First Touch #10: Michigan Readies for Final Homestand of 2011
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MGOBLUE

Oct. 17, 2011

Inside Michigan Women's Soccer

THIS WEEK
Friday, Oct. 21 -- vs. Ohio State (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network (tape delay, Oct. 24, noon) | Live Stats | Live Video
Promotions: Maize Out, Family Pack Day, Elementary School Days
Sunday, Oct. 23 -- vs. No. 14 Penn State (U-M Soccer Stadium), Noon
TV: Big Ten Network | Live Stats | Live Video
Promotions: Senior Day, Fan Appreciation Raffle, Pom Pom Giveaway

The University of Michigan women's soccer team (9-5-2, 4-3-1 Big Ten) will look to get to double-digit wins this weekend in its final homestand of the season, facing archrival Ohio State (8-7-1, 3-4-1) on Friday (Oct. 21) at 7 p.m. and No. 14 Penn State (14-3-0, 7-3-1) on Sunday (Oct. 23) at noon.

Both games will be streamed online through the MGoBlue.com All-Access Player. It can be seen live for a fee. Sunday's game against Penn State will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.

WOLVERINE BITES

MAIZE OUT ... Friday night's game against Ohio State has been designated as a MAIZE OUT. Fans are encouraged to wear Maize to the game.

Thank You, Seniors! ... Seniors Kristen Goncalves, Courtney Mercier and Kim Siebert will be honored on the field prior to Sunday's game against Penn State. Those three, along with Clare Stachel and Haley Kopmeyer, were a part of the first freshman class to play under head coach Greg Ryan at Michigan. Kopmeyer and Stachel each have one year of eligibility remaining.

Watch Us ... Michigan's last two games will be shown on the Big Ten Network. A replay of Friday's game against Ohio State will be shown on tape delay on Monday, Oct. 24, at noon, while Sunday's game against Penn State will be shown live at noon. [ Big Ten Network Channel Finder ].

Opponent Quick Hitters ... Ohio State ... Michigan is 12-8-2 (.590) all-time against Ohio State ... the Wolverines have lost the last two meetings to the Buckeyes, last winning on Oct. 12, 2008, which was Greg Ryan's first Big Ten victory at Michigan ... Ohio State advanced to the Women's College Cup last season (soccer's Final Four) ... Penn State ... Penn State currently sits atop the Big Ten Conference standings with a 7-1-0 record and is ranked No. 14 nationally ... Michigan is 4-16-4 (.250) all-time against Penn State ... Michigan has gone 0-9-1 in the last 10 meetings against Penn State ... the Wolverines' lone draw in that stretch came in the first round of the 2005 Big Ten Tournament in Ann Arbor, when U-M tied then-No. 1 Penn State, 3-3, but advanced to the semifinals on PKs, 4-2 ... Michigan's last win against Penn State came on Oct. 4, 2002, winning 4-0, against the 12th-ranked Nittany Lions in Ann Arbor ... Penn State won last season's matchup, 1-0, in State College, when Ali Schaefer scored a goal with 17 seconds left in the second overtime. Haley Kopmeyer made a career-high 14 saves in the loss ... Penn State forward Maya Hayes leads the Big Ten in goals, scoring 21 in 17 games.

U-M Looking for 10 Wins Again ... U-M is looking to reach 10 wins for the second straight season. Before a 10-win effort during the 2010 campaign, Michigan had not reached double digits in victories since 2004.

The Wolverines also seek their fifth conference triumph to match last season's mark, the most since 2004 (6).

Great Lakes Region's Best ... This weekend features three of the top 10 ranked teams in the Great Lakes Region poll -- No. 3 Penn State, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 10 Michigan.

Week Recap ... The Wolverines split a pair of road games last week, falling to Michigan State, 2-0, last Wednesday (Oct. 12) but beating Purdue, 3-1, last Sunday (Oct. 16). Nkem Ezurike was suspended for the Michigan State game after receiving five yellow cards on the season but returned against Purdue, scoring three goals in the victory, the ninth hat trick in school history. [ Recaps: Michigan State | Purdue ]

Nkem's Big Day ... Nkem Ezurike is the seventh player in school history to record a hat trick -- the program's first since 2005 -- joining former Wolverines Jamie Artsis (Sept. 26, 2004), Abby Crumpton (Oct. 12, 2001, Sept. 27, 2002), Kacy Beitel (Oct. 17, 1997, Oct. 30, 2000), Ruth Poulin (Oct. 17, 1997), Marie Spaccarotella (Nov. 31, 1996) and Therese Heaton (Sept. 16, 2005). Ezurike now has 10 goals on the season, surpassing the total from her freshman year last season (nine). Additionally, she has scored the team's last six goals, a stretch that started back on Sept. 30 against Iowa. Clare Stachel is the last Wolverine not named Nkem Ezurike to score (Sept. 23 vs. Minnesota), doing so after Ezurike opened that contest with a tally.

Filling The Void ... Freshman Chloe Sosenko has started the last three contests in the midfield for Michigan, replacing the void left by midfielder Meghan Toohey, who is out for the season (injury). Since Toohey was injured on Sept. 30 at Iowa, Sosenko has stepped in and recorded two assists in her last four games.

Iron Women ... Senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer has played every minute of every game this season (1480:00), while sophomore defender Shelina Zadorsky has been on the field for all but 11 minutes all season (1,469 of 1,480).

First Strike ... Michigan has been unbeatable this season when it has scored first. The Wolverines are 8-0-1 when they score first in games and 1-5-0 when the opponent scores first.

Road Warriors ... Five of Michigan's nine wins have come away from Ann Arbor this season, with four of those wins coming against conference foes. The Wolverines had not won four conference games on the road since 2004.

Climbing The Ladder ... Haley Kopmeyer continues to ascend toward becoming the school's all-time leader for saves. Kopmeyer has recorded 277 saves in her career. Megan Tuura (2003-06) is the program leader with 322 and Carissa Stewart (1997-00) is second with 308.

Career Saves

NameSaves
Megan Tuura (2003-06)322
Carissa Stewart (1997-00)308
Haley Kopmeyer (2008-current)277
Suzie Grech (2000-03)256

Kopmeyer is leading the Big Ten in saves (95), and saves per game (5.94), and is second in save percentage (.864) and shutouts (six), and fourth in goals against average (0.91).

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. [ List ]

Balanced Attack ... This season, nine different Michigan players have scored at least one goal, and 12 different players have recorded at least one point. In addition, all 25 players on the roster have seen game action.

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 last Thursday (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 ]

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Promotions

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Saturday, Oct. 29 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 6 p.m. CDT

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423


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