First Touch #13: U-M Looks to Upset No. 6 Oklahoma State in NCAA First Round

Nov. 9, 2010

Michigan at NCAA Tournament First/Second Round
NCAA Bracket: Interactive | PDF   •   Tournament Central

Cowgirl Soccer Complex • Stillwater, Okla.

Friday, Nov. 12: U-M at No. 6 Oklahoma State, 7:30 p.m. CST • Live Stats | Live Blog | Live Video (weather permitting)

Sunday, Nov. 14: (With win) U-M vs. Memphis/No. 15 Oregon State, 1 p.m. CST • Live Stats | Live Blog

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The University of Michigan women's soccer team (10-4-4) earned its 10th NCAA Tournament bid and will take on Oklahoma State (17-3-2) on Friday evening (Nov. 12) at 7:30 p.m. CST in the first round of play in the Stillwater, Okla., region hosted at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex. A Michigan win against No. 6 Oklahoma State would move the Wolverines into a second-round match on Sunday (Nov. 14) at 1 p.m. CST against the winner of Memphis (15-3-3) and No. 15 Oregon State (15-3-1). Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors, children and students with ID for single games and all-session tickets are $18 and $12, respectively. For more ticket information, call 877-ALL-4OSU.

Third-round and quarterfinal contests will be held at campus sites. Third-round matchups will be played Nov. 19-21 and quarterfinals are scheduled for Nov. 26-28. The four semifinalists will move onto Cary, N.C., Dec. 3-5, for the NCAA Women's College Cup, hosted by North Carolina State University.

Back to the Dance -- U-M will have a lot of history on its side when it takes to the field for its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance. The Wolverines are 9-8-1 all-time in NCAA competition, having advanced to at least the second round of the tournament in every season from 1998-2003. Michigan made an appearance in the Sweet 16 in 2003 and the Elite Eight in 2002. The Wolverines' last trip to the national tournament ended in a 0-0 (5-3 PKs) shootout loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Nov. 10, 2006, in South Bend, Ind.

Still Remember a Step or Two -- Despite a three-year absence from the NCAA Tournament, Michigan has plenty of postseason experience. Head coach Greg Ryan is leading his third different program to to the national tournament. Ryan, who will be making his seventh tournament appearance, has reached the final eight four times and coached Wisconsin to the championship game in 1991. Associate head coach Dean Duerst led Wisconsin to eight NCAA Tournament bids and assistant coach Angela Napoli served in the same capacity for two runs at William & Mary and made two more as a goalkeeper at UMass. Fifth-year senior Kylie Neschke (Still River, Mass./Tabor Academy), then a freshman, played 83 minutes in Michigan's last NCAA Tournament game in 2006. Senior Sarah Stanczyk (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Grosse Pointe South) was a part of two NCAA Tournament runs with UConn in 2007 and 2008, but did not see game action.

Pack up the Wagon -- Michigan's trip to Stillwater, Okla., marks the longest distance the Wolverines have had to travel for an opening-round contest at 992 miles from Ann Arbor. The Maize and Blue have made one longer trip, a 2,389 mile cross-country trip to Santa Clara, Calif., for the 2002 NCAA Quarterfinals. Michigan's other first- and second- round destinations have been Lincoln, Neb. (747 miles), Winston-Salem, N.C. (601 miles), Milwaukee, Wis. (331 miles), South Bend, Ind. (178.27 miles) and Ann Arbor, Mich. (0 miles).

All-Big Ten Selections -- The 2010 All-Big Ten teams will be announced on Wednesday (Nov. 10). Senior Jackie Carron (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) represented the Wolverines with an All-Big Ten second team nod in 2009 along with Alex Jendrusch (2006-09), who was named U-M's Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree.

