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Men's Soccer: Year In Review




The reputation and strength of Cincinnati's men's soccer program continued to grow in 1999 as the Bearcats posted an 11-8-1 record and received the team's highest recognition on the regional and national level.

Bearcats Collect First NSCAA Top 25 Ranking
After an undefeated preseason exhibition tour of Scotland, UC began the year with a seven-game unbeaten streak that included wins over seventh-ranked Connecticut (2-1) and No. 24 South Florida (2-1). The streak broke the Bearcats' record for the longest unbeaten streak in a season as well as helped UC secure its first-ever National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top 25 ranking on Sept. 13. The team moved as high as 15th in the nation's premier poll a week later after capturing the Hartwick Tournament with wins over Fordham (7-1) and Hartwick (2-1). Cincinnati was also ranked in the NSCAA Mideast Region poll throughout the season and spent a majority of the year as one of the region's top-five teams.

After a 1-0 loss to No. 5 Saint Louis on Oct. 3, the Bearcats struggled. The team went 3-5 in October, losing to Conference USA rivals Memphis (1-0), Marquette (2-1) and UAB (3-2).

UC Enters Conference Tournament With Confidence
Facing possible elimination from the conference tournament, the Bearcats re-focused and entered the championship tournament with confidence after defeating Michigan State, 5-2, on Nov. 6 at home. With their 3-5 C-USA record, the Bearcats entered the tournament as the sixth seed and faced Marquette in the first round. After a slow start, the Bearcats regrouped in the second half as defender Andrew Kean tied the match and midfielder Ryan Scheck scored the winner to advance the team to the semifinals for the first time in three years.

Against Saint Louis, Cincinnati came out strong. Forward Myron Vaughn scored less than two minutes into the match to give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead. The Billikens tied the game twenty minutes later as the teams went to the lockerroom at halftime locked at one goal each. In the second half, Saint Louis scored first while Vaughn tied the game with less than 10 minutes left in regulation. After three periods of sudden-death overtime, Saint Louis ended the game as the Bearcats' season with a goal three minutes into the fourth overtime period.

Kean Sweeps Post Season Awards
Junior captain Andrew Kean collected a majority of the Bearcats' post-season awards in 1999. The Scotland native was named C-USA's Defensive Player of the Year and was chosen as a first-team all-conference selection. He was also named a third-team NSCAA All-American and was placed on the All-Ohio and All-Mideast squads. Kean was unquestionably the team's top defender in 1999 as he helped hold UC opponents to just over one goal a game (1.01).

Senior goalkeeper Jake Witkowski joined Kean on the All-Ohio and All-Mideast teams while Ryan Scheck was named to the All-Ohio squad. Joining Kean, Witkowski and Scheck on the all-conference team were senior Johan Cedergren and freshman Scott Lyons and Anders Cedergren.

Bearcats Put In Most Overtime In C-USA
Eight of UC's 20 games in 1999 went to overtime, the most in C-USA. The Bearcats went 3-4-1 during that span. Cincinnati also had the most one-goal matches in the conference as they played in 13 games. The team was 7-6 in games decided by one goal.

Schreck Becomes Scoring Leader
In the Bearcats' final six games, Ryan Schreck had five goals and one assist, including the game-winner against Marquette to give UC it's first conference tournament win since 1996. Schreck, who had 10 points (four goals and two assists) during the month of October, finished the season as the team's leading scorer. Schreck had nine goals and four assists in 1999 as well as four game-winning goals.

 

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