UCF Tops Titans 6-0 in First Exhibition Match

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – From the strength of a Cal Jennings hat-trick in the first half, the UCF men’s soccer team cruised to a 6-0 win over the Eastern Florida State Titans in the first exhibition match of the 2019 season.

“It was a good first match,” said UCF head coach Scott Calabrese, “I think the coaching staff always wants to get an opportunity to evaluate the players to see where they are physically and if what we worked on have stuck with them. What’s most important is that in a game like this you get to see some of those new players you’ve recruited and get a better idea of the level that they’re at and how they might fit into the team. It was definitely a positive exercise for us tonight.”

The Knights started strong right out of the gate, controlling the majority of possession in the first 15 minutes. Jennings found the back of the net early on with an unassisted goal in the thirteenth minute before scoring again six minutes later off the left post with an assist from Yoni Sorokin.

The scoring picked up again when UCF goalkeeper Yannik Oettl booted a ball from his own goal mouth to an anxiously awaiting Jennings. He needed just one move to evade the charging Titan goalkeeper before tapping in the final goal of his first half hat-trick. Oettl picked up two assists in similar fashion last season and capitalized on it again in preseason game number one.

UCF found three more goals in the second half as Andres Hernandez Bentancur knocked in a goal that jostled around in front of the goal for a bit. He punched it home off an assist from Mauricio Villalobos Vega to put the Knights in front 4-0.

Freshman forward Jonas Schmalbach found the score sheet twice to bring UCF’s goal total to six. He netted an unassisted goal in the sixty-third minute before cashing in on a corner kick from Thomas Ness in the eightieth minute.

“I think Jonas is a really smart player and knows what positions to take in the box,” said Calabrese, “He’s a finisher and knows how to create chances. His movement is very good, he is a little different from Cal but with the different qualities we get the same result, which is him scoring goals.”

Both UCF goalkeepers got to see playing time. Oettl stopped the two shots he faced while Matt Douglas stopped all three he saw in the second half. As for the Knights offense, they shot 50 percent on the evening, scoring six times on 12 total shots on goals. They attempted a total of 19 with 12 shot attempts coming in the second half.

The Knights are back in action for their final exhibition match of the season as FIU pays a visit to Orlando on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.

Season tickets for the 2019 men's soccer season are available now. To catch every moment on the pitch this year, click here.

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