No. 22 Women's Soccer Heads to Houston for the C-USA Championship

Nov. 4, 2008

? UCF vs. Rice: Watch |
? C-USA Championship Central
? UCF Soccer Game Notes

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With the regular season in the past, the No. 22 UCF women's soccer team enters the postseason as the No. 3 seed for the Conference USA Championship and will take on No. 6 Rice on the Owls' home field Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. Semifinals of the single-elimination tournament are Friday with the title match on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on CBS College Sports.

Recapping Last Weekend
Four different Knights scored goals to give UCF a 4-1 road win over Southern Miss Oct. 31. After the match was tied at the half, Yvonne George scored the eventual game-winner in the 52nd minute and they cruised the rest of the way.

The win enabled UCF to stretch its winning streak to four-consecutive games, its best of the season. The Knights' longest unbeaten streak in 2008 is six matches (5-0-1).

Previewing Rice
The Owls were one of just two C-USA teams to defeat the Knights during the regular season (UAB was the other), a 2-1 double-overtime loss in Orlando Oct. 17. But they suffered 1-0 losses to UTEP and Houston to end C-USA play with a 10-8-0 overall record and 6-5-0 mark in the league. Erin Scott, who scored both goals vs. UCF this year, has seven goals and six assists for 20 points, with Shelley Wong right behind with 8-1--17 totals. In net, Meghan Erkel has made 17 starts and owns a 1.34 GAA with 84 saves.

The Series
Rice's win on Oct. 17 was its first vs. UCF in the all-time series. However, the Black and Gold still claim a 3-1-0 lead. The Knights first played the Owls in 2005, a 3-0 win, before topping them once again the next year in Houston, 1-0. They did not meet in the 2007 regular season, but UCF claimed a 1-0 win in the C-USA semifinals at UTEP.

2008 C-USA Championship
A quick breakdown of day one (all times ET):
1) East Carolina vs. 8) SMU - 1 p.m.
4) UTEP vs. 5) Colorado College - 3:30 p.m.
2) Memphis vs. 7) UAB - 6:30 p.m.
3) UCF vs. 6) Rice - 9 p.m.

Impressive Record vs. Top C-USA Teams
With C-USA continuously getting better each year, UCF remains one of the top programs in the league and it showed with a 2-0-2 record vs. No. 1 ECU, No. 2 Memphis, No. 4 UTEP and No. 5 Colorado College. Oddly enough, though, all four of those matches went into overtime.

Plenty of Streaks This Year
UCF posted three separate unbeaten streaks of at least four matches during the regular season. It went 5-0-1 from Aug. 29-Sept. 14, 3-0-2 from Sept. 28-Oct. 12 and 4-0-0 from Oct. 19-31.

Spreading the Love
The Knights have had 13 different players score at least one goal during the 2008 campaign. That ranks in a tie for second in C-USA with East Carolina and SMU. Tulsa has 17 different goal-scorers to rank first.

Meanwhile, a total of five Knights have at least 10 points, tops in the league with Memphis and UTEP.

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 is No. 24 (as of Nov. 3).

Rolling Along
The last four matches have been very kind to UCF, as they have outscored the opposition, 14-1. Danielle dos Santos has eight points during the winning streak, while Yvonne George (seven), Brianna Schooley (seven) and Courtney Whidden (six) also have 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 an 11-4-3 record with six shutouts in her first year at the Division I level. Reis also has 86 saves, good for a tie for eighth 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
Three of UCF's top four point scorers hail from the junior class this season. Yvonne George paces the Knights with 17 points (5-7--14). Tied for third, Courtney Whidden has 6-1--13 totals while Becca Thomas boasts four goals and five assists for 13 points as well. Right behind the trio in a tie for sixth, Brianna Schooley has two goals, five assists and nine points.