First Touch #2: U-M to Head West for Clashes with San Diego, SDSU
MGOBLUE Ani Sarkisian
MGOBLUE
Ani Sarkisian
MGOBLUE
Aug. 26, 2014

THIS WEEK
Friday, Aug. 29
-- at San Diego (San Diego, Calif.), 7:30 p.m. PDT
Live Stats | Live Video
Sunday, Aug. 31 -- at San Diego State (San Diego, Calif.), 7 p.m. PDT
Live Stats | Live Video

Spotlight: Corinne Harris
Social Media: Facebook l Twitter

After completing a perfect 2-0 weekend at home to start the 2014 season, the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team (2-0-0) will hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to San Diego, Calif., for a pair of matches this weekend. Michigan will face San Diego (0-1-1) on Friday (Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m. PDT) and San Diego State (1-1-0) on Sunday (Aug. 31, 7 p.m. PDT). Sunday's matchup with SDSU will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network and is free to watch.

WOLVERINE BITES
• Michigan opened the season with a pair of shutout wins last weekend, defeating CSUN (Aug. 22) and Bowling Green (Aug. 24), each by a score of 2-0. The Wolverines are now 11-7-3 all-time in home openers and have stated each of the last three seasons with back-to-back victories.

• Four different players scored goals for Michigan in its opening weekend, including sophomore Madisson Lewis and freshman Taylor Timko against CSUN and junior Christina Ordonez and sophomore Nicky Waldeck (PK) against Bowling Green. Junior Corinne Harris and sophomore/freshman Ani Sarkisian accounted for all of the Maize and Blue's assists, tallying three and two, respectively, through two games.

• Michigan is one of six Big Ten teams to start the season with a perfect 2-0 record, along with Rutgers, Penn State, Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

• Michigan and Iowa are the only two Big Ten teams to not allow a goal through two games this season. U-M goalkeepers Taylor Bucklin and Megan Hinz recorded shutouts against CSUN and Bowling Green, respectively.

• The Wolverines lead the Big Ten Conference in corner kicks per game, averaging 12.0. Michigan owned the lopsided corner kick battle against Bowling Green, 20-1.

• Michigan is unbeaten in its last 22 non-conference matches at the U-M Soccer Stadium (21-0-1, including postseason). The last time U-M dropped a non-conference match at home was the 2011 season opener against Akron (1-0; Aug. 19). Over the last four seasons, Michigan is 25-8-2 in non-conference play.

• Junior Corinne Harris and sophomore/junior Ani Sarkisian rank second and tied for third, respectively, in the Big Ten in assists per game. Harris is averaging 1.5 per outing, while Sarkisian has tallied one assist in each of U-M's first two games. Harris now has 14 career assists.

Harris had a hand in each of Michigan's four goals during the season-opening weekend. She assisted on both of U-M's goal in the 2-0 win versus CSUN and also recorded an assist on Michigan's first goal against Bowling Green. In addition to her three assists, Harris was taken down in the box on her way to goal against BGSU, which led to a penalty kick goal by teammate Nicky Waldeck.

The Keeper Club: 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.

Bucklin and Hinz split time in U-M's pair of wins last weekend -- Bucklin played all 90 minutes in the 2-0 shutout of CSUN, while Hinz played every minute of the 2-0 win over Bowling Green, against which she notched her first career start and shutout.

Freshman Debuts: Seven members of Michigan's freshman class made their collegiate debuts over the weekend: Emma Groffsky, Megan Hinz, Danielle Hogarth, Taylor Timko, Rubina Veerakone, Niki Wilkinson, as well as sophomore/freshman Ani Sarkisian, who transferred from Florida State after sitting out her true freshman season with a knee injury. Hinz, Timko and Sarkisian each recorded their first career starts in a Maize and Blue uniform and contributed early on. Hinz notched her first career shutout in goal against Bowling Green; Sarkisian and an assist against CSUN and Bowling Green; and Timko scored her first career goal versus CSUN.

• National Ranking: The Wolverines are ranked No. 10 in the first regular-season NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Poll, released today (Tuesday, Aug. 26). The Wolverines are one of three ranked teams from the Big Ten Conference along with Penn State (No. 8) and Wisconsin (No. 19). Ohio State, Nebraska and Rutgers are also receiving votes in this week's poll.

Leaders and Best: 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.

