Saturday Senior Knight

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ORLANDO, Fla. ( – UCF puts its five-match unbeaten streak on the line on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Temple. The Knights will recognize seniors Matias Pyysalo, Neico Regent and Joel Vartiainen in a ceremony starting at 1:50 p.m. The match will broadcast on The American Digital Network.
With the football game vs. Austin Peay set for 5 p.m., admission is free to the match. Fans coming to the soccer match are asked to park in the blue or red zones (click here for more information).
The first 100 fans through the gates will receive a UCF soccer scarf.

  • UCF will recognize its three seniors - Matias Pyysalo, Neico Regent and Joel Vartiainen - prior to the match vs. Temple.
  • The Knights (5-5-2) are on a five-match unbeaten streak after earning victories against FAU (3-0), No. 22 UConn (3-2), Tulsa (3-0) and Stetson and notching a 1-1 (2OT) draw vs. Memphis.
  • The Temple match is pivotal for both teams, trying to finish in the top four of The American to earn a berth in the conference championship. The Owls are fourth with nine points, while the Knights are fifth with seven points and one match remains for each.
  • The second five-point match of the year for Cal Jennings, the reigning American Offensive Player of the week, helped UCF post a 3-2 win at No. 22 UConn. He has scored a goal in four of the past five matches.
  • UCF used three second-half goals, including two by The American Offensive Player of the Week, Matias Pyysalo, to power past Tulsa, 3-0, on Oct. 15.
  • Sophomore Matthew Rosenberg notched his first shutout of the season and the fourth of his career by making two saves vs. Tulsa.
  • Pyysalo ranks among the nation's leaders in points (5th/2.09), goals (8th/0.82) and assists (43rd/0.45) per game.
  • The Knights have notched a shutout in three of their four victories this season.
  • UCF was the 204th out of 205 schools that play men's soccer to appear in a home match. UCF won its home opener, 4-0, vs. Stetson on Oct. 4 after opening the campaign with seven matches on the road.
  • Junior Jonathan Dean was named The American Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 11 after helping the back line to consecutive road shutouts at WVU and Jacksonville.


  • Temple (8-6-1) has recorded non-conference wins over Villanova (1-0), Duquesne (4-1), Penn State (3-0), Drexel (4-0) and NJIT (3-1)
  • The Owls are 3-2-0 in league play with victories against Memphis (2-1 2OT), Cincinnati (2-1) and Tulsa (3-1).
  • The leading scorer is Thibault Candia with six goals, while Alan Camacho Soto has added five markers.
  • The Owls have used a pair of goalkeepers in Michael Mammik and Alex Cagle to compile a 1.17 goals-against average and .673 save pct. along with three shutouts.


  • The all-time series is tied at 1-1-2 in the four meetings since the formation of The American.
  • UCF owns a 1-0-1 mark in contests played in Orlando.
  • Last year, Temple took a 1-0 OT win with a goal by Jorge Gomez Sanchez in the 94th minute.
  • The lone win for the Knights came in a 3-1 home win in 2015 with goals scored by Walker Dawkins, Hadji Barry and Dre Deas.


  • Senior Matias Pyysalo was tabbed as The American Preseason Offensive Player of the Year by the league's coaches.
  • He tallied a natural hat trick, scoring the final three goals at Jacksonville. It was the first hat trick of his career and the first by a Knight since Deshorn Brown (currently with DC United) accomplished the feat vs. Memphis (10/24/12).
  • In the first seven matches, Pyysalo scored five of the seven goals by the Knights.
  • Pyysalo ranks among the nation's leaders in points (5th/2.09), goals (8th/0.82) and assists (43rd/0.45) per game.
  • The Helsinki, Finland, native tallied six of his 10 goals in conference play in 2016.
  • The 2016 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year paced the league with 14 points and delivered game-winning goals vs. SMU (10/1), UConn (10/22) and Cincinnati (11/5).
  • He has totaled 28 goals and 19 assists in his career as a Knight. The 28 goals puts him in a tie for sixth on the all-time list with Nik Robson (2009-11). Next on the list is Mark Lamb (1984-87) with 29 goals.


  • The first five matches for the Knights were tough with all four of thier goals being scored in a 4-0 win at Jacksonville. The draw against No. 14 West Virginia was the first result earned by UCF vs. a Top 25 since a 2-2 2OT draw at No. 24 UConn (10/5/13).
  • The start of conference play sparked the Knights in a pair of hard-fought road defeats to USF (3-2 2OT) and SMU (2-1)
  • UCF held leads in both matches, but were unable to finish off their opponents.
  • Back home, UCF posted a 4-0 victory over Memphis to boost its confidence, then played a 1-1 2OT draw vs. Memphis.
  • An all-around effort aided UCF to a 3-0 victory against physical Tulsa squad.
  • Cal Jennings quited a capacity crowd at No. 22 UConn with a goal in the third minute, then tallied the game-winner to propell UCF to a 3-2 win.
  • The Knights have scored 16 goals in the seven-game stretch and found depth scoring from  Matias Pyysalo (7), Cal Jennings (6), Ricardo Oliveros (1), Yoni Sorokin, Gorka Aperribay and Andreas Steineger (1)


  • Head coach Scott Calabrese is in his first season guiding the Knights.
  • He spent the past three seasons at FIU, taking the program to its first NCAA Tournament in 10 years.
  • The Newton, Conn., native has compiled an 85-67-20 overall mark and started the program at East Tennessee State in 2008.
  • Calabrese has an experienced staff in Will Clayton, who played and coached at Wake Forest, and Paul Souders, who played for Calabrese at Clemson and coached at New Mexico.


  • UCF rounds out its league slate on Nov. 4 with a trip to Cincinnati. The match is set to start at 7 p.m.
  • The American Championship is set for Nov. 10 and Nov. 12 at the site of the regular season champion.

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