Women's Soccer Begins 27th Season Friday in Tennessee

Aug. 30, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - With the month of August winding down, the UCF women's soccer team will be kicking off its 2007 regular season Friday at the Tennessee Lady Vol Classic. The Knights will face Big Ten members Minnesota Friday at 5:30 p.m. and No. 7 Penn State Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

UCF recently concluded its exhibition schedule against Northern Illinois and USF, and is coming off a 2006 campaign where it went 11-6-2 overall, 7-1-1 in Conference USA. Last year marked the sixth-straight season that the Black and Gold posted at least 11 victories.

The Knights are 15-10-1 in season-opening contests, and 2007 will be the third-straight year that they start a new schedule on the road. They have previously faced just three Big Ten opponents since 1981, and own a 3-3-1 mark all-time. UCF defeated Minnesota in the programs' only meeting in 2004, while it claims a 1-1-0 record vs. Purdue and a 1-2-1 record against Wisconsin.

UCF, which enters 2007 ranked No. 15 in the Southeast Region according to SoccerBuzz.com, returns most of its top scorers from a year ago, as well as its starting goalkeeper. In all, five of the Knights' top six point scorers are back for another season, including sophomore Becca Thomas, who recorded 12 points (four goals, four assists) as a freshman and led UCF this preseason with five total shots, three of which were on net. Senior Jennifer Manis, meanwhile, posted 72 saves in 2006 to rank ninth in school history on the single-season chart. She finished with a 1.07 goals-against average and four shutouts.

Minnesota may have went 1-8-1 in conference play last year, but it went 8-9-2 overall and is receiving votes in the SoccerBuzz.com Great Lakes Region poll. Lindsey Dare and Chelsey Turner split time in net in 2006, with Dare making 12 starts and earning a 0.93 GAA and Turner starting in seven matches and had a 1.69 GAA. Offensively, all three student-athletes who notched double-digit points return for 2007. Kaitlin Wagner (5-5--15) led the way, with Lindsey Schwartz (5-4--14) and Elena Fruci (4-2--10) close behind in the point column.

Penn State, ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA poll and No. 12 with SoccerBuzz.com, is coming off an appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and an 18-5-3 record. The reigning Big Ten champions outscored its opposition 49-27, as Aubrey Aden-Buie accumulated 28 points off 12 goals and four assists. Katie Schoepfer was not too far behind, totaling 21 points on eight goals and five helpers. In net, Alyssa Naeher nabbed a spot on the All-Big Ten Second Team and the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. She completed her first year with eight shutouts.

No. 22 Tennessee is hosting this weekend's tournament and will play Penn State Friday at 8 p.m. and Minnesota Sunday at 1 p.m. To access live stats for the event, check out www.utladyvols.com.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.