Sept. 12, 2008
Box Score in PDF Format
ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF women's soccer team stretched its unbeaten streak to five matches by defeating Illinois State, 2-1, Friday at the UCF Soccer Complex. Junior Hanna Wilde (Westlake, Ohio) scored the game-winner in the 73rd minute and added an assist to help the Knights move to 4-1-1 on the season.
"We were kind of up and down tonight as far as our rhythm and attack are concerned," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "When we had the ball and were making them chase, I thought we looked very good. And Hanna played well. She was so crafty on the ball and created opportunities for herself. But Illinois State is a hard-working defensive team and their midfielder (Raquel Rattray) is a very good player. They made it hard for us to find our forwards at times so we needed to use the width of the field more, and in the second half I think we did a better job of that."
For Wilde, it was her first multi-point game since picking up three points against Tulsa last season. Meanwhile, junior Courtney Whidden (Palm Harbor, Fla.) tallied her first goal of the year when she put UCF up 1-0 in the first half. In net, freshman Aline Reis (Campinas, Brazil) made four saves to secure the victory.
Wilde spent the majority of the opening minutes of the match sending crossing passes into the box from her position on the left flank. However, each time a Redbird defender was there to keep UCF from getting off a shot.
Wilde continued to put pressure on the ISU backs, and an eventual corner kick would pay off. As junior Becca Thomas (Burlington, Wash.) played it over to Wilde in the 28th minute, the midfielder delivered a cross right to freshman Katie Jackson (Satellite Beach, Fla.) about eight yards out. She in turn found Whidden near the goal line on the right side and she easily put it behind keeper Katie Grill-Donovan for the 1-0 lead.
Natalie McCabe provided Illinois State with its first opportunity in the opening frame, evading the Knight defense and ripping a shot from 20 yards out in front with 9:44 remaining. But Reis was in perfect position to make her first save of the night. Four minutes later, Afton Delvecchio reeled off a shot from almost the same distance and this time Reis had to go high to redirect the ball over the cross bar.
Reis needed to make a tough save again when the second half kicked off, stoning Ammanda Wisniewski from point-blank range. A free kick, though, enabled ISU to get a clear shot at the net in the 68th minute, and Mel Routledge took advantage by placing a low-liner into the left corner to even things at one apiece.
The Knights did not suffer a letdown after the Redbird goal. Just 5:01 later, junior Nikki Moore (Virginia Beach, Va.) gathered possession down the right side, saw an opening and sent a cross to Wilde. Her shot was originally stopped by Grill-Donovan, only the rebound barely trickled over the goal line and the Black and Gold was able to celebrate.
UCF continues its three-match homestand with a clash against No. 17 Illinois Sunday at 12 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.
Illinois State (3-4-0) - 1
UCF (4-1-1) - 2
Goals: UCF Courtney Whidden (1) 28th, ISU Mel Routledge (1) 68th, UCF Hanna Wilde (1) 73rd
-UCF currently has a 4-0-1 record in its last five contests.
-The Knights also had a lengthy unbeaten streak in 2007, going nine-straight matches without a loss (6-0-3).
-Friday marked the first meeting between UCF and Illinois State.
-UCF finished with a 15-10 lead in shots and a 5-4 edge in corner kicks.
-On Courtney Whidden's first-half goal, Katie Jackson notched her first collegiate assist in her young career. Wilde also earned an assist, giving her nine in her career.
-Nikki Moore's assist on Wilde's goal moved her career total to eight, all as a defender.
-Yvonne George, Becca Thomas and Whidden paced UCF with three shots each.