Men's Soccer Faces Stiff Competition in 2013|
June 18, 2013
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati men’s soccer team has released its schedule for the 2013 fall season, which features eight NCAA tournament qualifiers from a season ago.
The 20-game schedule will see stiff competition for the Bearcats, including two teams that advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight in Louisville and Connecticut. Other NCAA competitors on the schedule include Michigan, St. Louis, Xavier, Cleveland State and Southern Methodist. Cincinnati also will face five teams who advanced to their respective conference championship games, including Northern Illinois, SLU, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Cleveland State and SMU.
Overall, UC will host 11 games while playing nine games on the road. The Bearcats will split its eight-game American Athletic Conference schedule with four games at Gettler Stadium.
"Our non-conference schedule is very challenging and should prepare us well for the rigors of conference play" said head coach Hylton Dayes. “We also have an excellent home schedule, highlighted by matches against St. Louis, Louisville and Xavier - all NCAA tournament teams last year. Our fans will be able to cheer us on and watch some of the best teams in the country this fall at Gettler Stadium."
The schedule will begin with two exhibition games in August. The Bearcats will host 2012 NCAA competitor Michigan on the 19th before traveling to Bowling Green State on the 24th.
The regular-season will open on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 at the Bert and Irish Wolstein Soccer Classic in Columbus, Ohio where UC will face Northern Illinois and UNC Wilmington, respectively.
The home slate begins with the kickoff of the Bearcat Soccer Classic. UC will welcome Northern Illinois, SLU and Evansville to Gettler Stadium and will face off against the Billikens on Sept. 6 while meeting the Purple Aces of UE on Sept. 8.
UC will travel to SIU-Edwardsville on Sept. 13 before opening a four-game homestand to close out September. The Bearcats will face Northern Kentucky on Sept. 18 during just its second season of DI competition. Memphis will begin the conference schedule when it travels to Cincinnati for a Set. 21 match and cross-town rival Xavier will play at Gettler Stadium on Sept. 25. The Bearcats also will host American foe Central Florida on Sept. 28.
"It's good to have our first 2 conference matches at home” said Dayes. “The goal will be to get off to a good start in the league and develop confidence."
Following the homestand will be a three-game road swing, beginning at Cleveland State on Oct. 2. UC will also make stops at American foes Rutgers (Oct. 5) and USF (Oct. 9).
Cincinnati will return home to host SMU on Oct. 12, IUPUI on the 16th and Belmont on the 19th during UC’s homecoming celebration. The Bearcats will hold their senior day festivities and will close out the home schedule by hosting Louisville on Oct. 23.
The season will come to a close with two conference road games. The Bearcats will play at Connecticut on Oct. 26 and at Temple on Nov. 2.
“We have some pretty tough conference road games” said Dayes. “Playing at Connecticut and USF will be challenging because of their environment and crowd support. Overall, if we can get off to a good start and do well against this schedule, we should not only contend in the conference but also challenge for a NCAA tournament berth, which is always a goal"
The 2013 American Athletic Conference tournament will begin on Nov. 8 with a play-in game while the championship game is slated for Nov. 17. Opening rounds of the tournament will be played on campus sites while the semifinals and championship game will be played at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, home of Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas.
The Bearcats will be led in 2013 by sophomores John Manga (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) and Richardo Israel (Free Town, Jamaica/Lennon). Manga finished last season with one goal and one assist for three points while Richardo anchored the defense and was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.