Knights Ready for Friday's NCAA Tournament First Round Meeting with Miami

Nov. 13, 2008

NCAA Tournament Notes in PDF Format

ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF makes its return to the NCAA Tournament when it meets Miami (Fla.) Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the first round in Gainesville. The winner will take on either Florida or California Sunday at 1 p.m. for the right to move on to the Sweet Sixteen.

Recapping the C-USA Championship
The Knights went 1-1 in this year's Conference USA Championship, defeating Rice, 2-1, in the first round before falling 2-0 to eventual tournament-champion Memphis in the semifinals. Danielle Dos Santos and Aline Reis both made the All-Tournament Team, as dos Santos scored 1:37 into the match vs. Rice and Reis tallied 10 saves during the event.

Previewing the NCAA First Round
After beginning the year 7-0-0, Miami went on to play one of the toughest schedules in the country, facing five-straight NCAA Tournament teams including non-ACC foes BYU, UCLA and San Diego. The Hurricanes will bring a 10-8-3 record into this weekend with 12 of those decisions against NCAA postseason clubs (UM went 2-7-3 in those matches).

Miami has outscored opponents 21-17 this season, but trails in shots (318-275) and corners (113-81). Brittney Steinbruch has eight of those goals for a team-high 16 points. In net, Vikki Alonzo has played every minute en route to 11 shutouts and a .865 save percentage.

The Series
This year was the first since 2000 that UCF and Miami did not meet in the regular season. But in the most recent clash in 2007, Courtney Whidden scored the tying goal with 2.8 seconds left in Orlando for a 2-2 draw. The goal was able to happen after UM's goalie committed a handling foul, picking the ball back up after already setting it on the ground following a save. On an indirect kick in the box, Becca Thomas sent it over to Whidden who slammed it through a wall of Hurricane players for the equalizer.

That tie moved the all-time series to 4-4-1, but the Knights have not defeated Miami since 2004.

2008 NCAA Tournament
A quick breakdown of the NCAA Tournament:
First and Second Rounds: Nov. 14 & 16*
Third Round: Nov. 21, 22 or 23*
Quarterfinals: Nov. 28, 29 or 30*
Semifinals: Dec. 5^
Final: Dec. 7^
* - Campus Sites
^ - Cary, N.C.

A History of NCAA Bids
The Knights currently rank tied for 16th in the nation and first in the Sunshine State with 13 all-time appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Their best finish was in the first year of the event in 1982 when they lost to North Carolina, 2-0, in the finals at UCF.

Of the 12 teams that qualified for the inaugural 1982 Tournament, five programs have earned bids in 2008: UCF, Boston College, Harvard, North Carolina and Princeton.

Plenty of Streaks This Year
UCF posted three separate unbeaten streaks of at least five matches during the season. It went 5-0-1 from Aug. 29-Sept. 14 and 3-0-2 from Sept. 28-Oct. 12. The Black and Gold then went on a five-game winning streak Oct. 19-Nov. 5.

A Difficult Non-Conference Schedule
UCF battled four ranked teams during the non-conference season and finished with a 5-2-1 record over that stretch. Its two biggest wins came against then-No. 19 Florida and then-No. 17 Illinois. By playing a challenging schedule, UCF's RPI according to NCAA.com was No. 24 before the 64-team field for the tournament was announced.

Rolling Along
During the five-match winning streak Oct. 19-Nov. 5, UCF outscored the opposition, 16-2. Danielle Dos Santos had 10 points during that span, while Brianna Schooley (eight), Yvonne George (seven) and Courtney Whidden (six) also posted impressive point totals.

The Freshman Keeper
Before the 2008 season began, the UCF coaches were wondering how to fill the hole leftover by Jennifer Manis, who was one of the program's all-time best goalkeepers. They found the answer in redshirt freshman Aline Reis. The Brazilian was injured for the entire 2007 campaign, but now has a 12-5-3 record with six shutouts in her first year at the Division I level. Reis also has 96 saves, good for sixth on UCF's single-season chart. She is the first freshman to serve as UCF's regular starting goalkeeper since Alyssa O'Brien in 1995. However, unlike last year where Manis played every minute in net, senior Jessie Gardner and junior Lynzee Lee also have seen action between the pipes to help UCF earn eight shutouts overall.

A Junior Class that Continues to Perform
Four of UCF's top six point scorers hail from the junior class this season. Yvonne George paces the Knights with 17 points (5-7--14). Sitting in third, Becca Thomas has five goals and six assists for 16 points, Courtney Whidden claims 13 points on six goals and one helper and Brianna Schooley has set up six goals while scoring two herself for 10 points.

UCF's C-USA Postseason Awards
All-C-USA First Team
Jr. D Nikki Moore
Jr. MF Becca Thomas
All-C-USA Second Team
Jr. F Yvonne George
Fr. GK Aline Reis
C-USA All-Freshman Team
Fr. MF Stacie Hubbard
Fr. GK Aline Reis
C-USA All-Academic Team
Sr. D Sarah de Leon
C-USA All-Tournament Team
Sr. F Danielle Dos Santos
Fr. GK Aline Reis