No. 22 UCF Meets Memphis in C-USA Women's Soccer Semis Friday

Nov. 6, 2008

UCF Women's Soccer Notes in PDF Format

HOUSTON, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - After a 2-1 win over host Rice in the first round, the No. 22 UCF women's soccer team prepares for Memphis in the semifinals of the C-USA Championship Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Tigers are serving as the No. 2 seed while the Knights are the third seed for the event.

Recapping the First Round
Danielle Dos Santos scored UCF's fastest goal since 2003, and Becca Thomas added the eventual game-winner to help the Knights get past Rice, 2-1, in the C-USA first round Nov. 5. Dos Santos got on the board just 1:37 into the match off a corner to put UCF up 1-0. Thomas then tallied an unassisted marker in the ninth minute. Keeper Aline Reis had one save, as the Knights outshot the Owls, 11-8.

Previewing Memphis
Co-regular season champs with ECU, Memphis had a tough battle with No. 7 UAB in the first round. After the game was scoreless through 74 minutes, the Tigers finally got on the board and went on to a 2-0 shutout. Lizzy Simonin owns nine goals to lead an offense that has eight players with at least three goals. Memphis has taken 311 shots compared to its opponents' 177, and keeper Elise Kuhar-Pitters who started vs. UAB has 27 saves and three shutouts.

The Series
UCF claimed a 2-1 overtime win at Memphis during the regular season on a header by Sarah de Leon in the 98th minute to take a 3-2-0 all-time series lead. The two schools shared the regular-season title a year ago and both went on to the NCAA Tournament. However, Memphis earned the C-USA tournament title with a 2-0 victory over the Knights in 2007.

2008 C-USA Championship
A quick breakdown of the semifinals (all times ET):
1) East Carolina vs. 5) Colorado College - 6 p.m.
2) Memphis vs. 3) UCF - 8:30 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 has 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 are currently on a five-game winning streak that started Oct. 19.

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.

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 five matches have been very kind to UCF, as they have outscored the opposition, 16-2. Danielle Dos Santos has 10 points during the winning streak, while Brianna Schooley (eight), Yvonne George (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 a 12-4-3 record with six shutouts in her first year at the Division I level. Reis also has 87 saves, good for a tie for seventh 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