Aug. 24, 2011
Read John Denton's Knights Insider |
Follow us on Twitter |
Get social with the Knights on Facebook
By Jordean Matthews
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2010, the UCF men's soccer team has gained the confidence and exposure it needs to enter into the 2011 season.
For the seniors, this year marks the final stint of their collegiate careers as they open the regular season Friday night at Jacksonville.
"I am really excited (to start the season) for Spencer, myself, Kevan, Chris and Warren this is our last year," forward Cameron Cooksey (Marietta, Ga.) said. "Chris, Spencer, Kevan and I have all been here for four years with Coach (Bryan) Cunningham. We came in his second year and it has been a big process building up. We weren't too great the first few years, but this last year we did really well and we're looking forward to doing so again."
Cooksey is one of five seniors on this year's roster including midfielders Soccer America's Preseason All-America Warren Creavalle (Acworth, Ga.), Chris Feigenbaum (Fayetteville, Ga.), Kevan George (Decatur, Ga.) and defender Spencer Scott (Palm City, Fla.).
George and Creavalle were both members of the All-Conference USA First Team in 2010 and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Performance Subaru All-South Region First and Third Teams. They were also ranked in the Men's Soccer Top 100 by TopDrawerSoccer.com coming in at No. 37 and No. 45, respectively.
The Knights are looking forward to the 2011 season with hopes of continuing on from last season's success. With the start of the regular season beginning shortly, UCF wants to start it off on the right foot. The team's main focuses are cutting down on mistakes and capitalizing on every scoring opportunity.
"We are excited about all the games this season," Scott said. "We just take them all one day at a time and try not to look too far ahead so right now we are excited about Jacksonville and how that will go.
The hard work ethic that Cunningham has instilled in his team over the years has added to their experiences here at UCF. The journey over the years, however not always rewarding, has made for a humble yet focused group of young men.
As seniors, they have helped build this program into something generations after them can be proud of. Being on the road and having to put aside time to study has helped them grow up quickly and learn the tools needed to be successful out in the real world.
"We have missed a ton of school but we have also learned a lot as far as time management and self-discipline," Scott added. "My advice for the younger guys and incoming freshmen is to just listen to coach and use all the coaches as resources."
Having been on the team for a few years, these players have seen how much the overall chemistry of the team and their style of play has gotten better. Heading into the season these Knights plan to continue working hard and trying to get better every single day.