UCF Prepped for Postseason Opener Against Memphis


Nov. 7, 2013

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By Jennifer Clark
UCFKnights.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF men's soccer team closed its regular season with a 2-1 victory over Rutgers on Nov. 2, extending its unbeaten streak to eight games and positioning the Knights as the No. 3 seed heading into the American Athletic Conference Championship. UCF will host No. 6 Memphis in the opening round this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The quarterfinal match will be played at UCF Soccer Complex prior to the UCF's home football game vs. Houston, and admission is FREE. Fans can follow the action live via Gametracker at UCFKnights.com and by following the men's soccer twitter feed @UCF_MSoccer.

"We have a tremendous amount of respect for Memphis," UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham said. "They're very well-coached. They play to their system and they play to their strengths. We've some great battles with them in the last few years, including in the quarterfinals a couple of years ago in a 4-3 thriller. I expect this game to be no less exciting."

Cunningham emphasized the importance of Saturday's match for both teams saying, "Memphis has their backs against the wall. Not only is it a must-win for this tournament, but it's also a must-win in terms of fighting for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Both of us are very similar RPIs and every win matters right now. I'm sure they're coming in here with the same mentality, that they've got to win. They're going to go for it and that's what we're going to do."

"We've been very good at home this year," remarked Cunningham. "We had a couple hiccups early in the season at home, but after that I think we settled down. We're here and hopefully we have a good atmosphere with everything else going on this weekend and the fans come out and support what these gentleman have done. We haven't dropped a game since the third week in September and it's kind of going unnoticed. I hope some people recognize what we're doing here and how hard it is to do what we're doing and come out and support us because we'll need all the help we can get."

ABOUT THE KNIGHTS
• The Knights, who have not seen a loss since late September, are riding an eight-match unbeaten streak.
• UCF enters the conference tournament at 7-4-5 overall and 4-1-3 in league play.
• At home, the Knights have a 5-2-2 record and have not lost in Orlando since hosting Louisville on Sept. 21.
• Offensively, UCF is led by sophomore Romario Williams. The team's leading scorer found the back of the net nine times in just nine of the Knights' 16 regular-season matches.
• UCF owns a 3-2 record in its last five regular-season meetings with Memphis and is 6-5-1 all-time vs. the Tigers.
• The Tigers and Knights played a close contest in Orlando on Oct. 9, when Romario Williams scored the deciding goal on a free kick in the 49th minute, sealing UCF's 1-0 victory.
• In their last postseason meeting, the Knights defeated the Tigers in a 4-3 overtime victory at the 2011 Conference USA quarters.
• UCF and Memphis are closely ranked in the latest NCAA standings released on Nov. 4, coming in at 56th and 62nd, respectively.
• The Knights boast a pair of nationally ranked players in Romario Williams and Sebastian Evers. Williams ranks in the NCAA's top 50 in goals (T-23), goals per game (29) and points per game (43).
• Evers is among the NCAA's top 20 players in goals against average (15) and save percentage (20).

SCOUTING MEMPHIS
• The Tigers have a 3-4-1 away record with losses coming at Cal State Northridge, UConn, Temple and in their Oct. 9 match at UCF.
• Memphis completed its regular season on Oct. 26 with a 2-1 home loss to No. 1 Louisville.
• Mark Sherrod is ranked second in The American in shots (58), while sitting in fifth place in points (14), points per game (.93) and goals (6).
• Liam Collins finished the regular season as The American's No. 4 assists leader (7). • Three Tigers have recorded a pair of game-winning goals this season: Shane Keely, Jordan Klipsch and Fakhry Khulfan.

LOOKING AHEAD
• The winner of today's match will face either No. 7 SMU (3-11-2, 2-4-2 American) or No. 2 UConn (9-2-5, 4-0-5 American) in the semifinals on Nov. 15 at 8:30 p.m.
• The ESPN3-televised championship is set for Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
• Both the semifinals and championship will be played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

PARKING ADVISORY
To accommodate the UCF vs. Houston football game at Brighthouse Networks Stadium, UCF will provide alternate parking on game day. Fans who are attending the men's soccer match will be permitted to park in Garage H for $20 dollars or free of charge in red and blue zones shown above. A full-sized parking map is available to view/print at UCFGameday.com.


 

 

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