Aug. 10, 2011
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By Jordean Matthews
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) -A day after being selected as the favorite to win the Conference USA title, the UCF women's soccer team was ranked No. 27 in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Head coach Amanda Cromwell and the Knights finished the 2010 season with a 15-5-3 record and its fourth-straight showing in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Behind the efforts of players like Tishia Jewell (Satellite Beach, Fla.) and Aline Reis (Campinas, Brazil), along with a host of fresh newcomers, the Black and Gold are set to square off against some of the best competition in the country in 2011.
"Obviously we have Aline going into her senior year. She is without question the vocal leader. Her energy and work rate is contagious. Lianne (Maldonado) has come in playing well and will be pushing for time," assistant coach Donna Fishter said. "We have a group of young players (Connie Organ, Dianna Manis, Ashley Parinello, and Jessica Varitek) who are growing and learning everyday which bodes extremely well for the future."
Last season Reis was an All-C-USA First Team honoree. She was also named to the NSCAA All-Central Region Second Team and the NSCAA College Scholar All-America Second Team. Reis is a major part of the Knights' defense, receiving two C-USA Defensive Player of the Week awards last fall. (9/20, 10/18)
Earlier this week, Jewell was named the C-USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year for the second time after finishing last season ranked 23rd in the nation with 32 points on 10 goals and 12 assists. Jewell received numerous awards in 2010 as she was named to the NSCAA All-Central Region First Team, TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week (9/21) and CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performers of the Week (9/21).
UCF is ranked two spots above in-state rival USF, the team it will open the regular season against on August 19 at 7 p.m. in a game that will be seen live on Bright House Sports Network. The Knights begin play this Saturday, August 13 at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game vs. Texas A&M.