UCF Upsets No. 15 SMU in Double Overtime


Oct. 27, 2006

Final Stats

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Freshman Courtney Whidden (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) netted her third goal of the season with five minutes remaining in the second overtime to give UCF the 2-1 victory over No. 15 SMU in Conference USA women's soccer action at the UCF Soccer Complex on Friday night.

The win moved the Golden Knights (11-5-1, 7-1-0 C-USA) into a tie with the Mustangs (14-3-1, 7-1-0 C-USA) for the top spot in the league standings. UCF extended its winning streak to five matches and snapped SMU's 11-game winning streak.

Both teams got chances to go up early in the game although neither hit the mark until UCF senior Roberta Pelarigo's shot in the 19th minute. Junior Kimber Bailey gave SMU the 1-0 lead in the 34th minute when she dribbled through the defense and sent the ball into the top right corner of the net.

After outshooting SMU by a 9-6 margin in the first half, the Golden Knights tied the match at one all in the 60th minute. Freshman Brianna Schooley (Coral Springs, Fla./Douglas HS) sent her shot low to the left for her third goal of the season.

The two teams each had opportunities to gain the advantage on the scoreboard in the waning minutes of regulation. With just a minute and a half remaining, UCF senior Michelle DeCespedes (Boca Raton, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas HS) watched SMU goalkeeper Ashley Gunter tip her shot over the crossbar.

It was in the 105th minute that Whidden found her moment to capitalize. Pelarigo's header was blocked away by Gunter, but Whidden picked up the rebound in the box and scored to the right side.

UCF finished the night with a 27-14 advantage in shots and a 7-5 margin in corner kicks. Junior Jennifer Manis (Pensacola, Fla./Washington HS) made five saves for the Golden Knights, while Gunter had seven for the Mustangs.

"It was a great college game because it showed off some high level soccer," said UCF head coach Amanda Cromwell. "Both teams got quality chances and play went back and forth. SMU is very dangerous up top, so I am very proud of the way our defense and Manis played. Our freshmen also really stepped up."

The match against SMU will be nationally broadcast on tape delay basis by CSTV on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET.

The Golden Knights cap off the regular season against Tulsa on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. The 2006 Conference USA Championship takes place from Nov. 1-5 at SMU's Wescott Field in Dallas, Texas.

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.