First Touch #3: U-M to Wrap Up Non-Conference Play vs. Toledo, CMU

Sept. 2, 2014

THIS WEEK
Friday, Sept. 5
-- vs. Toledo (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7:30 p.m.
Tickets | Live Stats
Sunday, Sept. 7 -- vs. Central Michigan (U-M Soccer Stadium), 5 p.m.
Tickets | Live Stats

Social Media: Facebook | Twitter
Spotlight: Jen Pace
Game Day Information: U-M Soccer Stadium Information | Ticket Information

The University of Michigan women's soccer team (2-2-0) will return home to host its final regular-season non-conference matches of the season against a pair of Mid-American Conference opponents this weekend at the U-M Soccer Stadium. The Maize and Blue will take on Toledo (2-1-1) on Friday (Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m.) and Central Michigan (0-2-1) on Sunday (Sept. 7, 5 p.m.).

Promotions
• Coke Zero Family Packs are available for Sunday's game versus Central Michigan. The Family Pack costs $28 and includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola products.

• #MIKidsCan Postgame Kicks presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan: All children 12 and under are invited out onto the field following the game for their shot at scoring a goal.

WOLVERINE BITES

• Michigan is looking to rebound from a pair of shutout losses last weekend, when the Wolverines lost to San Diego (5-0) and San Diego State (3-0).

• In Michigan's pair of games at San Diego and San Diego State, the Wolverines were shut out in back-to-back matches for the first time since the end of the 2011 season, when they lost to Ohio State (1-0, Oct. 21) and Penn State (4-0, Oct. 23). The last time U-M lost consecutive games was on its last trip to California during the 2012 season, when it fell to CSUN (1-0, Aug. 30) and Long Beach State (2-1, Sept. 2).

• Four different players scored have goals for Michigan this season, 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 have accounted for all of the Maize and Blue's assists, tallying three and two, respectively.

Home Field Advantage: 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, 2014). Michigan opened the season with a pair of shutout wins, defeating CSUN (Aug. 22) and Bowling Green (Aug. 24), each by a score of 2-0. Over the last four seasons, Michigan is 25-10-2 in non-conference play.

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 (1-2) and Hinz (1-0) have split the majority of time in U-M's first four games, while Clarfield also saw seven minutes of action at San Diego. Bucklin and Hinz each recorded a start and shutout win in the opening weekend, while Bucklin got the nod in both of Michigan's losses last weekend in San Diego, Calif.

• National Ranking: The Wolverines are receiving votes in the second regular season NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Poll, released today (Tuesday, Sept. 2). The Wolverines are one of six Big Ten teams receiving votes, along with Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio State, Nebraska and Rutgers, while Penn State (No. 7) and Wisconsin (No. 15) are ranked in the top 25. [ Rankings ]

Leaders and Best: Michigan is 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 65-43-20 (.586) 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 second season and is in 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 31-17-5 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 23-8-3 against non-conference foes and 34-8-6 at home. The Wolverines started the season 2-0 at home with wins over CSUN and Bowling Green.

Fresh New Pitch: On Aug. 22 and 24, 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' 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). The Wolverines are 0-1 against 2013 NCAA Tournament teams so far this season as they feel to San Diego State 3-0 on Aug. 31. [ 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.

The Last Meeting
Michigan2  
Toledo2(2OT)
September 10, 2010
Toledo, Ohio
Michigan Rallies in Second Half to Earn Tie at Toledo
Michigan erased a 2-0 deficit with two goals -- from Jackie Carron and Nkem Ezurike -- early in the second frame en route to a 2-2 tie at Toledo.

The Last Meeting
Central Michigan1  
Michigan2(OT)
November 10, 2012
U-M Soccer Stadium
Stachel, Ezurike Rally Michigan Past CMU in OT in NCAA Opener
Clare Stachel tied the contest with 40 seconds left in regulation, before Nkem Ezurike scored the winner 4:58 into OT, sending U-M to a 2-1 win over Central Michigan in round one of the NCAA Championship.

OPPONENT PREVIEW

Toledo
Toledo, under the direction of 14th-year head coach Brad Evans, is 3-1-1 after two-plus weeks of competition. The Rockets went 1-1 last weekend, falling to Pittsburgh (0-1) and defeating Xavier (1-0). Michigan and Toledo each played CSUN during the season-opening weekend -- the Wolverines defeated CSUN, 2-0, in their season opener, while Toledo played CSUN to a double-overtime tie (0-0). The Rockets topped Ohio State, 1-0 in double OT, Tuesday (Sept. 2) before coming to Ann Arbor for Friday's matchup. Four different Toledo players have goals this season, including junior midfielder Geri Siudzinski, who leads the Rockets with two markers and one assist. Junior goalkeeper Sam Tiongson has played every minute in goal for UT, making nine saves and allowing just two goals.

Series vs. Toledo: Michigan is 3-0-1 all-time against Toledo. The two teams last faced off on Sept. 10, 2010, where they played to a 2-2 tie in double overtime in Toledo, Ohio.

Central Michigan
Central Michigan is currently 0-2-1, with losses to Pittsburgh (0-1), DePaul (1-2) and Illinois State (1-5) and a tie against Detroit (0-0, 2OT). The Chippewas will host Oakland on Friday night (Sept. 5) before traveling to Ann Arbor. Sophomore midfielder Eliza Van de Kerkhove and senior midfielder Emily Cooksey have tallied CMU's only two goal this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Bunnell has played every minute in net for CMU, making 23 saves and allowing seven goals in four games. Central Michigan, which was picked to finish fourth in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) West, is led by second-year head coach Peter McGahey.

Series vs. Central Michigan: Michigan owns a 3-0-1 advantage in the all-time series with Central Michigan. The Wolverines and the Chippewas last met in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, when Michigan earned a 2-1 victory in overtime to advance to the second round.

UP NEXT
Friday, Sept. 12
-- vs. Minnesota (U-M Soccer Stadium), 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 14 -- vs. Wisconsin (U-M Soccer Stadium), 2 p.m.

Contact: Whitney Dixon


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