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BEARCATS HONOR SENIORS, TAKE ON RUTGERS IN PIVOTAL BIG EAST SHOWDOWN:
The No. 14 University of Cincinnati men's soccer team, which has gone unbeaten in its last eight matches, will play host to Rutgers, winners of six of seven, in a key BIG EAST Red Division match on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Gettler Stadium. UC seniors Omar Cummings, Mike Dwyer, Sam Miller, Kwame Sarkodie, Kidus Tadele and Mike Vessells will be honored, as Senior Day festivities will take place prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Bearcats are 9-3-2 overall and lead the BIG EAST Red Division with a 5-2-1 mark. UC is riding a school-record eight-match unbeaten streak after topping Oakland, 1-0 in overtime, on Wednesday afternoon at the OU Soccer Field.
UC is ranked No. 14 in the Soccer America national poll. The Bearcats are also recognized in the NSCAA (No. 24), College Soccer News (No. 24), and Soccer Times (receiving votes) polls.
UC has outscored its opponents, 17-4, during its eight-match unbeaten streak and has outshot its foes, 155-75.
After scoring just five goals in its first six matches, UC has more than tripled that total (17) in its last eight.
Goalkeeper Mike Vessells posted his sixth shutout of the season against Oakland and moved to within one of second place on UC's all-time list with his 14th career clean sheet. He has lowered his goals against average to 0.95 on the season by posting a 0.37 GAA over the last eight matches.
Kenny Anaba scored the game-winner, his fourth of the season, against Oakland. He has scored a team-leading six goals and added four assists for 16 points this season.
Omar Cummings has recorded a point in six of his last nine matches after scoring the game-tying goal and assisting on the game-winner against St. John's on Sept. 30. He leads the BIG EAST with nine assists and ranks second in the nation in that category.
13 different Bearcats have recorded points for UC this season.
UC was picked to finish third in the Red Division in the BIG EAST preseason coaches poll.
Cummings was 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 nationally by College Soccer News.
Head coach Hylton Dayes is in his sixth season at the helm of the Bearcats, holding a 53-40-17 mark. He picked up his 150th career victory against Oakland..
SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS:
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have been hot as of late, winning six of seven and outscoring opponents, 15-5, during that stretch. RU is 4-4-0 in BIG EAST play, but has won four of its last five in the conference to move into second place in the Red Division and pull within four points of first-place UC.
The Rutgers offense is a balanced attack with 11 different players scoring goals - six scoring two or more - and 15 scoring points. Bart Koffeman leads the squad with three tallies, while Chris Moore is the leading assist man with three. Matt Vanoekel has seen the bulk of the minutes in goal for the Scarlet Knights, holding a 1.05 goals against average with three shutouts.
One of the top coaches in the college game, Bob Reasso is in his 26th season at Rutgers, posting 333 career wins and leading RU to 12 NCAA Tournaments.
UC-RUTGERS SERIES HISTORY:
Cincinnati and Rutgers have played twice in their history. Rutgers holds a 1-0-1 record, with UC coming away from Yurcak Field with a 1-1 tie on Oct. 1 of 2005. The Scarlet Knights got the better of UC during the 2001season, taking a 2-1 decision at a tournament in Saint Louis.
BEARCATS IN THE POLLS:
The Bearcats make an appearance in all four national polls this week. UC is ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll for the first time this season at No. 24. UC bumped up a spot in the College Soccer News and Soccer America polls this week, moving from 25th to 24th and from 15th to 14th, respectively. UC is receiving votes in the Soccer Times poll as well.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Despite the prolific offensive output the Bearcats have showed over the last few weeks, it has been the defense that has helped UC to its eight-match unbeaten streak. During the streak, the Bearcats have allowed just four goals and have posted four shutouts. The center backs, Amir Ikner and Brad Simpson, have played well, marking some of the most dangerous offensive players in the BIG EAST and the nation. Flanking the pair, Lionel Jackson and freshman Judson McKinney have started every match this season and the group has gelled as the year has progressed. Goalkeeper Mike Vessells has solidified the backline, holding a 0.95 goals against average. The defense has allowed just seven goals in eight BIG EAST matches.
DAYES REACHES MILESTONE:
Head coach Hylton Dayes reached a career milestone by earning his 150th victory against Oakland. He holds a career record of 150-125-37. Earlier this season, Dayes recorded his 50th win at UC with a 3-1 victory against Cleveland State on Sept. 20.
CUMMINGS AND GOINGS:
Omar Cummings has done nothing to hurt his preseason hype. The Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and College Soccer News All-American leads the BIG EAST and ranks second nationally with nine assists and has recorded a point in six of his last eight matches. After posting a goal and four assists in helping UC to a pair of conference wins two weeks ago, Cummings was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll and earned a spot on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for the week ending on Oct. 1. In just over a season and a half, Cummings has already made his mark in the UC record books. He is tied for fifth in school history with 16 career assists and is just outside the top 10 with 40 career points in 33 matches.
VESSELLS MOVES UP THE CHART:
Senior goalkeeper Mike Vessells continues his ascent up the career shutouts list at UC. With five clean sheets this season, Vessells now has 13 career shutouts, which puts him alone in third place on the career list. He has lowered his goals against average to 0.95 by posting a 0.37 GAA over the last eight matches. Taking away the 6-0 loss against No. 2 SMU earlier this season, Vessells' goals against average would be 0.58, which would lead the BIG EAST by over 0.10.
ANABA HEATING UP AGAIN:
It was about this time last season that Kenny Anaba began to score almost at will. As a sophomore in 2005, Anaba scored nine goals, including a stretch in which he tallied a marker in four straight and eight of 10 matches. This season, the junior forward started slow, but has again picked up the pace. He has scored in five of his last seven and has recorded a point in six of eight. In his last eight matches, Anaba has posted five goals and added four assists for 14 points.
HELPING ONE ANOTHER OUT:
The Bearcats currently lead the BIG EAST in assists with 26 helpers. Omar Cummings leads the BIG EAST and ranks second in the nation with nine, while Kenny Anaba has recorded four and Lionel Jackson three. Nine different Bearcats have assisted on goals this season and seven have recorded more than one assist.
CLOSING IN ON 300:
The Bearcats have won 299 matches in 33-plus years of soccer. UC is 299-278-57 since 1973, the first season that the university fielded a varsity team.
GETTLER STADIUM DOMINANCE:
The Bearcats are 6-0-1 when playing in the friendly confines of Gettler Stadium this season. UC has outscored its opponents, 16-3, in those seven contests.
UC will hit the road for its final two matches of the regular season, taking on DePaul on Wednesday, Oct. 18 and then heading to Villanova for the regular season finale on Saturday, Oct. 21.