Women's Soccer Back Home to Face Rice, Houston This Weekend

Oct. 16, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Only five regular-season matches remain for the UCF women's soccer team, and it will begin a three-match homestand on Friday when it meets Rice at the UCF Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. The Knights also welcome Houston to town Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission for both Conference USA contests is free.

UCF's home schedule ultimately wraps up with senior day Friday, Oct. 24, vs. SMU at 7 p.m.

The 2008 season's toughest road trip came to a close last weekend when the Knights had to acclimate themselves to higher elevations in a journey to UTEP and Colorado College. Both outings went into overtime, where UCF and UTEP played to a 2-2 draw, but the Knights struck for the game-winner in the second OT against the Tigers on a header by sophomore defender Christina Petrucco.

With the 1-0-1 performance, UCF now holds an 8-3-3 overall record and is 3-1-2 in C-USA. Of the 14 opponents the Knights have faced this year, 13 of them currently have a record of .500 or better. Rice will continue that trend as the Owls are 7-6-0 this year and 3-3-0 in league play. Conversely, Houston stands at 4-8-1 for the season and holds an 0-5-1 C-USA mark.

Already in 2008, more Knights have recorded at least one point than in 2007, as 18 different players have registered a point compared to 16 student-athletes a year ago. Juniors Becca Thomas and Yvonne George continue to pace UCF with 10 points apiece, while senior Hanna Wilde, junior Courtney Whidden and freshman Katie Jackson all have seven points or more. Freshman keeper Aline Reis, who has started all 14 matches, brings a total of 63 saves into this weekend's action.

Rice claimed three-straight C-USA wins from Sept. 28-Oct. 5, defeating Marshall, SMU and Tulsa, however it dropped its last two decisions in road losses to UAB and Memphis. The Owls also posted a 2-0 defeat at the hands of East Carolina. The first half has treated them better than the second, as they have outscored opponents 10-8 and outshot them 93-80 in the opening frame. Shelley Wong has climbed the C-USA statistical charts by scoring seven goals for a team-high 14 points, and in net, Meghan Erkel has one shutout and a 1.52 goals-against average.

For Houston, the Cougars jumped out to a 4-1-0 record with wins over Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas State. But they have been unlucky lately, going 0-7-1 in their last eight with six of those losses coming by just one goal. UH will take on Southern Miss before traveling to Orlando Sunday. Even though the overall record is under .500, the Cougars have outshot opponents 175-147 and have given up just 15 goals. Jessica Zavalza leads her program with three goals, and Shelby Scott boasts an impressive 1.05 GAA in net.

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.