The University of Michigan women's soccer team (5-1-2, 0-0-0 Big Ten) kicks off the 2010 Big Ten season with rival Ohio State on Sunday (Sept. 26) at 2 p.m. inside the U-M Soccer Stadium. The Wolverines, who were pegged to finish eighth in the conference in the preseason poll, carry the fourth-best winning percentage (.750) into Big Ten play.
The home team has taken both meetings between U-M and OSU since the Greg Ryan era began in 2008. Despite the split results, no Buckeye has found the back of the net during the two meetings. The 2009 meeting ended when the then-No. 21-ranked Buckeyes collected a 1-0 win when an errant pass through the box bounced off a Wolverine defender and into the net. Michigan defeated the Buckeyes on the west practice field in the 2008 home finale by a 2-0 advantage.
Rank and File -- Michigan made its return to the NSCAA Great Lakes Region rankings for the first time in a little more than three years. The resurgent Wolverines appeared at No. 9 in the Sept. 21 NSCAA/HendrickCars.com regional rankings after wins over UMass (Sept. 17) and Youngstown State (Sept. 19). The Maize and Blue last held a spot on the Great Lakes list on Sept. 11, 2007. [ Complete Rankings ]
Home Cooking -- The Wolverines have not lost a Big Ten home opener since 2000, going 6-0-3 during the span. In addition, Michigan leads the Big Ten in home attendance so far this season with an average of 1,441 fans per game, making the U-M Soccer Stadium extremely friendly confines.
Mr. 200 -- Head coach Greg Ryan collected the 200th victory at the NCAA level with U-M's 1-0 win over Youngstown State. Ryan boasts a 200-101-30 record in 18 years as a head coach. He entered the 2010 season ranked 39th in winning percentage and 51st in victories all-time amongst coaches with a minimum of 10 years at an NCAA Division I school.
First Things First -- Several Wolverines notched career firsts over the weekend (Sept. 17-19). Freshmen Meghan Toohey (Philadelphia, Pa./Phil-Mont Christian), Shelby Chambers-Garcia (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) and Shelina Zadorsky (London, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) each picked up their first career points by setting up Wolverine goals. Freshman Kayla Mannino (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Avondale) scored her first career goal, which also represented her first point, against the Minutewomen (Sept. 17). Later in that game, freshman goalkeeper Vicky Correa-Parsons (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Martin's Secondary) made her collegiate debut.
On the Big Ten Radar -- Nkem Ezurike enters conference play with a share of the Big Ten lead in goals with five. Tori McCombs is ranked eighth in the league in scoring as one of five Big Ten players to score four goals, but she has needed the fewest games to get there. Senior Amanda Bowery (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) is tied for second in the conference in assists with four. Ezurike also sits in fifth with 11 points and her five-point game against UMass (Sept. 17) is the most for a Big Ten player in one contest this season. [ Complete Big Ten Statistics ]
Quick Hits --After not scoring a first-half goal in the opening six games of the season, U-M netted the game-winner in the opening stanza in wins over UMass (Sept. 17) and Youngstown State (Sept. 19) ... Michigan packed 3,503 fans into the U-M Soccer Stadium for the dedication game (Sept. 17), establishing a new program record. The previous record of 1,887 was set on Oct. 28, 2005, against MSU ... 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.
U-M vs. Ohio State -- 12-7-2
U-M at the U-M Soccer Stadium -- 3-0-1
CHECK IT OUT
The Ryan:90 -- Episode 5 [ Link ]
The Yellow Armband -- Close Calls and Velcro Walls
Saturday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m. CDT -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.)
Saturday, Oct. 9, 7 p.m. -- vs. Michigan State (U-M Soccer Stadium)
Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423