Men's Soccer Opens Conference Play with 1-0 Win


Sept. 20, 2008

Final Stats

Box Score

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Freshman Kevan George (Decatur, Ga.) scored the game-winning goal for the second-straight game as UCF (3-3-0, 1-0-0 C-USA) posted a 1-0 victory over visiting Memphis (1-6-0, 0-1-0 C-USA) Saturday night at the UCF Soccer Complex. The game was the conference opener for both teams and the home opener for the Knights after the team began the season with five consecutive games on the road.

"The most important thing we have talked about from the beginning is making sure we take care of business at home number one, and number two make sure we get wins at home versus conference teams," said head coach Bryan Cunningham. "We got that done tonight against a very good Memphis team."

With the game scoreless in the 59th minute, George found himself in the right place in the box. A Kyle Ellis (Bears, Del.) cross was deflected by Joe Crowley (Chadds Ford, Pa.) to the feet of George on the far side, and he slid the ball into the back of the net.

"I just made a run off a set piece and the ball came to me and I tapped it in," George said. "When it comes to me I am just happy to punch in the opportunity. Since last night everyone was focused and pumped, and the energy today in the locker room was amazing. We came out a little slow, but we picked up the intensity in the second half."

Despite playing down a man after a red card was issued in the 71st minute, Memphis had opportunities down the stretch to attempt to tie the game, but the Knights' defense was there each time to turn them away.

Sophomore Sean Johnson (Lilburn, Ga.) earned his second-straight shutout and third of the season, but need to make only two saves in doing so. The back line of the defense, including Bryan Collier (Fayetteville, Ga.), Ryan Roushandel (Atlanta, Ga.), Camilo Rendon (Miami, Fla.) and Matt Heffernan (Camp Hill, Pa.), effectively cleared the ball out of the box throughout the game.

The game was physical and intense for 90 minutes, with 31 fouls being whistled, five yellow cards being issued and the ejection of a Memphis player.

"It is a conference game so both teams have everything to play for and it was a battle," Cunningham said. "It was good for our young players to see how the rest of the games are going to be because this is Conference USA."

The second consecutive time George has tallied the difference maker in a 1-0 Knights' win, it was also the third-straight game the freshman has scored a goal. There may be a trend developing for George, who has scored all three goals between the 59th and 62nd minutes.

"He is a team player, he knows his role on the team and finds his way around the goal," said Cunningham. "The ball is finding his foot, and he is finding the back of the net. Right now he is fulfilling his role very well."

UCF returns to action at home on Wednesday, hosting North Florida in a non-conference game. The kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex.

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.

Men's Soccer Game Summary (Final)
Memphis (1-6-0, 0-1-0 C-USA) vs UCF (3-3-0, 1-0-0 C-USA)
Orlando, Fla. (UCF Soccer Complex)
Date: Sep 20, 2008 Attendance: 451

Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Memphis......................0 0 - 0
UCF..........................0 1 - 1

1. 58:40 UCF George, Kevan (3) (Joe Crowley, Kyle Ellis) - shot in close to near post after deflection

Shots: Memphis 13, UCF 11
Saves: Memphis 5 (Michael Goodlett 5) UCF 2 (Sean Johnson 2)
Corner kicks: Memphis 12, UCF 4
Offsides: Memphis 2, UCF 1
Fouls: Memphis 12, UCF 19