#15 UCF Set for Big ACC Road Trip to Start 2019

Match Notes
#15 UCF vs. #4 Wake Forest
Aug. 30 | 6 p.m.
Live Stats
#15 UCF vs. #6 North Carolina
Sep. 1 | 7:30 p.m.
Live Stats | TV: ACC Network Extra

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 15 UCF men's soccer team will begin their 2019 season with two big road matches this weekend against two top tier ACC opponents. The Knights will pay a visit to No. 4 Wake Forest on Friday before charging on to play No. 6 North Carolina on Sunday.

Both Wake Forest and North Carolina were picked by far to win their respective division in the ACC with the majority of coaches picking North Carolina to win the conference in the coach's ACC preseason poll. North Carolina received nine first place votes while Wake Forest gathered only one.

Wake Forest finished with a record of 18-3 in 2018, losing just once during the regular season. They won ten straight matches to begin the year, seeing their streak come to an end on the road against Syracuse. They fell to No. 10 Louisville in the ACC tournament, but still earned the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Demon Deacons saw their incredible season come to a close in the Sweet 16 against the eventual runner-up in the tournament, the Akron Zips.

The Demon Deacons have been extremely consistent over the last four seasons, winning 17 or more games in each campaign. The mark of 73 wins is the best in collegiate soccer over the last four years, and all have been under head coach Bobby Muuss. Wake Forest only sheds four seniors from their 2018 roster after being the No. 1 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. This season, Wake Forest will see six players with senior status, one of them being Goalkeeper Andreu Cases Mundet. The six-foot tall keeper has posted 23 shutouts in his first three seasons including 12 in 2017; he earned three of those shutouts in the team's four NCAA Tournament games.

North Carolina's season came to an unexpected quick ending in the NCAA Tournament as they fell to James Madison by a score of 2-1 in the second round. The Tar Heels scored just 32 goals last season but only allowed 10 while UCF netted 44 goals in 2018 while allowing 20. North Carolina returns their leading goal scorer, junior Giovanni Montesdeoca, who scored eight goals and tallied four assists. His four assists was good enough for a share of the team lead while he led in points and shots on goal.

The Tar Heels put forth an impressive showing in the preseason, defeating No. 1 Maryland by a score of 3-1 in their final exhibition match. Maryland took home the 2018 College Cup after defeating No. 2 Indiana in the semifinals and taking down Akron 1-0 in the final. The Terrapins were the No. 11 national seed in last year's tournament.

UCF has the talent to take down these ACC powerhouses. The nation's second leading goal scorer in Cal Jennings already looks to be in midseason form as he scored four goals in the team's two preseason exhibition matches. Goalkeeper Yannik Oettl is poised to turn everything sent his way into a save as he returns as the reigning American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year. Capatin Jonathan Dean returns after gaining another year of eligibility as he'll lead the Knights into battle for the second straight season.

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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