First Touch #6: Wolverines to Square Off With Minnesota, Wisconsin
Holly Hein

Sept. 20, 2011

Friday, Sept. 23 -- vs. Minnesota (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
Live Stats | Promotions: Team Day, Camper Reunion
Sunday, Sept. 25 -- vs. Wisconsin (U-M Soccer Stadium), 2 p.m.
Live Stats | Promotions: Family Pack Day, Bluau, Fan Photos, Autographs (Juniors & Seniors)

The University of Michigan women's soccer team (6-2-1, 1-0-0 Big Ten) returns to Ann Arbor this weekend for a pair of Big Ten Conference matches at the U-M Soccer Stadium, first facing Minnesota (3-5-1, 0-0-1) on Friday (Sept. 23) at 7 p.m., followed by Wisconsin (6-3-0, 1-0-0) on Sunday (Sept. 25) at 2 p.m. U-M is ninth this week in the NSCAA Great Lakes Region poll.

Weekend Recap ... The Wolverines won their first conference opener since 2005 on Sunday, as they defeated Indiana, 1-0, in Bloomington. Sophomore center back Shelina Zadorsky scored the game's only goal in the 47th minute, when she lobbed a shot into the net from 25 yards out. Haley Kopmeyer and the rest of the Michigan defense kept the Hoosiers offense off the scoreboard for the team's fourth shutout of the year. The game was televised live on the Big Ten Network. [ Recap: MGoBlue | Analysis: Big Ten Network | Watch: Shelina Zadorsky's Goal ]

Kopmeyer Honored ... Senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday (Sept. 19) after recording seven saves in the Wolverines' 1-0 shutout over Indiana on Sunday (Sept. 18). Kopmeyer leads the all Big Ten goalkeepers in saves (53), save percentage (.883), saves per game (5.89), and shutouts (four). She is also fourth in goals-against average (0.76). She is the first U-M player to receive the conference's Defensive Player of the Week honor since Madison Gates won it in 2007. [ Release ]

Good Start ... Michigan's win over Indiana in Sunday's conference opener was the Wolverines' first win in its Big Ten opener since 2005 (beat Ohio State, 4-2). U-M looks to continue their Big Ten success this weekend but has had trouble with each of the opponents coming to Ann Arbor, holding a 6-10-2 (.389) all-time record against Minnesota and an 8-12-3 (.413) record versus Wisconsin.

A Tough Out ... The last eight meetings between the two teams have been decided by one goal or a draw, and have been extremely even, as each team holds a 3-3-2 record. The last time either side won more than a one-goal margin of victory came on Sept. 29, 2002, when Minnesota beat Michigan, 4-0, in Minneapolis.

Ups and Downs ... Last season, Nkem Ezurike broke a scoreless tie with 27 seconds remaining in the second overtime to send the Wolverines home with a 1-0 road win over then-No. 23 Minnesota. Two days later, Michigan found itself on the other side of a double-overtime loss, dropping a 1-0 decision to Wisconsin in which the Badgers' Alev Kelter scored the game's only goal with less than two minutes to play in the second extra session.

The Comfort of Home ... The Wolverines went 6-1-2 on their own field last season and already own a 4-1-1 record this season, giving them a 10-2-3 (.666) record in Ann Arbor over the last two seasons. Since the season-opening loss to Akron on Aug. 19, the Wolverines have outscored opponents 14-3 at home.

Balanced Attack ... With Shelina Zadorsky's goal against Indiana, nine different Michigan players have scored at least one goal, and 11 different players have recorded at least one point. It was also the first goal of Zadorsky's collegiate career.

Defense, Defense, Defense ... Outside of Michigan's 3-0 loss to Pepperdine on Sept. 4, Michigan has allowed just four goals in its other eight games. The Wolverines are tied for first in the Big Ten in both goals allowed (seven) and saves (55), and third in goals-against average (0.76).

Introducing the Captains ... Four U-M student-athletes will rep the yellow armband this season - seniors Kristen Goncalves, Courtney Mercier, and redshirt juniors Haley Kopmeyer and Clare Stachel. All four players were part of the first freshman class to play under Ryan.

Youth Movement ... The Wolverines are tied with Purdue for the second-most underclassmen in the Big Ten (18, includes freshmen and sophomores, athletic eligibility only). Indiana is the youngest with 20. Also, Michigan has only three seniors, the lowest number of any team in the conference.

On TV, and Online ... Michigan's game at Iowa next Friday (Sept. 30) will be streamed live online, and can be seen in the All-Access Player on (for a fee). The Wolverines return to the Big Ten Network once more this season, when they host Penn State in Ann Arbor on Sunday, Oct. 23.

U-M vs. Minnesota -- 6-10-2
U-M vs. Wisconsin -- 8-12-3

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Friday, Sept. 30 -- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 7 p.m. CDT
Sunday, Oct. 2 -- at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), 1 p.m. CDT

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423

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