Manis' 12 Saves Lifts Women's Soccer to 2-1 Season-Opening Win over Minnesota


Aug. 31, 2007

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF struck for a pair of goals to kick off the 2007 season Friday and held on to defeat Minnesota, 2-1, in the first match of the Lady Vol Classic hosted by Tennessee. The Knights' victory improved their all-time record in season-openers to 11-5-1.

"It's always nice to get a win against a quality opponent," said associate head coach Colby Hale. "I thought Minnesota played very well. And Jennifer Manis was huge for us today. Overall as a team, we have a lot to work on, but that's pretty normal for a first game. We made some adjustments in the second half and I thought our attacking players responded very well."

Manis, a senior goalkeeper from Pensacola, Fla., put on a show in Knoxville, making 12 saves for the evening, which ranked tied for 11th in the UCF single-game record books. The only goal she gave up came with just five seconds left in the match.

The 2007 season opened exactly how UCF (1-0) wanted to, by taking a 1-0 lead early in the match with the Gophers (0-1). In the 10th minute, junior Hanna Wilde (Westlake, Ohio) ripped a shot on target that a Minnesota player tried to clear at the last second, but the ball still found the net.

Minnesota seemed to be earning plenty of chances at the UCF net, racking up 10 corner kicks in the first 21 minutes of the contest. Each time, the Black and Gold defense did not budge, and Manis eventually finished the first half with six saves.

The Gophers, who finished with 30 shots for the match, continued their offensive pressure into the second half only to see the Knights break through for a 2-0 cushion in the 66th minute. Taking a pass from sophomore Yvonne George (Winter Springs, Fla./Winter Springs H.S.), classmate Courtney Whidden (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University H.S.) delivered a close-range shot behind UM keeper Chelsey Turner and into the back of the net. It was Whidden's fourth-career goal and second game-winner.

Although Minnesota was able to fire off eight shots (two on goal) after UCF's second goal to complete the game, including Lindsey Schwartz's tally with five ticks left on the clock, Whidden's goal proved to be the difference.

The Knights will have Saturday off before completing the Lady Vol Classic Sunday, where it faces one of the top teams in the country and another Big Ten member, No. 7 Penn State, at 10:30 a.m.

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