Bearcats Topple No. 1 UConn

Sept. 16, 2005

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Omar Cummings (Old Harbour, Jamaica/Cincinnati State) scored both of the Bearcat goals in leading the University of Cincinnati men's soccer team to a 2-0 victory against BIG EAST foe Connecticut tonight in Gettler Stadium. The Bearcats improve to 3-2-0 on the year and move to 2-0-0 in conference play. UConn (4-1-0, 0-1-0), ranked No. 1 in the country by Soccer America, lost for the first time in five matches this season.

The first half was evenly played as both teams managed five shots. UConn had the early scoring chances, taking three corner kicks in the first period. Cincinnati's back line tightened, not allowing deep penetration against the quick UConn forwards.

The Huskies controlled play for much of the second half, and with momentum in their favor, seemed poised to strike first. In the early stages of the stanza, UConn saw its best scoring chance thwarted by the play of goalkeeper Mike Vessells (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin). A Huskie crossing pass slid dangerously along the top of the penalty box as UConn forward Mpho Moloi charged in with Vessells hustling out. Vessells beat Moloi to the ball and punched it out toward midfield, where it was cleared. Just moments later, Cummings put UC on top.

After a long clear by the Cincinnati defense, Cummings gathered in the loose ball just over the midfield line. He took a few dribbles into UConn territory, and seeing Huskie keeper Adam Schuerman playing near the top of the penalty box, let a shot fly from 50 yards out. His ball sailed over Schuerman's head and into the back of the net, staking UC to a 1-0 lead with 35 minutes to play.

The Bearcats settled in defensively, nursing the 1-0 lead, happy to clear the ball out of the zone any time UConn penetrated.

Cummings ended any Huskie comeback hopes with his third goal of the season, a bullet to the far post from 25 yards in the 89th minute.

Vessells earned his first shutout of the season, making two saves and improving to 3-2-0.

Senior captain Matt Hayden (Colorado Springs, Colo./Liberty) saw his first action of the season for the Bearcats. He had been suffering from a foot injury.

"I am just so happy for our team and our program. UConn is one of the best teams in the country," head coach Hylton Dayes said. "We scored two great goals. A lot of guys stepped up tonight. It was a great night for UC soccer.

"I thought our back line played extremely well. (Mike) Vessells was terrific in goal," Dayes continued. "It was a total team effort and that is what we needed against UConn."



Cincinnati will face Providence on Sept. 18 at Gettler Stadium looking to go 3-0 in BIG EAST play. The Bearcats and Friars will kick off at 1 p.m.

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