Knights Open Exhibition Season with 1-0 Defeat

Aug. 15, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The process of getting ready for the regular season began Friday night for the UCF men's soccer team, and the Knights fell 1-0 to visiting Rollins. The game, played just two days after UCF began practice, is the first of three exhibitions in preparation for the season opener on August 29.

After an apparent Knights' goal in the opening minute from Ryan Roushandel was disallowed due to an offsides penalty, the two squads went to the halftime break knotted in a scoreless tie. Despite starting six freshmen and three sophomores, the Knights controlled the possession for much of the first half.

"After two days of practice, it was a good start," head coach Bryan Cunningham said after the contest. "We had two goals called back, the creative play was there, and the fitness was there. We fell asleep for a second, and our new guys learned at this level if you take a second off it results in a goal. It is all part of a learning process, and we are excited to be underway."

The Tars scored the game's lone goal in the 73rd minute when a cross from the left side midielder found the head of an attacking Rollins forward, who delivered it off the post passed UCF keeper Sean Johnson.

"We were able to try a lot of different players. Nineteen different players saw the field, which is good for us," Cunningham added. "It is all a building process and we have two more exhibition games to move forward. Our three midfielders, Kevan George, Joe Crowley, and Yaron Bacher really set things up for our forwards, and that is great to see from young guys just after two days of practice."

UCF gets the 2008 season with five consecutive games away from their home field. The Knights open the season against two Big Ten opponents at the Ohio State Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic in Columbus, Ohio. The squad begins with a 5:00 p.m. tilt against Penn State on Friday, August 29. Two days later, UCF will square off against the host Buckeyes at 2:30 p.m.

All home matches at the UCF Soccer Complex are free to the public this season. The Knights will have a total of seven games on their home field, including the opener against Memphis on Saturday, September 20, at 7:00 p.m.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.