#11 UCF Wins 6th Straight, Defeats FAU in OT

Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – After equalizing the match twice in regulation, the No. 11 UCF men's soccer team won their sixth match in a row as they defeated the FAU Owls 3-2 in overtime.

"The start of the match was not what we were looking for, but our response was fantastic," said UCF head coach Scott Calabrese, "We quickly got that first goal back and then we settled in after that. I thought we had good possession and moved the ball well but weren't lethal in the final third."

Fans that were even just a few minutes late to the match missed a lot. FAU found the board within the first 28 seconds as Edgardo Obregan dribbled one past a diving Yannik Oettl to take the early 1-0 lead. The Knights found their answer less than a minute later as Louis Perez knocked one home off an assist from Mauricio Villalobos Vega.

UCF's goal marked the seventh consecutive match in which the Knights had scored within the first 15 minutes and the fourth straight match they had scored within the first seven minutes.

After that the remainder of the first half was stagnant. UCF's lone goal was the only shot on target for the Knights in the first frame despite outshooting FAU 7-4. Corner kicks were fairly even as well, with the Owls holding the slight 4-3 edge.

FAU took advantage of a defensive mishap on UCF's part to net their second goal early in the second half. The Knights had trouble clearing the ball out of their defensive half which led to Jose Alastuey giving the Owls a 2-1 lead in the 49th minute off an assist from Ivan Mykhailenko.

The Knights strived for the equalizer and finally found it on a penalty kick chance in the 85th minute. Jonathan Dean wound up getting fouled hard in the box, leading to the opportunity. Perez stepped in to take the penalty kick and rifled it past the keeper who had guessed right prior to the shot.

The final five minutes were tense but resulted in no additional goals being scored, leading to overtime.

In overtime, the Knights got an early corner kick opportunity but couldn't cash in. UCF would wind up with a 13-5 edge in corners by the time the match was over.
Off a throw in during the 94th minute, Yanis Leerman fed a ball in from near mid field that found the foot of Perez, who was able to sneakily redirect it out wide with a simple touch. Receiving the feed was Dean who crossed a beautiful ball into the box past one FAU defender. Cal Jennings had to fight through an additional defender but was able to slide toward the ball and knock it home for the golden goal to seal the Knights' sixth straight win and eighth in a row unbeaten. Jennings' goal was his ninth of the season as he now trails the nation's leader by just one goal.

Perez was named the Player of the Match, as he was a part of all three goals. He equalized the match twice and picked up the second assist on the game-winning goal. He now has three goals on the season and seven assists.

"Louis is obviously a special player and can create things," said Calabrese, "He's dangerous, finds passes and can help us bring pressure. He's very important for us offensively."

The Knights outshot the Owls by a count of 16-6 by the time the match was over. The win moves UCF's all-time record against FAU to 23-8-3 with four straight victories over the Owls.

An important match lies ahead of the Knights as they jump back into conference play with a huge match. UCF will visit No. 4 SMU on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET with a chip on their shoulder. The Mustangs have defeated the Knights for the past two seasons in the American Athletic Conference tournament championship. The winner of this match could very well determine the regular season champion.

Season 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).

Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news. Click here to download the app now.