2012 Review: Memorable Moments

GO KNIGHTS Ben Hunt helped the Knights post a 1-0 win over No. 17 SMU on Oct. 14 in Orlando.
Ben Hunt helped the Knights post a 1-0 win over No. 17 SMU on Oct. 14 in Orlando.

Nov. 27, 2012

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By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The 2012 campaign was filled with memorable moments for the UCF men's soccer team. The Knights excelled in Conference USA play, when it posted a 5-3 mark and finished third in the league standings.

Here is a look back at UCF's top moments from the year:

5. Scoring Early and Often
The Knights scored early and often in a 4-0 victory at North Florida on Sept. 29. Playing on the road for the fifth time in seven matches to start the season, UCF had four different players score against the Ospreys. Deshorn Brown got the offense going with a goal in the seventh minute and McKauly Tulloch, Romario Williams and Malcolm Reed all added scores. The shutout win was the first of the season for the Knights.

4. Taming the Wildcats
Needing a victory to stay in the mix for a spot in the Conference USA Championship, the Knights picked up a huge 1-0 win at Kentucky on Halloween. Omar Vallejo scored the game-winning goal in the 40th minute and Sebastian Evers recorded nine saves in the win. UCF snapped a four-game winning streak for the Wildcats, who were receiving votes in the national polls at the time of the match. The Knights hung on despite a strong offensive effort from Kentucky. The Wildcats recorded 23 shots for the game, with 14 coming in the second half, and Evers had six saves after the break.

3. Knocking Off Nationally Ranked SMU
UCF's most impressive win of the year came on Oct. 14 when the host Knights blanked No. 17 SMU for a 1-0 Conference USA win. Behind a strong defensive effort and a goal from Steven Lamberta, UCF snapped the Mustangs' nine-match unbeaten streak and handed the Mustangs their first loss since Sept. 2. Lamberta recorded the game-winning goal in the 68th minute when he corralled a loose ball in the box, turned and fired the ball into the back of the net. UCF limited the Mustangs to seven shots, with only two on goal, which were both stopped by Sebastian Evers. SMU's best scoring opportunity on the night came in the 79th minute when Brenden Lee dribbled past Evers and crossed the ball into the empty box, but Ben Hunt made a solid defensive play and knocked the ball away.

2. A Thriller
On Oct. 24, UCF treated its home fans to a thrilling 4-3 double-overtime win over Memphis. The Knights overcame a two-goal deficit in the second half to post the incredible league victory. Deshorn Brown recorded a hat trick in the second half for the Knights, who claimed the victory in the 100th minute when Omar Vallejo netted the game-winning goal. UCF was behind 3-1 with 20 minutes left in regulation.

1. An Improbable Win
Senior Eduardo Jimenez picked the right time to score his first goal of the season on Nov. 3. With only three seconds remaining in regulation, Jimenez scored to the give the Knights a 1-0 victory over host Marshall in their regular-season finale, earning UCF a spot in the Conference USA Championship. With only 10 seconds left, Omar Vallejo sent a corner kick into the box, and after the ball was deflected, Jimenez fired a shot past Marshall keeper Daniel Withrow to give UCF the improbable victory. "That was one of the best college soccer games that I have been a part of," UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham said after the match.