UCF Women's Soccer Competing with the Elite in the 2011 Season

Aug. 11, 2011

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By Jordean Matthews

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFathletics.com) - The UCF women's soccer team has a tough road ahead of them as it sets out to take on some of the top programs in the nation during the 2011 season.

Ranked No. 27 nationally by TopDrawerSoccer.com, UCF begins play with a preseason exhibition game Saturday, Aug. 13 against the No. 16 and team in the country and reigning Big-12 Conference Champions Texas A&M. The journey to the Women's College Cup doesn't get much easier as the Black and Gold face in-state rivals USF in its first regular season match in a game that will be shown live on Bright House Networks.

The Knights ended last season with 15-5-3 record and its fourth-straight showing in the NCAA Tournament Second Round earning them the title of C-USA Preseason favorites for the second year. UCF will play nine non-conference games, four of which are against teams who appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2010 including USF, San Diego, Penn State and No. 14 Wake Forest.

The Black and Gold will return 23 players from last season, including three seniors Aline Reis (Campinas, Brazil), Katie Jackson (Satellite Beach, Fla.) and Stacie Hubbard (Jacksonville, Fla.). Last season, Reis was an All-C-USA First Team honoree. She was also named to the NSCAA All-Central Region Second Team and the NSCAA College Scholar All-America Second Team. Jackson ranked third on the team with 19 points on six goals and seven assists, while Hubbard started 19 of 20 matches and helped the defense record eight shutouts.

"Pretty much everyone came in fit and looking good. The returners all had a good spring season and look good and the incomings are fitting in great," Jackson said. "We are excited about playing A&M in the preseason and seeing how far we can get this season."

Leading the junior class is defending C-USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year junior Tishia Jewell (Satellite Beach, Fla.). Jewell was ranked 23rd in the nation with 32 points on 10 goals and 12 assists last season and was also named to the NSCAA All-Central Region First Team. Bianca Joswiak (Berlin, Germany) and Andrea Rodrigues (St. Petersburg, Fla.) were both key contributors for the Knights' last season. Joswiak earned a spot on the C-USA All-Tournament Team and led the team in minutes played with 1,933 while Rodrigues appeared in 16 matches and scored a goal against Virginia Commonwealth.

Sophomore Marissa Diggs (Rowlett, Texas) started 17 games for the UCF last season and was voted to the C-USA All-Freshman Team. The sophomore class makes up most of the Knights defense and midfield, and behind the efforts of players like Katy Ling (Kent, England), Ashley Nicol (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Kristina Trujic (Venice, Fla.) helped to limit the competition to just 22 goals in 23 matches.

UCF welcomes a host of newcomers to the roster who will look to fit in with the system head coach Amanda Cromwell has developed during her tenure. Players like Madison Barney (Sammamish, Wash.), Jennifer Martin (Plantation, Fla.), Carleigh Williams (Beverly Hills, Fla.) and Dara Spital (Miami, Fla.) have shown potential on the practice field.

"Their ability to grow and learn bodes extremely well for the future," assistant coach Donna Fishter said.

Prior to coming to UCF, Organ was named the GHSA Region 4-AAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010. Junior Transfer Parinello comes to the Knights from FAU having recorded 37 saves in just five matched played in the 2009 season.

UCF wraps up its non-conference schedule at home with games against Jacksonville (Sept. 16) and Florida Gulf Coast (Sept. 18) before opening C-USA play at SMU on Sept. 23.