Sep 4, 2013
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. This past Sunday, the Bearcats' offense awoke and netted four goals, which had not happened since Sept. 11, 2011 versus Coastal Carolina (W, 4-0). A pair of UC's goals came off two of the team's 12 corner kicks, which is tied for the second most in program history for a single game. Jae Atkinson paced the Bearcats' offense, which saw four different goal scorers, with three points (1g-1a).
2. The Bearcats' Friday night meeting versus Long Beach State will be the first in program history. The 49ers are 1-2-0 this season and are coming off a 3-2 upset of No. 23 Texas Tech. Long Beach State is led offensively by freshman Mimi Rangel, who has two goals this season and netted the game-winning goal versus the Red Raiders with three seconds remaining in the second half.
3. Cincinnati and UC Santa Barbara square off for the third time in program history but for the first time in over 20 years. The two first met in the opening round of the 1986 NCAA Tournament with UCSB grabbing a 1-0 win, and the second came in 1990 with the Gauchos winning 3-1. UCSB is 1-2-1 on the year with their lone victory coming in the season opener versus Fresno State. Senior Allie Ariniello leads the Gauchos' offense with three goals on the year. The Gauchos play host to Pacific on Friday, Sept. 6. before playing UC.
4. UC has one of the youngest starting 11 in the country as they start at least eight underclassmen each game. Depending on the goalkeeper situation, there could be as many as nine underclassmen if redshirt freshman Natalie Smith is given the nod in net. Four players (Kelly Latimer, Madison Melnick, Kayla Utley and Bailey Wilson) have logged 300 or more minutes thus far with three of them being freshmen (Melnick, Utley, Wilson).
5. Cincinnati's head coach, Neil Stafford, is in his first year at the helm. Stafford, who is the fifth head coach in program history, comes to UC after serving as the head coach at Central Michigan, where he was at the helm for two seasons and posted a record of 30-10-4. Last season, the Chippewas earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, which was the first ever for the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Stafford also coached eight years at Assumption College where he became the school's all-time winningest coach with a record of 72-61-15.