Wilde's Late Heroics Give Women's Soccer a 3-3 Tie vs. No. 11 Florida State


Sept. 22, 2007

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - In front of 956 fans at the UCF Soccer Complex Saturday, UCF's women's soccer team erased a 3-1 second-half deficit to tie No. 11 Florida State, 3-3. Junior Hanna Wilde (Westlake, Ohio) notched the game-tying goal with only 3:10 remaining to help the Knights stretch their record to 4-2-2 on the season.

The attendance was the largest crowd to witness a Knight home match since Nov. 21, 1982, when 1,134 fans saw UCF battle North Carolina in the NCAA Championship (UNC won, 2-0). That year was the first that the NCAA recognized women's soccer as an official sport.

UCF's three goals vs. Florida State were the most FSU (5-2-1) had given up all season. The Knights hit the net three times on 16 shots for the match, including two in the second overtime. Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Manis (Pensacola, Fla.) had a solid second half, making four of her seven saves in the crucial stanza.

"We weren't playing well on the back line in the first half," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "They play a very wide 4-4-2. They have wide midfielders and they try to stretch you. And we weren't doing a good job of pushing our midfielder up to their back and then having our back stepping up. We were just too tentative and giving them too much space in the first half and that killed us. At halftime I put our back four on the line and said `this game is on you guys.' And they all stepped up to the plate big time and played an awesome second half. This match could have gone either way. It was a really exciting game."

Both squads traded a pair of goals in a span of less than three minutes. Florida State was first to get on the board as the nation's leading goal scorer, Mami Yamaguchi, picked up her 13th goal of the year in the 19th minute. The Knights came right back in the 22nd minute to even things up at 1-1. On a perfect cross from sophomore Nikki Moore (Virginia Beach, Va.), sophomore Yvonne George (Winter Springs, Fla.) slammed her second goal of 2007 behind FSU goalkeeper Erin McNulty.

It did not take long, however, for the Seminoles to jump out to a two-goal lead as Sanna Talonen and Kirsten van de Ven hit the net in the 25th and 26th minutes, respectively, to close out the first half with a 3-1 advantage.

With Florida State riding a lot of energy entering the second half, UCF's offense returned in the 58th minute. Gaining possession in the FSU zone from teammate Becca Thomas (Burlington, Wash.), sophomore Courtney Whidden (Palm Harbor, Fla.) dribbled through the defense, stepped to her left to evade McNulty and drilled a shot into the lower left corner from the top of the box. Whidden's seventh goal of the year helped UCF inch closer at 3-2.

While FSU continued to try and add some more insurance, UCF's chances at moving the match into overtime looked bleak. But Wilde used some dynamic footwork and ball-handling skills to send the large crowd into a frenzy with only 3:10 remaining. Trying to find some room to work with in the left corner of the field, Wilde dribbled past two Seminoles and found a lane to shoot at from approximately 20 yards out. Her shot seemed to be sailing high but somehow dipped down just under the crossbar at the last second and UCF found itself tied at 3-3 thanks to Wilde's second goal of the season.

"I was surprised that it went in because I had that feeling her shot was going high," said Cromwell. "It was a great job by Hanna of cutting inside and being creative. We scored some great goals tonight and tying the 11th-ranked team in the country is satisfying."

Each team fought off fatigue in both overtime sessions, but neither could score the deciding goal. UCF's best chance came with under four minutes to go in the second OT when senior Kate Begley's (Hatfield, Pa.) header off a corner kick was barely turned aside by a Seminole defender on the goal line.

UCF wraps up its non-conference schedule Sept. 28 with a 7 p.m. showdown with defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Loyola (Md.). Admission is free to the public.

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.