First Touch #9: Michigan to Take Road Trip to Michigan State, Purdue
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MGOBLUE

Oct. 10, 2011

THIS WEEK
Wednesday, Oct. 12 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 4 p.m.
Live Stats | Live Video | Live Blog
Sunday, Oct. 16 -- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 1 p.m.
Live Stats

The University of Michigan women's soccer team (8-4-2, 3-2-1 Big Ten) returns to action this week with a pair of road contests. The Wolverines will make the short drive to East Lansing on Wednesday (Oct. 12) to take on Michigan State (10-4-0, 3-3-0) at 4 p.m. at the DeMartin Soccer Stadium before heading to West Lafayette, Ind., on Sunday (Oct. 16) to play Purdue (5-8-2, 2-3-1) at 1 p.m. at the Varsity Soccer Complex.

Michigan's game with Michigan State will be streamed live and can be seen through the Michigan All-Access Player on MGoBlue.com for a fee. The game will be replayed on the Big Ten Network on Thursday (Oct. 13) at 12:30 p.m.

The Wolverines dropped to No. 10 in the Great Lakes Region Poll, which slotted the Spartans at No. 8.

WOLVERINE BITES

Opponent Quick Hitters ... Michigan State ... Michigan is 8-4-7 (.605) all-time against Michigan State ... the last four meetings between the two teams have ended in a draw ... a total of two goals have been scored in the series over the last three years, and they came in the same game (a 1-1 draw on Oct. 31, 2008) ... Michigan has not beaten its in-state rival since the 2003 season, when it won, 2-1, on overtime (Oct. 24, 2003) ... the Wolverines have not won in East Lansing since the 1998 season, when they won, 4-0 (Oct. 16, 1998) ... Michigan State forwards Laura Heyboer and Olivia Stander have scored 25 of the Spartans' 29 goals this season ... Purdue ... Michigan is 6-3-3 (.625) all-time against Purdue ... the Wolverines won last season's meeting, 2-1, in Ann Arbor (Oct. 14, 2010) ... the Wolverines' last win in West Lafayette came on Oct. 8, 2004 (W, 1-0).

One Down ... Michigan will be short handed heading into Wednesday's game against Michigan State. Sophomore forward Nkem Ezurike will not play against the Spartans after receiving her fifth yellow card of the season last Saturday (Oct. 8) against Northwestern. NCAA rules stipulate that if a player receives his or her fifth yellow card of the season, that player must sit out the following game. Ezurike leads the team in goals (seven) and points (19).

Watch Us ... Fans will be able to see three of the team's last five games either online or on television through the Big Ten Network. More details on these games can be found below:

Wednesday, Oct. 12 -- at Michigan State (BTN.com) *
Friday, Oct. 21 -- vs. Ohio State (BTN.com) **
Sunday, Oct. 23 -- vs. Penn State (Big Ten Network - Live)

* Big Ten Network will replay game on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 12:30 p.m.
** Big Ten Network will replay game on Monday, Oct. 24, at noon.

Weekend Recap ... Michigan hosted Northwestern last Saturday (Oct. 8) at the U-M Soccer Stadium but fell to the Wildcats, 1-0, on an own goal. The Wolverines held the edge in shots (18-8) and corner kicks (11-2). [ Recap: MGoBlue.com | Highlights | Photo Gallery ]

Road Warriors ... The Wolverines head back out on the road this week where they have had lots of success this season (4-1). Michigan is looking for its fourth straight road victory in conference play against Michigan State. The last time the Wolverines won four straight road games in conference play was 2004, when they beat Minnesota (Sept. 24, 1-0), Iowa (Sept. 26, 4-0), Purdue (Oct. 8, 1-0) and Indiana (Oct. 10, 1-0).

Climbing The Ladder ... After corralling 16 total saves in road games at Iowa and at Nebraska, senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer now has 269 saves in her career, passing Suzie Grech (2000-03) for third all-time in school history for career saves. Megan Tuura (2003-06) is the program leader with 322, and Carissa Stewart (1997-00) is second with 308.

Name Career Saves
Megan Tuura (2003-06) 322
Carissa Stewart (1997-00) 308
Haley Kopmeyer (2008-current) 269
Suzie Grech (2000-03) 256

Kopmeyer is leading the Big Ten in saves (87), save percentage (.879), saves per game (6.21), and shutouts (six), and is fourth in goals against average (0.83).

Among The Big Ten's Best ... TopDrawerSoccer.com released its Big Ten Mid-Season Top 20 list on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Two U-M players dot the rankings -- Nkem Ezurike at No. 10 and Haley Kopmeyer at No. 19. [ Full List ]

Balanced Attack ... This season, nine different Michigan players have scored at least one goal, and 11 different players have recorded at least one point. In addition, all 25 players on the roster have seen game action this year.

Introducing the Captains ... Four U-M student-athletes 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.

With An Eye Toward The Postseason ... After a two-year hiatus, the Big Ten Tournament returns in one month, being held Nov. 2-6 in Evanston, Ill. The top eight teams from the conference will vie for the tournament championship and the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Northwestern will serve as host and automatically gets a spot in the tournament field, regardless of its finish during the regular season. [ 2011 Big Ten Tournament Central ]

The Long Battle ... Michigan will play the rest of the season without junior Holly Hein, who had surgery on Sept. 29 to treat thyroid cancer. Hein, who played six games, will redshirt the remainder of the season with an eye on returning next season as a redshirt junior. The team will wear teal armbands with Hein's No. 21 embroidered for the rest of the season. [ Feature: Hein Determined to Win Another Battle ]

Other Notes ... Freshman Chloe Sosenko earned her second collegiate start last Saturday against Northwestern. She also started on Sept. 9 against Western Michigan ... sophomore Meghan Toohey will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a leg injury against Iowa on Sept. 30. She started 12 contests this year in the midfield and was an All-Big Ten Freshman team selection last year ... sophomore defender Shelina Zadorsky has been on the field for all but 11 minutes this season (1,289 of 1,300) ... Michigan has lost back-to-back home matches for the first time since 2006 (lost to then-No. 1 Notre Dame and Oakland on Sept. 17 and Sept. 21, respectively) ... the announced attendance for last Saturday's game against Northwestern was 1,106, the largest attendance figure home or away for Michigan this season ... the Wolverines are 7-0-1 when they score first and 1-4-0 when the opponent scores first ... Michigan is currently in a three-way tie for third place in the Big Ten with a 3-2-1 conference record. Illinois and Ohio State also have identical records [ Standings ]

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UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Friday, Oct. 21 -- vs. Ohio State - MAIZE OUT (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 23 -- vs. Penn State - Senior Day (U-M Soccer Stadium), Noon (TV: Big Ten Network)

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423


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