Women's Soccer Opens C-USA Play In Texas This Weekend

Sept. 28, 2006

ORLANDO - With the momentum gained from an important win over UC Santa Barbara, the UCF women's soccer team opens its sophomore campaign in Conference USA at No. 9 Rice and Houston this weekend. The Golden Knights (4-4-1) make their league debut against the nationally ranked Owls (8-0-1) on Friday at 8 p.m. ET before taking on the Cougars (6-4-0) on Sunday at 2 p.m.

"The team really gained some confidence with the win over Santa Barbara," said UCF head coach Amanda Cromwell of last Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Gauchos. "The match was very similar to the ones we will face in C-USA in that UCSB was a quality opponent and it was a close game. We figured out the way to win and we are going to have to do the same against conference opponents."

Goals by freshmen Sarah de Leon (Lakewood, Wash./Lake HS) and Becca Thomas (Burlington, Wash.) gave the Golden Knights the win and halted a three-game skid. Junior Jennifer Manis (Pensacola, Fla./Washington HS) made four saves. She is currently tied for fifth in the conference with 37 total saves this season.

Led by C-USA Co-Defensive Player of the Week Amy McClintock, the Owls are off to the best start in school history and present a tough challenge for UCF. Although no fewer than 12 players have scored goals for Rice this season, junior Clory Martin leads the team with six.

Houston boasts two of the league's scoring leaders in sophomore Courtney Gaines and reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Week Sophia Mundy. Gaines has scored a conference-leading eight goals and added four assists for 20 points, while Mundy has recorded seven goals and six assists for 20 points. In goal, sophomore Shelby Scott has 1.50 goals-against average and a .787 save percentage.

"Both teams play the same formation and are athletic and organized," said Cromwell. "Rice has a more balanced attack, but Houston has built its offense around Sophia. The key to winning that game is going to be shutting her down."

Admission to UCF home women's soccer matches during the 2006 season is free courtesy of McDonald's. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.