Men's Soccer |
Sept. 10, 2008
The University of Cincinnati men’s soccer team welcomes regional rival Kentucky to Gettler Stadium for the first time since 2003 on Saturday, Sept. 13. The Bearcats and Wildcats will kick off at 7 p.m.
The Bearcats and Wildcats will meet for the 22nd time, but the first since 2004. UK knocked UC out of the 2003 NCAA Tournament on penalty kicks following a scoreless draw in Lexington.
Head coach Hylton Dayes is in his eighth season as the head coach at Cincinnati, holding a 67-54-20 record. He is 163-139-39 overall in his 19th season as a head coach. Dayes needs six wins to pass Jim McDowell for second in UC history for coaching victories.
Captain Brad Simpson (Novi, Mich./Novi) is the lone senior on this year’s squad. A three-year starter, Simpson has started 58 of 59 career matches at central defender. He is also the top returning point-scorer with six points (1G, 4A).
Sophomore Branden Stelmak (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) scored the game winner against Xavier, his first career goal. He also scored against No. 5/7 Akron and leads the team with five points (2G, 1A).
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Matt Williams (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) has allowed just two goals in four matches this season with three shutouts. The first-year starter had a 318-minute scoreless streak, which dated to last season, snapped at No. 5/7 Akron on Sunday, Sept. 7.
The Bearcats return only 10 letterwinners from the 2007 team and welcome 17 newcomers (15 true freshmen, two transfers) to the roster. Returnees accounted for just four of UC’s 27 goals scored in 2007 and 11 of the team’s 35 assists.
UC opens BIG EAST play on the road, taking on a pair of nationally-ranked squads next weekend. The Bearcats open at Providence on Friday, Sept. 19, with kickoff slated for 3 p.m. at Glay Field. UC then heads to Storrs to take on the No. 7 Connecticut Huskies on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. in Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS
Kentucky opened the season with a pair of wins against Central Arkansas and Detroit, outscoring the two by a combined 11-0 tally. UK dropped a pair of non-conference matches against nationally-ranked, west-coast opponents last weekend , falling on the road to No. 7 Cal-Santa Barbara and No. 24 Cal-Poly. Michael Strong leads the Wildcats with four goals and an assist for nine points. Seven different Wildcats have scored for UK this season. Three-year starter Dan Williams holds a 1.05 goals against average and has recorded one shutout. Head coach Ian Collins holds a 181-141-36 record in his 18th year.
The Bearcats and Wildcats, separated by less than 100 miles, have met 21 times on the pitch, with UC holding a 12-7-2 edge on UK. Kentucky is unbeaten in the last four meetings between the schools. UK knocked the Bearcats, Conference USA regular-season champions, out of the 2003 NCAA Tournament in penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw in Lexington. Kentucky was an opponent during each of UC’s first six seasons as a varsity program (1973-78), with the Bearcats holding a 4-2 mark during that period.
WILLIAMS GETTING IT DONE
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Matt Williams won the starting job during camp and has not looked back, posting three shutouts in the first four matches and making spectacular saves look routine. The Portland, Maine, native holds a 0.47 goals against average with 17 saves, tops in the BIG EAST.
STELMAK STEPPING UP
After losing the top five goal-scorers from the 2007 squad, the Bearcats needed someone to take over the scoring role. Sophomore Branden Stelmak has accepted the challenge. The former high school all-American leads the Bearcats with two goals, including the game-winner against Xavier, while adding an assist on the game-winner against Green Bay.
DAYES CLOSING IN
Head coach Hylton Dayes is closing in on a coaching milestone. Dayes needs six wins to move into second place on the school’s list for career coaching wins. He is currently 67-54-20 in his eighth season at UC and holds the the top winning percentage in school history.