ORLANDO – Coming off a win, the UCF men's soccer team is set to take on UC Irvine at a new 7:00 p.m. kickoff time as opposed to the original 9:00 planned start due to the weather forecast. The Knights are coming into the match with a record of 2-1 coming off a 3-0 win against UC Riverside.
During the match against the Highlanders, the Black and Gold had the lead going into halftime thanks to an early goal from Gino Vivi which was scored in the sixth minute. Reigning American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week, Juanvi Muñoz, had four first half saves, one of them via a quality chance on a quick break from UC Riverside. The Black and Gold started the second half of the game strong scoring only two minutes and forty-eight seconds into the second half. Lucca Dourado tallied the second goal of the match thanks to assists from Emmanuel Bam and Mauricio Villalobos Vega. It was Villalobos' second assist of the match, the third time he has tallied a pair of assists in a single match in his career. Josiah Ramirez scored the final goal of the game for the Knights, his second career score. UCF finished the match with an 18-11 edge in shots and 9-5 in corner kicks.
Freshman goalkeeper Muñoz has his name listed in the top 25 of some major categories on the national stage, sitting 11th in saves per game (5.67), 19th in save percentage (0.895) and 20th in total saves (17).
UC Irvine is coming off a loss against Cornell to drop the Anteaters' record to 0-3-1 to start the campaign. The last time the Knights took on the Anteaters was Aug. 27th, 2018 at the UCF Soccer Complex. The match went into overtime after a back-and-forth battle but ultimately saw UC Irvine take the 1-0 victory.
The Knights' visit to UC Irvine on Friday will be their first trip out West since Aug. 26, 2016 in Arizona against Grand Canyon. The Knights also played Portland and Oregon State on the road in 2014 but haven't been to the state of California for a match since 2012 when they faced Cal and UC Davis. It will be exactly a decade since the Black and Gold played in California, with the last contest in The Golden State coming on Sep. 9, a 3-1 win at UC Davis.
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