First Touch #1: U-M to Welcome CSUN, BGSU for Home-Opening Weekend
MGOBLUE Taylor Bucklin
MGOBLUE
Taylor Bucklin
MGOBLUE
Aug. 19, 2014

THIS WEEK
Friday, Aug. 22
-- vs. CSUN (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7:30 p.m.
TICKETS | Live Stats
Sunday, Aug. 24 -- vs. Bowling Green (U-M Soccer Stadium), 2 p.m.
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Game Day Information: U-M Soccer Stadium | Ticket Information

Coming off back-to-back extended NCAA Tournament runs, the No. 7-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team (0-0) heads into the 21st season of varsity soccer this weekend. The Wolverines will take on Cal State University Northridge on Friday (Aug. 22) at 7:30 p.m. and Bowling Green on Sunday (Aug. 24) at 2 p.m., with both matches being played at the U-M Soccer Stadium.

Single-game and season tickets are available for purchase through the Michigan Athletics Ticket Office. To purchase, please call (866) 296-MTIX or visit www.MGoBlue.com/tickets.

WOLVERINE BITES

• Michigan went 18-4-1 (9-1-1 Big Ten) last season, finished tied for second in the Big Ten Conference and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in program history. The Wolverines lost seven seniors to graduation that started a combined 140 matches last season alone. Michigan will also be without three-year starter Christina Murillo, who is taking the year off to train with Mexico in advance of next summer's FIFA Women's World Cup.

The Wolverines return four players that started 10 or more games last season. Sophomore midfielder Madisson Lewis was U-M's second-leading scorer in 2013 (6G, 9A) and an All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection. Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin, senior defender Chloe Sosenko and junior defender Christina Ordonez also have plenty of game experience and will help lead the young squad.

• The Wolverines have five goalkeepers on this year's roster: senior Zaryn Jennings, junior Maddie Clarfield, sophomore Taylor Bucklin and freshmen Sarah Jackson and Megan Hinz. Bucklin is the only returner on U-M's roster to have played and started in all 23 games last season. She allowed just 11 goals during her rookie campaign, boasting a save percentage of .878 percent and 12 shutouts. Clarfield has seen action in two games during her career, including 22 minutes in Michigan's 2013 win over UW-Milwaukee. In U-M's lone exhibition match, Bucklin got the start, while Hinz and Clarfield split time in the second half.

• Michigan will be led by senior captains Chloe Sosenko and Jen Pace. The duo along with the rest of the Wolverine seniors will be charged with helping to guide a team that consists of 11 freshmen, eight sophomores, six junior and five seniors. Despite graduating seven seniors, there are nine Wolverines that started at least one game last year and several talented, young players that developed under U-M's core of veterans last season.

• Head coach Greg Ryan enters his seventh season at the helm of the women's soccer program. In his first six seasons in Ann Arbor, he has compiled an overall record of 63-41-20 (.588) and led the Wolverines to three NCAA Tournament appearance, including the 2013 Elite Eight. Assistant coach Dean Duerst has been by Ryan's side during his entire tenure, while assistant coach Angela Napoli arrived after Ryan's first season and is beginning her fifth season at U-M. The continuity in U-M's talented coaching staff has helped bring the Wolverines back into the national spotlight.

During the six-year tenure of Ryan, Michigan is 29-15-5 against non-conference opponents in the regular season and is 39-13-11 at the U-M Soccer Stadium. Over the last three years, the Wolverines are 21-6-3 against non-conference foes and 32-8-6 at the home (including 12-1-1 last season). Four of U-M's six non-conference matches this season will be held inside the U-M Soccer Stadium. Additionally, Michigan is 10-7-3 all-time in home openers.

• The Wolverines enter the season ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA College Preseason Poll, released last Wednesday (Aug. 6). The Wolverines are one of three ranked teams from the Big Ten Conference along with Nebraska (No. 13) and Penn State (No. 24). [ Release ]

• The Big Ten released its annual preseason coaches' poll last Wednesday (Aug. 13), and Michigan was picked to finish fifth. Additionally, Madisson Lewis, Nicky Waldeck and Ani Sarkisian were named to the Players to Watch list. [ Release ]

• A class of 10 freshmen will join the Wolverines roster this season: goalkeeper Megan Hinz (Eldersburg, Md.), defender Alyssa Dillon (Plymouth, Mich.), midfielder Niki Wilkinson (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.), midfielder Emma Groffsky (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), forward Danielle Hogarth (Jarrettsville, Md.), forward Taylor Timko (Rochester Hills, Mich.), midfielder Rubina Veerakone (Caledonia, Mich.), defender Anna Soccorsi (Yardley, Pa.) and midfielder/forward Nicky Waldeck (Chicago, Ill.). U-M also added redshirt freshman midfielder/forward Ani Sarkisian, who transferred from Florida State University. She did not play during her freshman season at FSU due to injury, but was named to the 2014 Big Ten Players to Watch list. [ Roster ]

• The Wolverines will be on the Big Ten Network twice this season: Sunday, Sept. 21, at Rutgers (1 p.m.) and Thursday, Oct. 2, vs. Nebraska (3:30 p.m.). The Big Ten Network will also televise the semifinals and championship match of the Big Ten Tournament, to be held Nov. 7 and Nov. 9, respectively, in West Lafayette, Ind.

• Michigan will face nine teams this season that qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament, including eight from the Big Ten Conference: San Diego State (Aug. 31), Minnesota (Sept. 12), Rutgers (Sept. 21), Nebraska (Oct. 2), Iowa (Oct. 5), Indiana (Oct. 11), Penn State (Oct. 16), Ohio State (Oct. 19) and Illinois (Oct. 26). [ Schedule ]

OPPONENT PREVIEW

The Last Meeting
Michigan0
Cal State Northridge1
August 30, 2012
Northridge, Calif.
U-M Handed First Loss of 2012 at Cal State Northridge
Haley Kopmeyer made five saves and is now four shy of the program career record, but the Wolverines were handed their first loss of the year, dropping a 1-0 decision at Cal State Northridge.

CSUN
CSUN, which is a member of the Big West Conference, is coming off a 6-12-1 season in 2013, including a 1-6-1 mark in conference play. The Matadors were picked to finish tied for seventh place in the Big West but return 12 players that started more than 10 games a year ago. Junior goalkeeper Cynthia Tafoya started 16 games in net last season, making 59 saves and recording a save percentage of .720. Senior forward Brittanie Sakajian and sophomore midfielder Breanna McCallum each led CSUN with three goals and one assist last season. The Matadors are led by ninth-year head coach Keith West.

Series vs. CSUN: Michigan is 0-1 all-time against CSUN, as the Wolverines dropped a 1-0 decision to the Matadors on Aug. 30, 2012, in Northridge, Calif.

Bowling Green
Bowling Green returns 10 players that started 10 or more games in 2013 under head coach Lindsay Basalyga, who is now beginning her second season with the program. The Falcons were picked to finish sixth in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division after a going 0-15-2 last season. Sophomore defender Paige Amodio, who was a 2013 All-MAC freshman team selection and named to the 2014 Preseason All-MAC second team, will spearhead BGSU's efforts. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Cadel started 14 of Bowling Green's 17 games last season, registering 109 saves and a save percentage of .796.

Series vs. Bowling Green: Michigan and Bowling Green will meet on the pitch for the first time on Sunday.

UP NEXT
Friday, Aug. 29
-- at San Diego (San Diego, Calif.), 7:30 p.m. PST
Sunday, Aug. 31 -- at San Diego State (San Diego, Calif.), 7 p.m. PST

Contact: Whitney Dixon


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