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Women's Soccer Clinches AAC Regular Season Title with 1-0 Win Over Houston

ORLANDO – The UCF women's soccer team is leaving the American Athletic Conference the way it entered… as Champions. The Knights defeated Houston 1-0 Sunday afternoon, capping off a wonderful Senior Day and securing the Black and Gold a first-round bye along with home-field advantage in the conference tournament.
 
"It's really just a team effort, I think we're very balanced, the whole team is just amazing," Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said on her team.
 
Over the five-game winning streak coming into today, the Knights have gotten out in front early, scoring seven of the 11 goals in the first 45. Kristen Scott continued the trend in the 17th minute as Dayana Martin broke through the Cougars' midfield, finding Scott who turned her defender with the first touch and then slotted it past the keeper with her left. 
 
The fifth-year senior now has nine goals on the season, one off her career-high which she set last year. Scott has been lethal since returning to the pitch against Temple earlier this month, having scored six goals, assisting three, and having been involved in all but two of the goals since conference play began. 
 
UCF pushed for a second before the break, coming close on an Anna Henderson screamer that met the crossbar with two minutes to go. At the half, the Knights outshot Houston nine to three, as Caroline DeLisle's one save of the day came on the Cougars' lone shot on goal.
 
The second 45 was a physical affair, as neither team could find a string of possession or any pressure in the opposition half. The senior-led backline of Georgia Eaton-Collins, Kelis Barton, and Mathilde Kack held the Cougars attack to zero shots in the half. UCF has yet to allow a goal at home in over 270 minutes, last conceding against Ole Miss on Sep. 4.
 
As the final whistle blew, the team, made of fifth-year seniors who arrived just a year after the last conference title in 2017, players who have more years to come and a group of newcomers who put new life into the squad, were all the same. They were all Champions. 
 
Sahaydak won the conference in her first year in charge of the Knights in 2013, since then, her squad has lifted the trophy three more times, in 2014, 2017, and today, leaving the American Athletic Conference in style. Along with her husband Tim Sahaydak, Chris Cummings and the new addition of Keisuke Ota, the staff has the most regular season titles in their 10-year stay of any AAC team.
 
The season's not done yet as the Knights make the short trip to face rivals South Florida in the final war on I-4 before moving to the Big 12. The Bulls loss today in Cincinnati secured the outright title for UCF, as the Knights will host the conference tournament semi-finals and finals on Nov. 3 and Nov. 6 at the UCF Soccer Complex.