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Spring Has Sprung
January 19, 2017
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The Knights were back on the pitch last week as the team began its spring workouts. After a long holiday break, the players and coaches alike were excited to get back to work.

The 2016 season was a rollercoaster for UCF, as the squad finished 9-8-2 and saw its season end in the quarterfinal round of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) tournament. The match, a double-overtime heart-breaker against SMU, was ultimately decided by penalty kicks.

"Everyone is very motivated right now, " head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "There is a new attitude in how the team is training right now. They know we didn't accomplish what we wanted to last season and they're holding each other accountable in a positive way."

The Black and Gold will play several exhibitions over the next few months including matches against the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) U19's, Miami, and rival South Florida. Coach Roberts Sahaydak said that the Spring matches are an opportunity for the team to try strategic changes they might be able to implement and for new players to step up.

"Spring is always fun because we can be experimental and try new things," Roberts Sahaydak said. "Players that may not have had as much opportunity in the fall are ready and want to be on the field, so I'm excited to see what they can do when given the chance ."

Bright spots for the Knights in 2016 included helping Roberts Sahaydak secure her 100th career win as head coach, senior Carol Rodrigues and junior Morgan Ferrara earning All-AAC nods, freshman Zandy Soree earning AAC All-Rookie status and junior Saga Fredriksson being named AAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

The first spring exhibition against the USWNT U19's is scheduled for Feb. 3 in Palm City, Fla.

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