Oct. 2, 2012
Saturday, Oct. 6 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), 7 p.m. CDT
The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team (10-2-1, 4-0-1 Big Ten) attempts to keep its unbeaten streak (6-0-1) going on the road this weekend, as it faces Northwestern (4-7-2, 0-5-0 Big Ten) on Saturday (Oct. 6) in Evanston, Ill. The match will begin at 7 p.m. CDT. U-M is 10-5-5 in the all-time series with the Wildcats.
• A win against Northwestern would give Michigan its first 11-win season since 2004. With its win against Nebraska Sunday (Sept. 30), Michigan improved its record to 10-2-1, its second 10-win season in three years.
• The Wolverines are unbeaten in their last seven matches (6-0-1). With a win or tie this weekend at Northwestern, the Wolverines will tie the program record for longest unbeaten streak, which is eight matches, accomplished Sept. 3-26, 2004.
• Since its 2-1 loss to then-No. 11 Long Beach State on Sept. 2, Michigan is 6-0-1, outscoring opponents by a 14-1 margin and holding the edge in shots, 116-64.
• With Friday night's shutout, Haley Kopmeyer now has seven individual shutouts on the season, a new individual career high. In addition, she is second all-time in program history for most shutouts in a career (23). The program leader for career shutouts is Suzie Grech (2000-03), who had 25. Kopmeyer ranks fifth nationally in goals-against average (.375) and save percentage (.907).
• The Wolverines have only allowed five goals in 13 matches this season and are on track to set a new program record for fewest goals allowed in a season. The current record is 18, which was set in 2010.
• The Wolverines are tied for third in the nation for fewest goals allowed. Louisiana Tech is second (four), while UCLA and Florida St. are tied for first (three).
• The Wolverines are unbeaten at home, owning a 7-0-1 record at the U-M Soccer Stadium. Their seven wins are the most home wins since 2002, when the Wolverines won a program-record 12 matches.
• Michigan is 6-2 this season in matches decided by one goal. The Wolverines were 5-5 in one-goal matches last season.
• Michigan set two program records over the weekend. With their scoreless draw against Iowa last Friday (Sept. 28), the Wolverines set a new record for consecutive shutouts in a season (six). Against Nebraska last Sunday, they set the school record for most minutes without allowing a goal at 632:08.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
South Lyon, Mich.
Q: How does the team feel about the results from this past weekend?
A: We feel great. We've gotten 13 of the possible 15 points in our five matches so far in Big Ten play, and that's really positive. I think we have worked incredibly hard to get to this point, and if we keep it going, we know we can accomplish great things.
Q: As a team, you're in a familiar spot, having similar results at this point last year. How does the mindset change as you get deeper into the Big Ten season?
A: That's something we bring up a lot, actually. We want to come out being the more aggressive team. There is never a point when we want our energy level to drop. We're keeping our work ethic up. We want to be the team that not only scores the first goal but the second as well.
Q: You scored the first goal against Nebraska. Talk about what you saw and how the play developed.
A: Shelina [Zadorsky] played a short corner to Kayla [Mannino]. Kayla's initial attempt was deflected and popped out to me. I knew the Nebraska goalkeeper was pretty good in the air, so I just had to drive it low and maybe it would get a deflection. Luckily the ball found its way into the net. Set pieces like that are things we work on a lot. It felt really good to get that first goal of the season.
Q: What's been the big difference from last year to this year in team defense?
A: We've got great communication this year. We're working together. We hold each other accountable for our mistakes. If we do make one, we notice it, correct it, and then it's on to the next thing. Last year, we let it go instead of figuring out the problem. And we've got great chemistry. Shelina and Holly [Hein] are great leaders back there. They make it so easy to stay connected. Haley [Kopmeyer] has been awesome, too. I don't know if we could do it without her. She commands instant respect, even from the other team. It allows the backline to play with confidence because we know Haley has confidence.
Q: The team is back on the road this weekend at Northwestern. What will it take to get a win there?
A: We know we have to come out fighting like we have been and keep our intensity up. We've got to play at the level we've been playing at. Again, it goes back to being the aggressor and taking it to other teams. We want to be like that in every game.
LAST TIME OUT
Michigan went 1-0-1 over the weekend, playing to a scoreless draw with Iowa last Friday (Sept. 28) and beating Nebraska, 2-1, in double overtime last Sunday (Sept. 30). Chloe Sosenko scored the first goal against Nebraska in the 72nd minute, while Nkem Ezurike netted the game-winning goal in the first minute of double overtime to give Michigan the victory.
[ Video Highlights: Iowa | Nebraska ]
Wednesday, Oct. 10 -- vs. Michigan State (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 14 -- vs. Purdue (U-M Soccer Stadium), 2 p.m.