First Touch #14: U-M Looks to Punch Ticket to College Cup at No. 3 Maryland
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Dec. 1, 2010

#19 Michigan at #3 Maryland - NCAA Elight Eight
NCAA Tournament Bracket: Interactive | PDF

Ludwig Field • College Park, Md.
Saturday, Dec. 4: No. 10 seed U-M at No. 2 seed Maryland, 1 p.m.
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TAKING TO THE PITCH
The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan men's soccer team (16-4-3) is looking to punch its ticket to the 2010 NCAA College Cup when it takes on No. 3-ranked Maryland Terrapins (19-2-1) on Saturday (Dec. 4) in the NCAA Elite Eight. This is the first meeting between Michigan and Maryland and kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Ludwig Field in College Park, Md. Fans can follow the action with a live webcast at NCAA.com/allaccess.

TICKET INFORMATION
Price: $10 for adults; $5 for youth
Tickets are available by calling the Maryland Ticket Office and at Ludwig Field on Saturday. For additional ticket information, please call (800) 462-TERP or (301) 314-7070.

WOLVERINE TIDBITS

Wolverines in the 2010 NCAA Championship -- Michigan advanced to the Elite Eight with a 3-1 upset win at No. 18 South Carolina in third-round action last Sunday (Nov. 28). U-M reaches the Elite Eight for the second time in school history and the first time since the 2003 season with its first-ever NCAA Championship road win. Prior to the South Carolina game, U-M was 0-2-1 on the road in NCAA Championship action. The Wolverines 2010 NCAA Championship bid is its first since 2008 and its No. 10 seed is the highest seed for the Wolverines. Michigan has been a No. 12 seed (2003) and No. 11 seed (2008). U-M reached the second round unseeded in 2004.

Wolverines are Streaking During NCAA Championship --Michigan is on an eight-game winning streak and has won 12 of its last 14 games. U-M's 3-1 win at South Carolina produced the most goals in Sweet 16 action, and the Wolverines have outscored opponents, 37-23, in the last 14 games, including a 24-9 margin during the current eight-game winning streak. Additionally, Michigan's players are also streaking as senior Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower) is on a seven-game scoring streak and has scored 10 goals in U-M's last seven games, while Soony Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) has tallied four game-winning goals in U-M's last six games. Meram's seven-game scoring streak is the longest for a Wolverine this season.

The Accolades Keep Rollin in For the Wolverines -- The Wolverines continue to receive accolades for their outstanding play in 2010. This week, Justin Meram was named College Soccer News National Player of the Week for his two goals in U-M's 3-1 upset win at No. 18 South Carolina and he earned a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week. Soony Saad was also named TopDrawerSoccer.com Rookie of the Year for his outstanding freshman season. Saad is second in the nation in scoring with 19 goals and leads all freshmen in scoring nationally. Saad has set numerous records this season, including breaking U-M's seven-year-old single-season scoring record with his 19 tallies, along with the single-season record for points (43) and shots (143). U-M has had players earn national awards in each of the last three weeks.

More Records Fall Against the Gamecocks -- U-M has set numerous records during the 2010 season. Michigan tied the record for games played with its 23rd game of the season at South Carolina and will set a new record in Saturday's Elite Eight game against Maryland. This season, Michigan has set new records for wins (16), shot on goal (176), shots (453) and tied the record for goals with 49. Several records are within reach for the Wolverines as they are just three points away from tying the record of 146 and are three assists away from tying the single-season record of 48.

First-Time Opponents -- Each of U-M's opponents in the 2010 NCAA Tournament has been a team that the Wolverines have never played before. U-M's games against Central Florida, South Carolina and Elite Eight opponent Maryland mark the first time U-M has met three consecutive first-time opponents. One the season, U-M is 2-0-2 against first-time opponents, with wins over UCF and South Carolina and ties with Marquette and Seattle.

November to Remember -- The U-M men's soccer team had an impressive run through the month of November. The Wolverines went 6-0 and tallied 16 goals while only giving up six goals. The Wolverines are playing in December for the second time in program history and had an undefeated November for the first time in program history.

Saad is Breaking Records All the Way Into the Record Book -- Soony Saad has set single-season records for scoring with 19 goals, breaking a seven-year-old record as well as setting new single-season records for points (43) and shots (143). Saad also among the nation's leaders in goals scored and points and is the only freshman in the top five in both of those lists. Saad also leads the Wolverines in game-winning goals with six on the season.

Wolverines in the National Rankings -- Soony Saad is second in the nation in total goals (19) and total points (43). He is fourth in points per game (1.95) and goal per game (0.86). Justin Meram is fifth in total points (38), ninth in points per game (1.87), tied for sixth in total goals (15) and is 13th in goals per game (0.72). Meram is also tied for 30th in assists (8). As a team, the Wolverines are third in the nation in total goals (49), eighth in scoring offense (2.13 goals/game) and 12th in win-loss percentage (.761).

Wolverines Ranked -- For the first time this season and on the heels of their Big Ten Tournament title, the Wolverines were ranked in the final regular-season NSCAA Coaches Poll released on Tuesday (Nov. 16). Michigan came in at the No. 19 spot after winning the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan is No. 4 in the NSCAA Great Lakes region poll and is up to No. 9 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Tournament 48 poll.

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

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That -- Michigan's nine home wins tie the single-season record for home wins; U-M also had nine in during the 2008 season, although six home games were played at other venues due to construction at the U-M Soccer Complex ... U-M picked up its first-ever road win in NCAA Tournament play with a 3-1 win at South Carolina (Nov. 28); U-M advanced against Notre Dame during the 2003 season on penalty kicks ... The Wolverines tied the record for most consecutive road wins with three, a streak that is still active ... Michigan is the lone Big Ten team remaining in NCAA Tournament action. The Big Ten was the only conference with each of its five teams still remaining entering the third round.

NUMBERS GAME
U-M vs. Maryland
-- First Meeting
U-M on the road in the NCAA Championship -- 1-2-1
U-M in NCAA Championship -- 6-3

MILESTONE WATCH
• U-M is one road win away from tying the single-season record for road wins (5)

• U-M is one win away from tying the single-season record for longest unbeaten streak (9)

Chris Blais is 17 saves away from tying the single-season record saves record

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Fri-Sun., Dec. 10-12 -- at NCAA College Cup (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423


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