UCF Wins 3rd Straight, Soar Over FGCU 4-1

FT. MYERS, Fla. ( – The No. 13 UCF men's soccer team scored early and often as they soared over the FGCU Eagles by a count of 4-1 to extend their winning streak to three matches and their unbeaten streak to five.

"I think it was very important that we got on the board early," said UCF head coach Scott Calabrese, "We put pressure on them really quickly. It's always difficult to play away from home, so to get a road win against a top team is really important."

For the fourth consecutive match, the Knights came out hungry and scored within the first 15 minutes. Gino Vivi found the back of the net for his first career goal in the fourth minute off a beautiful cross from Hattabiou Barry that found Vivi wide open six yards out.

Cal Jennings had scored in the first 15 minutes of the previous three matches but couldn't find the back of the net in this one early on. Jennings kept working and eventually found an opportunity. A cross from Maurico Villalobos Vega found its way toward the left post where Jennings headed the ball home in the 30th minute.

It was only a matter of minutes before Jennings found the back of the net again. The Knights had to play the ball all the way back to goalkeeper Yannik Oettl before building an attack. Eventually, Louis Perez played a nice ball into Yoni Sorokin who was charging toward the FGCU net. Sorokin passed the ball off to his right just before the goalkeeper could get to him and found a wide open Jennings who netted his second goal of the night. The assist was Sorokin's fourth in his last five matches.

UCF made the most of their chances at the end of the first half, pulling out to a 3-0 lead. Despite the dominating score, FGCU was stride for stride with the Knights through the first segment. Both sides rifled eight shots toward the keeper with the Knights earning the edge in shots on target by a count of 6-4. The Eagles had the edge in corners, earning four to UCF's one.

The second half saw FGCU net a goal as they tried to make a comeback. FGCU's Shak Adams scored in the 51st minute to trim UCF's lead to two.

The Eagles continued to pressure the Knights in the second frame, outshooting the Black and Gold 10-3. Oettl stood tall the rest of the way, stopping seven shots.

UCF sealed the game with Viivi's second goal of the night in the 74th minute. The ball was fed in from Villalobos from just inside the midfield stripe to Vivi who split two defenders en route to the goal. FGCU's goalkeeper made an aggressive move, coming out to meet Vivi. Taking advantage of the charging keeper, Vivi smartly continued to his left to upgrade his shot and buried the chance with ease. The assist was Villalobos' second of the match and the season.

The win elevates UCF's record to 4-1-1 on the season. They have won three straight and have gone unbeaten since their first match of the season which they dropped to now No. 1 Wake Forest.

Wednesday night's win over the Eagles brings the all-time series to 3-3-2, with the Knights winning the last two meetings. UCF handed FGCU their third straight loss of the season after the Eagles had started out 3-0-1. That record put them as the 14th best team in the country according to the United Soccer Coaches Poll. Prior to the match, FGCU had received votes in Tuesday's release of the coaches poll while sitting at No. 12 in Top Drawer Soccer's poll.
The Knights will return home for the beginning of another three match homestand as they host South Carolina on Sunday, Sept 22 at 6 p.m.

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

Follow UCF Men's Soccer on social media on Facebook (/UCFMensSoccer), Twitter (@UCF_MSoccer) and Instagram (@UCF.MSoccer).