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KICKOFF:The University of Cincinnati men's soccer team will look to get back on the winning track against a pair of BIG EAST Red Division rivals this week. On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the Bearcats will travel to USF to take on the No. 22 Bulls at 7:30 p.m. UC then returns to Gettler Stadium for a 7 p.m. tilt on Oct. 27 against Villanova.
UC, in defense of its 2006 BIG EAST Red Division Championship, holds a 3-4-1 BIG EAST mark and sits in seventh place in the Red Division with 10 points.
UC has lost three straight, being shut out in all three contests.
The Bearcats are 5-1-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents 14-3.
Head coach Hylton Dayes is in his seventh season at UC, holding a 61-52-19 record with the Bearcats and a 157-137-38 mark as a head coach.
UC was picked to finish fourth in the Red Division in the BIG EAST preseason coaches poll.
Senior defender Amir Ikner was named to the preseason all-BIG EAST team after earning all-BIG EAST second team and NSCAA/adidas all-Great Lakes honors in 2006.
UC's eight-member recruiting class was ranked No. 26 by CollegeSoccerNews.com.
LAST TIME OUT:
UC dropped its third straight BIG EAST match, falling 2-0 against St. John's at Gettler Stadium on Oct. 20. The Red Storm got on the board in the second minute of action after a miscommunication between UC goalkeeper Miguel Rosales and defender Amir Ikner. St. John's added a goal late as the Bearcats were pushed forward.
SCOUTING THE BULLS:
USF is 9-3-2 overall and 4-3-2 in conference play, three points ahead of the Bearcats.
The Bulls split BIG EAST matches last weekend, handing DePaul a 2-0 win at home and falling, 3-1, at Rutgers.
Simon Schoendorf leads the Bulls in goals (6), assists (8) and points (20).
USF has outscored its opponents, 28-12, this season and holds a 5-1-0 home record.
Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo has played every minute in goal for the Bulls, holding a 0.81 goals against average with six shutouts.
Head coach George Kiefer is 59-35-13 in his sixth season at USF.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS:
The Wildcats are 9-6-0 with a 4-4-0 mark in league play, two points ahead of the Bearcats entering the week.
Mike Seamon leads Villanova with six goals and 14 points.
Four players are tied for the team lead with two assists.
Goalkeeper Jason Friel has seen the bulk of the minutes in goal, holding a 1.01 goals against average and posting six shutouts.
Head coach Larry Sullivan is 113-161-28 in his 17th season at Villanova.
CINCINNATI STATE CONNECTION:
Patrick Baxter and Scott Stockum, both former Cincinnati State standouts, have made the transition to Division I soccer look easy. Baxter, a senior, was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week and earned a spot on the CollegeSoccerNews.com National Team of the Week on Sept. 24 after scoring three goals and adding an assist in UC's weekend sweep of Georgetown and Seton Hall. Stockum, a junior, is third on the team with six points, posting two goals and three assists in 10 matches this season. The pair followed an all-time Bearcat great from Cincinnati State, Omar Cummings, who earned a pair of unanimous all-BIG EAST first-team honors and the first first-team all-America award in UC men's soccer history in 2006.
FRESH FACE IN GOAL:
Freshman goalkeeper Miguel Rosales has started all but the first match of the season in goal for the Bearcats, posting his first career shutout against Xavier on Sept. 13. A two-time Colorado Player of the Year as a prep star at Smoky Hill High School, Rosales has posted 50 saves and a 0.90 goals against average. He was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week on Sept. 24.
FROM THE RANKS:
UC is 1-2-1 this season against ranked teams. UC defeated No. 25 DePaul, 1-0, on Oct. 6 and played No. 2 Notre Dame to a 1-1 draw in South Bend on Sept. 28. The Bearcats dropped a 1-0 decision at No. 24 New Mexico on Sept. 9 and fell, 1-0, at No. 25 Louisville on Oct. 17.
ANABA AT IT AGAIN:
Senior forward Kenny Anaba scored a pair of goals in UC's season opener on Aug. 31. He added two more against Xavier on Sept. 13. The team's leading goal-scorer each of the last two seasons, Anaba is ascending the career records list at UC. With his seven goals this season, Anaba is eighth in school history with 23 tallies. He is also eighth with 58 career points (23 G, 12 A).
A HELPING HAND:
Lionel Jackson has posted a career-best six assists through the first 14 matches of the 2007 campaign. The Bearcats' primary weapon on corner kicks and set pieces, the junior left back leads the squad in helpers and ranks sixth in the BIG EAST.
CENTERS OF ATTENTION:
UC's pair of center backs, senior Amir Ikner and junior Brad Simpson, form one of the top defensive duos in the BIG EAST. Ikner, a preseason all-BIG EAST selection, has scored one goal and added a pair of assists while Simpson is fifth on the team with five points (1G, 3A). Simpson scored the goal in UC's 1-1 draw at No. 2 Notre Dame. The pair have helped the Bearcats to a 0.90 goals against average and two shutouts in conference play.
The Bearcats host out-of-conference foe Michigan State on Halloween (Oct. 31) at 4 p.m. The final regular season match will be at Rutgers on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.