ORLANDO, Fla. – The UCF's men's soccer team earned its third straight victory thanks to an offensive explosion, soaring past Temple 4-0 at home on Saturday night. Hattabiou Barry tallied a pair of goals while Yannik Oettl earned his third straight shutout of the season.
"It's really nice to see everything coming to fruition," said head coach Scott Calabrese. "You can tell that the players are in sync, they're cohesive, they move together, they anticipate each other's ideas and decisions…it's great to see. You're always wanting players to be rewarded for their work. It's really nice to have a performance like this where we create four goals and create even more chances to score."
The Knights took advantage of a fast build up to score the match's first goal in the 17th minute. Temple lobbed a ball down field toward their final third of the pitch, but the ball was impressively headed away by Caleb Franke. Mauricio Villalobos collected the loose ball and fed it up the sideline to Gino Vivi, who in turn found a wide-open Barry streaking toward the 18-yard box. Barry collected the ball and fired a missile into the back of the net.
Went for power AND accuracy! What a shot ?? pic.twitter.com/r3mUUZ2AUf— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) March 20, 2021
UCF was firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball in the first frame as they held Temple without a shot attempt. Despite tallying a 4-3 edge in corners through the first 45, the closest the Owls got to the net was on a cross that was stopped early by Oettl.
The Black and Gold looked even stronger in the second stanza and showed it right out of the gate. Oettl collected an errant Temple pass in the 47th minute and sent it all the way into UCF's attacking third for Vivi who was streaking down the pitch. Vivi attempted to cross it into the box but was thwarted by an Owl defender. The deflected cross hit the arm of another Temple defender in the box, awarding the Knights with a penalty kick. Yoni Sorokin had no issue putting away the chance, earning his third goal, all on penalty kicks, in the last three matches.
Unstoppable from the spot ?? pic.twitter.com/ES4FjaObmw— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) March 20, 2021
UCF wasted no time in building their attack again. Before the goal could even be announced at the UCF Soccer Complex, the Knights had fired off two additional shots.
The Knights won the ball back almost immediately after their flurry of shots. Vivi was attempting to carry the ball into the box but was dragged down by a Temple defender, who in turn received a yellow card. The foul set up a free kick from roughly 25-yards away where Vivi and Anderson Rosa lined up over the ball. Vivi ran by to fake out the defense and disorganize their wall, leaving the ball for Rosa who struck a beautiful ball past the diving goalkeeper and into the back of the net. The incredible shot from distance was Rosa's first goal of his collegiate career.
The American Athletic Conference's reigning Offensive Player of the Week wasn't done for the night as Barry scored again in the 89th minute, ripping one off the crossbar and down into the net. Barry is up to three goals this season after scoring once last week at then-No. 9 SMU and then twice on Saturday against Temple. It is the first multi-goal performance of Barry's career and is the first Knight to score two goals in a match since Cal Jennings did it in The American semifinals in 2019 in a 5-0 route of Temple.
Nailed it?? pic.twitter.com/qtGh0oeEjX— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) March 21, 2021
Oettl shone in goal for the Black and Gold once again. The conference's reigning Goalkeeper of the Week recorded a five-save shutout for his second consecutive clean sheet and third of the season. Oettl climbs into a tie of fourth place on UCF's career shutouts list with 15, leveling himself with Dan Cordia who earned 15 shutouts from 1984-87. Not only is Oettl climbing on the clean sheets list, but on the career saves list as well, where he trails Sean Johnson (2007-08) by just three saves for a tie of sixth place. He also sits in third place in goals allowed average, entering the match with a mark of 1.06.
The Knights remain perfect when holding their opponent scoreless through the first 15 minutes and when they score first, going 4-0-0 in each situation.
The Black and Gold move to 6-2-2 all-time against Temple, coming out on top in the last four matches. UCF has blanked the Owls each of those four times, outscoring them 12-0. The Knights earn the season sweep of Temple after visiting them earlier in the season and returning home with a 1-0 victory.
UCF will head west for the regular season War On I-4 finale on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Bulls and the Knights, along with SMU are currently sitting at 12 points this season and have a chance to remain at the top of the table depending on Sunday's outcome of the Tulsa-Memphis match.
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