Sept. 18, 2009
Box Score in PDF Format
COLUMBIA, S.C. (UCFAthletics.com) - Facing its fourth opponent ranked in the top 12 this year, the No. 17 UCF women's soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss at No. 12 South Carolina Friday. Despite outshooting the Gamecocks (7-0-0) 9-1 in the second half, the Knights fell to 5-2-1 on the season heading into Conference USA play.
"We give credit to South Carolina, I thought they played their game plan very well and limited our chances," said associate head coach Colby Hale. "They outworked us and they deserved the result. I think as a team we are learning that if you don't play well for 90 minutes, you probably won't win. There's definitely stuff we can take from this, so we'll go back, start training and look forward to opening the conference at home vs. UAB next Friday."
UCF finished its impressive non-conference schedule with two wins over top-10 programs (No. 4 Florida State and No. 10 Duke), while its pair of losses came against highly-ranked teams as well (No. 1 North Carolina and No. 12 USC).
The loss to USC ended the Knights' undefeated string of five-straight matches (4-0-1). However they became the first school this year to outshoot the Gamecocks, whom have not allowed a goal in seven matches. UCF capped off the evening with a 12-8 advantage in shots, tying the most attempts given up by South Carolina in 2009.
Sophomore keeper Aline Reis allowed just the one goal and made three saves in net. Senior Becca Thomas led all players with four shots for UCF.
The Knights entered the meeting with the Gamecocks holding a shutout streak of over 400 minutes. But after each team collected two shots through the first 27 minutes, that run would come to an end as USC's Kayla Grimsley hit the back of the net to give her squad the 1-0 lead.
UCF then tried to put together some offensive pressure midway through the second half. After Reis made an initial save to open the frame, the Black and Gold reeled off nine-unanswered shots, including a header by junior Amanda Martorana that was stopped by goalkeeper Mollie Patton in the 67th minute.
South Carolina failed to get a shot off in the final 41:15 of the second half, but with one more save by Patton, this time against UCF freshman Alex Brandt in the 89th minute, the Gamecocks were able to make the 1-0 lead stand up.
With the non-conference schedule wrapped up, UCF now embarks on the C-USA season when it hosts UAB Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. and Memphis Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. The meeting with the Tigers will be televised on tape-delay by CBS College Sports.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to 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 UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.
No. 17 UCF (5-2-1) - 0
No. 12 South Carolina (7-0-0) - 1
Goals: USC Kayla Grimsley (28th)
-UCF has already met five different schools that advanced to the 2008 NCAA Tournament. It will meet yet another when it hosts Memphis Sept. 27.
-Friday was the first meeting between UCF and South Carolina, and it drew the third-largest crowd (1,424) in Stone Stadium history.
-With a 5-2-1 mark, the Knights equaled their non-conference performance from last year's team that eventually went to the NCAA Tournament Second Round.
-This season is the third-straight year UCF collected five victories and had a winning record before opening conference play.