Oct. 30, 2009
Box Score in PDF Format
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 8 UCF women's soccer team capped off its regular season by winning its ninth-straight match in a 4-0 win over Southern Miss Friday in front of 1,048 fans. The Knights have secured the outright Conference USA regular-season title and will be the No. 1 seed for the C-USA Championship next weekend in Dallas, Texas.
"Tonight was senior night, we scored some great goals and a lot of players contributed," said 11th year head coach Amanda Cromwell. "Across the board I'm very happy about tonight. This senior group has a tremendous body of work behind them and I'm excited about what's to come. We have two mini-seasons left. We have to take two games at the conference tournament, and from there its six games at the NCAA Tournament."
The Black and Gold, which moved its record to 15-3-1 overall and 10-1-0 in the league, has now won three C-USA regular-season crowns in five years, but it's the Knights' first outright title since winning the Atlantic Sun Tournament in 2003.
The 10 C-USA victories in 2009, meanwhile, tie a school record (2002) for most league wins in a single season. And the Knights have now had three winning streaks of nine matches or longer since the program's inception in 1981. They put together a 12-game streak when they reached the NCAA Final Four in 1987, and also had a string of nine-consecutive wins in 2001.
UCF finished the match with the Golden Eagles (4-13-0, 0-11-0) with a 23-2 lead in shots and a 13-2 advantage in corner kicks.
A total of seven seniors competed in their final home game of their careers Friday: Yvonne George, Lynzee Lee, Emily Maynard, Nikki Moore, Amaka Ofuani, Becca Thomas and Courtney Whidden. George, Moore, Thomas and Whidden all first arrived in 2006, and they helped UCF post a 24-4-6 record (79.4 winning percentage) at home from 2006-09.
With all of the seniors in the starting lineup, three of them got together to give UCF an early lead when Thomas collected her sixth of the year when she turned at the top of the box and put it in the top right corner. The goal was scored 2:10 into the match, with Whidden and Ofuani picking up assists.
Whidden then scored on a cross from junior Lauren Halbert in the 32nd minute to make it 2-0, and Lee earned an assist as well as the trio took it the length of the field. It was Whidden's ninth goal of 2009. And sophomore Katie Jackson completed the first-half scoring with a 15-yard shot in the 40th minute as freshman Alex Brandt delivered the assist.
The second half was a little more laid back, but it was a pair of freshmen who gave the fans a little more to cheer about. In the 80th minute, Brandt earned her second assist when she played a ball to Nicolette Radovcic and she beat the keeper one-on-one for her fourth of the season.
UCF will now get a bye into the C-USA semifinals, which takes place Nov. 6. The opponent will be determined at the end of all C-USA games Friday night.
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, and become a follow of the Knights at Twitter.com.
Southern Miss (4-13-0, 0-11-0) - 0
No. 8 UCF (15-3-1, 10-1-0) - 4
Goals: UCF Becca Thomas (6) 3rd, UCF Courtney Whidden (9) 32nd, UCF Katie Jackson (5) 40th, UCF Nicolette Radovcic (4) 80th
-The Knights warmed up in their "Armored in Pink" shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
-Courtney Whidden's goal in the first half was her 31st of her career, tying her for sixth on the UCF all-time list.
-Senior Lynzee Lee may have started in net, but she came out in the 71st minute only to reenter as a forward for the final few minutes of the match.
-Sophomore Aline Reis took her place in goal and made one save, giving her 166 for her career, which moved her into a tie for fifth on the all-time save chart.
-Senior Amaka Ofuani, out early in the year due to an injury, played her first game Friday and completed the night with an assist and placed two of three shots on goal in 59 minutes.
-The crowd of 1,048 was the second time the Knights drew over 1,000 for a match this year, as a school-record 1,142 saw UCF defeat No. 4 Florida State Sept. 10.
-For the season, a total of 4,601 fans visited the UCF Soccer Complex in eight home matches, also setting a school record.