Men's Soccer Travels to UAB, Memphis

Oct. 27, 2005

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ORLANDO - The UCF men's soccer team (6-5-1) focuses on earning a berth to the Conference USA Tournament when it travels to UAB (8-6-1) and Memphis (6-6-2) this weekend. The Golden Knights, who have been on hiatus for two-weeks after last week's matches were postponed due to Hurricane Wilma, open the weekend with UAB on Friday at 8 p.m. before visiting Memphis on Sunday at 2 p.m.

With a 1-3-1 C-USA mark for four points, UCF enters the weekend at ninth place in the standings - just two points behind Tulsa and four points behind Memphis and Florida International - with two matches in hand. "Because the conference is so tight from the top to the bottom, every point is important," said UCF first-year head coach Brent Erwin. "We are facing two very good teams and we will have to play our best to win."

The top eight schools advance to the C-USA Tournament.

SCOUTING UAB With a 3-3-1 record and 10 points, the Blazers are in a three-way tie for third in the C-USA standings. UAB comes into its final regular season games after a 1-0 shutout win at Marshall and a 4-1 loss at Kentucky. Junior Sandy Gbandi leads the team and is tied for eighth in the conference in points with 14 points (5 goals, 4 assists), while C-USA Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year and Hermann Trophy candidate Leandro de Oliviera has posted seven points on two goals and three assists.

Defensively, senior A.J. Robles has made more saves (73) than any other goalkeeper in the league. He recorded his 10th career shutout in the win over the Thundering Herd and owns a 1.49 goals-against-average.

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

SCOUTING MEMPHIS Memphis enters the weekend in a tie for sixth with Florida International thanks to a 2-3-2 league record. Most recently, the Tigers beat Kentucky, 2-1, before losing to Marshall, 1-0.

Three of the top six goal-scorers in C-USA are Tigers. Senior Andy Metcalf leads all players in both points (24) and goals (10), while sophomore Marcus McCarty and Jared Britcher each have seven goals to their credit. C-USA Preseason Co-Player of the Year Dayton O'Brien is tied for the league lead in assists with seven and has also scored four goals.

In net, sophomore Tyler Strom has the conference's highest save percentage (.819) and is seventh in goals-against-average with a 1.54.

SERIES RECORD The Golden Knights and the Tigers have previously met twice on the turf with Memphis holding a 2-0 series lead. In 2000, the Tigers earned a 7-1 victory and also took a 2-0 shutout in 1992.

UCF IN CONFERENCE USA Despite being on hiatus for two weeks, the Golden Knights are currently second in the conference with a 1.31 overall goals-against-average. They have also given up fewer goals than any other team, allowing their opponents only 16 tallies. Senior Ryan McIntosh is second in most goalkeeping categories, including GAA (1.31), save percentage (.812), saves (69) and saves per game (5.75). He is third in shutouts with two.

Senior Billy Judino is tied with several players for 10th in assists (4).

ON THE NATIONAL SCENE As of the NCAA's latest statistical release on Oct. 25, Ryan McIntosh was listed in 11th with 5.75 saves per game.

SEASON INTERRUPTED Due to the projected path of Hurricane Wilma, UCF was forced to postpone its matches against East Carolina (Oct. 21) and South Carolina (Oct. 23). The games were rescheduled for Nov. 4 and 6, respectively, and C-USA administrators voted to have the 2005 conference tournament held on the campus of the highest seed from Nov. 9-13 with Nov. 12th as a practice day.

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 final stretch 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 11 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 Seven of UCF's matches have been decided by a goal with the team going 4-3 in those contests. The only three losses came as 1-0 decisions at the hands of then No. 23 Davidson and Hofstra at the UCF adidas Classic in mid-September and SMU on Oct. 14.

HOT SHOTS The Golden Knights have outshot their foes in seven of 12 matches thus far this season and hold 167-150 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, while Billy Judino has recorded a team-high 30 shots this season.

UCF is even more impressive in the second half when the Golden Knights have a 96-78 advantage in shots. They have also outscored their opponents by a 13-8 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 30 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 68 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 a current total of 356 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 74 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.