the start of the match and we wanted to go out and get a positive result. Reclaiming the Big Bear Trophy over Michigan State makes it just that much sweeter.
A: It means a lot to me. Brian and I have played together since we were 10 years old and Kofi is my roommate and has been my best friend pretty much since I've been here. They are both great guys to have around and to be around. I've also known the other two seniors on this year's squad in Etienne (Lussiez) and Noble (Sullivan) since I was little. It has been great playing with them on the collegiate level.
Q: Who is the best FIFA 13 player on the team?
A: Up until a week ago, it was probably me, but James Murphy has been on fire of late. I challenged him last week and he beat me pretty handedly. Kofi and I have had some pretty epic battles throughout the years, but I have been practicing a lot and I'm ready to take back my crown.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most the rest of this postseason?
A: I'm looking forward to what Coach Daley refers to as advancing. We have a wonderful opportunity in that we can control our own destiny if we choose to do so and if we do what we need to do, there is no reason for us not to go far this postseason. I'm looking forward to getting our result against Wisconsin in the opening round and moving forward in this tournament and this postseason.
LAST TIME OUT
Using a score from Kofi Opare is the 70th minute, U-M reclaimed the Big Bear Trophy from rival Michigan State Saturday (Nov. 3) in front of a sellout crowd of 2,225 fans. The Wolverines outshot the Spartans by a 13-9 margin.