UCF Claims First American Athletic Conference Win

Sept. 28, 2013

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By Doug Richards

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CINCINNATI, Ohio (UCFKnights.com) - The first American Athletic Conference road match for the UCF men's soccer team was a success Saturday as the Knights used a pair of second-half goals to post a 2-1 victory over Cincinnati at Gettler Stadium. The victory was the first triumph in The American for the Knights (3-4-2, 1-1-0).

Omar Vallejo got the Knights on the board in the 49th minute when he took a feed from the near side and beat Alex Gill for the score. Fernando Laverde and Matthew Gaskins assisted on the score. Two minutes later, Romario Williams tallied another score for the Knights.

"It is massive," UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham said about the win. "For the first time in a few years, we dropped back-to-back matches, against tough Louisville and Charlotte teams. Our guys showed toughness and resiliency and beat a good Cincinnati team tonight. For our first league win, it was real impressive."

Williams goal was his team-best fourth of the season. Vallejo and Gaskins picked up assists on the tally.

"We played well the last two matches, but just didn't finish," Cunningham said. "Tonight we created and finished. We were a dangerous team. We capitalized on our opportunities to score."

Cincinnati moved to 2-6-1 overall and 0-2-0 in league play with the loss.

UCF was playing at Cincinnati for the first time. The Knights made their American Athletic Conference debut last Saturday, hosting No. 11 Louisville.

The Knights finished with a 17-2 shot advantage and recorded three shots on goal. UCF limited the hosts to only two shots on goal, and one shot was stopped by keeper Zach Biggs, who registered his first collegiate win. The Bearcats scored in the 73rd minute when Ashani Walker had a successful penalty kick.

"Our defensive effort was tremendous from start to finish. We had Anton Sealey back and he provided a spark. Anton and Steven (Lamberta) led the group and had a dominating performance," Cunningham said. "The defense was the catalyst that led to the attack."

UCF will return to action next Saturday at No. 22 UConn. The team's next home game is slated for Oct. 9 against league foe Memphis.



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