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Golden Goal
November 04, 2017
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CINCINNATI, Ohio (UCFKnights.com) - Needing a win entering overtime to earn a berth into The American Championship, UCF sophomore Cal Jennings netted a golden goal with a strike from 18-yards out the beat the keeper to the far post in the 94th minute. The seventh goal of the season for Jennings lifted the Knights over Cincinnati, 2-1, on Saturday night at Gettler Stadium.

"I thought tonight we met the pressure of having to win with an inspired performance," head coach Scott Calabrese said. "We are excited to continue our season and have the opportunity to compete for The American Championship."

UCF (7-5-2, 4-2-1 The American) extended its unbeaten streak to seven matches. The win against Cincinnati (7-8-1, 0-7-0 The American) clinched the No. 2 seed in The American Championship with a semifinal match set for 4:30 p.m. Friday vs. No. 3 UConn in Dallas, Texas.

THE FINNISH FINISHER
  • On a cross near the top of the box by senior Joel Vartiainen, senior Matias Pyysalo took a touch and sent a heavy shot to the bottom corner to put the Knights up early, 1-0.
  • The marker in the fifth minute was the 12th goal of the season for the Helsinki, Finland native.
  • He has tallied 30 goals in his career, the fifth most by a Knight in program history.
ALL SQUARE AT THE HALF
  • Cincinnati found the equalizer on a breakaway by Austin Smythe in the 12th minute, which snapped a stretch of 249 minutes for the Knights without allowing a goal.
  • The Knights held a 5-2 advantage in shots. Both teams fired two shots on target.
STELLAR STOPS
  • Sophomore Matthew Rosenberg made a pair of key stops in the final 10 minutes to keep the match knotted at 1-1.
  • Rosenberg finished the match with three saves and moved to 5-1-1 on the season.
KNIGHTS NOTES
  • The last golden goal by a Knight was tallied by Pyysalo in a 2-1 2OT win over UConn (10/22/16).
  • Junior Gorka Aperribay had the best chance in the second 45 minutes for the Knights and hit the crossbar in the 77th minute. The ensuing rebound was also stopped by the Bearcats keeper Pearce Skinner, who made four saves.
  • Jennings finished with a game-high five shots, including three on target.
  • A total of four shots and two on goal were fired by Aperribay off the bench.
NEXT UP
  • The Knights finished second in the league and earned a berth into The American Championship at SMU .
  • The semifinal round begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday for UCF against No. 3 UConn. The championship match is set for Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. on ESPU.
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