Setback at South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF junior midfielder Matias Pyysalo scored for the first time this season, but the Knights suffered a 2-1 setback at South Carolina on Sunday afternoon.

"I am really pleased with our players' effort and attitude today after dealing with some adversity on the road with the change in travel plans due to the storm," head coach Bryan Cunningham said. "I felt like we controlled parts of the game. It was unfortunate that we found ourselves two goals down, but we did not stop. We were able to get one goal back and were on top of them for the last 15 minutes of the match, but could not find the equalizer."

After a scoreless first half, the Knights (0-2-0) had a tough five-minute stretch and the Gamecocks (1-2-0) capitalized by notching goals in the 62nd and 65th minutes.

After Pyysalo cut the deficit to 2-1 by converting a free kick at the top of the box in the 76th minute, the Knights recorded three shots and two corner kicks the rest of the way, but were unable to tie the contest before the final horn sounded.


  • The Knights settled in as the first half progressed and came up with three quality chances in the final 20 minutes.
  • Off a corner service by junior Matias Pyysalo, a shot off the foot of senior Phil Hicks in the 28th minute was stopped.
  • The Knights recorded with another quality chance by junior Neico Regent following a counter attack that was saved.
  • Freshman Cal Jennings struck a ball in the 38th minute that was on target, but the goalkeeper was there to grab it.
  • UCF had three shots on goal in the frame, and did not allow one to the Gamecocks.

"We played as a unit today. The lineup and formation suited us a little bit better. Collectively, I thought that we had some more leadership on the field and more discipline, which really helped us."
Head Coach Bryan Cunningham


  • Freshman Matt Rosenberg put up a first-half shutout in his UCF debut, not having to make a stop on four shots.
  • The Knights held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks and accumulated a game-high four shots on target.
  • Pyysalo paced UCF with three shots, while freshman Richard Amon added a pair.
  • Senior Javier Clavijo recorded his first start of the campaign, while


  • UCF completes a three-game road trip on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. by heading to Mercer.
  • The Knights open their home slate against Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex.