Nov. 3, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The No. 13/14 UCF women's soccer team punched its ticket to the American Athletic Conference Championship semifinals with Sunday's 3-0 win over SMU.
Meeting the No. 8 seed Mustangs for the second time in a week, the No. 1 seeded Knights came out on top once again to extend their school-record unbeaten streak to 16-straight matches.
UCF took an early 1-0 lead thanks to freshman forward Lena Petermann's first game-winner of the year. Senior defender Ashley Nicol dribbled the ball into Mustangs territory, finding junior forward Tatiana Coleman. Coleman's cross to the far post connected with Petermann's head to put UCF up 1-0 in the 22nd minute.
UCF held the Mustangs without a shot until seven minutes into the second half. Kelsey Gorney threaded her attempt through her defender, but UCF goalkeeper Lianne Maldonado stayed strong in the net with a nice save to keep the Mustangs scoreless.
Maldonado came up big again in the 71st minute when she leaped to bat away Rikki Clarke's near goal.
"She's upped her game and she's come up big time for us in the moments where we needed her to," UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "She did it against SMU last weekend and then (again) today with all those set pieces. She's a rock for us right now."
UCF capitalized in the 75th minute when Coleman drew a foul to set up a free kick in prime territory for freshman defender Caroline Bado. SMU keeper Lauryn Bodden lost her footing and fell as she tried to stop the ball, and Bado's shot bounced its way in for her first career goal and a 2-0 edge.
Sophomore Taylor Townsend closed the game on a high note as she attacked from the right side and notched her third goal of the season with 26 seconds left.
After UCF's 10th shutout of the year, the Knights were presented with the American's regular season trophy for their undefeated run through the league in a special recognition ceremony.
UCF will serve as the host for the inaugural American Championship semifinals and finals next weekend. The Knights will face rival USF at 5 p.m. on Nov. 8.
"We match up with them (USF) well, so it will be really exciting for our fans," Roberts Sahaydak said. "Hopefully we'll get a big crowd for that game. It almost works out perfectly having them come to play here. They're a great team, but of course we'll be ready for that test."
The title game will air live on ESPNU on Nov. 10 at noon. Tickets are available for purchase now through UCFKnights.com.