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BEARCATS OPEN BIG EAST PLAY ON THE ROAD:
The University of Cincinnati men's soccer team opens its second season of BIG EAST competition this weekend, traveling to No. 10 West Virginia and Pittsburgh for a pair of conference tilts. The Bearcats will take on the Mountaineers on Friday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. at Dick Dlesk Stadium before heading to the Steel City for the program's first-ever meeting with Pittsburgh on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 1 p.m.
The Bearcats are 2-1-1 overall after posting an 0-1-1 record at the SMU Radisson Invitational last weekend.
Seniors Omar Cummings and Sam Miller were named to the SMU Radisson Invitational All-Tournament Team.
The 6-0 loss against No. 2 SMU marked UC's worst defeat since an 8-0 shutout against Memphis in 1994.
The Bearcats were shutout in back to back matches for the first time since the 2004 season.
UC was picked to finish third in the Red Division in the BIG EAST preseason coaches poll.
Senior Omar Cummings has been named the Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year as well as preseason All-BIG EAST and College Soccer News Preseason All-American.
The UC 2006 recruiting class was ranked No. 38 by College Soccer News.
Head coach Hylton Dayes is in his sixth season at the helm of the Bearcats holding a 46-38-17 mark.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS:
West Virginia enters the weekend with a 3-0-1 record after upsetting No. 17 Cal State Northridge, 2-1, on Sept. 2. The Mountaineers made a leap into the latest national polls, jumping all the way to No. 10 in the NSCAA poll.
WVU is led by senior goalkeeper Nick Noble, who holds the Mountaineers' career shutout record with 29 clean sheets. WVU has scored just four goals, but has allowed just one in four matches, whick leads the BIG EAST.
Head coach Marlon LeBlanc is in his first season at West Virginia after spending the last five years as an assistant at Penn State.
UC-WEST VIRGINIA SERIES HISTORY:
The Bearcats and Mountaineers have met twice on the pitch, with WVU holding a 2-0-0 edge. The two teams met in 1986 (WVU 2, UC 0) and 1987 (WVU 2, UC 1), but have not yet met as BIG EAST Conference opponents.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS:
Pittsburgh enters the weekend with an 0-3-1 record after dropping a 1-0 decision to Mount St. Mary's on Sept. 3. Pitt has been outscored, 5-2, this season and has been outshot, 41-37.
Chris Bastidas has scored the Panthers' lone goal of the season (the other goal was tallied as an own goal). In two matches, goalkeeper Andy Jorgensen has posted a shutout and a 0.45 goals against average.
Head coach Joe Luxbacher is in his 23rd season at the helm of the Panthers program, holding a 178-165-44 overall record.
UC-PITT SERIES HISTORY:
The Bearcats and Panthers, new BIG EAST foes, have never met on the soccer field.
The Bearcats return home for a BIG EAST double-dip on Sept. 15-17. UC will play host to Marquette on Friday night at 7 p.m., while the Bearcats will play No. 8 Notre Dame on Sunday as part of a doubleheader with the women's team. Kickoff is set for apporximately 3 p.m. from Gettler Stadium.