First Touch #12: Michigan Hosts NCAA Showdown at U-M Soccer Stadium

Nov. 17, 2010

#19 Michigan hosts NCAA Tournament Second Round
NCAA Tournament Bracket: Interactive | PDF

U-M Soccer Stadium • Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sunday, Nov. 21: No. 10 seed U-M vs. Central Florida (Second Round), 2 p.m.
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The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan men's soccer team (14-4-3) earned the program's fourth NCAA Tournament bid on Monday (Nov. 15). The Wolverines earned the No. 10 seed and a first-round bye. Michigan will play Central Florida, a 3-0 first-round winner over South Florida, on Sunday (Nov. 21) at 2 p.m. Michigan has never faced Central Florida. This will be the fourth time Michigan has been selected to host a round of the NCAA Championship. The Wolverines have a 3-0 record in home NCAA Tournament games.

Tickets will be available beginning Wednesday (Nov. 17). Fans can contact the University of Michigan Ticket Office at (734) 764-0247 or toll-free at (866) 296-MTIX. Tickets will also be available for purchase on game day at the ticket booth near the east entrance to the U-M Soccer Stadium.

Reserved Chair back Seats: $9
Adult General Admission: $7
Seniors/Students General Admission: $5
Age 5 and under: $1
Advanced Group Ticket Sales of 10+: $3
Marketing Promotions: The first 400 U-M Students will receive free admission with Student ID at the Ticket Gate on game day starting at 1 p.m.


Wolverines Earn First-Ever Big Ten Tournament Title -- The Wolverines enter the NCAA Tournament as the highest-seeded Big Ten Team after winning the Big Ten Tournament title last week with a 4-1 win over host Penn State on Sunday (Nov. 14). The Big Ten Tournament title was Michigan's first-ever in the 11-year history of the program and just its second appearance in the title game; U-M also reached the title game in 2002 in State College against Penn State but dropped a 2-1 decision. Additionally, Michigan's four goals tied for most goals by a team in the title game and the five goals between the teams tied the single-game record for a title match.

Wolverines in the NCAA Championship -- This will be Michigan's fourth appearance in the NCAA Championships and its first since reaching the third round in 2008. The Wolverines earned the No. 10 seed -- the highest seed in program history. U-M was an 11th seed in 2008 and a 12th seed in 2003. The 2004 squad reached the championship unseeded. Michigan has a 3-3-1 record in the championship and boasts a 3-0 record when playing at home. U-M reached the Elite Eight in 2003.

November to Remember -- The U-M men's soccer team has had an impressive run through the month of November. So far, the Wolverines are 4-0 in the 11th month and have tallied 11 goals in four games. Michigan is also outshooting their opponents, 68-50. The Wolverines have also picked up quite a few accolades this month. Freshman forward Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) won Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player, while redshirt junior goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) was named Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Sophomore midfielder Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) was also named to the conference's all-tournament team.

Wolverines Take Home Hardware at Big Ten Banquet -- The Wolverines earned plenty of recognition at the annual Big Ten Awards Banquet. Soony Saad took home Freshman of the Year honors to go along with a first team All-Big Ten and All-Freshman. Senior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower) and Hamoody Saad were named to the All-Big Ten second team, while Fabio Pereira (Sao Paulo, Brazil/South Kent [Conn.]) was also selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. Senior captain Alex Wood (Northville, Mich./Northville) was U-M's Sportsmanship Award recipient.

We're Winners -- With U-M's win in the Big Ten Tournament final, the Wolverines move into a tie for the most wins in program history. Michigan's 14 victories tie the 2003 squad that went 14-7-1 and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Michigan also has a chance to tie the program record for games played. Michigan has currently played 21 games; the record of 23 was set during the 2004 season.

Records are Made to be Broken -- Soony Saad has solidified himself in the Michigan men's soccer record books this season. Saad has set single-season records for scoring with 18 goals, breaking a seven-year-old record as well as setting new single-season records for points (40) and shots (125). Saad also leads the country in goals scored and points and is the only freshman in the top five in both of those lists.

Wolverines are Ranked-- For the first time this season, and on the heels of their Big Ten Tournament title, the Wolverines are ranked in the NSCAA Coaches Poll, released on Tuesday (Nov. 16). Michigan is at the No. 19 spot and is No. 5 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Region poll. U-M is also ranked No. 16 in the Tournament 48 poll. [ National Poll ]

Saad Named National Player of the Week -- Soony Saad was named National Player of the Week after scoring three goals in three games, including two game-winners, to lead the Wolverines to the Big Ten Tournament title. The nation's leading scorer with 18 markers, Saad has scored a goal in nine of Michigan's last 10 games. Saad was also named to the TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week on Sept. 28 and Sept. 13.

Wolverines are Streaking Entering National Tournament --Michigan has won each of its last six games and has won 10 of its last 12 games. In its last six games, Michigan has scored 19 goals and posted 103 shots. The Wolverines are outshooting their opponents 103-79 in that span. Additionally, Michigan's players are also streaking. Justin Meram has scored seven goals in five games and is one a five-game scoring streak, while Soony Saad is on a four-game scoring streak and has scored 11 goals in U-M's last 10 games. Saad and Meram also lead the way with five game-winning goals this season.

Saad to Saad (And A Little Meram) -- Soony Saad and Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) are the first set of brothers to play for the Wolverines since Mychal (2001-04) and Robert Turpin (2000-02). The Saad brothers showcased their offensive skills at the Big Ten Tournament. The duo combined on U-M's game-winning goal in the 1-0 semifinal win over Wisconsin (Nov. 12) and each scored a goal in the title game against Penn State. Justin Meram also adds a little flair to this duo. Against Penn State in the title game, each of U-M's top three scorers netted at least one marker (Meram had two); they also each scored in U-M's win over Bowling Green on Oct. 27. Hamoody and Soony Saad and Justin Meram account for nearly 85 percent of Michigan's scoring this season.

Leaders of the Big Ten -- The Wolverines concluded the Big Ten slate as leaders in shots (400), shots per game (19.05), goals (44) and corner kicks (120). Soony Saad also led the league in shots (125), shots per game (6.25), point (40), points per game (2.00), goals (18) and goals per game (0.90). Goalkeeper Chris Blais led the league in saves with 85.

Wolverines in the National Rankings -- Soony Saad leads the nation in total goals (18) and total points (40). He is ranked second in points per game (2.00) and goals per game (0.90). Senior Justin Meram is also nationally ranked. He is seventh in total points (32), 10th in points per game (1.68), tied for 10th in total goals (12) and tied for 24th in total assists (8). As a team, the Wolverines are sixth in the nation in total goals (44), 10th in scoring offense (2.10 goals per game) and 16th in win-loss percentage (0.738).
[ National Statistics ]

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That--This is the second time the Wolverines have earned a bye in the NCAA Tournament. U-M also had a bye in 2008 and advanced to the third round ... Michigan's NCAA Tournament record for goals is six goals. U-M defeated St. Peters 6-2 in its first NCAA championship appearance in 2003 ... Latif Alashe has run his consecutive games played streak to 39 consecutive games. Alashe has started every single game in his career ... Michigan is one of five Big Ten schools to get a bid to the NCAA Championship. It is the second consecutive season the Big Ten has sent five teams to the NCAA Championship.


U-M vs. Central Florida - First Meeting
U-M in the NCAA Championship at Home
- 3-0-0
U-M in NCAA Championship
- 4-3

Sunday, Nov. 28
-- NCAA Tournament Third Round
Fri-Sun., Dec. 3-5 -- NCAA Quarterfinals

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423

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