Saturday Night Showdown


Oct. 31, 2013

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By Jennifer Clark
UCFKnights.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Coming off a thrilling 2-2 draw against Temple last week, the UCF men's soccer team, who is riding a seven-match unbeaten streak, will close the regular season at home Saturday when the Knights host Rutgers at 7 p.m. at UCF Soccer Complex.  

Saturday’s matchup will mark the first meeting between UCF and Rutgers. The contest will also double as senior night for Knights’ players Gabriel Zapponi, Steven Lamberta, and Omar Vallejo, who will be recognized prior to the start of play.

“It’s just been like a heavy weight battle these last few weeks in conference play," said Knights' head coach Bryan Cunningham. "The league is tremendous and there’s no nights off and Rutgers presents another challenge. They are a very good team, very well organized, good discipline, they have a very good goalkeeper and they are fighting for their lives, too. They are trying to get out of that last place game and they are good enough to do that, so we’ve got to be ready to come out to battle on Saturday night. It is our Senior night so hopefully that gives our players a little extra motivation, and hopefully we can take care of business to finish off a very good regular season for us.”

Knights’ fans can follow the action with live stats via GameTracker on UCFKnights.com and follow along by following the men’s soccer official twitter feed, @UCF_MSoccer. Tickets will be available outside the stadium prior to the game.

After their double-overtime draw against the Owls, the Knights (6-4-5, 3-1-3, The American) are currently third in The American Athletic Conference standings with 12 points. The American Championship begins next Friday, Nov. 8, in Louisville, Ky. Seeding will be determined following the league’s five remaining regular-season matches, and UCF will host a quarterfinals match on Sat., Nov. 9.

ABOUT THE KNIGHTS
• UCF is 6-4-5 overall this season, while 3-1-3 in The American Athletic Conference.
• The Knights will enter their final regular-season match with a 4-2-2 home record, which includes three double-overtime draws against FAU, William & Mary and Temple.
• UCF is currently No. 9 in the south-division of the NSCAA regional rankings.
• The Knights continue to edge the competition in goals scored per game (1.20), shot percentage (.120) and shots on goal percentage (.407).
• Forward Romario Williams ranks second in The American in points and points per game. He is currently matched with No. 1-ranked Ricardo Velazco (Louisville) with 18 points total, but is just shy in his per game average (1.20 avg/g).
• The sophomore, who leads UCF, also tops The American in goals (8), goals per game (.533/g) and game-winning goals (5).
• Senior midfielder Omar Vallejo has also found a place among the conference’s leaders. He ranks seventh in goals (5) and goals-per-game average (.333 avg/g), while 10th in total points (12) and points-per-game (.80 avg/g).
• Freshman Fernando Laverde has made an early impact, coming in at ninth in The American for his assists total (4) and assists per game average (.267 avg/g).
• Goalkeeper Sebastian Evers rounds out the Knights’ top performers as The American’s leader in goals against average (.623), while ranking second in saves (35).
• Evers also ranks fifth in shutouts per game (5, .357) and eighth in saves per game (.221).

SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS
• Rutgers is currently 5-9-2 overall and 2-4-1 in The American.
• The Scarlet Knights are 1-4 in their last five contests, dropping their last match, 1-0, to Temple.
• Rutgers owns a 1-3-1 record in away matches this season, with losses at Drexel and conference opponents Louisville and UConn.
• RU sits in eighth place in The American standings with seven points.
• Midfielder Mael Corboz leads the team in scoring with five goals and five assists for 15 points.
• The sophomore is No. 4 in The American in shots (56) and shots per game (3.50), while ranked fifth in the league in points (15) and points per game (.94 avg/g).
• With five goals to his credit and a .313 average, Coboz is among the league’s top 10 in assists (6th), assists per game (6th), goals (8th) and goals per game (8th).
• Freshman goalkeeper David Greczeck has played in each of the Scarlet Knights’ 16 games. He leads The American with 77 saves, while ranking seventh in shutouts (4).

LOOKING AHEAD
• UCF will prepare for the American Athletic Conference Championship, which will begin Fri. Nov. 8 in Louisville, Ky.
• UCF will host a quarterfinals match on Sat., Nov. 9. Times and teams will be determined later in the week and information will be posted as it becomes available.


 

 

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