Bearcats Look to Take Next Step in 2006

GOBEARCATSDOTCOM Preseason All-American Omar Cummings
Preseason All-American Omar Cummings
Men's Soccer |

Aug. 22, 2006


        An experienced and committed Bearcat men's soccer team will take the field this fall in search of a BIG EAST Championship and a return to the NCAA Tournament.  UC will depend on a pair of dangerous forwards, a veteran midfield, a solid group of defenders and an all-conference goalkeeper to pilot the Bearcats to the NCAA College Cup for the first time since 2003. 

        "We have a pretty good understanding of how the pieces are going to fit," head coach Hylton Dayes, who enters his sixth season at the helm of UC soccer, said of the 2006 squad.  "Our depth has improved from last year and we will have more options than we did last year."



        All-American candidate Omar Cummings, who earned first team All-BIG EAST and first team All-Region honors in 2005, returns to lead a potent UC attack.  Cummings, a senior native of Jamaica, scored seven goals and handed out a team-best seven assists last season and is the Bearcats' most consistent attacking player. 

        Along with Cummings, third team All-BIG EAST selection Kenny Anaba returns after leading the team with nine goals and tying for fifth in the conference with 21 points.  The junior from Columbus will strive to be more consistent and give UC one of the most lethal forward combinations in the conference an d possibly the country. 

        Joining the two all-conference picks is sophomore Dominic Oppong, who saw action in 17 matches last season and scored the game-winner against Wright State in UC's regular season opener.  Patrick Baxter, a native of Cincinnati, is the wild card in the forward mix.  The junior college transfer scored 27 goals in 19 games last season for Cincinnati State and has played with Cummings at the junior college level. 


Sam Miller


        Four starters return in a veteran midfield that will look to create more scoring opportunities this season.  Senior Sam Miller, a second-year captain, will man the central midfield position and be counted on for leadership.  Classmates Kwame Sarkodie and Mike Dwyer have the ability to provide scoring punch from the midfield.  Dwyer scored four goals and tallied three assists last season.  Sarkodie spent much of his time in the back, but has the versatility to play nearly any position on the field and gives UC a left-sided attacking threat to create matchup problems for opposing defenses.  Noah Davidson played in all 18 matches, accounting for one goal and one assist.

        Also in the mix for playing time will be freshmen Alex Marrello, Marcus Hairston, Paul Hoste and Scott Kunze.  All four have the ability to contribute right away.  Marrello is a play-making central midfielder that will have the opportunity to see regular time.  Hairston is an athletic, speedy attacker who could become a scoring force.  Hoste and Kunze are technically sound players with the ability to become good college players.


Amir Ikner


        An experienced group of defenders return, led by central defender Amir Ikner.  Ikner has started 30 straight matches for the Bearcats and is UC's toughest defender.  Center back Brad Simpson had a breakthrough season as a redshirt freshman in 2005 and continued his development with an outstanding spring season.  The size and athleticism of the two, will allow them to be dangerous on corner kicks and set pieces.  Kevin Schrand also returns at right back after starting 17 matches and collecting three assists last year.  Returning after missing the 2005 season due to an injury, Lionel Jackson had an impressive spring season and gives the Bearcats an offensive-minded option at the left back position.  He will compete with walk-on Kidus Tadele and newcomers Judson McKinney and Luke Henke for the starting job.  McKinney comes from one of the top club programs in Ohio and his versatility will allow him to see time early.  Henke is an intelligent player, a solid defender,  and a hard worker.


Mike Vessells


        All-conference performer and third-year captain Mike Vessells returns for his senior season.  He started all but one match in 2005 and held a 1.22 goals against average and posted three shutouts.  The Cincinnati native has an opportunity to be an All-BIG EAST performer and could move his way up the career shutout list this fall.  John-Michael Boggs will push Vessells for time between the pipes.  The junior has the ability to start and is a tremendous insurance policy as a backup keeper.  Freshman Matthew Williams comes highly regarded from the state of Maine.  At, 6-4, he has the size and skill to be a BIG EAST-caliber goalkeeper and he will figure into the mix this fall.



