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Edging the Eagles
August 19, 2017
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF wrapped up its exhibition season with a 2-0 mark following a 1-0 victory over Georgia Southern on Saturday night. Freshman Hattabiou Barry's strike 23 seconds before halftime proved to be the difference at the UCF Soccer Complex.

"Tonight, we did a better job in our pressing," head coach Scott Calabrese said. "We thought that we could definitely improve upon that [following the Tampa game]. We wanted to make sure that as a group we were pressing from the front and everyone on the team committed to it and attacked together."

The contest was preserved with a pair of quality second-half saves by junior goalkeeper Brendan Rennie. A pivotal penalty kick in the 32nd minute was stopped by sophomore Matthew Rosenberg, who finishd with two saves in the first half.

BRILLIANT STRIKE
  • With 23 seconds till halftime, freshman Hattabiou Barry provided the Knights with the lead on a bending strike over the keeper into the top corner from 25-yards out.
  • The marker was setup following a free kick played junior Zachary Waitman from the Knights' own end to classmate Gorka Aperribay, who gained possession and gave a feed to Barry.
"It was a key goal for us, because we had a few chances earlier that we did not put away. Have confidence going into the second half was key."
-D Jonathan Dean

"Hattabiou took it well. He is very explosive and dangerous in the final third."
-HC Scott Calabrese

DEFENDING THE LEAD
  • The Knights were able to keep the Eagles off the board in the second half, allowing only four shots towards the goal.
  • The backline cleared a number of dangerous crosses out of the box to help preserve the win.
"Goals can change games. It created more pressure on us as the game went on. We want to play against good teams like Georgia Southern, so that we get tested. It tells us more about ourselves and gives us more to work with in terms of what we need to improve."
-Head coach Scott Calabrese

KNIGHTS NOTES
  • The Knights held a majority of the possession in the first half and fired eight shots towards the target.
  • The far goal post was grazed on a finesse shot in the 21st minute around the goalkeeper by junior Gorka Aperribay.
  • With the Eagles searching for an equalizer in the second half, UCF was able to counter at times and generated some quality chances on its way to five shots on target.
  • Two shots on goal each were registered by senior Matias Pyysalo and sophomore Cal Jennings.
"Our pressure is helping us, because we are forcing them to play and try and break us down. If they turn the ball over, then that is where we can score a lot of goals off the counter attack."
-D Jonathan Dean

"When you look at it, especially in the first half, our front group put pressure on them in a way that made things very predictable for our back line to deal with. In the second half, Georgia Southern was able to possess the ball more and pin us back, create more chances and then our goalkeepers were called on and they made the saves we needed to preserve the result."
-HC Scott Calabrese

NEXT UP
  • The Knights finished the exhibition season with a 2-0 mark and begin the Calabrese era on Friday at Duke with the start set for 7 p.m.
  • After facing Elon in Durham, N.C., on Aug. 27, UCF returns home to face Charlotte on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.
A NEW ERA
The UCF men's soccer team is set to begin its first campaign under the guidance of head coach Scott Calabrese and will welcome seven teams to the UCF Soccer Complex. Click here or call (407) 823-1000 for ticket information.

BECOME A PART OF THE WATCH
Membership to Knights Watch, the official supporters group of UCF Soccer, begins at $15 for students and $50 for fans. Packages include tickets to all home contests for men's and women's soccer, a Knights Watch T-Shirt, a soccer scarf and a variety of free catered tailgates. To become a member, click here.

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