Men's Soccer Opens NCAA Tournament at Northwestern

Nov. 9, 2006

  • Game Notes
  • Tournament Bracket
  • Senior MF Sam Miller Interview
  • Senior GK Mike Vessels Interview
  • Head Coach Hylton Dayes Interview
  • Sign Up for CATSVision All-Access!
  • Get Your Bearcats Gear Here!


       The University of Cincinnati men's soccer team will play on in 2006, as the Bearcats open NCAA Tournament action on Friday, Nov. 10, at Northwestern.  The first round match will kick off at 1 p.m. CT from the Leonard B. Thomas Athletic Complex.



    • The Bearcats won the BIG EAST Red Division and hold a 11-5-2 overall record and 7-3-1 mark in conference play.  UC has won nine of its last 12 matches (9-2-1).

    • UC is making its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament.  The Bearcats lost 1-0 in overtime at Butler in 1998 and played Kentucky to a scoreless draw before falling in penalty kicks in 2003.

    • UC has outscored its opponents, 20-8, during its last 11 matches and has outshot its foes, 203-102 during that span.

    • Forward Omar Cummings (unanimous first team), forward Kenny Anaba (second team) and defender Amir Ikner (second team) were named to the All-BIG EAST teams.

    • Goalkeeper Mike Vessells posted his seventh shutout of the season against DePaul and moved into a tie for second place on UC's all-time list with his 15th career clean sheet.  He has lowered his goals against average to 0.95 on the season by posting a 0.57 GAA over the last 12 matches.

    • Cummings has recorded a point in seven of his last 13 matches.  He is second in the BIG EAST with nine assists, including eight in conference play and has tallied six goals.

    • Anaba scored the game-winner, his fifth of the season, against Villanova on Oct. 21.  He has scored a team-leading seven goals and added five assists for 19 points this season.

    • 13 different Bearcats have recorded points for UC this season.

    • UC secured the 300th win in program history against DePaul on Oct. 18.  The Bearcats are 301-279-57 in 33-plus years of soccer.

    • 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 2006 UC 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 57-42-17 mark.  He picked up his 150th career victory against Oakland.



    • Started a program-best 7-1 this season and earned a No. 14 national ranking in Sept ., the highest in program history.

    • Defeated Ohio State for the first time in 13 years.

    • Four All-Big Ten performers: Brad North (First Team), David Roth (First Team), Carl Pett (Second Team, All-Freshman Team), Mark Blades (All-Freshman Team).

    • Pett led the Big Ten in assists and Roth ranked in the top three in goals and points.

    • Defeated four top-40 RPI teams in UC Irvine, Hofstra, Ohio State and Northern Illinois.



       The Bearcats and Wildcats will meet for the first time in their histories.  UC has not played a Big Ten team since 2000, defeating Wisconsin, 2-1 in overtime in Cincinnati.



       The Bearcats are making their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2006, after last appearing in 2003.  UC played Kentucky to a scoreless draw before falling in penalty kicks in 2003.  The Bearcats also dropped a 1-0 overtime decision at Butler in the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1998.



       Seniors Mike Dwyer, Sam Miller, Kwame Sarkodie and Mike Vessells are making their second trip to the NCAA Championships.  Miller and Sarkodie each played in the Nov. 22, 2003 match against Kentucky, while Mike Dwyer and Mike Vessells were on the squad.  Those four are the only Bearcats to be a part of multiple NCAA Tournament teams.



       Despite the offensive firepower on the Bearcats roster, it has been the defense that helped UC win nine of its last 12 matches.  During the streak, the Bearcats have allowed just seven goals and posted five shutouts.  Goalkeeper Mike Vessells has solidified the backline, carrying a 0.95 goals against average and a 0.70 mark in conference matches.  The defense has allowed just eight goals in 11 BIG EAST matches and posted shutouts against four league foes.



       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 six of his last 10 and has recorded a point in eight of 11.  In his last 11 matches, Anaba has posted six goals and added five assists for 17 points.



       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 is second in the BIG EAST with nine assists and has recorded a point in seven of his last 12 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 42 career points in 36 matches.



       Senior goalkeeper Mike Vessells continues his ascent up the career shutouts list at UC.  With seven clean sheets this season, Vessells now has 15 career shutouts, which is tied for second on the career list.  He has lowered his goals against average to 0.95 by posting a 0.57 GAA over the last 12 matches.



       The Bearcats finished the regular season leading the BIG EAST with 31 assists.  Omar Cummings was second in the conference with nine, while Kenny Anaba recorded five and Lionel Jackson, Brad Simpson and Mike Dwyer added three apiece.  Ten different Bearcats have assisted on goals this season and eight have recorded more than one assist.


    UP NEXT:

       The winner will move on to play No. 11 national seed Saint Louis on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Robert R. Hermann Stadium at 7 p.m. CT.