In 2011, UC posted a 6-11-1 overall mark, including a 2-7-0 ledger in BIG EAST play. The Bearcats failed to advance to the BIG EAST Tournament for just the second time since joining the league in 2005.
The Bearcats look to rebuild a defensive unit which needs to replace both center backs and graduated captain and four-year starter Sam Klosterman.
A revamped back line and new starting goalkeeper, sophomore Taylor Hafling, will look to improve upon the 1.6 goals per game allowed in 2011.
A bevy of young but experienced players will take the pitch in 2012, including sophomores forward DeNormandie (18 starts in 2011), defender Will Diebold (14 starts), midfielders Matt Remaley (12 starts), Emmanuel Appiah (12 starts), and Ashani Walker(seven starts).
Matt Bahner, a 2010 second-team All-BIG EAST midfielder, returns to the squad for his fifth season after missing the entire 2011 campaign with a knee injury. Bahner led the Bearcats with seven goals and six assists in 2010 and has 12 career goals to his name.
Bahner scored his first goal of the season on Sept. 2 at No. 22 Xavier. Peter Jannelli, who last played with the Bearcats during the 2009 season, started in the midfield in the first two contests, assisting on the game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory against Drake on Aug. 24.
New Kids on the Block:
Five true freshmen and a first-year transfer saw time for the Bearcats in the opening weekend.
The Bearcats were picked to finish sixth in the BIG EAST Red Division by the league's coaches.
UC has topped its preseason expectations in all but two seasons since joining the BIG EAST in 2005.
Ranking the Foes:
The Bearcats have 13 wins over ranked opponents under Hylton Dayes(since 2001). UC is 13-31-6 against Top 25 foes since 2001, including a win against No. 1 Connecticut on Sept. 16, 2005, in Gettler Stadium.
The Bearcats are 0-2-0 against ranked teams this season, falling 3-0 to No. 12/9 Indiana on Aug. 26 and 2-1 at No. 22 Xavier on Sept. 2.
Last Time Out:
UC (3-4-1) topped Towson and Gardner-Webb (0-6-0) at Gettler Stadium on Friday, Sept. 14 and Sunday, Sept. 16, respectively.
Senior Zach Patterson scored the game winner against Towson (2-4-0). The goal came in the 75th minute and was the first of Patterson's career. Senior Mike Brizziearned the assist.
True freshman Jacob Martinez also scored his first career goal against the Gardner-Webb. The lone goal in UC's overtime 1-0 victory was a result of a give and go play with fellow freshman John Manga.
Overall, UC (3-outshot their opponents 34-23. Goalkeeper Taylor Hafling made six saves against both teams.