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2001 Soccer: Season Review
Bearcats Exceed Expectations, Put Together Dream Season

2001 Womenís Soccer Honors


C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Christy Hoffman
C-USA Coach of the Year Meridy Glenn
All-CUSA Heather Herweh,
first team
  Christy Hoffman,
first team
  Ann Thonas,
first team
  Tasha Wagner,
first team
  Kristina Wilson,
second team
  Nickie Luse,
third team
  Lisa Stephens,
third team
C-USA All-Freshman Team Lisa Stephens
C-USA Tournament Ann Thomas,
Most Valuable Forward
  Nickie Luse,
Most Valuable Midfielder
  Christy Hoffman,
Most Valuable Goalkeeper
NSCAA All-Region Team Christy Hoffman,
first team
  Ann Thomas,
first team
  Heather Herweh,
second team
NSCAA All-American Ann Thomas,
second team
NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-American Nickie Luse,
second team
Verizon Academic All-District Christy Hoffman,
first team
Soccer Buzz All-Region Team Heather Herweh,
first team
  Christy Hoffman,
first team
  Ann Thomas,
first team
  Nickie Luse,
third team
Soccer Buzz All-Region Freshman Team Lisa Stephens
Soccer Buzz Regional Coach of the Year Meridy Glenn
Soccer Buzz All-American Team Ann Thomas,
third team
  Christy Hoffman,
honorable mention
Soccer Buzz National Coach of the Year Runner-Up Meridy Glenn
All-Ohio Heather Herweh,
first team
  Christy Hoffman,
first team
  Ann Thomas,
first team
  Nickie Luse,
second team
  Tasha Wagner,
second team
  Kristina Wilson,
second team
  Lisa Stephens,
third team
All-Ohio Player of the Year Christy Hoffman
All-Ohio Coach of the Year Meridy Glenn

With seven starters returning from a team that posted a school-record 16 wins and narrowly missed a trip to the NCAA Tournament, expectations were high for the 2001 Cincinnati womenís soccer team. By seasonís end, the Bearcats had well exceeded those expectations, putting together the best season in school history, highligted by a 20-4 record and the schoolís first ever appearance in the round of 16 of the NCAA Womenís College Cup. UC ended the campaign ranked 15th by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and number 12 in the Soccerbuzz.com rankings, with an RPI ranking of 21st and were named the Ohio Team of the Year. The season was also characterized by a strong team effort, as 12 different players tallied match-winning goals and 14 accumulated at least one points.

Defense Name of the Game for Bearcats
The Bearcats made their mark in 2001 as one of the strongest defensive teams in the country. UC posted a school and Conference USA record 15 shutouts, including a span of seven straight that included the C-USA tournament. With the steady play of defenders Lisa Day, Heather Herweh, Stacey Kyser and Kristina Wilson in front of her, senior goalkeeper Christy Hoffman was able to rewrite the UC and C-USA record books. On her way to first team All-Great Lakes Region and C-USA Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors, Hoffman set new UC records for most shutouts in a season and career, as well as best goals against average for a season and career. Hoffman etched her name in the C-USA record books with new marks for most shutouts in a season, best GAA for a season and career minutes played.

Bearcats Sweep Through C-USA
After being chosen to finish fourth in C-USA in the coaches preseason poll, Cincinnati used strong defense and an opportunistic offense to sweep through the conference with a perfect 10-0 mark. During the course of the regular season and tournament play, the Bearcats became the first C-USA team in the history of the conference to finish unbeaten in conference play. Along the way, the Bearcats allowed just two goals in 13 conference contests, establishing a new conference record for lowest GAA in a season at 0.58. UC captured itís third regular season championship, earning them the number one seed for the C-USA tournament. The Bearcats picked up where they left off during the regular season by shuting out Saint Louis, UAB and Marquette to capture their third C-USA tournament title.

The biggest hurdle in the Bearcats quest for the C-USA title came in the form of Marquette. UC was able to twice knock off the Golden Eagles, taking sole possession of first place in the league the first time and clinching the C-USA tournament crown in round two. The regular season matchup produced a 2-1, double overtime thriller that ended when sophomore Rachel Lieberman tallied her first collegiate goal in the second extra session. The Bearcats knocked off Marquette again on the Golden Eaglesí home field in the finals of the C-USA tournament. Senior Ann Thomas recorded the only score of the match, that coming with 11 minutes remaining to give UC a 1-0 win.

Postseason Kind to Cincinnati
The fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history found the Bearcats matched up with Oakland in the first round for a match played at Notre Dame. UC fell behind 2-0 in the first 12 minutes of the match, their biggest deficit all season, before the offense came to life. Senior Nickie Luse started the scoring for UC with a marker at the 17 minute mark to bring UC to within one. The second half belonged to the Bearcats, with senior Amy Simonson leading the charge. Simonson drilled in a shot from 35 yards out just 18 seconds into the second session to tie the score. She then played the role of hero heading in a ball off a free kick from Heather Herweh with just over three minutes remaining to send UC to the second round, following a 3-2 victory.

The second round match up looked to be a tall order with the Bearcats squaring off against the No. 7 Irish on their home field. Notre Dame came into the contest riding a 39-match home unbeaten streak. UC came out strong as they jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first 17 minutes of action behind two goals from Rachel Lieberman. Lieberman used two Simonson assists to help UC to the lead. The Irish cut the deficit to one by halftime, before Simonson scored her third goal of the weekend midway through the second half to give the Bearcats a two-goal cushion. Notre Dame answered with a goal with under 25 minutes remaining and the Bearcats held off a late Irish charge to seal the most significant victory in school history.

In the round of 16, UC travelled to Charlottesville, Va. to battle the Virginia Cavaliers. Cincinnatiís Cinderella tournament run came to an end with the Cavaliers coming away with a 4-0 victory.

Thomas An All-American
After leading the team in scoring, senior forward Ann Thomas was named a second team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Thomas tallied a career-high 11 goals and added three assists to become the eighth All-American in program history. Thomas also led UC in match-winning goals, notching six for the year, including the lone score of the match against Marquette in the C-USA Tournament finals. Thomas finished her Bearcat career with 16 goals and nine assists in 78 games.

Glenn Joins 200 Win Coaching Plateau
With UCís 2-0 win over Memphis on Sept. 30, head coach Meridy Glenn joined some elite company. Glenn became just the ninth Division I womenís soccer coach in history, and first woman, to reach 200 career wins. She concluded the 2001 season with a career coaching mark of 213-123-24.

Simonson Is Sensational In Postseason Play
After scoring just one goal but leading the team with five assists during the regular season, Amy Simonson came alive and turned up her play in the postseason. In the C-USA and NCAA Tournaments, Simonson scored three goals and added three assists. Simonsonís first career two-goal effort led the Bearcats to a 3-2 win over Oakland in the first round of the NCAA Womenís College Cup. In the upset of Notre Dame in the second round, Simonson iced the match with a second-half goal and recorded assists on UCís first two scores. For her career, Simonson has 13 assists and is just one helper shy of breaking into the top-10 in UC annals.

 

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