        The Bearcats will take on some of the college soccer elite both in conference play and in non-league action as UC battles six 2005 NCAA qualifiers.  The highlight of the non-conference schedule is the SMU Marriott Invitational tournament in which the Bearcats will take on host SMU, a 2005 NCAA semifinalist, and Florida International.  Rivalry matches against Xavier (road) and Louisville (home) will offer fans a chance to see passionate battles.  The league schedule includes home dates with Notre Dame, USF and Rutgers.   


Hylton Dayes

The Final Word

        "Our philosophy is always to put the 11 guys that play best together on the field and present problems for the other team," Dayes said.  "We have asked our team to be committed to winning a BIG EAST Championship and playing in the NCAA Tournament.  That is our theme for the season; be committed."



    The Birmingham News

    Tuberville would want home-and-home with Alabama in 2015

    NBC Sports

    Cincinnati getting a home game with Alabam would be huge

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Murky two-division AAC split could become clearer soon

    USA Today

    Breakout stars for the 2014 NFL season


    Top 10 Reascons Cincinnati Will Win the AAC Football Championship

    Philadelphia Business Journal

    Celek Earns Prestigious 40 Under 40 Award

    Sports Illustrated: Campus Union

    Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel finally where he wants to be

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats will be filled with fresh faces next season

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Sandy Koufax's season with UC Bearcats remembered

    News Record

    Freshman basketball player creates new expectations


    Cincinnati Bearcats Shut Out No. 12 Houston Cougars, 3-0


    Dangel breaks former high school coach's UC record

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Sycamore High School grad excels in lacrosse at UC

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Gunner Kiel impresses at UC football's spring game

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Youthful UC can make its own history next season

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's defense makes statement in latest scrimmage

    Remember Gunner Kiel? He's Ready to Dominate

    Hank Hughes Q&A

    New York Times

    Growing as a Player, Beaming as a Father

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    NCAA Tournament is 'Cincinnati vs. the world'

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Kiel comes out strong in Bearcats' spring scrimmage

    Sporting News

    2013-14 Men's Basketball All-Americans

    Fox Sports

    Cincinnati made me a believer


    Former redshirt Sean Kilpatrick finishing out historic career

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Q&A with UC AD Mike Bohn


    Brennan's Wooden Watch: Week 14

    Fit and healthy, Omar Cummings offering a new dynamic up top for Houston Dynamo

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Men's soccer signee Clark named Gatorade Ohio player of the year


    Munchie Legaux and Shaq Washington gain extra year

    Denver Post

    Mike Bohn eager to point Cincinnati Bearcats in right direction as AD

    The Washington Post

    No. 7 Bearcats have highest ranking in 10 years

    Yahoo! Sports

    How Sean Kilpatrick willed UC past Louisville and back into the nation's consciousness

    Cincinnati takes over AAC with win at Louisville

    Tough Bearcats don't get rattled

    UC staves off Temple to stay perfect in AAC

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC looks to 15-year sports admin vet Reed-Francois for interim AD

    CBS Sports

    No. 15 Cincinnati stomps UCF, wins 11th straight

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats take down USF 61-54, win 10th straight

    USA Today

    Why Cincinnati is not a team to sleep on

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Short-handed Bearcats cautious about ranking

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's goal: win them all at home

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Cronin: Not easy, but Cats got through fatigue

    The News Record

    What you missed in UC sports during break

    FB Schedules

    Boise State, Cincinnati Schedules 2019, 20 Home-and-Home Series


    The Best and Worst College Football Teams for the Money

    USA Today

    Report: Colleges doing poorly at hiring women coaches

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Randolph named AAC Player of the Week

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC women's basketball knocks off Ohio State

    Bleacher Report

    Belk Bowl 2013: Cincinnati-North Carolina

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Belk Bowl: UC vs. UNC


    Belk Bowl Breakdown

    The Showdown is Set


    Cards, Bearcats set for defensive battle

    CBS Sports

    Louisville-Cincinnati Preview

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Thursday is UC's fight for perception

