Nov. 9, 2016
» The Wolverines will host Illinois State, which has a record of 14-5-2, and won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to earn one of the 31 automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.
» Michigan and Illinois State have met just once in program history, going head to head in the 2013 NCAA Tournament Second Round, where U-M won, 3-0, in Ann Arbor.
Returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013, the University of Michigan women's soccer team (10-5-4), will play host to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion Illinois State Redbirds (14-5-2) in a first-round matchup on Saturday (Nov. 12) at 7 p.m. at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Tickets for the first-round match are now on sale to the general public. Reserved tickets cost $8, adult tickets are $7, student tickets are $5 and group tickets (10 or more) are only $3. [ Purchase ]
The NCAA Tournament includes a 64-team, single-elimination format. Thirty-one teams received automatic berths, while an additional 33 were at-large selections. Thirty-two teams will serve as hosts for first-round matches this weekend (Nov. 11-13), with the winners advancing to the second and third rounds, which will be played at eight four-team sites next week (Fri-Sun., Nov. 18-20). The quarterfinals will take place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-26. All matches will be played on campus sites leading up to the Women's College Cup, to be held Dec. 2-4 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California.
Should Michigan advance, it will play the winner of the No. 3-seed Duke vs. Charlotte match in the second round. Also in U-M's portion of the region are No. 2-seed Notre Dame, SIUE, Kent State and Northwestern.
The NCAA Tournament bid is Michigan's first since 2013, when the Wolverines advanced to the Elite Eight, and fourth under head coach Greg Ryan. Overall, U-M has played in the NCAA Tournament 13 times in program history, advancing as far as the quarterfinals on two occasions (2002, '13). The Wolverines are hosting a first-round match for the seventh time in program history. U-M is 14-10-2 in the NCAA Tournament, which includes an 8-3-1 record in first-round matches and a perfect 10-0-0 mark in matches played in Ann Arbor. The Redbirds earned an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the Missouri Valley Conference title, 2-1, over Evansville.
The Wolverines enter the NCAA Tournament after earning a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten regular-season standings and advancing to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals before falling to eventual champion, Minnesota. The Maize and Blue, which currently has an overall record of 10-5-4, have had six 10-plus win seasons under Ryan, including five straight.
Michigan's current seniors were freshmen when the Wolverines last advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2013. Madisson Lewis is the only current U-M player to have scored a NCAA Tournament goal, as she tallied Michigan's first goal in the second round win over Illinois State on Nov. 22, 2013, in Ann Arbor. Lewis played in 23 matches with 18 starts for the 2013 squad and was the second-leading scorer, tallying six goals and nine assists as a forward. Lewis has since transitioned to outside back, where she is one of two three-year starters on the back line, along with classmate Anna Soccorsi.
Four Wolverines earned major conference and national awards so far this season. Four players were named to the 2016 All-Big Ten second team: seniors Anna Soccorsi and Nicky Waldeck, senior/junior Ani Sarkisian and sophomore Reilly Martin. In addition, Martin was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Five Team for her athletic contributions and carrying better than a 3.30 grade-point average.
Michigan has scored 32 goals this season while giving up 21. Through 19 games, the Wolverines have held 12 of their opponents to one or fewer goals, including six shutouts. Junior/sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Jackson has started 17 of 19 games this season, allowing 17 goals and recording a goals-against average of 0.96.
Four Wolverines have generated the majority of U-M's points this season, accounting for 72 of its 94 points (77 percent). Reilly Martin leads Michigan with 22 points on seven goals and eight assists, more than doubling her point production from her freshman season (2G, 5A = 9P). Nicky Waldeck is second with a team-best eight goals and three assists. Ani Sarkisian (6G, 5A) and Abby Kastroll (5G, 4A) round out U-M's double-digit point-getters.
Senior Nicky Waldeck is currently ninth on Michigan's all-time career points and career goals lists with 64 points and 26 career goals. Senior/junior Ani Sarkisian ranks tied for fifth all-time with 20 career assists.
Nine of Michigan's 19 matches have been decided by one goal, while another four have ended in ties. The Wolverines have a 5-4-0 record in one-goal matches.
Scouting Illinois State
Illinois State is led by second-year head coach Eric Golz, who guided the Redbirds back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his tenure after leading ISU to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. Prior to his arrival, ISU advanced to the NCAA Tournament six times in program history, including trips to the second round in 2013 and 2014. Illinois State won its first tournament game in 2013 to advance to the second round. The 2016 Redbirds have an overall record of 14-5-2 and finished Missouri Valley Conference play in first place with a 5-0-1 mark. ISU is unbeaten in its last 14 matches, going 12-0-2 since Sept. 11, with its last loss coming on Sept. 8 at Northwestern. Lauren Koehl ranks 16th in the NCAA in points per game, averaging 1.86 per outing. Overall, she has 16 goals and seven assists on the season for a total of 39 points. Goalkeeper Haley Smith has played the majority of time in net, allowing 15 goals in 20 games, while the Redbirds' offense has tallied 46 goals.
Series vs. Illinois State: Michigan has faced Illinois State once in program history, coming in the 2013 NCAA second round in Ann Arbor, where the Wolverines earned a decisive 3-0 victory.
Communications Contact: Whitney Vojtkofsky