Sorokin's Semifinal Winner

DALLAS, Texas (UCFKnights.com) - The second-seeded Knights used a 72nd-minute goal by freshman Yoni Sorokin to go-ahead of No. 3 UConn on Friday evening in a semifinal match at The American Championship. The Knights defense held over the final 20 minutes to preserve the 1-0 victory and extend their unbeaten streak to eight matches.

"In these matches, there is not a whole lot of difference between the two teams," head coach Scott Calabrese said. "Everyone is a little tense. One team kind of nips ahead at the very end there. Fortunately tonight, it was us."

With the victory, UCF (8-5-2) advances to Sunday's championship match against SMU at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The conference final is the first for the Knights since 2004 when they were members of the Atlantic Sun.

"These guys want to keep playing," Calabrese said. "They are enjoying this run and playing well. For us to have that opportunity, it is great for them. For some of the older guys like Matias, it is nice to have a chance to compete for some silverware."


  • An adjustment was made by the Knights during the halftime to incorporate their midfielders more into the attack.
  • These combo plays started creating opportunities and Sorokin made one count in the 72nd minute.
  • The Jerusalem, Israel, native tallied his third goal of the season by sending a pass to junior Gorka Aperribay, who returned it quickly to Sorokin near the top of the box.
  • The shot from 15-yards out was perfectly placed into the bottom corner.

"We were able to combine Yoni and sprint him forward. We played right off of Gorka and found a gap between a central defender and outside back. We were able to get that important first goal."
-Head Coach Scott Calabrese


  • The Knights as a group of 11 together posted their seven clean sheet of the season behind a confident backline that featured seniors Andreas Steineger, Joel Vartiainen, junior Zachary Waitman and freshman Jack McCloskey.
  • UCF kept UConn under wraps for the most part until desperation set in over the final 15 minutes where the Huskies fired six shots.
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Matthew Rosenberg was forced to make a pair of saves to record his fifth shutout and improve to 6-1-1 on the season.
  • Both teams fired 10 shots, including two on target, during the contest. UCF had a 3-2 advantage in shots on target.

"At the end of the game, there is often emergency defending and the other team commits a lot of numbers forward into the box. We just have to scramble and try to anticipate where the ball is going to drop."
-Head Coach Scott Calabrese

UCF advances to the final of The American Championship on Sunday against SMU. The match is set to start at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

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