The University of Michigan women's soccer team (7-2-4, 2-1-2 Big Ten) will seek to extend its four-game unbeaten streak this weekend with a pair of conference road games. The Wolverines will take on No. 23-ranked Minnesota (10-4-2, 2-3-1 Big Ten) on Friday (Oct. 22) at 7 p.m. CDT in Minneapolis, Minn. Michigan will then head to U-M head coach Greg Ryan and associate head coach Dean Duerst's old stomping ground, squaring off with Wisconsin (7-4-4, 4-1-2 Big Ten) on Sunday (Oct. 24) at 1 p.m. CDT in Madison, Wis. Ryan coached the Badgers from 1986-93 before Duerst succeeded him from 1994-2006. Ryan is 1-2-1 when facing Wisconsin as an opposing head coach.
Team Game -- The Wolverines' return to prominence took another step forward as the team improved to 7-2-4 on the season, surpassing last season's win total with five regular-season games to go. Michigan has also been scoring at a much higher rate, denting the twine 1.46 times per game. With 19 goals in 13 games, the Wolverines are scoring at their highest clip since the 2005 season. Paired with what currently stands as a program record low goals-against average of 0.79, the Wolverines are on pace to crack the 10-win plateau for the first time since 2004.
Winner, Winner, Weekly Award Dinner -- Junior/sophomore Clare Stachel's (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) first two goals of the 2010 season proved to be decisive ones and earned her Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors. The Wolverine captain netted the game-winning goal on Thursday (Oct. 14) against Purdue and then offered up a repeat performance on Sunday (Oct. 17) at Indiana. Stachel is the first Wolverine since Jackie Carron (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) on Sept. 7, 2009, to win the offensive laurel.
Not Ready to Take a Bow Yet -- With an assist against Purdue (Oct. 14), senior Amanda Bowery (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) collected her 13th career helper and moved into a tie for 11th on the all-time list, matching Stephanie Chavez (13, 2000-03). Her goal against Indiana (Oct. 22) brought her career point total to 43, passing Amy Sullivant (42, 1999-2002) for 13th on the U-M career list. Once the Wolverines' top offensive threat, leading the team in goals and points during her first two campaigns, Bowery has shown her versatility in roving the Wolverine back line over the last two seasons. Despite her defensive assignment, Bowery has posted a career-high five assists this season and is second on the team with nine points.
Heating Up -- Michigan carries a four-game unbeaten streak into the third week of October; it's longest string since going 3-0-3 from Oct. 6-22, 2006. The 2004 Wolverines strung together a program-record, eight-game unbeaten streak, going 7-0-1 in a span of eight games in the month of September.
On the Big Ten Radar -- Freshman Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) sits in a tie for fourth in Big Ten scoring with seven goals and sits tied for seventh with 15 points. Amanda Bowery is tied for fourth in the conference in assists with five. [ Complete Big Ten Statistics ]
Rank and File -- Michigan moved up a spot to No. 9 in the latest NSCAA Great Lakes Region rankings released on Oct. 18. The resurgent Wolverines appeared NSCAA/HendrickCars.com regional rankings for the first time in a little more than three years when they earned a No. 9 ranking in the Sept. 21 poll. The Maize and Blue had last held a spot on the Great Lakes list on Sept. 11, 2007. [ Complete Rankings ]
Quick Hits -- Michigan's freshman class accounts for 55 percent of the Wolverine offense, collecting 33 of U-M's 60 points ... The Big Ten Network is scheduled to televise Michigan's home game against Illinois (Oct. 31, 3 p.m.) and away contest with Penn State (Nov. 7, 1 p.m.) live in high definition.
U-M vs. Minnesota - 5-10-2
U-M vs. Wisconsin - 8-11-3
CHECK IT OUT
The Ryan:90 -- Episode 9 [ Link ]
The Yellow Armband -- The Wipers on the Bus Go Swish, Swish, Swish
Friday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m. -- vs. Iowa (U-M Soccer Stadium)
Sunday, Oct. 31, 3 p.m. -- vs. Illinois (U-M Soccer Stadium) (TV: Big Ten Network)
Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423