Women's Soccer Set For Northwestern Tournament
Emily Hebbeler

Aug. 25, 2011

Game Notes | Live Audio/Video of Northwestern match | GameTracker for Loyola match

EVANSTON, Ill. - The University of Cincinnati women's soccer team traveled to the greater Chicago area Thursday to play in the Northwestern Tournament at Lakeside Stadium.

Cincinnati's (1-1-0) first match is slated for an 8:30 p.m. ET Friday kickoff against Northwestern (0-1-0), followed by a 1 p.m. ET match Sunday vs. Loyola University Chicago (2-0-0).

"We're excited to be heading to Chicago to face two very good opponents," said Michelle Salmon, UC head coach.

Cincinnati is coming off a 1-1 opening weekend where it fell to California Polytechnic State University 2-1 on Friday, before bouncing back to defeat cross-town rival Xavier University for the fifth consecutive season 1-0 on Sunday.

Freshman midfielder Mackenzie Grause (Ft. Thomas, Ky./Highlands) scored her first collegiate goal in the season opener vs. Cal-Poly, while senior forward Emily Hebbeler(Park Hills, Ky./Notre Dame Academy), last year's leading goal scorer, provided the game-winner against Xavier.

For the second year in a row, UC will play Big Ten Conference foe, Northwestern. In 2010, Cincinnati and NU played to a 0-0 draw on Aug. 27 at the Wisconsin Tournament in Madison, Wis.

The Wildcats present another early season challenge for the Bearcats. In their first match of the season, the Wildcats fell to No. 12 Marquette University 1-0 in overtime Sunday in Milwaukee, Wis.

NU finished 2010 with a 6-10-3 overall record, including a 2-7-1 mark in conference play. The Wildcats return their top goal scorer from '10, sophomore forward Kate Allen, who last season was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team after she totaled six goals, one assist and 13 points.

"Last year we tied Northwestern, so we know they're a well-coached team and a very talented group of players. They have a special player in Kate Allen," Salmon said.

The Bearcats have shown a tremendous attack on the season so far, outshooting their opponents 40-15. They also own a 21-5 advantage in corner kicks.

Salmon wants her to see her team continue its relentless play this weekend.

"Our approach is the same every match; which is to play very sound on defense and very aggressive on the attack," Salmon said.

After facing NU on Friday, the Bearcats will turn their focus to the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (2-0-0), who recorded an undefeated weekend after winning home matches vs. Bowling Green and Gonzaga.

First-year head coach Barry Bimbi inherited a Loyola team that returned it top four goal scorers from last season.

"Under a first-year head coach, I know they're going to be organized, determined and motivated and we look forward to facing a very good Loyola team," said Salmon.

The Ramblers' leading scorer with four goals in 2010, junior midfielder Kristin Papierski, did not play in Loyola's first two matches this season as she recovers from spring knee surgery and is not expected to play against the Bearcats on Sunday.