#12 UCF Tops Temple 2-0 to Open Conference Slate

Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 12 UCF men's soccer team finished their September unbeaten and earned their first conference victory of the season as they defeated the Temple Owls by a score of 2-0 for their fifth straight victory.

"This was a big win, given that this was the first conference match," said UCF head coach Scott Calabrese, "I think we were more concentrated for longer period of time tonight. We've been more concentrated, more committed, more organized and I think that's a big part in us earning three clean sheets in our last four matches."

The beginning of the night followed a trend that has become familiar to the Knights this season. UCF scored within the 15th minute for the sixth straight match, getting the early edge in six of their eight matches. Yoni Sorokin wound up getting the early goal for the Knights as he was able to find the back of the net on a header off a corner kick from Louis Perez.

Sorokin had another chance in the 28th minute after a handball was called on Temple in the box. Sorokin had a penalty kick chance in double overtime against UTRGV that sealed the game with a 3-2 Knights win. The story was different this time, as Sorokin beat the goalkeeper but sent the ball off the right post and out of harm's way.

Nothing more happened in the first half. The Knights out shot the Owls 7-4 through the first half with just the one shot on target being the Yoni goal.

UCF came out hungry in the second half, looking for an insurance goal. In the 50th minute, Temple's Mickael Borger picked up a yellow card. He was given another yellow card six minutes later, resulting in a red card and ejecting him from the match. The Knights played a man up from that point on.

The Black and Gold outworked Temple for the entire second half. UCF earned 10 corners in the second 45, bringing their total for the match to 13. The defense was suffocating as the Knights limited the Owls to zero corner kicks on the match and zero shot attempts in the second half. UCF goalkeeper Yannik Oettl went on to earn his third shutout of the season

The Knights fired 10 shots toward Temple's six-foot-nine goalkeeper Simon Lefebvre in the second frame, with one of them finding the back of the net. Jonas Schmalbach scored his first career goal off a feed from Perez, who registered his second assist of the evening. Perez's second assist of the night set a personal season high, as he has six assists in a single season for the first time in his career.

Nothing more occured down the home stretch of the match, giving the Knights a 2-0 victory. The win was significant in multiple ways. UCF has now won five straight matches and has gone unbeaten over their last seven. The victory was the third clean sheet for the Knights over their last four matches, all of them by a score of 2-0. The Black and Gold went unbeaten in the month of September, going 6-0-1 with the only draw coming against Penn State in the team's home opener. Finally, the win gives UCF a 1-0 start in conference play as they look to repeat as conference champions in 2019.

UCF now holds a 3-2-2 all-time series edge over Temple. The last five matches have been won by the home team and the last four has seen the loser get shutout.

The Knights will wrap up their second homestand of the season on Oct. 1 as they host the FAU Owls 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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