The Coaching Staff: Head coach Greg Ryan is in his seventh season at the helm of the women's soccer program. To date he has complied an overall record of 65-41-20 (.595) 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 Ryan's tenure, Michigan is 31-15-5 against non-conference opponents in the regular season and is 41-13-11 at the U-M Soccer Stadium. Over the last three years, the Wolverines are 23-6-3 against non-conference foes and 34-8-6 at home. The Wolverines started the season 2-0 at home last weekend and will host its last pair of non-conference home matchups in two weeks -- Toledo (Friday, Sept. 5) and Central Michigan (Sunday, Sept. 7).

• Last weekend, Michigan played its first two games on its new playing surface that was installed at the U-M Soccer Stadium. The sod derived from Graff's Turf Farm in Fort Morgan, Colo., and was installed by Bush Turf Colo. The sod was transported across the country in a pair of refrigerated trucks in rolls that were 100 feet long. The grass was grown in 90 percent sand base, which is a short cut stadium variety, and is maintained at one inch. The previous playing surface was recycled and composted. The project was completed in April, allowing three months for the pitch to settle. In addition to the new playing service, the Wolverines also utilized their newly installed HD video board during their home-opening weekend.

Big Ten Predictions: The Big Ten released its annual preseason coaches' poll on 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 ]

An Abundance of Newcomers: A class of 10 freshmen joined 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 to the roster, 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 ]

Wolverines on TV: 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's Matchups: 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 ]

2013 in Review: 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 returned four players that started 10 or more games last season. Sophomore 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.

OPPONENT PREVIEW

The Last Meeting
Michigan0
No. 22 San Diego2
August 29, 2010
San Diego, Calif.
Wolverines Suffer Defeat at No. 22 San Diego
Despite an 11-5 edge in shots, Michigan suffered its first loss of 2010, falling at No. 22 San Diego, 2-0, in the final game of the USD Tournament.

The Last Meeting
No. 21 San Diego State1
Michigan3
September 1, 2013
U-M Soccer Stadium
Three Unanswered Goals Send U-M Past No. 21 San Diego State
Following the Aztecs' goal 1:58 in, Christina Ordonez (4:46), Madisson Lewis (30:59) and Nkem Ezurike (64:30) each scored to push No. 14 Michigan past No. 21 San Diego State, 3-1.


San Diego
San Diego, a member of the West Coast Conference, is 0-1-1 through two games early on. The Toreros hosted the San Diego Torero Classic last weekend, when they lost to Georgetown, 3-1, in the opening match on Friday (Aug. 22) and played USC to a 1-1 double-overtime tie on Sunday (Aug. 24). Sophomore defender Victoria Walker tallied San Diego's lone goal versus Georgetown, while sophomore midfielder Rachel Conners scored the equalizer against USC. Under 11th-year head coach Ada Greenwood, the Toreros went 12-8 in 2013, including a 5-4 mark in West Coast Conference play. Sophomore Jacqueline Altschuld was selected to the 2013 All-WCC Freshman Team member after registering two goals and three assists last season. Altschuld has started all 22 games of her career and has tallied one assist so far this season. Junior goalkeeper Michelle Craft played every minute in goal for San Diego last season but has split time with redshirt sophomore McKenna Tollack in the first two games of the season, with each making one start.

Series vs. San Diego: Michigan is 0-1 all-time against San Diego, as the Wolverines dropped a 2-0 decision to the Toreros on Aug. 29, 2010, in San Diego, Calif.

San Diego State
San Diego State currently owns a record of 1-1 and will face UC Riverside on Friday (Aug. 29) before hosting the Wolverines on Sunday (Aug. 31). The Aztecs split a pair of games at home in the opening weekend, falling to Big Ten opponent Michigan State, 3-1, and defeating UC Davis, 2-0. Junior midfielder Victoria Barba netted SDSU's goal in its loss to the Spartans, while freshman forward Angela Mitchell scored both its goals in its first win of the season over UC Davis. Aztec head coach Mike Friesen is in his eighth season at the helm of the program after leading SDCU to a 13-7-2 record in 2013, as well as a Mountain West championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to UCLA, 3-0. Current senior forward Hannah Keane led San Diego State with 12 goals and four assists a year ago, en route to earning a spot on the All-Mountain West first team. Melanie Vaughn played nearly every minute in goal for SDSU last season but has split time with sophomore Sophia Trujillo in the first two games of the season, with each making one start.

Series vs. San Diego State: Michigan and SDSU met for the first time in program history last year, with the Wolverines earning a 3-1 victory at the U-M Soccer Stadium.

UP NEXT
Friday, Sept. 5
-- vs. Toledo (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 7 -- vs. Central Michigan (U-M Soccer Stadium), 5 p.m.

Contact: Whitney Dixon


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