|No. 3 Seed Memphis vs. No. 2 Seed UCF|
Wednesday, November 10, 5:30 p.m. ET
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ORLANDO, Fla. – The UCF men's soccer team is set for postseason action as they'll travel to face Memphis in Tulsa, Okla., the site of the 2021 American Athletic Conference Championship. The two sides will square off on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The Knights have qualified for The American's postseason tournament in all nine seasons that they've been a part of the conference. UCF has been a top two seed in each of the last five seasons, earning three number one seeds after winning back-to-back-to-back regular season conference titles from 2018-2020-21.
The Black and Gold are 3-2-1 all-time in The American semifinals, advancing through to the championship round four times in total, with all appearances coming over the last four seasons. After falling by a goal or less in each of their first three trips to the final, the Knights finally broke through and captured the seemingly elusive conference tournament crown, beating Tulsa 1-0 to earn The American's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
UCF holds the all-time series lead against Memphis, going 14-8-4 against the Tigers. The Knights had won the previous five meetings against Memphis until their most recent meeting, falling 3-0 in Orlando after winning the initial meeting of the season 4-1 in Memphis. Over the past six contests, the Black and Gold have outscored the Tigers 12-6. It's been a while since these two teams have faced each other in the postseason, the only occurrence coming in the 2013 quarterfinals where the Knights topped Memphis 2-1 in overtime.
Tulsa earned the conference's regular season title, number one seed and hosting rights for the conference tournament. The Golden Hurricane snapped UCF's streak of three consecutive regular season titles, officially clinching the regular season crown on Halloween. Tulsa's only loss on its 13-1-1 campaign came at the hands of UCF as the Black and Gold earned a 3-2 victory on Oct. 10. The Golden Hurricane were ranked sixth in the nation at the time.
The Knights finished second in The American table and will be the second seed in the conference tournament after collecting a 6-4 conference record, good enough for 18 points. They meet a Memphis side that has come on as of late, going 2-0-1 in their last three matches and outscoring Temple, South Florida and SMU 6-2 over that span. Overall, the Tigers have gone 6-8-2 this season, going 5-4-1 in conference, good enough for the three seed. SMU makes the tournament as the four seed with an identical conference record as Memphis but get the number four slot after falling to Memphis in both head-to-head meetings.
UCF enters the conference tournament as one of the nation's top 10 scoring offenses, averaging 2.40 goals per game, good enough for ninth in the country. At one point, the Black and Gold were tied for first in the nation with NIU, averaging exactly three goals a match. The Knights have scored three or more goals in eight of their matches this season and have scored four or more in four matches.
Lucca Dourado enters the tournament season just three goals behind the national leaders, Theo Collomb of UNC Greensboro and Emil Jaakelainen of LIU. Nick Taylor has a bit more of a gap in between him and John Klein of St Louis, who currently leads the nation with 15 assists. Taylor has registered nine so far this season.
Dourado and Taylor put on quite a show in this season's first meeting against Memphis. Dourado was responsible for two of the four goals that night while Taylor notched three assists. Anderson Rosa and Beto Ydrach also collected goals in the 4-1 win over the Tigers.
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