Men's Soccer Faces Rival Florida Atlantic on Thursday

Sept. 21, 2005

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ORLANDO - The UCF men's soccer team (3-2) wants to end its six-match homestand on a high note when it hosts in-state rival Florida Atlantic (3-4) at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the UCF Soccer Complex. The Golden Knights will be searching for a way to break the curse of a two-match losing slide that it suffered at the UCF adidas Classic over the weekend.

UCF started the season by rattling of three consecutive wins, including two shutouts, before dropping a 1-0 decision to then No. 23 Davidson. Despite dominating the tournament's second game with a 12-4 advantage in shots and an 8-0 margin in corner kicks, the Golden Knights lost to Hofstra, 1-0.

Tickets for Thursday's match are available at the gate. Adults are $4. Youth (ages 5-17) and seniors (ages 55+) are $2. Children under age five and UCF students with valid ID are admitted free.

SCOUTING FLORIDA ATLANTIC The Owls, who shared the 2004 Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Championship with UCF, brought a three-game losing streak to a halt at the FIU Tournament last weekend. Paced by freshman Javier Carillo's three goals, FAU routed Xavier, 6-0, in the first round then defeated Alabama A&M, 4-0, in the final day of competition. Carillo, the reigning A-Sun Offensive Player of the Week, scored a pair of goals in that match.

Senior goalkeeper Anders Granstad, who took A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week honors with the two shutouts, has posted a 1.67 goals-against-average in the seven matches.

SERIES RECORD Thursday marks the 25th meeting between the two in-state rivals. The Golden Knights have won the last four matches, including a 3-1 victory in the 2003 Atlantic Sun Championship game, and posted a 1-0 overtime win in Boca Raton during 2004. The last Owls' victory was a 2-0 decision in October of 2001.

UCF IN CONFERENCE USA Several Golden Knights are ranked among the best in C-USA. Senior goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh leads the league in goals-against-average (.60) and save percentage (.880), while he is second in shutouts (2) and fifth in saves-per-game (4.4).

Offensively, senior captain Billy Judino is tied for fourth in assists (3) and fifth in assists per game (.60). Senior Jon Imran, junior Alejandro Gessen and sophomore Adham Rashwan are tied with a multitude of other players for third in game-winning goals with one each.

ON THE NATIONAL SCENE UCF and Ryan McIntosh are both listed among the nation's best in save percentage (.880). The team is 13th, while McIntosh as an individual is ranked 17th.

BALANCING ACT The Golden Knights' offense has been well-balanced in the early stages of the season as only Adham Rashwan has scored more than one goal. Also contributing on the scoreboard are Imran, Gessen, Islam Rashwan and freshman Mike Mattson.

SHOT CLOCK In keeping with the traditions of the past, UCF is outshooting its opponents 66-40 thus far this season. The last time the Golden Knights were outshot was during the 2000 season when opponents had a 288-220 advantage.

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN Judino was tapped as UCF's captain after an impressive preseason training camp. "Billy has really committed himself to the team," said Coach Erwin. "He has fantastic talent and even better character."

Judino's versatility has enabled him to play in various positions throughout his career at UCF. After starting the 2004 season up front, he moved to the backfield by the end of the year. In 61 matches, he has collected six goals and 17 assists for 29 points. His 17 assists ties him with Remi Harriz for ninth on UCF's list for most in a career.

BIG MAC Joining Judino as the only two players on the roster that have played all four seasons at UCF, McIntosh has also made his mark in the program and has left his name in the record books. The Cooper City native made two saves in the win over Stetson on Sept. 13 to move ahead of Didier Mendard on UCF's career saves list. With 309 during his career, McIntosh sits in second. Three-time All-American Rick Brantincevic is first with 444 saves.

With the shutout against the Hatters, McIntosh posted his 20th career shutout and moved one closer to tying Brantincevic (21) in second place.

McIntosh has started 67 consecutive matches in goal since his freshman year.

AN HONORABLE MENTION McIntosh became the first UCF athlete to be honored by Conference USA as he was tapped as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 7. McIntosh made 10 saves and allowed only one goal in two matches at the UCF Kickoff Classic, while he also posted his 19th career shutout with a 1-0 win over Lafayette in the opening game.

FRESHMAN FRENZY With six true freshmen on a 21-man roster, it was inevitable that rookies would figure prominently in UCF's 2005 campaign. All have logged time on the field and some have appeared in the line of scoring. Mattson tallied his first collegiate goal in the win over Central Connecticut, while another forward Tyler Davis assisted on sophomore Islam Rashwan's tally in that same match.

Others earning time on the field include defender Jake Howard, who earned a starting role out of the preseason. In addition, Bryan Haisley and Jermaine Walters have seen time on the UCF attack.

HOME SWEET HOME The Golden Knights play seven of their eight matches at the UCF Soccer Complex during the month of September as they host two tournaments and in-state rivals Stetson and Florida Atlantic. The team begins the season with a six game homestand that ends with Florida Atlantic on Sept. 22 and also makes its Conference USA debut against Marshall at home on Sept. 30.

Conversely, UCF opens October at home against Kentucky before hitting the road for three tough C-USA contests at Florida International, SMU and Tulsa. The Knights return home for matches versus East Carolina and South Carolina then finish the season on the road at UAB and Memphis.