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BEARCATS HEAD TO CHICAGO FOR BIG EAST TILT:
The No. 21 University of Cincinnati men's soccer team travels to Chicago, Ill., to take on BIG EAST foe DePaul on Wednesday, Oct. 18. The Bearcats, who had their school-record eight-match unbeaten streak snapped on Saturday night against Rutgers, will look to rebound with the 4 p.m. CT kickoff at Wish Field.
The Bearcats are 9-4-2 overall and lead the BIG EAST Red Division with a 5-3-1 mark. UC had its school-record eight-match unbeaten streak (7-0-1) snapped on Saturday night against Rutgers.
UC has outscored its opponents, 17-5, during its last nine matches and has outshot its foes, 167-85 during that span.
After scoring just five goals in its first six matches, UC has more than tripled that total (17) in its last nine.
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 0.44 GAA over the last nine 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 10 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, including eight in conference play.
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 53-41-17 mark. He picked up his 150th career victory against Oakland..
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEMONS:
DePaul is coming off a 2-1 win against perennial power St. John's at Wish Field on Saturday. John Partyka and Nathan Feltz scored their first goals of the season to send the Blue Demons to their third win in their last four BIG EAST matches. DPU is 4-5-0 in conference action and trails first-place UC by four points in the Red Division.
DePaul is led by Alex Mangan, who has scored five goals in just 12 matches, each of which was a game-winner. Partyka is the squad's leading assist man with three. Brian Visser has played all but 22 minutes in goal, posting a 1.35 goals against average and four shutouts. His 71 saves rank second in the BIG EAST.
Head coach Craig Blazer is in his sixth season at the helm of the Blue Demons program, holding a 31-67-11 overall record. He is 1-2-2 against the Bearcats during his tenure.
UC-DE PAUL SERIES HISTORY:
Former Conference USA opponents, Cincinnati and DePaul have met 21 times on the pitch, with the Bearcats holding a12-6-3 edge. The Bearcats won seven of the first eight meetings between the two and have lost just once in the last seven contests against DPU.
BEARCATS IN THE POLLS:
The Bearcats made an appearance in all four national polls last week. UC was 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, moving from 25th to 24th and from 15th to 14th, respectively. UC received 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 helped UC to its eight-match unbeaten streak. During the streak, the Bearcats allowed just four goals and posted four shutouts. The center backs, Amir Ikner and Brad Simpson, 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 helped the group gel as the year progressed. Goalkeeper Mike Vessells solidified the backline, carrying a 0.95 goals against average and a 0.76 mark in conference matches. The defense allowed just seven goals in eight BIG EAST matches and posted shutouts against four league foes.
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 10 matches. After posting a goal and four assists in helping UC to a pair of conference wins during the week of Sept. 24, 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 34 matches.
VESSELLS MOVES UP THE CHART:
Senior goalkeeper Mike Vessells continues his ascent up the career shutouts list at UC. With six clean sheets this season, Vessells now has 14 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 0.46 GAA over the last nine 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 eight and has recorded a point in six of nine. In his last nine matches, Anaba has posted five goals and added four assists for 14 points.
HELPING ONE ANOTHER OUT:
The Bearcats is second in the BIG EAST with 26 assists. Omar Cummings leads the conference 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 299-279-57 since 1973, the first season that the university fielded a varsity team.
UC will close its regular-season schedule at Villanova for the on Saturday, Oct. 21. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.