ORLANDO – The UCF men's soccer team lost its second consecutive match, falling to FAU 2-1 at home on Saturday night at the UCF Soccer Complex.
"It was a difficult match," said head coach Scott Calabrese. "We didn't impose ourselves on FAU, we didn't possess the ball the way we typically do, we gave the ball away in some dangerous areas. They countered on us and they were really good in that aspect."
There was no score at halftime in what was a fairly even match on the stat sheet, as both teams finished with six shot attempts apiece and UCF with a slight 4-3 edge in corner kicks.
FAU was the first to find a goal in the contest as the Owls were awarded a penalty kick in the 51st minute. The Owls' leading scorer, Victor Claudel, took to the spot and buried one just past the outstretched arms of UCF goalkeeper Juanvi Muñoz to put FAU in front 1-0.
The Knights found an answer in the 57th minute as Emmanuel Bam charged down the side of the 18-yard box and passed one across for Lucca Dourado who pounded his seventh goal of the campaign to level the match at 1-1.
Dourado has scored in five straight matches after Saturday night's tally and is responsible for nearly half of UCF's goals this season, scoring seven of the team's 15 total. Dourado is now in sole possession of 10th place on UCF's all-time goals list with 24. He needs three more goals to enter into a tie for ninth place with Remi Hariz, who scored 27 goals from 1998-2001.
The Owls didn't keep the match even for long as Blake Dean used a remarkable shot from 25 yards out to put FAU in front in the 68th minute.
UCF had two quality chances following the FAU goal, firing three shot attempts with two landing on goal and nearly finding the back of the net. It was not to be though as Timothy Arias and Bam were turned away in the 76th and 82nd minutes, respectively.
The Knights fall to 1-2 in conference play and 4-3 overall on the 2022 campaign. October has historically been kind to the Knights in Calabrese's tenure, going 15-0-3 over his first three October slates.
The Black and Gold are now 1-3 when opponents score first this season. The Knights were outshot for the third time this season with FAU finishing with the 14-12 edge, resulting in a 1-2 record when that happens.
UCF holds a 23-9-3 all-time series lead over FAU, including a record of 6-2-2 in the last 10 meetings. The Owls snapped a four-match losing streak to the Knights with Saturday's 2-1 result.
The Black and Gold will host SMU at 3 p.m. on Wednesday in what will be the final conference matchup with both as American Athletic Conference members. UCF and SMU have a storied history together as part of The American, with the two sides meeting in three conference finals over the last five seasons. The Knights have run into the Mustangs in the postseason in four of the last five seasons and five times overall in their nine years in The American.
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