Men's Soccer |
Aug. 25, 2006
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The University of Cincinnati men's soccer team received the first reward for its grueling preseason practice session in the form of a 2-1 overtime victory over cross-town rival Xavier in the season opener for both teams.
Senior Preseason All-American Omar Cummings (Old Harbour, Jamaica/Cincinnati State) broke free with the ball at midfield and drove for a 20-yard shot to tally the game-winning goal 3:50 into the first overtime period.
The Bearcats' superior conditioning may well have been the hero of the victory, however, in the hard-fought contest played Friday night in humid 86-degree weather.
"I think we saw the results of our hard work in the preseason," stated UC head coach Hylton Dayes. "At the end of the game, our guys seemed to be in better shape. We didn't play that many players compared to them (UC used two subs, XU used five)."
The Bearcats dominated play in the early part of the game, but couldn't find the net. Sam Miller had a penalty kick glance off the crossbar 20 minutes into the contest. Kwame Sarkodie (Dayton, Ohio/Carroll) finally put Cincinnati on the scoreboard at the 29:07 mark on an unassisted goal struck from 30 yards off the left post.
Though UC held a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal and finished with a 15-9 edge, the Bearcats were foiled on several other scoring threats.
The Muskies tied the contest on Jon Ender's goal, a header assisted by Tommy Clines and Toni Skudrzik, at the 59:23 mark. The two teams proceeded to grind it out from that point.
"I thought Xavier came out with a great commitment to attack," noted Dayes. "They pressured us and we didn't handle it that well."
Cincinnati had two serious scoring threats in the final dozen minutes of regulation. Sarkodie's shot off a free kick went wide of the goal with 11 minute remaining and Noah Davidson's (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) shot off transition from 20 yards out with 9:17 to play was deflected.
Lionel Jackson (Southfield, Mich./Birmingham Groves) assisted Cummings in stripping a Xavier player of the ball at midfield to set up the winning goal in the overtime.
"It was a great win for us," beamed Dayes. "It was a win over our local rival. It was a well-played game on both sides and for our guys. It was a great way to start the season. It was a great reward for all their hard work in preseason."
The Bearcats are back in action on Tuesday, Aug. 29, hosting Bradley in their home opener at 5 p.m.