Thomas' Late Goal Lifts No. 29 UCF Women's Soccer over Hartford, 1-0


Aug. 31, 2008

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Dealing with harsh winds all match long, the No. 29 UCF women's soccer team used a late goal by junior Becca Thomas to defeat Hartford, 1-0, Sunday in the Knights' home opener. Thomas scored with five minutes remaining in the match, marking the second-straight game UCF (2-1-0) tallied the game-winner with less than seven minutes on the clock.

"Hartford defended very well and its goalkeeper did a good job, I just thought we should have had one or two in the first half and we didn't put them away," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "Right from the first whistle I could tell with some of the frontrunners that their legs were just tired. The game today was a bit slow and it wasn't our style of play. It wasn't the game we were hoping for but it was the result we were hoping for."

Freshman goalkeeper Aline Reis collected her second-straight shutout, making three saves against the Hawks (2-1-1). UCF completed the windy afternoon with an 11-9 edge in shots, as Thomas led the way with three.

Hartford created the best scoring chances early in the first half, and the Hawks' Laura Guigli placed the first shot on net by either team with just over 20 minutes remaining. The midfielder broke through in front of the box and ripped off a shot that Reis made a diving save on, keeping Hartford scoreless.

The Knights then dominated the latter stage of the opening frame, with sophomore Kacie Horner earning the best scoring chance in the 39th minute from the right side of the box but Lauren Brodeur was able to reach out to make the save. Senior Hanna Wilde also came close to hitting the back of the net, taking a pass from freshman Kaci Kratch and sending a shot from 13 yards out just over the crossbar. UCF finished the half by taking four unanswered shots, and each teamed entered the break with five shots apiece.

The defenses stepped it up to get the second half going, but once again UCF turned it on as the clock wound down. A pair of headers by junior Yvonne George and senior Sarah de Leon helped sustain offensive momentum with under 20 minutes to go, and George eventually found herself with possession again in the right corner. Staving off a Hartford defender, she turned and fired a crossing pass into the box. After bouncing off a host of players, it scooted over to Thomas in the left side and she took advantage by drilling a shot into the middle of the net with the clock reading 5:00.

That proved to be the difference, as it was Thomas' third-career game-winning goal and ninth overall in her three seasons as a Knight. George, who scored the game-winner against No. 19 Florida Aug. 29, earned her first assist of the year.

UCF will be back on the road for its next two matches, traveling to California to take on Pacific Sept. 5 and UC Davis Sept. 7.

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.

Postgame Notes
Hartford - 0
No. 29 UCF - 1
Hartford (2-1-1): No scoring
UCF (2-1-0): Becca Thomas (85:00), goal No. 1 on the season, assisted by Yvonne George
-Brianna Schooley came off the bench and recorded two shots, one on goal.
-The Knights are now 7-1-0 in their last eight home openers.
-Hartford led UCF in corner kicks by a 4-2 margin.
-UCF was whistled for 11 fouls in the first half. Through the first two matches of the season, it combined for just 15 fouls. Through 90 minutes, the Knights were called for 20 fouls.