(M) Soccer

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Road Woes
September 29, 2017
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DALLAS, Texas (UCFKnights.com) - UCF senior Matias Pyysalo opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season, but SMU found an equalizer before halftime. The Mustangs downed the Knights 2-1 with a marker in the 75th minute on a header by Dwight Williams Jr. following a perfect cross by Jared Rice.

The Knights (1-5-1, 0-2-0 The American) played their seventh-straight match away from home to open the season at SMU (6-2-0, 1-1-0 The American) due to a pair of cancelled contests.

QUICK START
  • UCF was all over SMU in the opening five minutes with pressure in the attacking zone.
  • The Knights' pressure led to a poor pass by the Mustangs that was intercepted freshman Louis Perez in the midfield.
  • He sent a quick feed up to junior Max Stiegwardt, who sent a throughball to Pyysalo in the box.
  • Pyysalo's strike found the upper 90 from a tight angle to put UCF up in the eighth minute.
  • It was the fifth goal of the campaign for the Helsinki, Finland, native and 23rd of his career.
BACK AND FORTH AFFAIR
  • The Knights continued to threaten, but were unable to generate another opportunity on target in the first 20 minutes.
  • Off a free kick in the 21st minute, SMU evened the score as Garrett McLaughlin knocked in his own rebound from the far post after freshman Yannik Oettl made the first save.
  • UCF played crosses from the wings that were dangerous, but the Knights were unable to find the next marker.
  • Both teams tallied four shots and three shots on target during the opening 45 minutes.
  • The second half was similar with both teams holding possession during stretches.
  • SMU found the equalizer by switching the field on a long pass from the midfield, then Rice sending a perfect cross to be headed into the net by Williams Jr.
KNIGHTS NOTES
  • A game-high two shots were tallied by freshman Hattabiou Barry.
  • The assist by Perez was the first of his career.
  • Three saves were made by goalkeeper Oettl.
NEXT UP
  • The Knights return to Orlando for their home opener on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Stetson.
  • UCF continues a three-game homestand on Oct. 7 against Memphis.
A NEW ERA
The UCF men's soccer team is in 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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