Men's Soccer Travels West To Face Top C-USA Competition

Oct. 13, 2005

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ORLANDO - The UCF men's soccer team (6-3-1) faces two tough Conference USA opponents on the road when it travels to SMU and Tulsa this weekend. On Friday at 8 p.m., first-year head coach Brent Erwin guides the Golden Knights against his former team - the league-leading Mustangs.

"I don't really feel any pressure in returning to SMU," said Erwin. "I think the real excitement for the team is playing a top team like SMU. I know from experience that it is a great place to go play soccer."

UCF caps off the road trip against a deceiving Golden Hurricane squad on Sunday at 2:35 p.m. Tulsa sits second from the bottom in the C-USA standings with a 0-2-2 record but is also ranked in the national polls thanks to a tough non-conference schedule.

"We are facing two of the most talented teams in C-USA this weekend on the road," said Erwin. "We have to go into each of the matches believing that we have the ability to play them."

The Golden Knights are hoping to rebound from their first conference loss, a 3-0 shutout at the hands of in-state rival Florida International on Oct. 8. Entering the weekend, they are ranked fifth in the C-USA standings with a 1-1-1 record and four points.

SCOUTING SMU Ranked in the College Soccer News Top 30, the Mustangs are undefeated at 4-0 in C-USA play and part of the reason is their well-balanced scoring. No fewer than 11 players have at least a goal each with senior and one-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Week Duke Hashimoto leading the way with five goals.

Defensively, SMU is ranked seventh in the conference with a 1.68 goals-against-average. Sophomore Steve Sanbo has played over 1,000 minutes in net with a 1.80 GAA after allowing 21 goals.

SERIES RECORD Friday marks the first meeting between the two teams.

SCOUTING TULSA Tulsa, which was ranked No. 25 in the most recent Soccer Times poll, played two of the top three teams in nation - No. 1 New Mexico and No. 3 Creighton - prior to opening the C-USA campaign. More recently, the Golden Hurricane suffered identical 2-1 losses to Marshall and Kentucky.

Tulsa takes more shots than any other team in the league averaging more than 18 a contest. Senior Kyle Brown is tied for fourth among all players with 14 points on six goals and two assists.

On the other end of the field, Tulsa is sixth with a 1.50 GAA, while sophomore Dominic Cervi is seventh among C-USA keepers at 1.42.

SERIES RECORD The Golden Hurricane and Golden Knights will meet for the first time in program history on Sunday.

UCF IN CONFERENCE USA The Golden Knights are the third best defensive team in C-USA after allowing only 13 goals in 10 contests with a 1.27 goals-against-average. Senior goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh is third with a 1.27 GAA and second with an .817 save percentage and 5.80 saves per game.

Offensively, the Golden Knights are fifth in goals per game at 1.70. Individually, senior captain Billy Judino is listed among the top players in points per game (1.00) and is tied for ninth in assists (4).

ON THE NATIONAL SCENE As of the NCAA's latest statistical release on Oct. 9, Ryan McIntosh was listed in ninth with 5.8 saves per game.

COMEBACK KIDS UCF's rally from three goals down against Marshall was chosen by College Soccer News as the Comeback of the Week on Oct. 2. The Golden Knights were down 4-1 when they scored three goals in the final 10 minutes to tie the match. Jermaine Walters jumpstarted the squad with a goal in the 80th minute followed by two more by Jon Imran.

"Our team showed a lot of character coming back from being down 4-1," said first-year UCF head coach Brent Erwin after the double overtime contest. "It isn't an easy feat to accomplish in this game."

FRESHMEN FRENZY Rookies continue to make an impact on the Golden Knights as the team enters the mid-point of the season. Five 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 and is one of only four players to start all nine matches thus far.

Forward Mike Mattson tallied his first collegiate goal in the win over Central Connecticut State and is tied for the team lead in goals scored with three, including the game-winner against Kentucky. Another forward Tyler Davis posted an assist on Islam Rashwan's tally over CCSU.

Jermaine Walters recorded his first goal - the game-deciding tally - at North Florida before adding a second to start UCF's comeback against Marshall. Bryan Haisley has earned two starts in recent matches.

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

THE POWER OF ONE Six of UCF's matches have been decided by a goal with the team going 4-2 in those contests. The only two losses came as 1-0 decisions at the hands of then No. 23 Davidson and Hofstra at the UCF adidas Classic in mid-September.

HOT SHOTS The Golden Knights have outshot their foes in seven of 10 matches thus far this season and hold 143-114 overall advantage. They recorded a season-high 21 shots against Marshall. Jon Imran has posted the top two individual efforts with eight shots against Marshall and six against Florida Atlantic.

UCF is even more impressive in the second half when the Golden Knights have an 84-57 advantage on the shot clock. They have also outscored their opponents by a 13-7 margin in the final 45 minutes.

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN Senior captain Billy Judino continues to lead the Golden Knights in more ways than one as he tops the stat sheet with 10 points (3 goals, 4 assists) and has a team-high 21 total shots.

Judino earned his first accolade of the season when he 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 66 matches, he has collected seven goals and 18 assists for 32 points. With the helper on Mike Mattson's goal against FAU, Judino moved 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 345 during his career, McIntosh sits in second. Three-time All-American Rick Brantincevic is first with 444 saves.

McIntosh's shutout of the Hatters was his 20th career shutout and moved one closer to tying Brantincevic (21) in second place.

McIntosh has started 72 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. They are currently an impressive 5-2-1 at home.

October is the reverse. After opening the month in Orlando against Kentucky, the team hits the road for three tough C-USA contests at Florida International, SMU and Tulsa. The Golden Knights return home for matches versus East Carolina and South Carolina then finish the season on the road at UAB and Memphis.