First Touch #2: New-Look Offense Heads West for USD Tournament
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MGOBLUE

Aug. 24, 2010

Michigan at USD Tournament
Torero Stadium • San Diego, Calif.

Friday, Aug. 27: U-M vs. Pepperdine, 5 p.m. PDT • Buy Tickets | Live Stats
Sunday, Aug. 29: U-M at No. 22 San Diego, 5 p.m. PDT • Buy Tickets | Live Stats

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The University of Michigan women's soccer team (1-0-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten) heads for the West Coast to take part in the USD Tournament this weekend (Fri-Sun., Aug. 27-29) inside Torero Stadium. The Wolverines will open with Pepperdine on Friday (Aug. 27) at 5 p.m. PDT. On Sunday (Aug. 29), Michigan will take on host No. 22-ranked San Diego at 5 p.m. PDT.

The lone meeting between Michigan and Pepperdine holds a special place in U-M soccer history. The unranked Wolverines claimed a 2-0 win over the No. 5-ranked Waves at the old U-M Soccer Field to earn a place in the 2002 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Making its first appearance among the final eight teams, Michigan came up short to the defending national champion and eventual runner-up, Santa Clara, in a 3-1 decision inside hostile territory.

WOLVERINE BITES
Guess Who's Back -- Junior/sophomore Clare Stachel (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) wasted no time getting back into the mix for the Wolverines. Playing in her first game since Oct. 31, 2008, Stachel picked up assists on U-M's first two goals of the season. Stachel, who is one of three U-M captains, tallied nine points during her rookie campaign before being sidelined for the entire 2009 season by injury. Fifth-year senior Kylie Neschke (Still River, Mass./Tabor Academy) and sophomore Eunnie Kim (Hubley, Nova Scotia/Sir John A MacDonald) also returned to the lineup after missing large chunks of time last season. All three were in the starting 11 on Sunday (Aug. 22) against Eastern Michigan.

Who You Callin' Rookie? -- Freshmen Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) and Tori McCombs (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) accounted for all four goals during the opening weekend. While the regular season is just two games old, Michigan rookies are no stranger to leading the team in goals. Senior Amanda Bowery (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester), who paced the Wolverines during her first season in Ann Arbor, is one four U-M newcomers to lead the team in scoring. The freshman offensive explosion can also be attributed to veteran presence as upperclassmen, including Bowery, have collected all four assists this season.

Double The Fun -- Tori McCombs dented the twine twice against Detroit (Friday, Aug. 22), marking U-M's first multi-goal game since Amanda Bowery and Natalie Horner (2008) both scored twice against Oakland on Sept. 11, 2008. Clare Stachel's two helpers against the Titans was the first multi-assist game by a Wolverine since sophomore Holly Hein (Castaic, Calif./West Ranch) chipped in a pair on Sept. 16, 2009, against the same Oakland Grizzlies.

Quick Hits -- A U-M Soccer Complex record 958 fans packed inside the U-M Soccer Stadium for Sunday's (Aug. 22) contest with Eastern Michigan, marking the 14th-highest home attendance in program history ... The Big Ten Network is scheduled to televise Michigan's home game against Illinois (Oct. 31, 3 p.m.) and at Penn State (Nov. 7, 1 p.m.) live in high definition.

NUMBERS GAME
U-M in Road Openers - 7-6-3
U-M in California - 0-7-0
U-M vs. Ranked Opponents (since 1998) - 18-37-11
U-M vs. Pepperdine - 1-0-0
U-M vs. San Diego - First Meeting

Career Coaching Wins - 3, Greg Ryan (197-100-28) needs three wins to reach 200 victories in his NCAA coaching career.
Career Shutouts -
1, Haley Kopmeyer (6) needs one shutout to match Jori Welchans (7, 1994-96) for fifth all-time.

CHECK IT OUT
The Ryan:90 -- Episode 2 [ Link ]
The Yellow Armband -- Finally Have a Home.
Multimedia -- Check out this weekend's game highlights. [ Friday ] [ Sunday ]

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Fri., Sept. 3, 5:30 p.m. -- at Oakland (Rochester, Mich.)
Fri., Sept. 10, 5 p.m. -- at Toledo (Toledo, Ohio)

Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423


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