Soccer in a soccer-mad community

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While the Bengals were putting the smackdown on the Bears Sunday, the UC women's soccer team closed out its season by doing the same, comparatively speaking, to Seton Hall with a 4-0 win that wraped up the Bearcats' year.

The Bearcats didn't have enough wins this season to qualify for the BIG EAST post-season, but that's not to put a damper on what the Cats accompished this year, or what the future for the program can be.

Just like East Coast high schools churn out lacrosse players, the Greater Cincinnati area produces quality soccer players: Look no farther than Cincinnati's own Heather Mitts, now a star with the U.S. national team.

In fact, Cincinnati is the second-highest soccer participation area in the country (behind Kansas City). And almost each year, Cincinnati-area high schools send girls' teams to the state soccer finals.

Just take a look at the roster on the UC women's soccer team: More than a third of the players on this year's team were from Cincinnati area powerhouses like Notre Dame Academy, St. Ursula, Lakota West and CHCA.

The lesson here? Well, it's no secret, because Brian Kelly has turned looking at your own back yard for talent into a science for the football program. High school soccer players in the Cincinnati area certainly have shown they can play with the best. With the opportunity to play in a terrific soccer facility like Gettler Stadium, in a league like the BIG EAST, more and more elite players are looking at UC for their next soccer stop.

Congratulations to Michelle Salmon and the Cats for a great season. More good things are ahead for the program.



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