First-Half Offense Propels UCF Past Mercer, 4-2


Oct. 13, 2009

Box Score

UCF-Mercer Box Score

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With a first-half offensive explosion, UCF (5-4-2) built a 4-0 first-half lead and cruised to a 4-2 victory over Mercer (4-6-2) Tuesday evening in men's non-conference soccer action at the UCF Soccer Complex. The game marked the final non-conference contest of 2009 for the Knights, who finished the portion of their schedule at 4-2-2.

The offensive output was paced by junior Camilo Rendon (Miami, Fla.), who scored on both of his shot attempts for the first goals of his UCF career. Sophomore Cameron Cooksey (Marietta, Ga.) and freshman Nicholas Keown-Robson (Auckland, New Zealand) both tallied two assists in the victory.

"It was imperative to get off to a great start tonight," said head coach Bryan Cunningham. "We talked about the past few days after coming off the big win at FIU last week. It was a big focus in practice to get off to a fast start, put the ball in the back of the net and finish it off."

A pair of freshman teamed up to get UCF on the board first in the 12th minute. After beating a defender, Robson crossed a ball into the box, and fellow freshman Ben Hunt (Auckland, New Zealand) headed the ball past the keeper to the far post.

Rendon then got into the mix in the 23rd minute, getting the ball from Cooksey 40 yards from the goal and outracing the defense to fire a shot past the keeper from just outside the box.

Freshman Adam Kraemer (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) then tallied his first career goal in the 28th minute, scoring off a shot in close after a string of passes from Cooksey and Robson. The two-assist game for Robson gives him five assists on the season and a team-high 13 points.

Just over a minute later, Rendon ripped his second shot into the back of the net. Rendon was the beneficiary of a cross from freshman Malcolm Reed (Summerville, S.C.) and a tap back from sophomore Kevan George (Decatur, Ga.). It was the first career assist for Reed and the first of the season for George.

"The team came out with a good start and communicated right off the bat," said Rendon. "That is when good things started happening and goals came one after another. I am just trying to get in the mindset of scoring goals and creating scoring opportunities for my teammates. It was a complete team effort at the end of day."

The Bears scored a pair of goals in the second half for the final margin, getting one from Chrispine Ong'Ango in the 62nd minute and another from Charles Peterson in the 84th minute.

The young Knights, who started eight freshmen Tuesday night, have vastly improved on the offensive end from a season ago. With the four goals against Mercer, UCF has 18 markers in 11 games this season, surpassing its 2008 season total of 16 in 19 contests. The Knights also have fired 171 shots on the year, just 13 shy of its 2008 total.

With the non-conference schedule in the books, UCF turns its attention to gaining a berth in the Conference USA Tournament. The Knights will host C-USA leader Marshall on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

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.

Soccer Game Summary (Final)
Mercer vs UCF (Oct 13, 2009 at Orlando, Fla.)
Mercer (4-6-2) vs. UCF (5-4-2)
Date: Oct 13, 2009 Attendance: 242

Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Mercer.................... 0 2 - 2
UCF........................ 4 0 - 4

1. 11:33 UCF HUNT, Benjamin (3) (ROBSON, Nik) - cross to far side; haeder past keeper far post
2. 22:12 UCF Rendon, Camilo (1) (COOKSEY, Cam) - tapped ahead past defense; beat keeper from outside
3. 27:25 UCF Kraemer, Adam (1) (ROBSON, Nik;COOKSEY, Cam) - cross deflected to shot in close
4. 28:44 UCF Rendon, Camilo (2) (REED, Malcolm;GEORGE, Kevan) - cross into box; tap back to 12-yard shot
5. 61:28 MER Ong'Ango, Chrispine (2) (Ong'Ango, Chrispine) - cross into box; shot from 8 yards
6. 83:18 MER Peterson, Charles (1) (unassisted) - left-footed rip from 30 yards out

Shots: Mercer 16, UCF 19
Saves: Mercer 7 (VanValkinburgh, Dan 7), UCF 5 (Doyle, Shawn 5)
Corner Kicks: Mercer 7, UCF 5
Fouls: Mercer 6, UCF 14
Offsides: Mercer 1, UCF 0