First Touch #3: Wolverines to Head West for California Trip
Sydney Raguse

Aug. 28, 2012

Thursday, Aug. 30 -- at Cal State Northridge (Northridge, Calif.), 7 p.m. PDT
Live Stats
Sunday, Sept. 2 -- at No. 11 Long Beach State (Long Beach, Calif.), 6 p.m. PDT
Live Stats

Fresh off a perfect homestand to start the season, the University of Michigan women's soccer team (4-0-0) travels west this week for its first road trip of the season. The Wolverines will face Cal State Northridge (2-1-1) on Thursday (Aug. 30) at 7 p.m. PDT before closing the trip at No. 11 Long Beach State (3-0-0) on Sunday (Sept. 2) at 6 p.m. PDT.


Going Home (Pt. 1) ... This week's trip to California will be a return home for several Wolverines, as the 2012 roster features nine players with California ties: Maddie Clarfield (Malibu), Jen Pace (Valley Village), Olivia Buechler (San Diego), Christina Murillo (Ojai), Sydney Raguse (Newport Beach), Cassie Collins (San Diego), Keyana Thompson-Shaw (Long Beach), Holly Hein (Castaic), and Shelby Chambers-Garcia (San Clemente).

Going Home (Pt. 2) ... The Wolverines are making their fourth road trip to California in as many seasons. They have gone 2-4 in matches played in California during that stretch, with two losses coming to ranked teams:

2011: W, UC-Riverside (1-0); L, No. 24 Pepperdine (3-0)
2010: W, Pepperdine (1-0); L, No. 22 San Diego (2-0)
2009: L, Cal State Fullerton (L, 2-0); L, USC (2-1)

In The Rankings ... Michigan is receiving votes in this week's NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I rankings. Cal State Northridge (Thursday's opponent) is also receiving votes. Long Beach State (Sunday's opponent) is ranked No. 11, moving four spots up from last week, when it was No. 15. At No. 11, Long Beach State is the highest-ranked team U-M has played since Nov. 12, 2010, when it played No. 6 Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. [ Rankings ]

Opponent Preview ... Cal State Northridge is 2-1-1 on the season. The Matadors have early-season wins over Arizona State (1-0) and San Diego (3-0). Senior forward Melissa Fernandez has one goal and two assists so far this season, while Stephanie Galarze has a pair of goals. Thursday's match serves as the first meeting between the two schools.

Long Beach State is 3-0-0 on the season. The 49ers have won a pair of matches in overtime, defeating Arizona (2-1) and Baylor (2-1). Long Beach State has a match on Thursday at BYU, its first road match of the year. Sunday's match serves as the first meeting between the two schools.

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Update ... The Wolverines will welcome back two players to the team this week in juniors Nkem Ezurike and Shelina Zadorsky. The duo recently played with Canada at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. Canada was eliminated from the tournament on Monday (Aug. 27) by Korea DPR. Zadorsky, the captain of the Canadian squad, started all three group matches on defense, scoring on a penalty kick in the team's first match against Argentina. Ezurike played in two matches, starting against Norway, and coming off the bench against Korea DPR. The two players will rejoin the Wolverines during this weekend's road trip in California.

Mexico, which features U-M sophomore Christina Murillo, remains in the tournament after scoring a win against New Zealand, 4-0, on Sunday (Aug. 26). Mexico finished second in group A and will face Nigeria in the knockout stage on Thursday (Aug. 30) at 4 p.m. in Tokyo. Murillo has started all three of Mexico's matches thus far on defense. [ Updates ]

Kopmeyer Closing on Record ... With last Sunday's shutout against Detroit, fifth-year senior Haley Kopmeyer moves to third in program history for career shutouts (17). She has 314 career saves, needing nine more to become the program's all-time leader. The record is currently held by former U-M goalkeeper Megan Tuura, who made 322 saves from 2003-06.

Week In Review ... Michigan closed out its season-opening homestand with a perfect 4-0-0 record following a pair of victories last weekend, with a pair of U-M freshmen at the forefront. Lulu Haidar scored on a 30-yard free kick in the 98th minute to give Michigan a 2-1 overtime victory over Cal State Fullerton last Friday (Aug. 24), while Corinne Harris scored in Michigan's 1-0 victory against Detroit on Sunday (Aug. 26). [ Cal State Fullerton: Recap | Video Highlights | Play of the Day :: Detroit: Recap | Video Highlights :: Michigan Daily Recaps: Cal State Fullerton | Detroit ]

Balanced Attack ... Michigan has scored nine goals through four matches this season. Eight different players have scored at least one goal (junior Shelby Chambers-Garcia has two) and five players have recorded at least one assist.
[ Statistics ]

Working Overtime ... Michigan's overtime win over Cal State Fullerton was the team's first overtime win at home since Aug. 27, 2006, when it beat No. 17 Arizona, 1-0 (2OT). Additionally, it was the team's first overtime win since Oct. 22, 2010, at Minnesota (W, 2-1 in 2OT). Michigan is now 2-4-19 in overtime matches since 2007.

Fast Start ... Michigan's unblemished 4-0-0 record to start the season is the team's best start since 2002, when it began 5-0-0. In addition, the team's four wins on its recent homestand match the number of home wins from all of last season (4-5-1 at home in 2011).


2011 Recap ... The Wolverines finished the 2011 season with a 9-8-2 record (4-6-1 Big Ten) -- their second straight winning season -- but missed out on the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments. Michigan finished tied for eighth in the Big Ten. Nkem Ezurike, Christina Murillo and Clare Stachel each earned All-Big Ten honors.

Who's Back? ... Michigan will once again field a youthful team, with 18 of the 29 players on the roster listed as freshmen or sophomores. In addition, 13 of the 29 players on the roster started at least one match last season, including nine full-time starters. [ 2011 Statistics ]

"Fresh" Faces ... Eight new freshmen dot the roster this season, with several players from the class expected to play significant roles this season. They include goalkeeper Maddie Clarfield, defender Sydney Raguse, midfielders Hailey Fisher, Christina Ordonez, Lulu Haidar and Cassie Collins, and forwards Corinne Harris and Lisha Murphy.

Yellow Armband ... Clare Stachel, Haley Kopmeyer and Holly Hein have been chosen as team captains for the 2012 season. Stachel is only the second three-time team captain in program history, joining Debbie Flaherty (1994-97), who captained the team from 1995-97. Kopmeyer wears the armband for the second straight season, while Hein is in her first.

Welcome Back ... The team's new volunteer assistant coach this season is former Wolverine Sarah Stanczyk, who played for the Wolverines in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Stanczyk, a native of nearby Grosse Pointe, Mich., played in 37 matches (35 starts) during her two years in Ann Arbor, and will begin study toward a master's degree in exercise physiology/sports psychology this fall at Eastern Michigan. She replaces Nate Boyden, who took a full-time assistant coaching position with the Bradley University men's soccer team.

Lights, Camera, Action ... The Wolverines' road match against Ohio State on Thursday, Oct. 18, will be televised live by the Big Ten Network. The match will begin at 8 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio.

Friday, Sept. 7 -- vs. Butler (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 9 -- at Oakland (Rochester, Mich.), 5 p.m.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423

»  Learn about Michigan women's soccer and group ticket opportunities for the 2016 season.