Women's Soccer Opens Homestand This Weekend vs. Illinois State, No. 17 Illinois

Sept. 11, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Holding a 3-1-1 record this season, the UCF women's soccer team returns to Orlando for a three-match homestand starting Friday against Illinois State at 7 p.m. The Knight also play host to No. 17 Illinois Sunday at noon, as it will already be the third ranked opponent for the Black and Gold in 2008.

UCF is coming off a very long weekend in which it traveled to California. It opened the trip by defeating Pacific, 1-0, then tied UC Davis, 2-2, Sept. 7. After practicing the next day at Pacific, the team flew home Monday and took Tuesday off to rest up.

Finding a groove in the Golden State, junior Becca Thomas scored in each match to give her three goals on the season. In net, freshman Aline Reis posted 10 saves vs. the Tigers in her third-straight shutout, then tallied five more in the draw against the Aggies. That effort enabled her to claim her first Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.

The offense also showed some promising signs in California. Its previous season-high shot total was 11 against Hartford, but UCF racked up 20 vs. UC Davis, including four from junior Yvonne George as nine different players reeled off at least one shot.

ISU (3-3-0) kicked off its 2008 campaign with three-consecutive victories over IPFW, UW-Green Bay and Loyola-Chicago. In those three matches, six different players tallied goals for the Redbirds. However it then got shutout by Northwestern, Purdue and UW-Milwaukee. Junior Katie Grill-Donovan has spent most of the time in goal, earning one shutout with a 1.09 goals-against average and 25 saves.

For the Fighting Illini, they stormed out with four wins against Missouri, Iowa State, Dayton and Washington State with two of those triumphs in overtime. Although it did drop the final game of the Lady Vol Classic to Tennessee, Illinois comes into the week ranked from No. 17 to No. 20 in the four major polls. Pacing the offense has been Chichi Nweke, who has two goals and two helpers for six points. Junior keeper Alexandra Kapicka has only faced 14 shots on goal and turned aside 10 of them. The Illini will head to Gainesville to take on Florida Friday before meeting UCF Sunday.

The Knights have never faced either Illinois State or Illinois. Meanwhile, the last time a ranked team came into Orlando was Sept. 22, 2007, when UCF battled No. 11 Florida State to a 3-3 tie.

Admission to all home soccer matches at the UCF Soccer Complex is free.

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.