ORLANDO – The UCF men's soccer team returns to Orlando Friday night for a conference matchup against 13th-ranked Charlotte at 7:00 p.m. It is the first time the Knights will face the 49ers as members of the American Athletic Conference.
The Knights suffered a tough result in Birmingham, Alabama against UAB last Friday, falling 3-1 and dropping their fourth conference game of the season. Lucca Dourado's incredible seven-match goal streak was put to an end as the Knight striker couldn't find the back of the net, ending his goal streak as the second longest in the country this season. The Black and Gold's lone goal came off a UAB defender, UCF's first own goal of the season and first since the spring of 2021.
Dourado remains first in the nation in goals per game, scoring 10 goals in 10 matches. He's 0.8 ahead of LIU's Emil Jaaskelainen in second and has been on a tear since notching his first goal of 2022 against UC Riverside on Sep. 5. Including that match, Dourado has scored 10 goals in seven games, the most in any seven-game stretch throughout his career. With three matches left, Dourado is three off his career high of 13 goals which he set last season. He sits in a tie for fourth in total goals in the nation, just two off Rutgers' MD Myers with 12. Dourado is still in a tie with Remi Hariz (1998-01) with 27 career goals at UCF which is ninth all-time in program history. Like Dourado, Gino Vivi is also in the midst of climbing UCF's all-time ranks, as he sits sixth all-time with 22 assists, tied with Ian Gill (1985-88).
Mauricio Villalobos Vega leads the team in assists thus far with five, he's now second on the team with seven points, two off his career-best of nine he set last season. Villalobos is also second in minutes per game by an outfield player with 88.3. Anderson Rosa is the only player this season to go the full 90 in all ten matches, excluding the keeper Juanvi Muñoz.
The Black and Gold welcome Charlotte to the UCF Soccer Complex, as the squad looks for their first home win of conference play and the program's first-ever win against the 49ers. Charlotte is first in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 3.36 goals per game, putting 37 in the back of the net in total. They are also first in the nation in points per game with a 10.64 average, almost exactly two points more than next-closest placed Washington with 8.62.
UCF currently sits with six points in the conference table with three matches remaining. They are two spots out of a playoff seed, sitting behind Charlotte who holds the six seed with eight points and a match in hand.
GET THE APP
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news. Click here to download the app now.