Nov. 2, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jennifer Clark
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF men's soccer scored a big win in its final regular-season match. The Knights defeated Rutgers to a 2-1 victory and extended their unbeaten streak to eight games on Saturday night at UCF Soccer Complex.
With the victory, the Knights improve to 7-4-5 overall and 4-1-3 in the American Athletic Conference, while Rutgers drops to 5-10-2 (2-5-1, American). As a top-four finisher, UCF will host a quarterfinal match in The American Athletic Conference Championship on Sat., Nov. 9.
Gabriel Zapponi had a big night as the senior registered his first goal of the season when he fired straight into the back of the net in the 33rd minute off an assist from fellow senior Omar Vallejo and Mason Miller to score the Knights' opening goal (1-0).
UCF created two more scoring opportunities but was unable to convert as Rutgers' goalkeeper David Greczek registered saves on both attempts.
A damp pitch proved challenging for both teams as rain poured throughout an injury and foul-laden first half.
UCF enjoyed a short break in rain as they opened the second half with possession, but the game quickly turned physical, resulting in a caution for UCF and pair of fouls for Rutgers.
Moments later, the Knights converted an excellent scoring opportunity in the 52nd minute when Williams slotted a pass from Matthew Gaskins for his ninth goal of the season, putting UCF ahead 2-0.
Williams nearly scored again in the 56th minute on a break away, but the opportunity was halted mid-play when UCF received an offside call.
Both teams traded shots until Rutgers moved a low ball into the net for a key scoring opportunity in the 76th minute, but came up short against UCF goalkeeper Sebastian Evers, who registered his best save of the night.
The Scarlet Knights redeemed their missed opportunity in the 88th minute when redshirt-sophomore JP Correa collected a beautiful pass from senior Kene Eze to put Rutgers on the board, but the effort would fall short as UCF took the final regular-season victory.
Notes: UCF goalkeeper Sebastian Evers and Rutgers keeper David Greczek registered four saves apiece. Senior Omar Vallejo registered his third assist of the season, while Mason Miller recorded his first with Gabriel Zapponi's opening goal.