Bearcats Busy on Summer Soccer Circuit

July 24, 2012

CINCINNATI - A host of current Bearcats soccer student-athletes have spent the summer showcasing their talents and honing their skills with development and professional clubs across the country. 

“This has been a very busy summer for our returning players,” said head coach Hylton Dayes. “It is very important for their development that they play in a competitive environment over the summer. This allows them to not only work on specific areas of their play, but also stay sharp for the upcoming season.”

Matt Bahner, a 2010 second-team all-BIG EAST performer, played in 10 matches for the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League regular-season champion Michigan Bucks, scoring a pair of goals and adding three assists. The Bucks lost at home in the regional finals, 2-1. Bahner was on the bench, but did not play in the game. Bahner missed the 2011 season due to injury, but returns for his fifth year with the Bearcats program as a captain in 2012.

2011 BIG EAST All-Freshman teamer Cole DeNormandie has scored two goals for the two-time defending champions, Crew Juniors. The Crew led the men’s division entering the USL Super-20 League North America Finals, a 12-team tournament at the IMG Soccer Complex in Bradenton, Fla. In its most recent match on July 19, DeNormandie scored a goal in the 86th minute to give the defending champions a 1-0 victory in Group D against Orlando City in the second game of the finals. Thanks to DeNormandie’s efforts, the Crew is guaranteed a place in the semifinals with a draw in their final group game against Alamo FC, and a chance to claim their third successive championship. The Crew won their last group game and won in the semifinals, but lost in the finals to the Chicago Fire, 3-1.

Taylor Hafling played in six matches for the River City Rovers (Louisville, Ky.) of the PDL, making 32 saves in goal. Wyatt Stephens has seen time in a pair of matches for the Ocala Stampede (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

A trio of Bearcats took the pitch for the Cincinnati Kings PDL club this summer, including the squad’s leading goalscorer, Leon Powell, who has tallied seven goals in 10 matches.  Ashani Walker played in one match with one assist and earned PDL honorable mention for his performance the week of July 5. Richardo Israel saw action in three matches as a defender.



Two additional players are members of the USL’s Kings Super 20s, including Emmanuel Appiah and Robert Hasselfeld.

The 2012 Bearcats open exhibition play on August 12 in Gettler Stadium against Eastern Illinois.  A youthful corps returns for UC, including DeNormandie, who leads four Bearcats who were recognized among the Top 100 freshman by in 2011: Matt Remaley, Will Diebold, and Appiah.