Hailstorm of Saves -- Junior/sophomore Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich./Lahser) capped the 2010 regular season with, arguably, the best goaltending performance in program history. Kopmeyer made 14 stops on 15 shots, coming to within 17 seconds of her 11th career shutout. Her save total represents the third most in a game for a Wolverine netminder in program history. Carissa Stewart (1997-2000) set the program record of 17 in a 5-0 loss to Notre Dame on Oct. 31, 1997, which bettered the previous record of 15 stops by Jessica Jones (1995-98) in a 4-3 overtime win at Minnesota on Oct. 3, 1997.

Familiar Faces on the Dance Card -- The Big Ten will send six schools to the national tournament for the first time since 2002 and the third time in conference history. Six of Michigan's regular-season opponents received bids to the NCAA Tournament. In addition to five Big Ten foes -- Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin -- non-conference opponent San Diego also made the cut. The Wolverines were 2-4-0 against NCAA Tournament teams in 2010 with victories over Minnesota and Illinois.

Et la but! -- Freshman Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) scored her team-leading ninth goal, the game-winner, against No. 16-ranked Illinois (Oct. 31) to move into a tie for fourth in U-M rookie scoring all-time. She matched Melissa Dobbyn (9, 2004) and Amber Wilson (9, 2000) and inched within one of the top three Therese Heaton (10, 2002), Abby Crumpton (11, 2002) and Kacy Beitel (14, 1997).

On the Big Ten Radar -- Nkem Ezurike finished the regular season in a tie for fourth in Big Ten scoring with nine goals. Her 19 points are also good for a seventh place tie in the league. Senior Amanda Bowery (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) remained tied for fourth in the conference in assists with six helpers. Haley Kopmeyer boast the third-best save percentage (.841) and is fourth in saves with 74. [ Complete Big Ten Statistics ]

Quick Hits -- Each of the Wolverines last seven games has been decided by one goal (5-2-0) ... The Wolverines had no common opponents in 2010 with any of the teams in the Stillwater Regional ... Oregon State Director of Athletics Bob DeCarolis was the U-M softball head coach from 1980-84, served as a senior associate athletic director and is the father of former Michigan midfielder Lyndsay DeCarolis (2007-08) ... The Big Ten Conference has earned 79 NCAA Tournament bids all-time with Greg Ryan or Dean Duerst coached teams representing 18 percent (14 total) of those teams ... Michigan reached the 10-win plateau for the first time since 2004 when it went 11-9-2.

U-M vs. Oklahoma State - 0-0-1 (T, 1-1 - Sept. 3, 2006 in Stillwater, Okla.)
U-M vs. Memphis - No Record
U-M vs. Oregon State - 0-1-0 (L, 0-1 - Sept. 14, 2007 in Los Angeles, Calif.)

Wins, 1 and 2 -- Haley Kopmeyer needs one win to move into a tie for fourth in single-season wins list with Megan Tuura (11, 2004) and two victories to match Suzie Grech (12, 2001) for third.

Saves, 19 -- Kopmeyer enters the NCAA Tournament 19 saves short of the U-M single-season record set by Carissa Stewart (99, 2000).

Assists, 2
-- Amanda Bowery needs two assists to match Mari Hoff (16, 1996-99) for 10th on the U-M career list.

Goals, 1 -- Nkem Ezurike needs one goal to tie Therese Heaton (10, 2002) for third on the U-M rookie scoring list.

Starts, 1 and 2 -- Jackie Carron's next start will be the 76th of her career, tying Megan Tuura (76, 2003-06) for 12th all-time. Should the Wolverines advance, Carron would equal Michele Pesiri (77, 1999-2002) for 11th on the U-M career list.

The Ryan:90 -- Episode 13
The Yellow Armband -- Weekend Rating = 10.5 Biscuits
Three's Company -- Jackie Carron | Sarah Stanczyk | Amanda Bowery
M Magazine -- Captain Consistency (Kylie Neschke)

Fri-Sun., Nov. 19-21, TBA -- NCAA Tournament Third Round (Campus Sites)
Fri-Sun., Nov. 26-28, TBA -- NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals (Campus Sites)

Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423

»  Learn about Michigan women's soccer and group ticket opportunities for the 2016 season.