Women's Soccer Hosts In-State Rival Florida International

Sept. 22, 2005

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

ORLANDO, Fla.-The UCF women's soccer team will host Florida International, Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. The Golden Panthers enter the match with a 2-2-3 season mark, while the Golden Knights own a 2-6 record.

The Golden Knights were defeated by No. 7 Florida Sunday afternoon, 2-0. Ameera Abdullah and Amanda Erickson scored both the Gators' goals in the first half of the match.

Abdullah netted her goal in the seventh minute when Cherry Pickman crossed and Abdullah sent the ball from the left side to the right side of the net. Erickson added an insurance goal in the 36th minute when Abdullah sent a corner kick up for grabs in front of the net.

The Gators and Golden Knights both took 13 shots on the afternoon, while Florida held a slight advantage in corner kicks, 2-1. Brittni Goodwin had nine saves in the goal for Florida, while Beth Harless had two for UCF.

UCF was led by Jessica Hallgren and Lydia Jones who each had three shots on goal, while Roberta Pelarigo and Jennifer Montgomery had two shots. Abdullah paced the Gators with three shots, two of which were shots on goal.

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 27 shots.

Jennifer Manis has started five contests in goal for the Golden Knights, while Beth Harless has made three 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 four goals with 11 saves and a 1.31 GAA.

The Golden Knights make their Conference USA debut when the squad hosts Southern Miss Friday, Sept. 30 at 5:30 p.m.

Florida International was defeated by Florida Atlantic, 1-0, Sunday afternoon in Miami.

Susanna Lehtinen netted Florida Atlantic's lone goal in the 33rd minute of the match.

The Owls held the advantage in shots (9-7) and saves (5-3), while the two teams were tied in corner kicks (3-3).

Leading the way for Florida International are seniors Janet Liguori and Tamara Kochen. Liguori (3 goals) and Kochen (1 goal, 2 assists) paces the team in points with six, while seniors Janessa Taddei and Nastassia Rodriguez are second with two points (1 goal). Junior goalkeeper Laura Snell has allowed five goals in 690 minutes of action for a goals-against-average of 0.65. Snell has also recorded 27 saves with three shutouts.

This will be the 31st time that UCF and Florida International have met on the soccer field. The Golden Knights lead the series, 23-4-3. The last time these two teams met was in 2004 with UCF defeating FIU, 2-1, in Orlando. Shannon Wing netted the first Golden Knight goal in the 30th minute of action with assists going to Becca Eshelman and Jessalyn Withers. The Golden Panthers tied the match up with less than 20 minutes to go when Janessa Taddei recorded an unassisted goal. Seven minutes later, Kate McCain scored the game-winning goal on a pass from Withers.

Junior forward Roberta Pelarigo and senior goalkeeper Beth Harless are both ranked among the best in Conference USA. Pelarigo is No. 7 in shots (27) and No. 9 in shots per game (3.38), while Harless is seventh in save percentage (.733).

The 2005 women's soccer team is currently 0-2 versus teams from the state of Florida. The Golden Knights fell to Florida State, 3-0, on Sept. 7 and Florida, 2-0, on Sept. 18.

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 27 corner kicks to opponents' 25 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 6-1-1 with wins over Florida International, Minnesota, USF, Tulane Air Force and Florida Atlantic. The team's only blemish came against Dayton, while the draw was with UAB. UCF had outscored its opponents, 22-4, in the first eight matches of the 2004 season.

The last time that UCF started the season 2-6-0 was in 2000. The squad finished the season with an 8-11-1 mark and was 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 their 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 (156), goals (34), total points (88) and game-winning goals (7), while Courtney Baines is ranked eighth 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 fourth in goals against average (0.83) 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 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.