Undefeated Bearcats Trek to Vanderbilt, Host UC Santa Barbara for Home Opener
Aug. 28, 2014

The University of Cincinnati women's soccer team carries its perfect 2-0 record into the second week of the season. The Bearcats travel to Nashville, Tennessee on Friday to face off with Vanderbilt before returning home for their season opener against UC Santa Barbara.
Friday's match versus the Commadores is slated to kickoff at 8 p.m. ET and will be available on the SEC Network+, which can be viewed on WatchESPN if your cable/satellite provider carries the SEC Network. Contact your cable provider if you are unsure if the SEC Network is part of your television package.
Sunday's match against the Gauchos at 1 p.m. ET will be available on BearcatsTV, which features nearly all of UC's olypmic sporting events.. Fans can purchase a monthly subrsciption for $9.95 or a year-long subscription for $99.95.
The Bearcats swept the opening weekend of the 2014 season with a pair of road victories over Samford and Mississippi State. It marks only the second time (1981) in Bearcats' history that UC opened the season with two road wins.
Katy Couperus ended the 2013 season as one of the top scorers in the league, and she has continued that success in 2014. She opened the year off with a four-point weekend with one goal and two assists. Dating back to last season, Couperus has tallied two or more points in four of the last five matches. For her efforts in the opening weekend, she was named the conference player of the week by College Sports Madness and to the league's Honor Roll.
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.
Cincinnati was voted to finish sixth in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Poll after taking sixth last season with a 4-4-1 league record. Atop the league poll is the defending champion UCF, who went 8-0-1 last fall and received all but one first-place vote. The Bearcats halted UCF's perfect league record last year by recording a 1-1 draw against the Knights. Memphis (3rd) and USF (4th) are also picked ahead of UC despite the Bearcats defeating both schools last season.
The Bearcats return eight starters from last year's squad, including its top three scorers in Jae Atkinson, Couperus and Emily Elsbrock. Last season, Elsbrock was named Second Team All-American Athletic Conference and Couperus was listed on the All-Rookie Team. Natalie Smith returns in net for Cincinnati after also being named to the All-Rookie Team.
Coach Stafford adds 16 players to the roster this fall with 13 being freshmen and the other three transferring in. All three transfers (Michelle Brownlee - Central Michigan; Devyn Ciotti - Louisville; Taylor Jackson - Miami (Ohio)) along with the incoming freshmen are expected to impact the Bearcats immediately this season.
The 2014 season marks the 35th year of UC women's soccer as a varsity sport. The program began in 1980 and is the second-oldest in Ohio to Denison University. To date, Cincinnati has an overall win-loss record of 336-254-47.