No. 12 UCF Hits the Road to Square Off with Rice, Houston

Oct. 15, 2009

By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - A four-match road trip gets underway this weekend when the No. 12 UCF women's soccer team travels to Texas to face Rice Friday at 8 p.m. ET and Houston Sunday at 2 p.m. The Knights (10-3-1, 5-1-0) are currently in sole possession of first place in the Conference USA standings with five regular-season contests left on the schedule.

Victors of four-consecutive matches, UCF received several awards leading up to its journey to the city of Houston. Senior midfielder Becca Thomas was selected as the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, to the national Soccer America Team of the Week, as one of the OrlandoSportsCentral.com Top Standouts and the UCF Bright House Student-Athlete of the Week. She earned the honors after scoring the game-winning goals over UTEP and Colorado College last weekend.

Meanwhile, senior back Nikki Moore was tagged as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week by holding two of the league's top offenses to a combined 25 shots, and she also tallied a goal in the win over the Tigers. The Knights have now had six different players named a weekly-award winner by C-USA.

So far in 2009, senior Courtney Whidden continues to pace the offense with seven goals, four assists and 18 points. But the scoring has been spread out with 13 different players tallying at least one goal, while 17 players overall have registered one point or more.

Sophomore keeper Aline Reis has taken charge in net, earning the last three victories for the Black and Gold. However senior Lynzee Lee has been dominant in her four matches as well, posting a 0.54 goals-against average and a 3-0-1 record.

Although it owns a 3-9-2 record and is 1-5-0 in C-USA, every game this year it has played has been extremely close. All of the nine losses have been by one-goal margins, including seven contests that were 1-0 finals. And the Owls' two ties came against Baylor and New Mexico. But after starting 0-5 in league play, they rebounded to defeat Memphis, 2-1, Oct. 11. Erin Scott and Kate Edwards lead the attack with three goals apiece, and in net, Meghan Erkel has seen most of the time, posting a 1.12 GAA with no shutouts.

Last year marked Rice's first win over the Knights, topping the Black and Gold 2-1 in overtime. But UCF still leads the all-time series, 4-1-0.

Across town, Houston claims a 3-8-2 mark and is 1-3-2 in league action with a win over East Carolina and ties vs. SMU and UAB. The Cougars also have played several tight games, with all eight of their losses coming by two goals or less. Although UH does not have a player with more than two goals, it has the same number of shots (145) as its opponents this year. And between the pipes, Lauren Frazier has played all 13 matches, posting a 1.24 GAA.

Houston will be searching for its first triumph against UCF, as the Knights are 4-0-0 vs. the Cougars.

UCF is in line to make two more trips to Texas this season as it will travel to SMU Oct. 23, while the six-team C-USA Championships are being hosted by the Mustangs from Nov. 4-8. The Knights' remaining home match will be the regular-season finale against Southern Miss Oct. 30.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to 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 UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.