Bearcats Cruise Past Eastern Illinois in Exhibition Opener|
Aug. 12, 2012
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati men's soccer team opened its 2012 exhibition season with a commanding 3-0 win against Eastern Illinois on Sunday (Aug. 12) afternoon in Gettler Stadium.
The Bearcats controlled play from the outset, maintaining possession in the offensive third for the majority of the first half. UC put the pressure on throughout the first 20-plus minutes. Senior midfielder Shamar Shelton nearly broke through in the 16th minute as he beat EIU keeper Ben Feltes with a curling shot that clanged squarely off the right post.
Six minutes later, UC got on the board with its 11th shot of the match. Sophomore midfielder Ashani Walker, a playmaker throughout the match, played a ball into space along the right flank for Shelton. Shelton swung in a cross which met the head of 2011 BIG EAST all-Rookie performer Cole DeNormandie, who redirected for a 1-0 lead.
The Bearcats kept the foot on the gas as senior forward Leon Powell added to the lead in the 29th minute. DeNormandie slid a pass between two defenders for Powell, who ran onto it and showed strength in shielding off a challenge to slot a shot past Feltes low to the far post for a 2-0 advantage.
Cincinnati outshot the Panthers, 16-4 in the first half and headed into halftime with a two-goal cushion.
In the 66th minute, Walker finished the scoring with a header past Panthers keeper Evan Turner. Senior defender Mike Brizzi sent a ball across the box to Shelton, who picked out Walker near the six-yard box for the final margin.
Twenty different Bearcats saw action, including five true freshmen and sophomore transfer David Murrow, who made his first appearance for UC.
Following the match, the program hosted a kickoff dinner in the atrium of the Richard E. Lindner Center. Attendees met the 2012 Bearcats team, coaches and support staff and had the opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow Bearcat soccer supporters. Director of Athletics Whit Babcock and head coach Hylton Dayes addressed the crowd. Those interested in joining the Goal Club, UC's group of men's soccer supporters, may contact Katie Pavel at Katie.Pavel@uc.edu or at 513-556-9763.
Cincinnati wraps up exhibition play on Saturday, Aug. 18, at Michigan. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.