Thomas' Second-Half Game-Winner Gives No. 12 UCF 2-1 Victory at Rice


Oct. 16, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

HOUSTON, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - For the third-straight match, senior Becca Thomas (Burlington, Wash.) scored the game-winning goal as the No. 12 UCF women's soccer team defeated Rice, 2-1, Friday evening in Houston. It was the Knights' fifth-consecutive victory as they improved to 11-3-1 on the season and remained in first place in Conference USA with a 6-1-0 mark in league play.

"We give a lot of credit to Rice because they played extremely well," said associate head coach Colby Hale. "But we were able to grind it out tonight, and our ladies are finding ways to win. They just have the never-lose mentality right now."

Senior Courtney Whidden tallied her 30th-career goal in the first half, moving her into a tie for seventh on UCF's all-time list. She also notched an assist on Thomas' third goal of the year.

A team that has recorded all of its losses by one goal this year, Rice only trailed in shots 11-9, even though the Black and Gold recorded 27 shots in each of its last two matches. Thomas paced all players with four attempts as seven of UCF's 11 overall shots were on goal and one of them hit the crossbar.

Senior Lynzee Lee got the start in net and proceeded to make two saves to stay undefeated this year, stretching her 2009 record to 4-0-1.

After UCF's Bianca Joswiak put the first shot on net in the first minute of play, which was stopped by Rice keeper Meghan Erkel, the Knights' leading scorer then came through to give her team the initial 1-0 lead. In the 18th minute, freshman Nicolette Radovcic sent in a cross for Whidden who converted the chance for her eighth goal of the season.

That did not seem to affect the Owls, and after the break Korey Taylor evened things up in the 52nd minute for her third goal of 2009. But the Knights took four of the next five shots, and it was the sixth that decided it all as Thomas put in the game-winner from inside the box in the 70th minute.

The Knights will complete their weekend by staying in Texas to face Houston Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

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.

Postgame Notes
No. 12 UCF (11-3-1, 6-1-0) - 2
Rice (3-10-2, 1-6-0) - 1
Goals: UCF Courtney Whidden (8) 18th, RICE Korey Taylor (3) 52nd, UCF Becca Thomas (3) 70th
-Allowing only nine shots vs. Rice, UCF gave up less than 10 shots in a match for the eighth time this season.
-UCF improved to 5-1-0 all-time against the Owls.
-The Knights have now posted a winning streak of at least five matches or more in all 11 seasons under head coach Amanda Cromwell.
-Senior Courtney Whidden has now recorded at least one point in her last four contests, and has eight total points over that stretch.
-UCF led in the corner-kick department vs. Rice by an 8-2 margin.