MOUNT PLEASANT - More than in-state bragging rights will be on the line as the Central Michigan women’s soccer team travels to Ann Arbor for an NCAA Tournament First Round matchup with Michigan Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. as the first stop on the Chippewas' "Road to the Championship" presented by Blue Lakes Charters & Tours.
The Chippewas (15-6-1) enter the tournament as the Mid-American Conference’s first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, and both CMU and the Wolverines (14-5-2) are in the tournament field for the first time since 2010.
At Michigan (14-5-2)
U-M Soccer Stadium | Ann Arbor, Mich.
Saturday, Nov. 10 | 6 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online here, and are between $5-$8 apiece. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate.
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The CMU-UofM soccer match will follow a home Michigan football game, so please plan on facing congested travel conditions in Ann Arbor. Free parking will be available for soccer spectators in the U-M Soccer Stadium/Varsity Tennis Center parking lot south of the football stadium off of State Street.
By the Numbers
The Chippewas enter the tournament looking to get back on track after a 2-1 loss to Miami (Ohio) Sunday afternoon in the Mid-American Conference Championship match. The Chippewas are 4-1-0 in games directly following a loss this season, and will look to improve that mark on Saturday.
This year marks the third all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament for CMU, and the third in the past four seasons. CMU has a 1-2 record in NCAA Tournament play, with a 2-0 win over Purdue in their first-ever NCAA Tournament match.
Michigan also enters fresh off a loss, falling to eventual Big Ten Tournament Champion Ohio State in the semifinals of their conference tournament. The Wolverines make their 11th all-time appearance in the tournament.
Central Michigan is 0-2-1 in the all-time series between the two sides, most recently earning a 1-1 draw at Michigan last season. This will be the first meeting between the two sides in the postseason.
The defense for the Maroon and Gold has been stout as of late, having permitted just five goals in the past 10 matches, three of which came in two matches against MAC Champion and NCAA Tournament qualifier Miami.
MAC Defensive Player of the Year Bailey Brandon, a senior, leads a CMU defense that has recorded 12 shutouts this season, just three off the national lead. Joined in the defensive third by fellow first-team All-MAC honorees Katie Slaughter and goalkeeper Stefanie Turner, and MAC All-Tournament selection Estee Outcalt, the Chippewas have posted the 22nd-best shutout percentage in the country at .545.
Turner has been in goal for 11 shutouts this season.
CMU's defense will be tasked with marking forward Nkem Ezurike, who finished the regular season fourth in the Beg Ten with 13 goals, including five game-winners.
Offensively, four different Chippewas have scored four goals, while eight have scored at least two. After scoring in the MAC Championship Match, freshman forward Danielle Rotheram leads the team in goals (four), assists (three) and points (11). Senior midfielder Autumn Hawkins, junior Jennifer Gassman and sophomore Laura Gosse each also have four apiece.
Central will try to find the back of the net against a Wolverines defense that led the Big Ten with 12 shutouts and was second in goals allowed per game (0.71).
Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer will be a formidable foe between the posts for the Chippewas, as she recorded twice as many shutouts as any other Big Ten keeper (10) and is second in the conference in save percentage (.844).