Nov. 12, 2013
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The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team (15-3-1) is back in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years, hosting UW-Milwaukee (10-8-1) in a first-round matchup under the lights on Saturday (Nov. 16) at U-M Soccer Stadium. The match will begin at 7 p.m.
The format is a 64-team, single-elimination tournament. Thirty one teams received automatic berths, while an additional 33 were at-large selections. Thirty-two teams serve as hosts for one first-round match this weekend, with the winners advancing to the second and third rounds -- which will be hosted at one site -- next week (Fri-Sun., Nov. 22-24). The quarterfinals will take place Saturday, Nov. 30. All matches will be played on campus sites leading up to the Women's College Cup, to be held from Dec. 6-8 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Tickets for Michigan's first-round match with UW-Milwaukee can be purchased through the Michigan Athletics Ticket Office by calling (866) 296-6849 or at MGoBlue.com/tickets.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The bid is Michigan's third in the last four years and 12th in program history. The Wolverines are hosting a first-round match for the second consecutive year, a feat that has not happened since the 1999 and 2000 postseasons. Overall, U-M is 11-9-2 in the NCAA Tournament, which includes a 7-3-1 record in first-round matches and a perfect 7-0-0 mark in matches played in Ann Arbor. The furthest Michigan has ever gone in the NCAA Tournament is the quarterfinals (Elite Eight) in 2002.
U-M looks to follow up last season's run that ended in the Sweet 16. The Wolverines defeated Central Michigan, 2-1, in overtime in the first round, getting a goal from then-senior Clare Stachel with 40 seconds left to tie the match, before Nkem Ezurike won it on a golden goal five minutes into the first OT session. After a second-round victory over Portland (3-0), U-M was eliminated in the third round (Sweet 16) by Penn State in penalty kicks.
Michigan is one of eight Big Ten Conference teams to have received a bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament, a new conference record. Nebraska earned the conference's automatic bid by virtue of winning the Big Ten Tournament, while Michigan, Penn State, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio State, Iowa and Illinois all earned at-large bids. Nebraska (No. 2), Michigan (No. 3) and Penn State (No. 4) were seeded.
U-M faced nine teams that made the 64-team field this season, going 8-2-0 in those matches (wins: UW-Milwaukee, San Diego State, Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State; losses: Minnesota, Iowa)
On Tuesday (Nov. 12), the team received the BASF Team Chemistry Award for the month of October. The Wolverines went 7-0-0 during the month, ascending as high as No. 7 in the national rankings. They will be honored at tonight's men's basketball game against South Carolina State at Crisler Center. [ Release ]
Five players received All-Big Ten recognition last Tuesday (Nov. 5). Seniors Nkem Ezurike (forward), Meghan Toohey (midfield), Holly Hein (defense) and Shelina Zadorsky (defense) were named to the first team at their respective positions, while freshman Madisson Lewis (forward) was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. [ Release ]
The seven-member senior class has won 50 career matches -- the sixth-most number of wins by a senior class in program history -- and most since the Class of 2004 (51). The Class of 2000 was the most successful class, winning 62 matches. Since the beginning of last season, Michigan has won 31 matches, the most in a two-year stretch since 1998-99 (31).
Out of 323 schools, U-M ranks ninth in both goals-against average (0.51) and save percentage (.880) and fifth in fewest goals allowed. Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin is 10th nationally in goals-against average (0.47) and 12th in save percentage (.882).
As a team, Michigan has 41 assists this season (ranked No. 20 in the nation in that category), the most assists recorded in a season since 2002 (51). Seniors Nkem Ezurike and Shelina Zadorsky rank among the top five in the Big Ten in that category, as they are tied for third (nine) and tied for fifth (eight), respectively. Only five players in program history have recorded double-digit assists in a season (none since 2002): Amber Berendowsky (17 -- 1997), Abby Crumpton (13 -- 2002), Kacy Beitel (13 -- 2000), Emily Schmitt (13 -- 1999) and Amy Sullivant (11 -- 2002).
Nkem Ezurike is currently fourth on the all-time list for points (111), needing six to break the record of 116, held by Abby Crumpton (1999-02). Ezurike is the program's career leader in goals (46).
1. Abby Crumpton (1999-02) -- 116 (43 G, 30 A)
2. Kacy Beitel (1997-00) -- 114 (44 G, 26 A)
3. Amber Berendowsky (1996-99) -- 113 (40 G, 33 A)
4. Nkem Ezurike (2010-Present) -- 111 (46 G, 19 A)
Thirteen different players have recorded at least one goal this season (last: Shelby Chambers-Garcia vs. Ohio State) and 16 different players -- more than half the roster -- have recorded at least one point.
The Wolverines are 6-3 in matches decided by one goal this season and 13-0-0 when scoring the first goal of the match (2-3-0 when opponent scores first). In addition, Michigan has scored more than one goal in 13 of its 15 wins and has not yielded more than one goal in any contest all season.
Fifth-year senior defender Holly Hein was announced as one of the 10 national finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award on Oct. 16. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division-I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. Fans can vote once per day until Nov. 25. The winners will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Women's College Cup in December. [ Release | VOTE ]
The Panthers received a bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Horizon League championship for the 14th straight season. UW-Milwaukee also won the conference tournament, beating Oakland, 4-3, last Sunday in Milwaukee. Kelly Lewers (9 G, 6 A) was named Horizon League Player of the Year and Horizon League Tournament MVP. She was joined on the All-Horizon League first team by Kelsey Holbert (5 G, 6 A) and Krissy Dorre (10 G, 7 A). Amy Kauffung and Sara Stern were named to the second team, while Kelly Manski, Alleina Szydlowski and Paige Lincicum were named to the all-freshman team. Lincicum has started all 19 matches in goal, posting a 1.90 goals-against average and .679 save percentage.
The Panthers are -5 in goal differential (34 GF, 39 GA). They rank 57th nationally in points and 74th in scoring offense but are just 285th in goals-against average. UW-Milwaukee faced five NCAA Tournament teams during the regular season, going 1-5 and being outscored 13-3 in those contests (lone win at Illinois State).
Series: Michigan is 2-1-1 all-time against UW-Milwaukee. The two teams met in the season opener back on Aug. 23 at U-M Soccer Stadium, with U-M winning, 3-0 on second-half goals from Nicky Waldeck, Nkem Ezurike and Christina Ordonez. [ Recap ]
The only prior meeting of the two teams in the NCAA Tournament came in 2006, with UW-Milwaukee winning in PKs, 5-3, in the first round. Both teams have gone 8-1 in their past nine matches.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423