Men's Soccer Senior Salute: Bryan Collier

Oct. 29, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - It can be tough to make an impact or a difference in a short period of time, but in just one season with the men's soccer program, UCF senior Bryan Collier has done just that. The Virginia Tech transfer has been elected a team captain, been named to two all-tournament teams and started each of the team's games.

After graduating from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2008, Collier found the opportunity to accomplish multiple goals by transferring to UCF. With one year of eligibility remaining, the Fayetteville, Ga., native saw the chance to play for head coach Bryan Cunningham at UCF while also pursuing his master's degree.

"It gave me an opportunity to follow my dreams and play soccer, and also to have a chance to get my master's degree," Collier said. "I am very happy with my decision, both soccer and school."

Collier is one of 18 newcomers on the 2008 Knights' roster, but the defender brought a completely different resume to the program than the others. As a Hokie in 2007, Collier started every game for a Virginia Tech team that went 14-4-5 and made it to the College Cup, soccer's equivalent to the Final Four. He says the trip to the College Cup is the highlight of his soccer career to date.

It is that experience on a young team that made Collier an immediate leader on and off the field for UCF this season, and he was named one of the team's co-captains. On the field, Collier was named to the all-tournament team in both of the Knights early-season tourneys and has stabilized a defensive unit with five shutouts.

"Bryan stepped in this year and has been a leader from the first day of preseason," said head coach Bryan Cunningham. "I truly hope our young players have learned from his ability to lead by example in practice, games and the classroom. I wish we had him for a few more seasons."

While Saturday night will mark Collier's final home game, the senior hopes this season is far from over.

"I want to get to the conference tournament, and then once we get there win it to get an NCAA tournament berth," he said.

After the season, Collier will explore his options to play professionally. Down the line, he hopes to use his degree to fulfill the dream of becoming a general manager of a professional soccer team.

"I will think back and remember coming into a new environment and helping the team reach some of its new goals," Collier said of his time at UCF. "Coming in and being an impact player and helping teach the younger athletes from the experience I already had."

Collier and the Knights host Florida Atlantic on Saturday night at 7 p.m. for "Senior Night." Along with fellow seniors Chris Andaur and Ryan Roushandel, he will be honored prior to kickoff.

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.