Halbert's First Goal of the Year Sends No. 9 UCF to the C-USA Finals


Nov. 6, 2009

Final Stats

Box Score in PDF Format

By Brian Ormiston

DALLAS, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - Junior defender Lauren Halbert scored her first goal of 2009 in the 65th minute and it held up as the No. 9 UCF women's soccer team got past UAB, 1-0, Friday in the Conference USA semifinals in Dallas. The top-seeded Knights won their 10th-consecutive match and improved to 16-3-1 on the year while the No. 5 seed Blazers dropped to 11-7-3.

"It was a great game and a typical conference semifinal match where it comes down to one goal," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "Lauren Halbert's goal in the second half was a great set piece set up from Becca Thomas and that ended up being the difference. The first half was back and forth and we had a strong wind against us and that affected our play. But we are excited to be in the finals. We came here to win it all. But another important thing is we have to get better each game in preparation for the NCAA Tournament as well."

With the win, the Knights became only the second team in program history to post a winning streak of 10 games or more. The record stands at 12 when the 1987 squad won 12-consecutive decisions.

UCF also reached the finals of the C-USA Championship for the second time, and will be searching for its first title since joining the league in 2005 on Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS College Sports.

Earning her sixth shutout of the season, sophomore keeper Aline Reis racked up seven saves to blank the Blazers. Offensively, UCF outshot UAB 21-11, with sophomore Stacie Hubbard leading all players with five shots.

UAB was on a mission right out of the gate, taking five unanswered shots with two corner kicks at one point early in the first half. But Reis was there to make three saves and keep the Blazers off the board.

That trend would reverse itself as the first half went along and the Knights would take seven of the next nine shots in the match. Just like UAB, though, UCF could not hit the mesh.

The Black and Gold continued to pressure the UAB defense when the second half got underway, and it took a foul right at the top of the box in the 65th minute to give UCF the lead. Taking the free kick, Becca Thomas sent it over to the right side for Halbert who buried the shot for the eventual game-winner. It was her fifth goal of her career.

UCF now awaits the winner of the other semifinal Friday between No. 2 seed Colorado College and No. 3 seed Memphis.

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, and become a follow of the Knights at Twitter.com.

Postgame Notes
UAB (11-7-3) - 0
No. 9 UCF (16-3-1) - 1
Goals: UCF Lauren Halbert (1) 65th
-Lauren Halbert became the 15th different Knight to score at least one goal in 2009.
-Sunday will be the second time this year UCF will be on CBS College Sports. The network also televised the Knights' home match against Memphis in the regular season.
-UCF led in corner kicks, 9-3.
-With another assist Friday, Becca Thomas moved into a tie for fifth all-time at UCF with 28 career helpers.