ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – In a match that was decided by penalty kicks, the two-seeded SMU men’s soccer team took home the American Athletic Conference Tournament trophy after a 5-4 penalty kick advantage.
The Mustangs scored first in the 73rd minute, but the top-seeded Knights persevered and freshman Andres Hernandez Betancur scored his first collegiate goal to tie the game with 31 seconds left in the first half.
Playing the majority of the match without four of their regular starters, UCF put the pressure on SMU recording 20 shots and forcing the title to be decided by penalty kicks.
UCF and SMU each converted their first two PK’s, but after the Knights missed their third, SMU converted their final three shots to become back-to-back tournament champions.
The No. 7 Knights (13-2-3) remain unbeaten in their last 10 matches as they are expected to head to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.
Hernandez Betancur, Jennings, Yanis Leerman, and Louis Perez each earned All-Tournament honors. This is Perez’s second consecutive All-Tournament award after earning the accolade in the 2017 tournament.
- SMU | 72:41 | Christian Boorom netted his first goal of the season off a free kick for the first goal of the match.
- UCF | 89:29 | Hernandez Betancur ripped a left-footed curler from just outside the 18-yard box placing it in the top corner for the equalizer.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- This was the first match of the season that went to penalty kicks.
- Jennings, Walker Dawkins, and Zachary Waitman were the only Knights to log all 110 minutes.
- Jennings took seven of UCF’s 20 shots, including two on target.
- 15 Knights saw action in the match. Jack McCloskey, C.J. Campbell, Gregorio Ibanez, and Mauricio Villalobos Vega each recorded season-high minutes.
- Yannik Oettl made six total saves in the match and allowed one goal in regulation.
- UCF and SMU combined for 21 fouls Saturday night, 21 less than the first meeting between the two teams.
- There were 1,108 fans in attendance for Final, which was a season-high.
UCF will await their seed for the NCAA Tournament during the selection show, which airs on NCAA.com on Monday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. ET.
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