Aug. 16, 2014
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati men's soccer team secured a 5-1 decision in a friendly against Cincinnati State on Saturday night at Gettler Stadium. The Bearcats received two goals from John Manga (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) and individual goals from Richardo Israel (Free Town, Jamaica/Lennon), Austen Morley (Aberdeenshire, Scotland/The Gordon Schools) and Rantz Bourgeois (St. Amanta, La./St. Amant). Alan Rovira (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley) assisted on the first three scores of the game for Cincinnati.
// Rovira's Triple Assists
Rovira was all over the pitch, picking up three assists, two of which came when the senior played in a corner. Head Coach Hylton Dayes stressed that the aim is for the junior to be involved in the attack as often as possible, and it showed against the Surge. Two of his assists came on beautifully played corners, the first headed in by Isreal and the second by Manga. The third assist was very similar, simply coming on a live ball from near the corner. Rovira was huge for the Bearcats last year as one of two players to start in every match, while scoring two goals and adding two assists. Dayes expects the Bearcats' attack to be much improved and Rovira will play a large part when the offense delivers as it did on Friday.
// Diaz Debut
With two experienced goal keepers on the roster in senior captain Taylor Hafling (Louisville, Ky./Male) and redshirt sophomore Alex Gill (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek), it was a bit of a surprise to see redshirt freshman Pedro Diaz (Mason, Ohio/Mason) in the net. Dayes had planned on using Hafling in the match, but an injury in warm-ups forced the change. While Diaz was not challenged often, both the head coach and the players on the pitch felt it was great for Diaz to get some experience.
"He was great," said Rovira. "I think he was a little bit nervous, but it was great to see him get some action."
Dayes could not have been more thrilled with the five goals, especially with them coming from a range of returners and newcomers. Even with the scoring, he felt there could have been more.
"Although we scored five goals, we still missed on a number of chances," Dayes said. "We want to be a little more opportunistic and clean up the restarts."
// Bearcats Scoring Summary
Israel 4'- Cincinnati 1-0 Cincinnati State
Israel got the scoring started quickly, converting on a corner from Rovira. Rovira took the corner from the far corner and Israel headed just inside the near post.
Manga 36' - Cincinnati 2-0 Cincinnati State
The Bearcats built the lead on another feed from Rovira, this one from the near corner to Manga, who tucked it inside the near post for the score.
Manga 42' - Cincinnati 3-0 Cincinnati State
Manga and Rovira struck again just over six minutes later when Manga headed a beautiful feed from the far corner inside the far post, pushing in the back of the net just as it was about to cross the goal line.
Morley 73' - Cincinnati 4-1 Cincinnati State
Diebold played the ball forward from midfield right to the feet of Morley who took possession from 25 yards out. The freshmen then played it to the top of the box and beat the keeper to the upper right corner.
Bourgeois 75' - Cincinnati 5-1 Cincinnati State
On his first touch of the game, Bourgeois took a feed from the far side and tucked it inside the lower corner for the final score of the game.
// Up Next
The Bearcats have one more exhibition match before the regular season kicks off. UC visits Evansville for a friendly on Friday, August 22, at 4:00 p.m. The regular season kicks off on Friday, August 29, when UC travels across the Ohio River to face Northern Kentucky. The home opener is on Monday, Sept. 1, at 7:00 p.m. against Wright State.
// 2014 SEASON TICKETS START AT $10
Season tickets for 2014 can be purchased for as little $10 ($1.25 per match). For more information, visit GoBEARCATS.com/tickets or call 1-877-CATS-TIX. Keep up with the UC men's soccer team @UCMSoccer.