UCF Women's Soccer Claims C-USA Regular Season Crown


Nov. 2, 2007

Final Stats

Final Stats in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF women's soccer team not only acknowledged senior night Friday at the UCF Soccer Complex, the Knights celebrated their second Conference USA regular-season title in three years by defeating Southern Miss, 2-0. UCF will now serve as the top seed for the C-USA Championship next week, as it finished the regular season with a 12-3-3 record and a 7-1-1 mark in the league.

"Winning this game and clinching at least a share of the regular-season title is huge and it gives us a lot of confidence," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "We will enjoy tonight, train tomorrow and then have Sunday off. Monday is a travel day so we have to prepare for whoever we are going to play on Wednesday.

"We want to win the conference every year and we try to build a team that can do that. Obviously we lose talent every year but we bring in talent to make up for it. We have this tradition here of winning and we want to continue that."

Memphis still has a shot at sharing the league title. The Tigers, who UCF defeated in double overtime Oct. 28, need to win both of their matches this weekend to tie the Knights for first place.

UCF did not allow Southern Miss (8-10-0, 4-5-0) to record a shot in the second half, and completed the victory with a 27-3 edge for the match. The Knights also had eight corner kicks compared to the Golden Eagles' one.

Senior Jennifer Manis registered her seventh shutout of 2007, making just one save thanks to her defense stalling every USM chance in its offensive zone. Sophomore Becca Thomas notched two assists in the win, moving her season total to 10, which ranks in a tie for eighth on the UCF all-time list.

UCF had plenty of scoring chances throughout the first half against Southern Miss but went into halftime still scoreless. Seven minutes into the first session, the Knights earned their first opportunity when junior Hanna Wilde sent a pass over to sophomore Courtney Whidden in front of the box. Whidden got the defender off-balance, put the ball on her right foot and drilled a shot towards the left side. USM goalkeeper Anna Fiser dove to her right and barely got a piece to send the ball out of play.

Now with under 20 minutes remaining, Thomas was fouled inside the penalty box arc, setting up a direct kick. Thomas wrapped her shot around the USM wall, but it clanked off the right post. Moments later freshman Amanda Martorana had two great looks at the net only to see both of her shots turned aside by Fiser. UCF finished the half with a 12-3 edge in shots, while Fiser made six saves for the Golden Eagles.

Southern Miss started to get into all of UCF's passing lanes in the second half. A fortunate bounce, though, went the Knights' way in the 73rd minute. Thomas sent a ball in towards the net that was deflected over to sophomore Brianna Schooley who was 20 yards in front. She quickly settled it down and beat the keeper into the right side of the net for her fifth goal of the year.

Only 5:12 later, Thomas set up the insurance goal, and she earned the assist in a big way. The midfielder collided heads with a USM defender, but managed to push it forward to junior Danielle Dos Santos, who broke through the defense. Dos Santos easily beat Fiser in a one-on-one situation for her fourth tally of 2007. For Thomas, it was her 10th assist, although she needed to be helped off the field following the goal.

UCF now prepares to travel to the C-USA Championship Nov. 7-11. The event will be hosted by UTEP and the winner will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Many C-USA teams still have games to play on Sunday, so the Knights will learn in two days who they will take on in the first round.

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