Sept. 15, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - One day after sweeping the Conference USA player of the week honors, UCF (5-1-1) sophomore goalkeeper Aline Reis (Campinas Brazil) and senior forward Courtney Whidden received some more attention Tuesday. Reis was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week Tuesday, while both Knights were given spots on CollegeSoccer360.com's Primetime Performers of the Week squad.
Reis became the first Knight since 2006, and second UCF goalkeeper all-time (Jennifer Manis), to be selected to the Soccer America Team of the Week, which consists of one keeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards from across the country.
The duo of Reis and Whidden marked the second and third UCF student-athletes to be acknowledged by CollegeSoccer360.com this year, as sophomore Stacie Hubbard (Jacksonville, Fla.) was one of its Primetime Performers of the Week after scoring the game-winner against No. 10 Duke Aug. 30. That team is made up of 18 players from all over the nation, and UCF was one of only three programs (Santa Clara, Stanford) to have two players named to the squad.
Facing No. 4 Florida State Sept. 10, Reis turned aside all nine shots on goal to blank the Seminoles, 1-0, in the Knights' second victory over a top-10 team this year. It was her first game back since recovering from an injury that kept her out of the lineup for two matches. After the win over FSU, she made one save in yet another shutout, this time over USF Sept. 13. Reis moved her season total to three shutouts in 2009, while the Knights have not allowed a goal since Aug. 30.
Whidden has been another key part of the Knights' success so far as well. She scored twice in a 3-2 win over Duke and had the game-winner of a 5-0 victory against Florida International. Then facing FSU and in front of a UCF-record crowd of 1,142 fans, Whidden headed in the decisive goal in double overtime on a free kick from senior Becca Thomas (Burlington, Wash.) for the 1-0 triumph. Whidden now leads the Knights with four goals and nine points this season.
Currently ranked second in the Central Region (made up mostly of Conference USA and Big 12 schools) by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, UCF is ranked as high as No. 17 in the three major top-25 national polls. Soccer America has the Knights at No. 17, while the NSCAA and Soccer Times lists them at No. 19.
The schedule will continue to test the Knights in the coming weeks, with the non-conference portion of the slate wrapping up Friday at No. 12 South Carolina (6-0-0), which has not allowed a goal in six matches.
UCF returns home to open the Conference USA schedule against UAB Sept. 25 and Memphis Sept. 27. Both the Blazers (6-1-0) and the Tigers (4-2-0) were ranked in the top 25 earlier in the year, and the meeting with Memphis will be televised 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.