Sept. 30, 2010
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By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - No. 18 UCF women's soccer will face two important tests when it travels to Memphis Friday at 8 p.m. and UAB Sunday at 3 p.m. This road trip marks the first of just two Conference USA road weekends for the Knights, who are 7-2-1 on the season and 2-0-0 in league play.
The Black and Gold has won 11-straight C-USA regular-season matches, however the last team to knock off the Knights was Memphis last season. UCF has outscored opponents this year, 24-11, and are led by three Orlando-area natives. Satellite Beach products Tishia Jewell (5-5--15) and Katie Jackson (4-4--12) rank 1-2 in scoring while Apopka's Kim Newsome is right behind in third with four goals and three assists for 11 points.
However it is not just the local trio which has stepped up, as a total of 11 different players have scored goals while 16 overall have at least one point.
Keeper Aline Reis is coming off victories over East Carolina and Marshall which improved her record in net to 5-2-1. She has 28 saves in 710:33 minutes of work this year.
Nationally ranked for the majority of the 2010 campaign before dropping out of the top 25 this week, Memphis is 7-3-0 and 1-1-0 in C-USA. The Tigers defeated Colorado College, 1-0, on the road last weekend but dropped a 2-1 decision to UTEP. They have non-conference victories vs. Saint Louis, Samford, LSU, Arkansas-Little Rock, Alabama and Mississippi as well. Taylor Isenhower (4-3--11) is the lone player with double-digit points, and in goal, Elise Kuhar-Pitters has started eight matches and holds a 1.20 goals-against average.
UAB holds a 4-5-1 record after dropping a 3-1 contest at UTEP and playing Colorado College to a 1-1 draw a week ago. The Blazers, though, do have victories over SEC-programs Mississippi State and Mississippi. UCF will need to focus on UAB's Laura McCalla, who has scored half of UAB's goals this year (eight), and keeper Kate Blankenship has amassed 44 saves in eight starts.
In the all-time series with both teams, UCF trails Memphis 5-3-0 including three-consecutive shutout wins by the Tigers, while the Knights lead the Blazers, 4-3-1.
Following the road trip, UCF will return home to face Houston Friday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. and Rice Sunday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. Admission to all home matches is free.