Aug. 14, 2014
The University of Cincinnati women's soccer is one week into the preseason schedule as they reported to camp on Aug. 5. The Bearcats will get their first live action on Friday as they host Valparaiso for an exhibition at Gettler Stadium at 5 p.m.
UC officially kicks off the 2014 season on Aug. 22 in Birmingham, Ala. against Samford. The Bearcats' first home match is slated for Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. versus UC Santa Barbara.
Below are a few important numbers to know prior to the opening kickoff of the 2014 season.
1 The Bearcats went 4-4-1 in American Athletic Conference play last season. In all four of those losses, UC lost by just one goal, including two overtime defeats.
2 Neil Stafford begins his second season as the Bearcats head coach this fall. Last season, he guided Cincinnati to an 8-11-1 record, which is a four win improvement from the 2012 season. It was just the fourth time in the last 10 seasons that UC tallied eight or more wins in a season and only the second time to achieve four or more league wins.
8 Cincinnati returns eight starters from last year’s squad. Those starters include the top three scorers in Jae Atkinson, Katy Couperus and Emily Elsbrock, who was named Second Team All-American Athletic Conference. Another returner of note is starting goalkeeper Natalie Smith, who was on the league’s All-Rookie Team with Couperus.
16 The Bearcats add 16 players to its roster this fall. 13 of the newcomers are freshmen, while the other three are transfers that attended high school in the Cincinnati area. Michelle Brownlee is a junior transfer from Central Michigan, and she graduated high school from Middletown. Devyn Ciotti, who went to Lakota West, comes to UC after playing the last three seasons at Louisville. Taylor Jackson returns to Cincinnati after playing her freshman season at Miami (Ohio).
35 The 2014 season marks the 35th year of UC women’s soccer. Since the program’s first season in 1980, the Bearcats have an overall record of 334-254-47.
81.4 UC returns 81.4% of its offense from last season, including the top three scorers. Atkinson led the team with 16 points. Couperus and Elsbrock followed closely with 15 and 14 points.