Men's Soccer Makes C-USA Debut

Sept. 29, 2005

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

ORLANDO - The UCF men's soccer team hosts Marshall (2-5) and Kentucky (3-2-2) in its first weekend of Conference USA action. The Golden Knights (5-2) put their two-match winning streak on the line against the Thundering Herd on Friday at 8 p.m. before taking on the Wildcats on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex.

In its first road contest of the season, UCF defeated North Florida, 3-1, on Sunday behind a goal and an assist by junior Alejandro Gessen.

The Golden Knights enter the first weekend of conference competition as the top team in C-USA followed by UAB, Florida International, Memphis and Kentucky.

Tickets for both of this weekend's matches 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 MARSHALL The Thundering Herd bring a three-match losing streak to Orlando and have only scored one goal in the past three outings. Most recently, they were shutout by Wright State, 2-0.

Marshall has three players with multiple goals. Seniors Stanton Smith and Kirk Gibson have scored three each, while their classmate Jeremy Ashe has two. Smith leads all players with nine points.

Both Greg Terhune and Greg Walter have seen time in goal. Terhune has posted a 2.80 goals-against-average in seven matches and Walter has recorded a 4.68 GAA in two contests.

SERIES RECORD Friday will be the third meeting between the Golden Knights and the Thundering Herd with both previous matches being played in Orlando. Marshall took a 2-0 lead in the series after earning a 2-1 double overtime win at the UCF/adidas Kickoff Classic in 2004. Terhune played half of that match, making four saves. Gibson and Karim Boukehmis each scored goals for Marshall and Jon Imran scored for UCF.

SCOUTING KENTUCKY The Wildcats enter the weekend with a 3-2-2 record, including a recent 1-0 loss to then No. 28 Michigan on Sept. 18. In their last outing, they tied Western Michigan, 0-0.

Senior Andy Grunebaum, the C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Preseason All-American, is second in C-USA behind UCF's own goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh in both goals-against-average (0.80) and save percentage (.806). He also leads the conference with four shutouts.

Junior Riley O'Neill is Kentucky's top scorer with three goals and eight points.

SERIES RECORD Sunday marks the third time that UCF and UK have met on the soccer field with the Wildcats holding a 1-0-1 series lead. In 2003, the two schools played to a 1-1 double overtime tie in the Bluegrass State. Grunebaum made four saves in that match, while McIntosh had five.

Kentucky last visited Orlando in 1995 and defeated the Knights, 2-0.

FRESHMEN FRENZY Rookies continue to make an impact on the Golden Knights as the team nears the midway point of the season. All six freshmen have logged time on the field in a majority of the matches and some have made contributions on the scoreboard. Defender Jake Howard earned a starting role in the backfield straight out of the preseason. Forward Mike Mattson tallied his first collegiate goal in the win over Central Connecticut State and scored his second goal against Florida Atlantic. Another forward Tyler Davis posted an assist on Islam Rashwan's tally over CCSU.

More recently, Jermaine Walters recorded his first goal - the game-deciding tally - at North Florida and Bryan Haisley earned his first start in that same match.

"I am very happy with the effort that the freshmen have given us this season," said first-year UCF head coach Brent Erwin. "They have accepted the challenges put before them and continue to work very hard to make meaningful contributions to the team."

ALL FOR ONE Five of UCF's first six games were decided by a goal. The Golden Knights have a 3-2 record in those games with the only two losses coming on 1-0 decisions against then No. 23 Davidson and Hofstra during the UCF adidas Classic.

The sixth match was a 4-1 UCF win over Central Connecticut.

UCF IN CONFERENCE USA The Golden Knights continue to boast some of the top players in C-USA. Ryan McIntosh leads the league in both GAA (0.71) and save percentage (.875), while he is second in shutouts (2) and third in saves (35). Senior captain Billy Judino ranks in the top 10 in points and is tied for second in assists (4). Judino is also listed in a tie along with Jermaine Walters, Alejandro Gessen and Jon Imran and a group of other players for fourth in game-winning goals with one each.

ON THE NATIONAL SCENE As of the NCAA's latest statistical release on Sept. 25, UCF and Ryan McIntosh were both listed among the nation's best in save percentage (.875). The team is 10th, while McIntosh as an individual was ranked 12th.

SHOT CLOCK Seven matches into the season, UCF has dominated offensively. The Golden Knights have outshot their opponents by a 95-62 margin and hold an 11-5 advantage in scoring. Three players - Billy Judino, Alejandro Gessen and freshman Mike Mattson - lead the team with two goals each.

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN Senior captain Billy Judino was chosen as the SoccerFla.com Player of the Week on Sept. 27 after recording five points in two matches against in-state rivals. He recorded the game-winning goal and added an assist in the 2-1 victory over Florida Atlantic then scored his second tally of the season in a 3-1 win at North Florida.

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 63 matches, he has collected seven goals and 18 assists for 32 points. With the helper on Mattson's goal against FAU, Judino moves into sole possession of eighth place on UCF's list for most assists in a career.

BIG MAC Joining Billy Judino as the only two players on the roster that have played all four seasons at UCF, Ryan 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 322 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 69 consecutive matches in goal since his freshman year. He also became the first UCF Athlete to be honored by Conference USA when he was tapped as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 7.

HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE The Golden Knights went 4-2 as they opened the season with a six-game homestand. September's schedule featured seven matches at the UCF Soccer Complex, including the team's C-USA debut against Marshall on the 30th.

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.