Knights Complete Exhibition Opener

GO KNIGHTS Gabriel Zapponi scored for the Knights at College of Charleston.
Gabriel Zapponi scored for the Knights at College of Charleston.

Aug. 14, 2012

Final Stats

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By Doug Richards

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. ( - The UCF men's soccer team opened up the preseason portion of its schedule Tuesday, facing host College of Charleston for an exhibition contest at Patriots Point. The teams played a 90-minute contest, and then a 30-minute period.

UCF dominated the 30-minute period, and tallied the lone goal of the extra session when Gabriel Zapponi scored. The Cougars had a pair of goals in the 90-minute contest.

"In the first 90 minutes, we did some things well," UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham said. "Our movement was good, but we didn't finish our chances. In the 30-minute period, our new faces came on and played exceptionally well. We dominated possession and scored on a great goal. It was good to get our new faces out there and for them to continue to learn our system of play."

The Knights finished with a 20-12 shot advantage on the day. Zapponi scored for the Knights in the 112th minute, taking a pass from Matthew Gaskins inside the box and then beating the Cougars' Alex Young for the score.

Both of College of Charleston's scores came in the second half. Francis Twohig scored off a corner kick 10 minutes into the period and seven minutes later Luke Huggett found the back of the net.

Twenty-four Knights saw action Tuesday, including 10 who were making their UCF debuts. College of Charleston returns 10 starters from its 2011 team and 80-percent of its goal scoring from a year ago.

McKauly Tulloch and Omar Vallejo both recorded four shots for the Knights, while Zapponi had three shots.

Sebastian Evers started in goal for the Knights and recorded three saves while allowing two goals.

The exhibition was the first of three in six days for the Knights. UCF will host Mercer Friday at 1 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex and then face visiting Florida Tech Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission to both matches is free.

"We have a long way to go," Cunningham said. "Our players know that and we'll return home and continue to get better."

Season tickets, which include a savings off of the single-game ticket price, are $30 and include a commemorative UCF soccer scarf. Season tickets are currently available by visiting or by calling (407) UCF-1000. The Gold Pass, which includes season tickets to all volleyball, men's and women's soccer, women's basketball, soccer and track and field contests, is also available now.



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