Sept. 1, 2014
CINCINNATI - John Manga was the goal scorer for the University of Cincinnati men's soccer team as the Bearcats played Wright State to a 1-1 draw on Monday night at Gettler Stadium. It marked the second draw in as many games for Cincinnati.
// Manga the Man
Manga (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) got the Bearcats on the board first, converting on a pass from Alejandro Garcia (Coral Springs, Fla./Taravella/Darton State). Garcia took a feed from Ashani Walker (Kingston, Jamaica/Jamaica College) at the top of the box and on one touch, sent it to the top of the six where a streaking Manga sent it home.
It was the first goal of the season for Manga, who found the back of the net three times last year. The junior was noteworthy before the match even started. Manga asked to be introduced as from his native Democratic Republic of the Congo, instead of Lexington, Kentucky, where he attended high school, as a salute his home nation as it has dealt with an outbreak of the Ebola virus.
// Garcia's First Points
Garcia recorded his first point in the red and black when he assisted on Manga's score. The Floridian played his first two seasons at Darton State College in his native state, earning National Junior College Athletic Association All-America honors last season after scoring 18 goals (including six game winners), and seven assists. He also helped Darton to an undefeated regular season as a freshman in 2012.
// Ready, Set, Draw... Part II
With the Wright State draw following an identical 1-1 score at Northern Kentucky in the season opener on Friday night, the Bearcats now stand 0-0-2. The NKU tie was the first time since 2003 the Bearcats played to a draw in the opener, and was also the last time UC had consecutive ties to open the season. That year, Cincinnati tied its first three matches against Bowling Green, Cal State Northridge and New Mexico.
Head coach Hylton Dayes was obviously frustrated not to earn a victory in either of the first two matches, but he feels his squad is creating good chances. They just need to finish.
"Eventually, we'll score more," Dayes said. "It's early in the season. Everyone is trying to find their game. We just have to be patient, work hard and take the chances as they come."
// Hitting the Road
The Bearcats will play their next four contests on the road, starting with a trip to face Nebraska Omaha and Creighton next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. They then visit Xavier and IPFW before returning home in 20 days, on Sunday, Sept. 21, to host Eastern Illinois. With the NKU match on the road to open the season, it gives the Bearcats five of their first six matches away from home.
// 1,124 = One Team
Dayes was thrilled with the turnout at Gettler Stadium for the home opener, an announced crowd of 1,124.
"It was great," Dayes said. "The energy was great and we fed off it. This is the kind of crowd we want here at Gettler. It's too bad we couldn't send them home with a win, but I think the play was end-to-end and exciting. We can't wait to come back and play at home."