PHILADELPHIA – The No. 14 UCF men's soccer team earned its first victory of the season as they defeated Temple on the road by a score of 1-0.
"The players were amazing today, I believe it was a product of an excellent week of training," said head coach Scott Calabrese. "We dealt with the challenges of the game, going on the road in harsh conditions and showed tremendous character in the match. We started the game very well which we felt was important coming in. We had a good share of possession and created quality opportunities, but equally important was the improvement in how we defended in this match."
The Knights came out hot on what was a day that had a kickoff temperature of 28 degrees, firing the first two shots of the match in the first three minutes. The Black and Gold continued to rifle shots at the Temple goalkeeper throughout the first half.
UCF earned their lone goal of the match from the foot of Gino Vivi in the 39th minute. The play didn't begin as a dangerous opportunity, as it was passed in from Anderson Rosa who was roughly 30 yards away to Mauricio Villalobos Vega, who was waiting at the top-left corner of the 18-yard box. From there, Villalobos made a quick turn towards the net, drawing three defenders in the process. With all the attention on Villalobos, Vivi was able to sneak in from the right wing, collect the ball, and patiently wait before punching home the goal under the crossbar.
At the end of the first frame, the Knights had collected seven shot attempts to Temples four, with four UCF shots landing on target.
Temple applied some pressure in the second half in an attempt to even the match. Yannik Oettl was able to fend off a pair of shots, one coming late in the match at the 82nd minute mark. The Owls outshot the Knights 4-2 in the second stanza but never found the equalizer, earning UCF the 1-0 victory.
The freshman striker Lucca Dourado led the Knights in shots on goal, tallying three of UCF's six shots on frame. He had a pair of chances in a two-minute span, firing excellent looks in the 23rd and 25th minutes. Vivi was right behind Dourado with three shot attempts and two shots on goal, burying one of those for the only goal of the match.
The Black and Gold broke an intriguing trend with Saturday's victory. In their history against each other, neither side had won a road match. UCF and Temple began their all-time series against each other with two draws before trading home victories over their next four matches. The Knights have now won their last three meetings over the Owls and take a 5-2-2 series lead.
UCF is one win away from their 400th win all-time. The win over Temple was their 399th victory in program history and their 307th in Division I.
UCF returns home on Saturday to renew their rivalry with South Florida at 6 p.m. It will be the first of two matchups between the foes, meaning each match is worth three points in the overall War On I-4 tally. The Knights currently lead the all-sport count 15-3.
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