Women's Soccer Hosts No. 7 Florida Sunday Afternoon

Sept. 16, 2005

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ORLANDO, Fla.-The UCF women's soccer team will host No. 7 Florida, Sunday, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. The Gators enter the weekend with a 4-1 season mark, while the Golden Knights own a 2-5 record.

The Golden Knights were defeated by Loyola Sunday afternoon, 1-0. Courtney Arikian scored Loyola's lone goal in the 84th minute of action off a cross from Brynn McGrath.

In the first half of the match, UCF dominated Loyola in shots (11-4) and corner kicks (5-1), while both goalkeepers had one save each.

The Greyhounds and Golden Knights reversed the shots in the second half for a total of 15 each on the match. Beth Harless recorded six saves on the day, while her counterpart, Amanda Piccirilli had two.

UCF's offense was led by Jessalyn Withers and Roberta Pelarigo, who each had three shots. Naomi Daniels had four shots for the Greyhounds, while Arikian and Ali Andrzejewski had three.

Roberta Pelarigo and Jessica Newport lead the team in points with five after each recording two goals and one assist. Pelarigo also paces the offense with 25 shots.

Jennifer Manis has started five contests in goal for the Golden Knights, while Beth Harless has made two starts of her own. Manis has allowed eight goals with nine saves, one shutout and a 1.60 goals-against-average, while Harless has allowed two goals with nine saves and a 0.98 GAA.

The Golden Knights host Florida International Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

Florida defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2-0, Sunday afternoon in Gainesville, Fla. It was the third consecutive shutout for the Gators.

Ameera Abdullah netted Florida's first goal just four minutes into the match. Jessica Young crossed to Abdullah, who punched the ball in from 10 yards out. Cherry Pickman added an insurance goal in the 54th minute of action when she redirected the ball toward the net from four yards out. Melanie Booth picked up the assist.

The Gators outshot the Panthers, 10-7, on the afternoon, while the two teams were tied in corner kicks (5-5) and saves (5-5).

Leading the way for Florida are sophomore Jasmine Johnson and senior Cherry Pickman. Johnson paces the team in points with seven (3 goals, 1 assist), while Pickman is second with six points (3 goals, 0 assists). Senior goalkeeper Jen Gardner has allowed five goals in 443 minutes of action for a goals-against-average of 1.02. Gardner has also recorded 16 saves with two shutouts.

This will be the 10th time that UCF and Florida have met on the soccer field. The Gators lead the series, 1-8. The last time these two teams met was in 2004 with UCF defeating Florida, 3-2, in the First Round of the NCAA Touranment in Gainesville. Courtney Baines scored the first goal in the 43rd minute on a penalty kick. Jennifer Montgomery scored the second goal less than 10 minutes into the second half with Kendra Flock adding the third goal 20 seconds later.

The 2005 women's soccer team is currently 0-1 versus teams from the state of Florida. The Golden Knights fell to Florida State, 3-0, in their first match against an in-state opponent.

In 2004, UCF was 9-0 against teams from the state of Florida with wins over Florida International, Miami, Stetson, Jacksonville (twice), USF, Florida Atlantic, Florida State and Florida. The Golden Knights defeated then No. 12 Florida State in Tallahassee, 3-2, and No. 10 Florida in Gainesville, 3-2, in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

UCF has taken 25 corner kicks to opponents' 23 thus far in the 2005 season. The team had a season-high seven corners against Loyola and a season-low zero against UW-Milwaukee, while giving up eight to Pepperdine and holding UC Santa Barbara to one.

This time last year, the Golden Knights were 5-1-1 with wins over Florida International, Minnesota, USF, Tulane and Air Force. The teams only blemish came against Dayton, while the draw was with UAB. UCF had outscored its opponents, 19-4, in the first seven matches of the 2004 season.

The last time that UCF started the season 2-5-0 was in 2000. The squad finished the season with an 8-11-1 mark and 7-2 in conference play.

All seven of UCF's goals this season have been scored by newcomers. Junior transfer Roberta Pelarigo started the trend when she netted her first goal against Pepperdine on Aug. 26.

Junior transfer Michelle DeCespedes did one better than Pelarigo when she scored two goals against UC Santa Barbara on Aug. 28. In that same match, sophomore transfer Jessica Newport and freshman Lydia Jones knocked in thier first goals of the season to round out opening weekend.

Both Pelarigo and Newport scored at the UCF Invitational Labor Day weekend.

Jennifer Montgomery has already left her mark in the UCF career record books after just three years in the program. She ranks in the top 10 for shots (150), goals (34), total points (88) and game-winning goals (7), while Courtney Baines is ranked ninth for career assists (24). Both Julie Snaman and Beth Harless are listed in the record books. Snaman is sixth in saves (111), third in goals against average (0.73) and seventh in shutouts (17.0), while Harless is second in goals against average (0.61) and eighth in shutouts (3.0).

Montgomery is also ranked in several categories for season records. She leads the way for total points (46), is second for goals (17), fourth for assists (12) and eighth for game-winning goals (4).

The UCF women's soccer team was selected to finish second in the 2005 Conference USA Women's Soccer Championship by the league's coaches as announced by the conference office. SMU took home the top spot, while UAB was ranked third.

Junior forward Olivia O'Rear of SMU was named the Preseason C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, and UAB junior defender Pam Cooney was chosen as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year.

Rice has been tabbed to finish fourth in the league this season. Memphis was picked to finish fifth, in front of UTEP. East Carolina earned the No. 7 spot in the preseason rankings, and should be led by two-time All-Conference USA first team selection Meghan McCallion. Tulsa has was chosen to finish eighth. Tulane, Houston, Marshall and Southern Miss fill in the last four slots, respectively.

The top eight finishers in the regular season earn a spot in the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, hosted by Rice University November 2-5.

Soccerbuzz.com ranked the UCF women's soccer team No. 28 in their preseason national poll. The preseason ranking was the first for the Golden Knights.

UCF was 17-4-2 during the 2004 season and earned the Atlantic Sun Conference's first ever at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament where they knocked off then No. 10 Florida in Gainesville, Fla. in the first round.

Of the other top 30 teams, UCF will host No. 15 Florida on Sept. 18.

In addition to the national top 30 ranking, the Golden Knights were also ranked No. 6 in the Southeast Region. Joining UCF on the Southeast Region poll was Florida (3), Florida State (9), UAB (10) and Florida Atlantic (13).

UCF will also take on six other teams that were ranked in various regions: Mississippi (11), Rice (13) and UTEP (RV) from the Central; UW-Milwaukee (10) from the Great Lakes; Loyola (9) from the Mid-Atlantic; and Pepperdine (12) from the West.