#8 UCF's Season Ends in Overtime in Sweet 16

Box Score (PDF)

DALLAS, Tx. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 8 UCF men's soccer team's season came to an end in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament as they fell to the No. 5 SMU Mustangs by a score of 2-1 in overtime on Saturday night.

"I thought we were very good in the game," said UCF head coach Scott Calabrese, "This was probably our best performance of the season, regardless of the opponent. I'm just really proud of the guys in how they handled the big game, really proud of their performance, but we easily could have won the game. Really proud of the season that our guys put together. When you really look at the evolution of the program the last three years, its incredible."

The No. 9 nationally seeded Knights were matched up with the No. 8 nationally seeded Mustangs for the third time this season. Their previous two meetings saw a 3-3 draw and a 1-0 loss in The American championship match.

The scoring got going in the first half as the Knights struck in the 25th minute. Cal Jennings netted his 18th goal of the season and 46th of his career off assists from Glademir Mendoza and Hattabiou Barry. The assist was Mendoza's first of his career.

SMU earned a penalty kick in 35th minute off a tough challenge in the box and would eventually cash in on the chance as Gabriel Costa converted on the opportunity to even the match at 1-1.

The score remained that way through the second half. Although play was wide open and a total of 22 shots were taken by both teams (12-10 UCF edge) in the final 45 minutes, no victor was determined after regulation.

Just 18 seconds into the overtime period, Eddie Munjoma would capitalize on a chance from the wing as he spun one off the left post and in. Noah Hilt registered an assist on the play.

The Knights ran out of overtime magic, as the team had thrived in overtime. They'll finish the 2019 campaign with a record of 15-3-2 and a mark of 7-1-2 in overtime. Jennings and Gino Vivi each had three golden goals on the year while Yoni Sorokin buried the other.

At the end of the match, UCF held a 20-18 edge in shot attempts, a 6-5 edge in shots on goal and a 7-5 lead in corner kicks. Coming into the match, the Knights were 11-0-2 when scoring first and 10-0-2 when Jennings scored in a game. On this night however, those doughnuts were erased.

The team has a lot to be proud of this season. UCF matched their highest win total in a season with 15 total wins, the first time in the Division I era they've accomplished such a feat. The last time the team posted 15 wins was in the team's second year of existence, back in 1976 when they went 15-1-1.

The trip to the Sweet 16 was the farthest the Knights had ever gone in the NCAA Tournament. In their seventh trip to the big dance, UCF triumphed over Missouri State in overtime in the second round to punch their ticket to the next round, something they had never accomplished.

There is much more to wrap up from the 2019 season. Stay tuned for a season recap which will be posted at a later date.

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