UCF Fall Classic Action Kicks off on Friday

Sept. 20, 2007

UCF Men's Soccer Notes at Fall Classic in PDF Format
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UCF Fall Classic Information

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After spending much of the month of September on the road, the UCF men's soccer team (2-3-1) returns home this weekend to host the College of Charleston, Wofford and Stetson in the UCF Fall Classic. Admission is free to all four matches at the UCF Soccer Complex.

Kicking off the tournament on Friday, Sept. 21, Stetson (3-2-0) faces Wofford (2-2-1) at 5 p.m. followed by the Knights taking on Charleston (6-0-0) at 7:30 p.m. The classic continues on Sunday, Sept. 23 at noon as the Hatters square off against Charleston. In the final match of the tournament, UCF plays Wofford at 2:30 p.m.

UCF retained its No. 10 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division I South Region Poll this week. The Knights are coming off a disappointing 3-2 loss at Boston University on Monday night, a game that included goals by senior James Georgeff (New Castle, Australia) and junior Ryan Roushandel (Atlanta, Ga./Marist School). Entering the weekend, Roushandel is tied for first among Conference USA players with 23 shots and is tied for third in goals with three.

After playing five the first six games of the 2007 season on the road, the Knights are focused on turning their homecoming into some victories as they look to return to the form that saw them capture the title at New Mexico's TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitational earlier in the month.

"We have to be prepared to play every opponent because every game is the opportunity to earn a result," said UCF's first-year head coach Bryan Cunningham. "We have a young team that is still learning. We have had some mental breakdowns that resulted in goals. It's something that we have been correcting on a daily basis in practice."

The Knights face the challenge of an undefeated College of Charleston team to open the classic on Friday night. Currently ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA South Region poll, the Cougars have posted four shutouts thus far this season and senior goalkeeper Corbin Waller owns a 0.17 goals-against-average. Offensively, sophomore Kareem Yearwood leads the squad with five goals and an assist for 11 points.

"Charleston is well-coached and playing at the top of its game early in the season," said Cunningham. "They offer us the challenge of going against a team that is skilled on both ends of the field."

The Knights and the Cougars have met four previous times on the pitch with Charleston owning a 3-1 advantage. During their most recent match in 2006, Charleston claimed a 5-1 win at the Aaron Olitzky Memorial Classic in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The lone UCF victory came in 1993 as a 1-0 shutout.

Wofford, meanwhile, has gone without a win in its previous two matches, but took South Carolina, the South Region's No. 4 ranked team and UCF's Conference USA rival, to overtime on Sept. 16. The Terriers have scored four goals in their first five games of the season with a pair of them coming off the boot of freshman Kentrel Owens. In goal, junior Joey Taylor has posted a 0.76 GAA with three shutouts.

"Wofford is also a well-coached team," said Cunningham. "Taking South Carolina into overtime only proves how hard working they are. They are a patient team that relies on defense and capitalizes on their opponent's mistakes."

UCF has gone undefeated at 3-0-1 in the previous four meetings against the Terriers. The most recent match-up in 1996 resulted in a 2-2 overtime tie.

The tournament's fourth participant, Stetson defeated the South Region's No. 6 team Clemson, 2-1, on Sept. 18 after handing UCF a similar decision six days earlier. Both senior Tanner Wolfe and freshman Eugene Starikov each have two goals to lead the Hatters, while senior Evan White has posted a 0.98 GAA.

Fans attending the UCF Fall Classic are encouraged to arrive early as the new UCF Arena is hosting an event that begins at 8 p.m. Parking is available for $5 in Garage F.

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 pics.