First Touch #14: U-M's NCAA Tourney Run Continues Friday
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Nov. 18, 2013

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THIS WEEK
NCAA Tournament - Second Round
Friday, Nov. 22
-- vs. Illinois State (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
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The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team (16-3-1) continues its push in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, hosting second- and third-round matches at U-M Soccer Stadium for the second time in program history. The Wolverines play Illinois State (14-6-1) in the second round on Friday (Nov. 22) at 7 p.m. following the Notre Dame (12-7-1)/Western Michigan (12-5-5) match at 4 p.m. The winners of the two matches will meet on Sunday (Nov. 24) at 1 p.m.

Tickets for Friday's second round and Sunday's third round are on sale now. They can be purchased through the Michigan Athletics Ticket Office by calling (866) 296-6849 or at MGoBlue.com/tickets.

WOLVERINE BITES

• Michigan is in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year and for the eighth time in 12 total appearances. The Wolverines have made at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons, the first time that has happened since the 2002-03 seasons.

• With its first-round win last Saturday over Milwaukee, Michigan is now 12-9-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including an 8-0-0 mark in Ann Arbor.

• Michigan is hosting the second and third rounds of the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in program history. U-M previously hosted the second weekend in 2002, beating Miami (Ohio), 4-0, in the second round and Pepperdine, 2-0, in the third round to advance to the quarterfinals.

• The Wolverines have gone 20-2-2 at U-M Soccer Stadium since the start of the 2012 season and are 30-8-6 since the start of the 2010 season. They enter this weekend riding an 18-match home unbeaten streak (17-0-1) vs. non-conference opponents, not having lost a home match to a team outside the Big Ten Conference since Aug. 19, 2011 (Akron, 1-0).

• Michigan came in at No. 11 in the final NSCAA/Continental Tire rankings of the regular season, released on last Tuesday (Nov. 12). The final rankings will be out Dec. 10. [ Rankings | RPI ]

• With her two-goal performance against Milwaukee, Nkem Ezurike moved into second all-time at Michigan in career points (115). She needs one to tie the record and two to become the career leader. The record is currently held by Abby Crumpton (116, 1999-02). Ezurike is already the program's career leader in goals (48).

Points
1. Abby Crumpton (1999-02) -- 116 (43 G, 30 A)
2. NKEM EZURIKE (2010-Present) -- 115 (48 G, 19 A)
3. Kacy Beitel (1997-00) -- 114 (44 G, 26 A)
4. Amber Berendowsky (1996-99) -- 113 (40 G, 33 A)

That performance made Ezurike the program's all-time leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament (four career goals). She also became the fourth player in program history to record a multi-goal match in the NCAA Tournament. The last player to score at least two goals in an NCAA Tournament match was Therese Heaton vs. Miami (Ohio) on Nov. 17, 2002.

• The seven-member senior class has won 51 career matches, tied for the fifth highest by a senior class in program history. The Class of 2000 was the most successful class, winning 62 matches. Since the beginning of last season, Michigan has won 32 matches, tied for the most number of wins in a two-year stretch in program history (18 in 1997, 14 in 1998).

• Out of 323 schools, U-M ranks fourth in fewest goals allowed (10), seventh in goals-against average (0.49) and eighth in save percentage (.877). Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin is fifth nationally in goals-against average (0.45) and seventh in save percentage (.883). She is tied for second on the single-season records list for shutouts (10). Former goalkeepers Haley Kopmeyer (2012) and Suzie Grech (2001) share the record (11).

• U-M has 125 points (40 G, 45 A) this season, the fourth-best total in program history and most since 2002 (141). Additionally, Michigan is ranked No. 13 in the nation in assists, recording the most helpers in a season since 2002 (51). Four players have registered six or more assists this season: Nkem Ezurike and Madisson Lewis (nine), Shelina Zadorsky (eight) and Corinne Harris (six). 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).

• Fourteen different players have recorded at least one goal this season (last: Corinne Harris vs. Milwaukee) 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 14-0-0 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 14 of its 16 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 ]

OPPONENT PREVIEW

Illinois State
Illinois State is 14-6-1 on the season and is in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, getting past Louisville in penalty kicks in the first round, 1-1 (4-3 PKs). The Redbirds rank 11th nationally in scoring offense (2.43 goals per game), and five players have double-digit point totals; but the two to watch are forwards Rachel Tejada (15 G, 12 A) and Hannah Leinert (16 G, 6 A). Tejada was named MVC Player of the Year for the third straight season, and Leinert was named MVC Freshman of the Year. Starting goalkeeper Aryn Newsom was MVC Goalkeeper of the Year, making 89 saves to go along with a goals-against average of 1.24. Those three were joined by Kyla Cross (6 G, 9 A), Dagny Olson (6 G, 4 A), Anna Stinson (2 G, 6 A) and Abby Van Deventer on the All-MVC first and second teams.

The Redbirds breezed through Missouri Valley Conference play, going 6-0-0 and outscoring opponents by an 18-2 margin. They played three Big Ten teams in the non-conference slate, dropping decisions to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois by a combined 13-2 margin. The Redbirds also played NCAA Tournament teams in Marquette (W, 3-2) and Milwaukee (L, 2-1).

Series: Friday's meeting will be the first in the series between the two schools.

LAST TIME OUT
Senior Nkem Ezurike scored twice -- including 2:09 into the game -- while Meghan Toohey and Corinne Harris also netted markers as No. 11 Michigan stifled Milwaukee, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. [ Recap | Highlights video icon | Photo Gallery Photo ]

UP NEXT
Sunday, Nov. 24
-- vs. Notre Dame/Western Michigan - NCAA Tournament Third Round (U-M Soccer Stadium), 1 p.m.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423


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