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Don't let UC's next opponent fool you

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC jumps to No. 23 in USA Today football poll

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats break into USA Today Top 25

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    McKay turns in monster game against Rutgers


    Kay throws for 408 yards, 4 TDs as Cincinnati routs Rutgers

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats won't lessen the pressure

    News & Record

    Pressure takes toll on NC State against Cincinnati

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats face variety of bowl scenarios

    The News Record

    UC weary of SMU's aerial attack ahead of AAC clash

    Bleacher Report

    Best College Football Moments in Cincinnati History

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Mark Barr returns to UC, gets ovation

    After frustrating year, Omar Cummings puts Houston Dynamo on his back with clutch playoff goal

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC's Shaq Thomas 'our version of Herb Jones'

    USA Today

    Cincinnati holds off Memphis for third straight


    Cincinnati's Mark Barr out of hospital

    TopDrawer Soccer

    Furman and Cincinnati men go nose-for-nose in College Goal of the Week

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Green seizing his moment for the Bearcats

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Jermaine Lawrence is new breed of forward

    UC Magazine

    Hostility to Hope: Feature on Men's Soccer Player John Manga

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Jermiah Davis III fights to be remembered

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats' Justin Jackson goes from energizer to example

    The News Record

    Cronin excited for new group

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    UC Bearcats' Sean Kilpatrick: 'It's the season now'

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats basketball will have fresh look

    The News Record

    UC Looks to RetainVictory Bell for Eighth Consecutive Season

    Miami Herald

    Kay Ready to Lead Bearcats into Rivalry Game

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Former Bearcat Thompkins making most of shot in NFL

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    New practice setup could benefit UC basketball

    Munchie Legaux out for season

    Cincinnati Rolls Past Purdue

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Bearcats defense puts up dominant effort

    American Athletic Conference

    2013 Team Previews: Cincinnati Bearcats

    Sports Illustrated

    Bowl projections: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl

    Cincinnati Business Courier

    Bearcats sell out football opener against Purdue

    Cincinnati Enquirer

    Depth at defensive line still strong for Bearcats

    Bleacher Report

    Cincinnati Bearcats Football 2013 Team Preview

    UC Voted 2nd

    Coach Tuberville and his players discuss their reactions to being voted to finish 2nd in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference

    QB Timetable

    Coach Tuberville discusses his timetable to choose a starting QB with The Cincinnati Enquirer

    Thompkins at Patriots' Training Camp

    Former UC wide receiver, Kenbrell Thompkins, impressed many at Patriots' training camp 

    World University Games

    Sean Kilpatrick talks about his experience overseas

    World University Games

    Sean Kilpatrick talks about his experience overseas 

    Nippert Renovation Plan

    The Cincinnati Enquirer looks at the Nippert Stadium Project

    Cincinnati football's 'Crocodile Dundee'

    A former professional rugby player from Australia joins the Bearcat football team

    2013 Preseason 'Watch List' 

    Several Cincinnati Bearcats make 2013 national 'watch list'

    Sports Insider Today

    Young Cincinnati Team Looks to Improve in 2013 Amidst New Conference Setting

    ESPN Blog

    Cincinnati to play Pitt in December

    Former Bearcat Herman Qualifies for U.S. Open

    USA Today

    BearcatsTV Gets National Attention from USA Today's For the Win

    Cincinnati Bearcats Baseball Earns Top Honors in Videobombing

    The Washington Post

    Cincinnati Bearcats Do the Best Postgame Interviews

    Fox Sports

    Bearcats Rock Postgame Interviews

    Cincinnati Bearcats Revolutionize the Post Game Interview


    You'll love this Cincinnati Bearcats Post Game Funny Business Compilation

    Those guys having all the fun: An oral history of the Cincinnati baseball team's videobombs

    MSN Now

    This college baseball team wins the 'best interview' award

    Winn, Cincinnati run over Pittsburgh Bearcats Blog

    Cincinnati looks to sophomore RB Ralph Abernathy to increase production