Golden Goal

Vs. UCONN (10-22) - Images by UCF KnightsORLANDO, Fla. ( - After each team scored once in regulation, UCF junior Matias Pyysalo delivered his fifth game-winning and first-career overtime goal in the 93rd minute to lift the Knights over No. 24 UConn on Saturday.

One of the vocal leaders on the team, senior Javier Clavijo stepped up and delivered a message to his teammates following regulation.
"I told the guys we're at home. We have to go after them," Clavijo said. "We're not going to sit back and wait for anything to happen."

Just a little over two minutes after that speech, the Knights responded following a Husky turnover. Sophomore Jonathan Dean played a long ball that bounced over a UConn defender, which sent Pyysalo, along with freshman Cal Jennings, down the right wing. Pyysalo waited for the keeper to come out before firing a shot into the top corner of the net.

"Javy really wanted this win tonight," head coach Bryan Cunningham said. "He's been a big emotional leader for us this year. From a leadership standpoint, he really carried us through. He told the team we were going to win and they followed."

UCF (4-8-0, 2-3-0 The American) registered its first victory in program history over UConn (11-5-0, 3-2-0) in the ninth meeting between the two squads.
"There hasn't been a moment this season, despite the ups and downs, that this group has not come out to practice and focused on executing," Cunningham added. "The game plan was executed. We told them it was going to take a special moment to get the win, and tonight we got two special moments."


  • A perfect slide tackle by Matias Pyysalo set up the first marker. Freshman Brian Jamba fired a rocket from 30-yards out that hit the bottom of the crossbar and ricocheted into the net.
  • The marker scored in the 76th minute was his first as a Knight, while Pyysalo upped his season points total to 23.
  • The lead was short-lived for the Knights as UConn found an equalizer six minutes later on a rebound.

"We felt like we had to be more aggressive in all facets. We've been yelling at Jamba all season to shoot. We've seen his shooting ability in practice and tonight he came through for us."
-Head coach Bryan Cunningham


  • Javier Clavijo has been the vocal leader among the back line. In a group that has overcome a couple of injuries, he has been the mainstay.
  • Freshman goalkeeper Matt Rosenberg and Clavijo guided a defensive unit that included Anton Delwer, Jonathan Dean, Phil Hicks and Neico Regent.
  • A pair of saves were made by Rosenberg to keep the high-powered UConn attack to just one goal.

"Our motto for the whole week has been hard work, it doesn't matter if you mess up but just going after the ball and watching out for the guy next to you. That drove us to get a win tonight."
-Senior Javier Clavijo


  • The Knights are back on the road Tuesday at FIU with a 7 p.m. start before heading to Temple on Oct. 29.
  • UCF concludes the regular season at home on Nov. 5 against Cincinnati. The start time will be scheduled around the football kickoff time.