#5 UCF Falls to #10 SMU in American Final

Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 5 UCF men's soccer team fell in the American Athletic Conference to No. 10 SMU by a score of 1-0 on Saturday night.

"We're massively disappointed in the result tonight," said UCF head coach Scott Calabrese, "We came out with a very different idea of how this night would go. I think when you look at the game, we started slow and that allowed SMU to create some chances early on and to be dangerous. I think we responded fairly well in the first half to the goal and responded very well coming out from halftime, but it's a 90 minute game and if you're not at your best for 90 minutes in a championship final, you can get the wrong result."

The match began pretty evenly, with no team finding a true advantage. The shots began to fly at the 15-minute mark, as five shots were seen in the ensuing five minutes.

The second-seeded Mustangs struck in the 24th minute as Eddie Munjoma was on the scene to tap home his 11th goal of the season with an assist from Lane Warrington.

At the half, shots were even at six a side, but the Knights had a whopping 7-2 advantage in corner kicks. Five of the six SMU shots were on goal as Yannik Oettl was busy early, making four saves in the first 45 minutes.

UCF came out hungry in the second half, dominating possession out of the locker room. The Knights rifled shot after shot toward the SMU goalkeeper, but were unable to bury their chances. The urgency increased from the Black and Gold as the clock ticked down, but the Mustangs claimed their third consecutive conference tournament title by a final count of 1-0. UCF took 13 shot attempts in the second frame but couldn't find the back of the net with any of them.

At match's end the Knights had outshot the Mustangs 19-9 but it was SMU who had the edge in shots on goal by a count of 6-4. The Black and Gold chalked up a 13-4 edge in corners, tying their second highest mark of the season.

The loss snapped UCF's longest unbeaten streak in program history, coming to a halt at 16 matches. It had been 77 days since the Black and Gold had lost a match, falling to then No. 4 Wake Forest 2-1 on Aug. 30 in the first match of the 2019 campaign. This was the first time the Knights had been shutout all season and their first shutout since the 1-0 loss to Lipscomb in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

UCF is now 21-3-5 at home in the Scott Calabrese era. The Black and Gold have turned the UCF Soccer Complex into a kingdom that they have defended well over the years. Their three losses were tonight, against Lipscomb in the NCAA Tournament last season and a 1-0 loss to UC Irvine to start the 2018 home slate. One of the ties was the 0-0 result against SMU in last season's conference title match, that the Mustangs went on to win 5-4 in penalty kicks.

UCF's Oettl, Cal Jennings, Louis Perez and Gino Vivi were named to the all-tournament team at the conclusion of Saturday's match.

The Knights await the decision of their fate for the NCAA Tournament. The team will host a watch party on campus for the selection show on Monday at 1 p.m. Fans and media members are encouraged to attend. More details to come on Sunday; check the team's website and social media channels for more information.

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

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