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Hosting the Hatters
October 03, 2017
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - After playing its first seven matches on the road, the home opener for UCF is Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Stetson. Admission to the UCF Soccer Complex for the first home match of the Scott Calabrese era is $5 for general admission and free for students.

The Knights (1-5-1) have only picked up one point in five matches decided by one goal. The squad hopes that playing in front of the Knights Watch and their home fans can provide a boost going into the second half of the season

"It has definitely been tough on the road, but we are excited to get back at home and have some home field advantage," junior Cal Jennings said.

UCF and Houston Baptist are the only two teams out of 205 schools in men's soccer yet to play a home game. Both squads had their schedules altered due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and have home matches this week.

"We have progressed a lot so far this season," senior Andreas Steineger said. "There were a lot of newcomers coming in and we are finally getting comfortable with each other."

ABOUT THE KNIGHTS
  • The Knights are playing their first home match of the season after starting the year with seven contests on the road.
  • Out of 205 NCAA teams, UCF and Houston Baptist are the only squads yet to play a home game. The Knights play at home on Wednesday, while the Huskies host a match on Thursday. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma forced cancellations for both teams.
  • A pair of tough road decisions, where UCF held at least a 1-0 advantage, were dropped to start conference play at USF (3-2 2OT) and at SMU (2-1).
  • The Knights had a streak of 334 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal snapped in the 80th minute of a 1-0 loss at FGCU.
  • With five goals and 11 points, senior Matias Pyysalo paces the UCF attack. He has totaled 18 shots, including 10 that have been on target.
  • Junior Gorka Aperribay and freshman Yoni Sorokin have also added goals, while helpers have been added by junior Max Stiegwardt (2), freshman Hattabiou Barry (1) and junior Cal Jennings (1).
  • A total of 24 saves and a 1.35 goals-against average has been compiled by freshman Yannik Oettl, who has two shutouts on the year.
  • The draw against No. 14 West Virginia was the first result earned by UCF vs. a Top 25 since a 2-2 2OT draw at No. 24 UConn (10/5/13).
  • Junior Jonathan Dean was named The American Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 11 after helping the back line to consecutive road shutouts at WVU and Jacksonville.
ABOUT THE HATTERS
  • Stetson (5-4-0) has won its past four matches over Mercer (2-1), North Florida (1-0), Lipscomb (2-1) and USC Upstate (2-0) and holds a 3-0 mark in the Atlantic Sun.
  • The Hatters started the campaign 1-4 with a victory over Bucknell (3-0) and 2OT defeat at Northern Illinois (2-1)
  • Deniz Dogan leads Stetson with four goals and one assist, while two goals and two assists have been tallied by Daniel O'Brien and Finn Busmann.
  • Goalkeeper Joseph Melong has posted a 5-2-0 record and a 0.70 goals-against average.
SERIES HISTORY VS. STETSON
  • The Knights are 31-10-3 in the all-time series against the Hatters.
  • Since 2002, UCF has a 10-2-2 mark vs. Stetson, which includes a 7-1-1 mark at home.
  • Stetson won last year's meeting in Deland, 2-1, in overtime. It was the first victory by the Hatters in the series since 2007.
SHUTOUT STREAK SNAPPED
  • A 344 minute shutout streak for the Knights back line ended in the 80th minute of a 1-0 loss at FGCU.
  • The Knights defense had not conceded a goal dating back to their match vs. Elon (8/27).
  • During that stretch, UCF secured results at Jacksonville (4-0) and at No. 14 West Virginia (0-0 2OT).
  • Goalkeepers Yannik Oettle and Matthew Rosenberg led the UCF back line - Andreas Steineger, Francios Dulysse, Jonathan Dean and Zachary Waitman - during the four matches.
THE FINNISH FINISHER
  • Senior Matias Pyysalo was tabbed as The American Preseason Offensive Player of the Year by the league's coaches.
  • He tallied a natural hat trick, scoring the final three goals at Jacksonville. It was the first hat trick of his career and the first by a Knight since Deshorn Brown (currently with DC United) accomplished the feat vs. Memphis (10/24/12).
  • Thus far this year, Pyysalo has scored five of the seven goals by the Knights.
  • The Helsinki, Finland, native tallied six of his 10 goals in conference play in 2016.
  • The 2016 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year paced the league with 14 points and delivered game-winning goals vs. SMU (10/1), UConn (10/22) and Cincinnati (11/5).
  • He has totaled 23 goals and 15 assists in his career as a Knight. The 23 goals ties him for third all-time with Amo Nurmisto (1996-99), Paul Nuzum (1976-79) and Christian Rognaldsen (1987-90). Next on the chart is Remi Hariz (1998-01) with 27 goals from 1998-01.
CALLING ON CALABRESE
  • Head coach Scott Calabrese is in his first season guiding the Knights and picked up his first win at Jacksonville (9/4).
  • He spent the past three seasons at FIU, taking the program to its first NCAA Tournament in 10 years.
  • The Newton, Conn., native has compiled an 85-67-20 overall mark and started the program at East Tennessee State in 2008.
  • Calabrese has an experienced staff in Will Clayton, who played and coached at Wake Forest, and Paul Souders, who played for Calabrese at Clemson and coached at New Mexico.
NEXT UP
  • The Knight continue a three-match home stretch on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Memphis. The first 100 fans will receive a UCF car flag.
  • UCF hosts Tulsa on Oct. 15 with the kick set for noon.
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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