Oct. 29, 2011
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By Doug Richards
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 9 UCF men's soccer team scored a late goal but it was not enough Saturday evening as host Memphis held on for a 3-2 victory over the Knights at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The Knights (9-3-3, 3-2-1 Conference USA) now have two regular-season matches remaining.
The Tigers, who improved to 11-4-1 overall and 4-3-0 in league play, received a pair of goals early and then added another score in the second half. Trailing 3-1, UCF got within a goal in the 80th minute when sophomore Steven Lamberta (Temecula, Calif.) scored. A minute later, junior A.J. Nelson (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) nearly tied the contest, but his shot was stopped by the Tigers' Conor Hurley.
Memphis totaled 18 shots, while the Knights recorded 10 on a chilly evening in Tennessee. The contest was played with temperatures in the mid-50s.
"Give all the credit to Memphis tonight. They executed well in every facet of the game," UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham said. "I told our guys we got outworked and outplayed. We need to regroup and get ready to play another tough team in South Carolina Tuesday."
The Knights were playing their second road contest of the week. On Tuesday the squad faced host Stetson. Five of UCF's last six matches came on the road.
Mark Sherrod, who is among the national leaders in goals, scored twice for the Tigers. He got the hosts on the board at the 15-minute mark and then added another tally in the 58th minute. Sherrod also assisted on J.J. Greer's goal in the 24th minute.
UCF junior Nik Robson (Bucklands Beach, New Zealand) cut the deficit to one goal in the 30th minute when he scored off a feed from senior Cameron Cooksey (Marietta, Ga.). The score was the eight of the year for Robson, and his fourth in the last three games.
Lamberta gave the Knights hope late when he scored from 10 yards out on a goal that was assisted by junior Malcolm Reed (Summerville, S.C.).
Making his third-straight start, redshirt freshman Sebastian Evers (Miami, Fla.) totaled three saves for the Knights. Evers, Robson, Lamberta and senior Kevan George (Roxborough, Trinidad) and junior Andrew Quintana (Miami, Fla.) all played 90 minutes against the Tigers.
Hurley recorded five saves in the winning effort. Four of his stops came in the second half.
UCF will return to action Tuesday when it hosts South Carolina for a league contest at 4 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex. The contest against the Gamecocks was originally slated for October, but was postponed due to heavy rains.