UCF Gears Up for Final Home Weekend


Oct. 17, 2013

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By Jenna Marina
UCFKnights.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The No. 18/21 UCF women's soccer team has a lot to be playing for this coming weekend: an unbeaten streak, their standing in the American Athletic Conference, but most of all, its senior class.

Before the Knights (11-2-2, 4-0-1) take the field on Friday at 7 p.m. against Rutgers (11-2-1, 4-1-0), several members of the team will be recognized in a special ceremony honoring their careers.

UCF will then host its final home game of the regular season Sunday against Memphis (9-5-0, 2-3-0) at 1 p.m.

Katy Ling, Marissa Diggs, Lianne Maldonado, Marleigh Howard, Ashley Nicol and Kristina Trujic along with Alex Major reflected on their time at UCF. Here are their answers to the Q&A:

Q: What has been your best soccer memory at UCF?
Ling: My best soccer memory has to be the weekend that we beat both UF and UNC to advance to the Elite 8. They were two of the most exciting games of soccer, and we had the biggest dogpile at the end of the game - people were jumping from the stadium and sprinting on the field to join in.

Nicol: I'm sure there will be more to add to these moments but two pop up in my head and that is when we beat UNC in the round of 16 my sophomore year, and when I scored my diving header against Miami to tie it up in the round of 32 my junior year.

Maldonado: My favorite memory as a UCF Knight thus far was winning the conference championship our last year as a Conference USA school. It was my first real championship since high school and I loved the memories we made during that trip.

Trujic: My best soccer moment was scoring the lone goal in the sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament against UNC in 2011. That weekend was unforgettable.

Diggs: It's hard to choose between beating UNC to go to the Elite Eight or finally beating Memphis to go on to win the conference tournament last year.

Howard: My best soccer moment would be the feeling after beating UNC to advance to the Elite Eight. The entire game was a battle. To come out on top in PKs and beat the top team in the nation was one of the best feelings ever and a highlight of the year. All of the fans even joined in the celebration on the field. Those moments are engraved in my mind.

Major: The best moment was the round of 32 game versus Miami when we advanced in PKs.

Q: What is one piece of advice you'd like to tell to the underclassmen?
Ling: Don't ever take your time here for granted. Every year the seniors tell the freshmen how the four years fly by and you never take any notice - now look where we are! Play your heart out every game and leave everything on the field. You don't ever get those games back.

Nicol: Don't take this time playing for granted. This time flies by so fast. It feels like I was a freshman not too long ago.

Maldonado: "If you don't like something change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." Through all of my experiences I've learned there are some things we just can't control, but we can control how we react to them. People will eventually forget statistics, they will forget things you've said, but they'll never forget the type of teammate you were and how you made them feel. Enjoy the moments.

Trujic: Never give up and enjoy every game because the time you have is limited and will go by faster than you will ever believe.

Diggs: Cherish your time on the field and with your teammates...it goes by so fast!

Howard: Always pursue what you want. You have the abilities and opportunities around you, but it is up to you to work hard and give energy to those things that you want most. And have fun while you're doing it.

Major: Never give up and take advantage of every opportunity.

Q: What will you always remember about the time you spent here?
Ling: I'll never forget what an amazing opportunity this was for me and all the amazing people that made my time here so memorable. Being 4,000 miles away from home isn't easy, but I can safely say it felt like home here for the past four years. I'll never forget that at every single day of practice without fail, at least one person will try and talk like me and insist they have a good British accent. I will actually miss being made fun of. I would love to do my time all over again!

Nicol: I will always remember the people I shared this awesome experience with. The bond that we have with each other is great and we all look after one another.

Maldonado: I will always remember the relationships and friendships I've made. There's nothing better than being able to play the sport I love every day. But, when you're doing what you love with people you love beside you, it can hardly get any better than that. We're not only teammates, but we're friends. It's amazing to know that I've built these relationships during my time as a Knight.

Trujic: What I will always remember about the time I spent here would be the memories I've made every year with my teammates.

Diggs: My teammates! These will forever be my lifelong sisters and no one will understand the bond we have. We have been through so much together and it will be hard to close this chapter in my life.

Howard: I will always remember the experiences, friendships, and memories that I have gathered from my time here. The relationships and opportunities that UCF has brought me are so special and I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of such an amazing community.

Major: I learned if you want something go after it because hard work pays off.

 

 

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