Gessen Goal Lifts UCF over Stetson


Sept. 13, 2005

Final Stats

ORLANDO - A redirected corner kick by junior midfielder Alejandro Gessen in the 81st minute gave UCF a 1-0 win over in-state rival Stetson in men's soccer action on Tuesday night at the UCF Soccer Complex.

After a week and a half without game competition, the Golden Knights (3-0) found themselves battling the Hatters (1-4) in the opening minutes of the match. Despite the layoff, UCF continued developing chances and outshot the visitors by a 7-3 margin in the first half.

The team's wake-up call came in the 34th minute when senior goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh swatted away a direct kick from Stetson's Tanner Wolfe.

The second half saw UCF come alive. In the 62nd minute, a bullet by freshman forward Mike Mattson forced junior Jeff Smeraglinolo (five saves) to make a diving save.

The Knights defense kept Stetson without a shot in the second period until junior Sean Marshall hit the crossbar in the 73rd minute. With 11 minutes remaining in regulation, McIntosh blocked another shot by Marshall before UCF freshman defender Jake Howard made the defensive save on the goal line.

It was Gessen that would get the touch on senior captain Billy Judino's corner kick to give the Golden Knights their fifth consecutive victory over the Hatters. Judino's assist was the 17th of his career, which moves him into a tie for eighth all-time in the UCF record books.

UCF outshot Stetson, 16-7. McIntosh finished the night with two saves, giving him 299 for his career. The effort ranks second in program history.

"I was apprehensive about tonight's match after having nine days off without a game, especially since Stetson was so sharp coming off two matches this past weekend," said UCF first-year head coach Brent Erwin. "On a night like tonight, it's just good to get the win. We are a better team than what we showed."

The Golden Knights, who are ranked No. 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) South Region poll, return to action on Sept. 16 against the region's No. 6 team Davidson. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex.