Men's Soccer Drops Final Exhibition to Tampa

Aug. 19, 2006

ORLANDO - Senior Keeron Benito scored off a direct kick in the 80th minute as the Tampa men's soccer team edged UCF, 1-0, in an exhibition match on Saturday night at the UCF Soccer Complex.

The two squads were scoreless after the first half although both found scoring opportunities. Sophomores Ryan Roushandel and Chris Andaur forced UT goalkeeper Mike Devore to make saves early. On the other end of the field, Spartan Ryan Maxwell had a chance blocked away by UCF freshman defender Akin Akinrinade in the 34th minute before sophomore keeper Marcus Rein made a save on Benito a minute later.

Inclement weather in the area suspended play for an hour at intermission. When the game resumed, the Golden Knights continued to pressure the ball and finished the match leading 9-4 in corner kicks. The best chance came as sophomore Mike Mattson fed a cross to classmate Zak Boggs, whose shot went just wide.

Both teams played tighter in the final 15 minutes. After yellow cards were given to both sides, Benito found the back of the net on the resulting free kick to give the Spartans the win.

Rein made four saves in the first half before freshman keeper Dex Norman relieved him at the start of the second. Norman made two saves and surrendered the goal. Devore stopped five shots.

"It was a great match and we offer our congratulations to Tampa because they played very well," said UCF head coach Brent Erwin. "Every preseason game is a time to learn about ourselves. I thought the first half was a very fast-paced game. In the second half, with the hour-long delay due to rain, our younger players and substitutes got a lot of action and were able to learn a great deal against a strong opponent. Now, the preseason is over and we have to turn our attention to play our season opener next week."

The Golden Knights open up the regular season at the Wake Forest Invitational against the host Demon Deacons on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.