ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 7 UCF men’s soccer team has earned a 14th seed and a first round bye into the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament. This is the Knights first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2011.
UCF will host the winner of Washington and Lipscomb on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex. This will be the first time UCF has hosted a Division I men’s soccer NCAA match since 2010.
Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. The match will be streamed live on UCFKnights.TV and live stats will also be available.
The Black and Gold has had one of their best seasons in program history ending the regular season with their highest ranking in program history.
With 13 thus far, the Knights boast the most wins in a single season since 1998 and the second most in program history.
In American Athletic Conference play, UCF finished 5-1-1 and earned their first regular season title in The American. The Knights garnered three major awards from the conference including Offensive Player of the Year to Cal Jennings, Midfielder of the Year to Louis Perez, and Goalkeeper of the Year to Yannik Oettl. UCF was also awarded Coaching Staff of the Year.
All-Conference selections included Jennings, Perez, Oettl, and Yoni Sorokin earning First Team honors, Yanis Leerman earning Second Team, and Andres Hernandez Betancur and Leerman earning All-Rookie Team.
UCF has also been one of the best offenses in the nation the entire season. They have been top 10 in almost all offensive categories including total goals, assists and points, scoring offense, points per game, goals per game and has been first in shots on goal per game for the better half of the year.
Jennings has grabbed national attention after his 20 goal season through 18 games. The junior is second in all of Division I in total goals and points, points per game and goals per game, and first in shots per game. The Roswell, Ga. native earned National Player of the Week by College Soccer News after netting a pair of goals against FGCU and USF in week nine.
The Knights enter the NCAA Tournament after making it to the finals of The American Conference Tournament for the second consecutive season. After winning the regular season, the Knights hosted the Tournament and defeated UConn in the semifinal match, 3-2 in double overtime after trailing 2-0 to start the second half.
UCF faced SMU in the finals and rallied back in the final 30 seconds of regular time to tie the match and force overtime. After no goals were scored in either overtime periods, penalty kicks decided the winner. SMU was the eventual champion with a 5-4 PK advantage.
Jennings, Perez, Leerman, and Hernandez Betancur were all named to the All-Tournament team.
From The American, UConn and SMU each earned an NCAA berth. SMU will travel to Oregon State and UConn will head to Rhode Island.
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