UCF Seeking 4th Straight Win, Resume War On I-4 Saturday

Match Notes

ORLANDO, Fla. – The UCF men's soccer team is set for the regular season finale of the War On I-4 as the Knights head west to take on South Florida on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Black and Gold are coming off their best performance of the season after topping Temple 4-0 last Saturday. UCF got a pair of goals from Hattabiou Barry, who opened the scoring in the 17th minute and capped off the evening with a goal that banged off the crossbar in the 89th. The two goals gave Barry a total of three over the Knights' last two matches. Along the way, Yoni Sorokin scored his third goal in as many matches, all from the penalty spot. Anderson Rosa scored an absolute beauty of a goal moments after Sorokin's as he tucked a free kick just inside the post from 25-yards away for his first career score.

The victory over Temple marked the third straight victory for the Knights as they remain perfect in the month of March. UCF has outscored their opponents 8-1 during their winning streak.

A big part of the winning streak has been the play of Yannik Oettl in net. After Matt Douglass earned his first career victory with a 2-1 win over Memphis, Oettl jumped back between the pipes and collected two consecutive shutouts, bringing him to three this season. He stopped eight shots against then-No. 9 SMU, tying a career-high, before turning aside five shots against Temple. Oettl is first in the conference and 17th in the nation in save percentage, checking in at .885. He is on pace to shatter his career high of .778 which he earned in 2018. Oettl is top 30 in the country in shutouts and saves per game and is top 60 in total saves this season.

South Florida is coming off a loss to No. 17 SMU their last time out, falling by a score of 3-2 in Dallas. The defeat snapped the Bulls' four-match winning streak after they had an 0-2 start to the campaign. They've gone 3-1 on the road but are only 1-2 at home this season. Josue Monge leads the team in total points with six, collecting a pair of goals and two assists to this point. The Bulls have been riding with Kazuna Takase in net, who after stopping 11 shots against the Knights in their previous meeting, now has a goals allowed average of 2.33 and a save percentage of .622.

The Bulls have scored at least two goals in all but one of their matches this season while UCF has scored at least two goals over their last three matches. Saturday's tilt will certainly see its fair share of shots, as the Knights average 13.29 shot attempts per match while South Florida fires off 9.29 attempts.

The first fifteen minutes of the match continue to be a point of emphasis for the Knights. UCF is 4-0-0 when holding the opposition scoreless through the first phase of the match. They're also 4-0-0 when tallying the first goal and leading at the half.

The Black and Gold along with South Florida and SMU enter the weekend in a tie for second place in the American Athletic Conference table, all with 12 points. They trail Tulsa by one point, who sits atop the standings with a record of 4-1-1.

General admission for fans is not permitted at Corbett Stadium for Saturday's match.

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