Varis Repeats as Goalkeeper of the Year

TAMPA, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – For the second consecutive season, the preseason prediction became the postseason presentation. Vera Varis was named the American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year on Wednesday.

The Vantaa, Finland native played every minute in goal for the Knights during league play, allowing just 10 goals for a 1.10 goals-against average. She made 25 saves while heading toward her second straight Goalkeeper of the Year distinction. Varis picked up a pair of Goalkeeper of the Week honors and recorded a pair of shutout victories in The American.

Varis was one of five Knights recognized by the league coaches. She earned her second straight First Team All-Conference nod and was joined by Stefanie Sanders on the first team. Dina Orschmann and Carrie Lawrence earned Second Team All-Conference accolades and Kristen Scott was named to the All-Rookie Team.

Sanders was one of three unanimous first team selections. The sophomore striker accumulated 19 points on eight goals and three assists in league play. The Hamburg, Germany native netted five game-winning goals and the second of her two hat tricks during conference action. Sanders was tabbed as The American Offensive Player of the Week twice.

Orschmann followed up an all-conference freshman campaign with an all-conference sophomore season. The Berlin, Germany native found the back of the net twice in UCF’s win over Houston on Oct. 21 and was UCF’s second-leading scorer in league play.

Lawrence led a solid back line that allowed just 10 goals in conference play. The Orlando native registered her first goal of the season in a 2-0 victory at then-No. 15 Memphis on Oct. 11.

Scott was named to the All-Rookie Team. The Orlando native started all nine league contests and earned a Rookie of the Week accolade this season. She came up with the equalizer in the 85th minute of UCF’s 2-1 double-overtime win over Cincinnati on Oct. 7.

Third-seeded UCF opens The American Championship against sixth-seeded Temple on Wednesday in Tampa. The 4:30 p.m. contest will stream on the American Digital Network.

The Knights are the only team in the conference to be a top-three seed at least five times since the league’s inception in 2013.

Tickets for the tournament can be purchased by calling the USF ticket office at 1-800-462-8557.  For more information on the 2018 American Championship, visit the tournament central.

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