Aug. 24, 2014
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By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF senior Tatiana Coleman helped lift the No. 19/23 women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over the Miami Hurricanes on a scorching Sunday afternoon at the UCF Soccer Complex.
The Knights (1-0) started off the season perfectly, albeit a couple days later than expected after Friday night's road match at Florida Gulf Coast was canceled due to lightning.
Sunday's elements once again were against the squad, this time in the form of unrelenting heat that reached 106 degrees by game's end.
"We definitely did grind it out. Fortunately we came on the winning side." UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "I don't like to make a lot of excuses but today was pretty brutal. I'm just glad that we were able to mentally stay strong and keep it together and get the W, and that's what matters at the end of the day."
UCF drew a corner in the 30th minute, allowing Jennifer Martin to find Sophie Howard about five yards in front of the net. Her header was blocked, but Coleman was there to pick up the rebound and put the Knights on the board, 1-0.
In the 52nd minute, Coleman struck again after defender Karoline Heinze played a ball into freshman Hannah DeBose, who dropped it into the box where Miami keeper Emily Lillard met midfielder Ashley Spivey and Coleman. Spivey was able to direct the ball to Coleman for the eventual game-winner.
"I'm just trying to do what's best for my team, and wherever I need to be, I'm going to be," Coleman said. "I am going to work my tail off to be where my teammates need me and that worked out for me today. It was a hot one, it was hard for us to get started but once we started getting those goals, I could tell my team started gaining confidence."
Miami managed to sneak one past UCF keeper Connie Organ in an odd turn of events after the Hurricanes drew a free kick in Knights' territory. Lillard's kick slipped through Organ's fingertips and into the back of the net in the 63rd minute.
UCF continued its offensive attack until the end, and Coleman nearly completed the hat trick with a laser in the 87th minute that Lillard saved. UCF stayed unbeaten over the Canes over the last five meetings and remained undefeated on its home turf against its in-state rival since 2005.
The Knights head to Texas to face ninth-ranked Texas A&M on Friday at 9 p.m. ET and TCU on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
UCF soccer is presented by Napleton's Volkswagen. Season tickets are now available for $30, good for one-general admission seat to all 2014 regular season home matches. As a bonus, season-ticket holders will also receive a special soccer scarf. The GOLD Pass, which includes one general admission seat for all home men's soccer, women's soccer, volleyball, softball, women's basketball and track & field events, is available for $90. For more information on how to purchase tickets, visit UCFKnights.com or call 407-UCF-1000.