July 28, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Year-after-year UCF women's soccer head coach Amanda Cromwell and her staff puts together an impressive schedule. But 2009 might be the most impressive. This season the Knights will battle three teams ranked in the top 10 at the end of 2008, including defending national champion North Carolina, Duke and a home meeting with Florida State.
"We are very excited about the schedule that we put together," said Cromwell. "The ladies can't wait to test themselves against some of the best teams in the country. We feel it's a great mix of styles and certainly presents us with various challenges. We play three of last year's Elite Eight participants including national champion UNC. It's a schedule that will prepare us for Conference USA and beyond, and allow this team a chance to leave a special stamp on the history of this program
"The conference is always tough and this year it should be the strongest yet. We have had multiple teams get NCAA bids each of our four years in C-USA and I expect this year to be no different. Our home schedule should really excite fans as well. We play in-state opponents FSU, USF and FGCU. We also have last year's C-USA champions Memphis as well as Colorado College, UTEP, UAB and Southern Miss. We always get great support from the student body and the community, and our players appreciate that a lot."
In all, UCF's non-conference schedule features eight teams who went a combined 103-45-23 for a .670 winning percentage a year ago. Five of those programs advanced to the NCAA College Cup: No. 1 North Carolina (national champions), No. 6 Florida State (quarterfinals), No. 8 Duke (quarterfinals), No. 29 LSU (first round) and South Carolina (first round).
Florida Gulf Coast kicks off UCF's 2009 campaign in Orlando Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. as it will be the first meeting between the two schools. That will set the stage for the Black and Gold's trip to the Carolina Nike Classic where it faces UNC Aug. 28 and Duke Aug. 30.
UCF, which is coming off a NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance and a 14-6-3 record last year, has a very long history with North Carolina only they have not met since 1999. The Knights and Tar Heels dominated women's soccer in the eighties and to this day remain huge factors on the national scene. In 1981 and UCF's first season playing competitive soccer, UNC claimed a 1-0 decision in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) finals.
When women's soccer was first recognized as an NCAA sport in 1982, the teams met again in the NCAA Championship on the UCF campus where the Tar Heels picked up a 2-0 victory. UNC would go on to be a thorn in the Knights' side as they played at least once from 1984-91 and currently hold a 15-0-3 lead in the all-time series. The 18 matches against North Carolina rank as the third-most played school in UCF history (trailing only Florida International's 32 matches and Florida Atlantic's 22 contests).
The Knights getting together with Duke in a regular-season tournament is nothing new. In seven games with the Blue Devils, six of them have been in tournament play and they all took place from 1991-02. Following the trip to North Carolina, UCF will take part in the USF Tournament and rumble with LSU Sept. 4 and FIU Sept. 6.
Returning home, UCF welcomes Florida State to town Sept. 10 in a yearly rivalry that has rotated between Orlando and Tallahassee since 2000. The last time the Seminoles made the trek south, the Knights erased a 3-0 halftime deficit for a 3-3 tie. The non-conference schedule then concludes with a Sept. 13 tilt with USF at the UCF Soccer Complex and a match-up at South Carolina Sept. 18.
The Conference USA season will then open up at home vs. UAB Sept. 25 and Memphis Sept. 27, which is tentatively schedule to be televised by CBS College Sports (tape-delayed to Sept. 29). The Tigers tied with East Carolina for the 2008 C-USA regular-season crown and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. UCF also is set to host UTEP, Colorado College and Southern Miss, while it travels to Marshall, ECU, Rice, Houston, SMU and Tulsa.
This year's C-USA Championship will be hosted by SMU from Nov. 4-8, and the NCAA College Cup begins the following weekend on Nov. 13.
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.
2009 UCF Women's Soccer Schedule
Aug. 13 - Rollins - Scrimmage - 7 p.m.
Aug. 21 - Florida Gulf Coast - 6 p.m.
Aug. 28 - at North Carolina (Carolina Nike Classic) - 7 p.m.
Aug. 30 - vs. Duke (Carolina Nike Classic) - 12 p.m.
Sept. 4 - vs. LSU (USF Tournament) - 5 p.m.
Sept. 6 - vs. Florida International (USF Tournament) - 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 10 - Florida State - 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 - USF - 1 p.m.
Sept. 18 - at South Carolina - 7 p.m.
Sept. 25 - UAB* - 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 - Memphis* - 1 p.m. - CBS College Sports (Tape-Delay)
Oct. 2 - at Marshall* - 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 - at East Carolina* - 1 p.m.
Oct. 9 - UTEP* - 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 - Colorado College* - 12 p.m.
Oct. 16 - at Rice* - 8 p.m.
Oct. 18 - at Houston* - 2 p.m.
Oct. 23 - at SMU* - 8 p.m.
Oct. 25 - at Tulsa* - 1 p.m.
Oct. 30 - Southern Miss* - 7 p.m.
Nov. 4-8 - at Conference USA Championship (Dallas, Texas)
Nov. 13 - NCAA Tournament Begins
*Conference USA Match
All Times Eastern