UCF Women's Soccer Shuts Out No. 17 Illinois, 2-0


Sept. 14, 2008

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Battling not only its third ranked program of 2008 but also the extreme Florida heat, the UCF women's soccer team blanked No. 17 Illinois, 2-0, Sunday at the UCF Soccer Complex. The Knights earned goals from senior Danielle Dos Santos (Campinas, Brazil) and sophomore Amanda Martorana (Middleburg, Fla.) to upset the Fighting Illini (4-3-0) and improve their record to 5-1-1 on the season.

"This was pretty big for us. We've had this game in our heads for a long time," said dos Santos. "And since this was on our home field we came out pretty hard to defeat them. Our confidence level is high right now and we can't wait to play Kansas at home next weekend."

UCF's unbeaten streak reached six matches (5-0-1), while the Knights are 12-0-4 in their last 16 home matches. Their last loss at the UCF Soccer Complex was Oct. 6, 2006, against Memphis.

While the forwards put UCF ahead, freshman goalkeeper Aline Reis kept the Illini off the board, making four saves to rack up her fourth shutout in seven matches. Overall, Illinois had a 16-10 lead in shots while UCF had a 5-4 edge in corner kicks, with most of the Illini's corners coming late in the match with the score already 2-0.

"Once we got a hold of the ball 15-20 minutes in, we made them chase a little bit and I thought that helped our defense because they didn't have to work as much," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "Illinois is a great attacking team and they have some very dynamic forwards. Aline played well once again and I think our back line was awesome to keep the shutout. I'm proud of them today."

The temperature seemed to have an affect on both programs as substitutions would be a key factor in the match. That proved true on the lone goal of the first half. Although each team had good scoring chances during the opening frame, it was UCF that stormed ahead in the 42nd minute.

Setting up the Knights' third corner kick, junior Becca Thomas (Burlington, Wash.) delivered a perfect ball into the box for freshman Andrea Rodrigues (St. Petersburg, Fla.). After a quick pass to freshman Katie Jackson (Satellite Beach, Fla.) and another ball to dos Santos, the senior slipped a high shot above Alexandra Kapicka and into the right corner for her first of the year.

The goal scorer, dos Santos, and both Rodrigues and Jackson who earned assists all came off the bench for the Knights to produce the goal.

"In the first half most of our shots came from players off the bench, so that was important today for our bench personnel to step in and pick us up," said Cromwell. "We used a lot of players today. In a Sunday game with the heat, you have to do that."

Illinois had immediate thoughts of tying it up at 1-1 when the second half got underway. Taking possession on the left side, Jordan Hilbrands outran a pair of UCF defenders and rang a shot from the top of the box off the right post just 2:24 into the half.

That proved to be a huge moment in the match, as yet two more bench players eventually provided the Knights with a little breathing room in the 59th minute. A pass from the left side by freshman Sheri Hince was tipped over by junior Yvonne George to the right portion of the goal. Waiting six yards out, Martorana made no mistake and increased the lead to 2-0 on her first goal of 2008. That would be all UCF needed as the defense secured the shutout.

The UCF schedule does not get any easier next weekend even though it has just one match on tap. The Black and Gold are set to host No. 18 Kansas at the UCF Soccer Complex Friday at 7 p.m. It will be the final non-conference match of the season, and admission will be free to the public.

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
No. 17 Illinois (4-3-0) - 0
UCF (5-1-1) - 2
Goals: UCF Danielle Dos Santos (1) 42nd, Amanda Martorana (1) 59th
-Sunday's temperature in Orlando was forecasted to hit 93 degrees.
-UCF is now 2-1-0 against top-25 teams this season, defeating No. 17 Illinois and No. 19 Florida, with its only loss to No. 4 Florida State.
-UCF's six-match unbeaten streak is the longest since 2007 when it went 6-0-3 at one point during the year.
-Hanna Wilde recorded three shots, one on goal, for the Knights.
-Six of UCF's 10 shots were taken by non-starters.
-Katie Jackson, Andrea Rodrigues, Sheri Hince and Yvonne George all picked up assists Sunday. George now has a team-best three this year and Jackson has two. Meanwhile, it was the first collegiate points for the freshmen Rodrigues and Hince.