UCF Set for American Championship Against #2 Tulsa

Match Notes Tournament Central
No. 2 Seed UCF vs. No. 1 Seed #2 Tulsa
Sunday, November 14, 1:00 p.m. ET

TULSA, Okla. – The UCF men's soccer team is set for its American Athletic Conference Championship match as they'll face host and No. 2 nationally ranked Tulsa on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN News.

The Knights punched their fifth straight ticket to the conference tournament's finals after scoring half a dozen goals in a 6-0 win over Memphis. Gino Vivi led the way on the stat sheet with two goals and an assist while Rainer De Jesus, Lucca Dourado, Nick Taylor and Yanis Leerman also added goals of their own. The six goals propelled the Black and Gold back into the top five nationally in goals scored per match. Their 2.62 clip is good enough for third in the country. Over his last five matches, Vivi has had a pair of two goal and five-point performances, his previous coming on the road at Temple in a 3-0 win. Bernardo Brandao turned aside the only shot on target that came his way, earning his first collegiate clean sheet and victory. The one shot on frame was the lowest total that the Knights defense has allowed this season.

UCF has split the season series against Tulsa with each team winning on their home pitch. The Black and Gold earned a 3-2 victory in Orlando on Oct. 10, handing the Golden Hurricane their first and only loss on their 14-1-1. After beating No. 6 Tulsa at home, the Knights fell on the road in their regular season finale, dropping a 2-1 result after scoring the first goal ten minutes into the match.

Tulsa has only allowed 12 goals this season. UCF has scored a third of those goals, tallying four against the Golden Hurricane. They advanced to The American final via a 2-0 win over fourth-seeded SMU. Tulsa was still able to get the job done without leading scorers Alex Meinhard and Malik Henry-Scott, who have a combined 42 of their 113 points this season. Alex Lopez has been the primary man in goal, playing in 15 matches, compiling a .771 save percentage and a 0.74 goals allowed average.

A UCF win would secure a second straight American Athletic Conference tournament championship for the Black and Gold and bet the fifth title the team has won in the last four seasons, with the other three all coming as back-to-back-to-back regular season titles.

Six of the first eight championship finals since The American was reconstituted in 2013 have gone beyond 90 minutes, with five league titles determined via penalty kicks following a draw. There have been multiple overtime tournament games in each season with the exception of 2017 and 2021.

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