Halbert's Goal with 1:01 Left Gives UCF Women's So

Oct. 5, 2008

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Making her first appearance of the season after recovering from an injury, sophomore Lauren Halbert (Niceville, Fla.) scored the game-tying goal with 1:01 remaining in the match to guide the UCF women's soccer team to a 1-1 draw vs. East Carolina Sunday at the UCF Soccer Complex. The Knights (7-3-2, 2-1-1) held a commanding 28-11 lead in shots vs. the Pirates (8-3-1, 3-0-1), marking the most shots they racked up in a match since Oct. 21, 2007.

Since UCF possessed the ball most of the afternoon, goalkeeper Aline Reis (Campinas, Brazil) did not see much action but was still able to collect two saves in the tie. Conversely, ECU keeper Amber Campbell finished with seven saves. Junior Brianna Schooley (Coral Springs, Fla.) had a game-high five shots for the Knights.

Junior Yvonne George (Winter Springs, Fla.) continued to be the sparkplug for UCF's goals Sunday. The forward earned her career-high sixth assist by setting up Halbert's game-tying tally.

A pair of offside calls negated two UCF goals in the match, while the Knights also had a penalty kick attempt sail wide with the score knotted at 0-0 in the second half.

"We were fighting until the end but I thought we were unlucky not to be ahead at that point," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "Even though we had 28 shots, only eight were on goal. Usually we have at least half on goal. ECU is a very good defensive team and they have a very good goalkeeper, but I think we needed to make that extra pass and we weren't very composed in the attacking third today."

The first six shots of the match all came from UCF, with the sixth attempt a header by junior Courtney Whidden (Palm Harbor, Fla.) in the 21st minute that Campbell had to lunge to her right to make the save. The Knights then appeared to have scored when sophomore Amanda Martorana (Middleburg, Fla.) hooked up with senior Danielle Dos Santos (Campinas, Brazil) who put it in the back of the net with about 10:30 remaining in the half. However, the celebration was short lived as the offside flag was in the air.

UCF finished off the opening half by outshooting the Pirates, 10-1, with many of those shots going wide of the net. The Black and Gold reeled off double-digit shots without the benefit of a corner kick.

When the second half opened, the Black and Gold once again thought it had the lead on a goal from junior Becca Thomas (Burlington, Wash.) just a couple minutes in. This time it took even longer from everyone on the field to realize the goal would be called back due to the play being offside. The Knights had another prime opportunity to get the go-ahead marker with 32:59 remaining when dos Santos was fouled in the box to set up a penalty kick. Thomas lined up and had her eye on the left corner only to see her shot sail just wide of the target.

Although UCF secured momentum for the first 66 minutes, an ECU rush in the 67th minute paid off as Alexis Foltz took a pass on the left side and placed her shot just under the cross bar for a 1-0 Pirate advantage. The Knights continued to pressure Campbell in the ECU net the rest of the way and it looked like all of the work the UCF offense put into the match would not bring any C-USA points.

A key contributor off the bench as a freshman in 2007, Halbert finally earned some playing time vs. East Carolina and it could not have come at a better time. With George finding a lane into the box on the left-hand side of the pitch, she got past a pair of Pirates and had a great look at the net. With a host of purple jerseys now entering the 18, George decided not to be greedy, looked up and saw Halbert waiting on the opposite wing. A low pass found Halbert perfectly and she hit the mesh from 11 yards out.

"It was really exciting, but Yvonne did most of the work, I was just in the right place at the right time," said Halbert. "I felt we were getting close (to scoring), we pushing forward getting shots and corners. We had two goals taken away from us and we deserved to score. These girls worked so hard the entire game and I'm just glad I could put one away for them."

The best scoring chances of the two overtime sessions came by UCF. The first occurred on a Christina Petrucco (Plantation, Fla.) header off a corner kick with a little over five minutes left in the second OT. Moments later, George clanked a shot off the right post.

A lengthy road trip now awaits the Knights as they prepare to travel to UTEP Friday for a 9 p.m. ET showdown. Next weekend wraps up at Colorado College Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. ET.

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Postgame Notes
East Carolina (8-3-1, 3-0-1) - 1
UCF (7-3-2, 2-1-1) - 1
Goals: ECU Alexis Foltz (3) 67th, UCF Lauren Halbert (1) 89th
-UCF outshot ECU 8-3 in overtime.
-The Knights also held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
-Yvonne George now has two goals and six assists for a team-best 10 points this year.
-UCF moved to 4-0-2 all-time against East Carolina.
-Becca Thomas had four shots, while Emily Maynard ripped off three attempts against the Pirates.
-Along with goalkeeper Aline Reis, Amaka Ofuani, Stacie Hubbard and Christina Petrucco played all 110 minutes.
-UCF averaged 291 fans last season, but this year the Knights are averaging 344 fans per match. A total of 711 fans came out for the two weekend matches vs. Marshall and ECU.