The Bearcats are 3-4-0 all-time against Syracuse with all three wins coming in Gettler Stadium and all four losses coming in the SU Soccer Complex. UC has scored eight goals in three wins against the Orange, while going winless in four matches at SU Soccer Complex.
Head coach Hylton Dayes is in his 12th season at Cincinnati and 23rd as a head coach. Dayes holds an 96-93-32 mark at UC and a 193-177-51 overall record.
Dayes is the second-winningest coach in UC history behind only Bob Muro, who posted a 114-111-13 mark in 12 seasons on the Bearcats sideline.
The Bearcats have recorded four consecutive shutouts heading into Saturday's match. The last time UC posted four consecutive shutouts was Oct. 27-Nov. 7, 2007. Cincinnati posted a 1-0 win over Villanova, 2-0 win vs. Michigan State, 1-0 win at Rutgers, and 2-0 win at Providence in the 2007 BIG EAST Tournament opener.
Regular starter at centerback Richardo Israel missed the Sept. 26 match against Cleveland State due to accumulated yellow cards. He started the first nine matches of the year and is eligible to return against Syracuse.
UC won its BIG EAST opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 22, the third time in the last four seasos that the Bearcats have won the conference owner.
The win was the first for the Bearcats in Pittsburgh, having lost, 2-1, to the Panthers in 2006 at Founder's Field.
UC is looking to go 2-0 in the BIG EAST since 2010 when the Bearcats won three consecutive games to start league play.
Senior forward Leon Powell made his first appearance of the season against Cleveland State on Sept. 26. An expected starter, Powell injured his knee in UC's exhibition finale against Michigan and missed the first nine games of the regular season.
Taylor Hafling has posted four consecutive shutouts and has five on the season.
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).
The Glorious Return of...:
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.
Freshman Jacob Martinez scored his first career goal in the 1-0 overtime victory against Gardner-Webb on Sept. 16. Martinez's 98th-minute goal came in his second appearance in the Bearcat uniform.
Manga tallied his first career goal in the 1-0 winn at Pitt on Sept. 22. He was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week on Sept. 24.
BIG EAST/National Honors:
John Manga was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week on Sept. 24 after scoring his first career goal and game winner in the Bearcats 1-0 win at Pittsburgh on Sept. 22 in the BIG EAST opener for both teams.
Taylor Hafling was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on Sept. 17 after making 12 saves and posting shutouts against Gardner-Webb and Towson.
Cole DeNormandie was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team following the 2011 campaign. He led the Bearcats with seven goals and 15 points.