Sunday Shutout

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, UCF senior Matias Pyysalo put his mark on the match by netting two goals and adding an assist to lead the Knights over Tulsa, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon.

"Tulsa put us under some pressure and made it difficult for us to play out in the first half," head coach Scott Calabrese said. "They made us turn the ball over in some positions where they were able to get a foothold in the game.

"In the second half, we were better and definitely cleaner coming out of the back. We were more direct over their pressure and more dangerous going forward from that point."

After having a few near misses in the first half, the Knights (3-5-2, 1-2-1 The American) were able to convert on their opportunities in the second half, tallying three goals against the Hurricane (4-6-1, 1-3-0 The American).


  • A cross from Pyysalo from the right wing found its way into the back of the net in the 54th minute to put the Knights up early.
  • Less than 10 minutes later, the Helsinki, Finland, native hit a one-touch volley following a rebound that glanced off the near post and into the net. The strike came from 15-yards out and assist was credited to junior Joel Vartaianen.
  • On a counter in the 74th minute, Pyysalo played a cross that led sophomore Cal Jennings to a breakaway. Jennings fired a one-touch shot from 17-yards out that beat the keeper to put the home team up 3-0.
  • Pyysalo has registered a team-best eight goals this season.
  • He also fired a game-high seven shots.

"Obviously, Matias is an important player. He is good playing other players into the box and can also finish. His second goal was an exceptional strike. He was a catalyst for us to be really dangerous in the first and second half."
-Head coach Scott Calabrese

"I always try to play for the team first and look for my teammates. Hopefully, they can find me in a dangerous position. It just all came together very well today."
-M/F Matias Pyysalo


  • The Knights started the match with juniors Andreas Steineger, Zachary Waitman, freshmen Francois Dulysse and Jack McCloskey across the backline.
  • The group along with help from the midfielders conceded just two shots on target in the first 45 minutes.
  • Senior Neico Regent and junior Joel Vartiainen were inserted along the backline to provide some experience. They helped the Knights allow just one shot during the second half.

"We defended a little deeper today and were really well connected. Our guys worked really hard to make sure they didn't open up with Tulsa playing around them. It took all 11 players, because every player has a role in defending from the forwards through the attacking midfielders all the way to the back four."
-Head Coach Scott Calabrese

"Tulsa is a very good attacking team and we worked hard to keep them outside. They really didn't create much. All props goes to our defense."
-M/F Matias Pyysalo


  • Sophomore Matt Rosenberg notched his second shutout of the season, making two first-half stops.
  • UCF posted only its second victory in 14 matches in the all-time series against Tulsa. It was the first win for the Knights since a 2-1 victory over the Hurricane during the 2011 campaign.
  • The Knights held a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks and fired a game-high 12 shots.


  • UCF is back on the road Saturday with a contest at first-place UConn.
  • The Knights return home to face Florida Atlantic on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

The UCF men's soccer team is in its first campaign under the guidance of head coach Scott Calabrese and will welcome five teams to the UCF Soccer Complex. Click here or call (407) 823-1000 for ticket information.

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