Women's Soccer Heads to Los Angeles for Second Round Matchup With No. 1 UCLA

Match Notes

ORLANDO – As the Knights trailed in their second penalty shootout in a matter of two weeks, something game-changing was needed to prevent the UCF women's soccer team's first-round elimination. When Mia Vaughan of North Carolina State looked to give the Wolfpack the advantage, AAC Goalkeeper of the Year Caroline DeLisle made that game-changing play, saving the shot and in an instant, giving the Black and Gold all the momentum. 
That Delisle save proved to be the turning point, as now the Knights are California Dreaming, heading out west to face the no. 1 seed UCLA Bruins for a second-round matchup in Los Angeles, California on Friday at 7 pm CT / 10 pm ET.
A Darya Rajaee penalty kick goal in the second half pushed the game to overtime where DeLisle and the Knights back four did their job, sending the Knights to yet another shootout. Rajaee would then secure the match winner, which was met with a storm of Black and Gold racing to greet either her or DeLisle. 
For just the second time in the Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak era, UCF will challenge for a place in the Sweet 16. In 2014, the second-year coach led the American Athletic Conference newcomers to victories over Georgia and Wisconsin before falling to Florida State in the program's third trip to the last 16.
The full-time draw continued the eleven-match unbeaten streak that began all the way back in September with a one-all draw at Memphis, in that time the Knights have had swift victories and crunch time winners in rout to outscoring opponents 18 to six, running away with the AAC Regular Season crown.
UCF will make its longest journey of the year into the sunny skies and vast hills of southern California. The squad's first voyage into the Pacific Time Zone was their only goalless match of the season in a 0-0 draw against Utah Valley in Orem.
The Opponent
The UCLA Bruins are the nation's number-one overall team. In route to a 17-2 regular season, the PAC-12 standouts went on a 13-match winning streak from the jump, with wins over the nation's best such as North Carolina and Duke. Both defeats came against in-state rivals USC and Stanford in the latter half of the season.
While the Knights toppled eight-seeded North Carolina State, the Bruins took care of their own business in the first round with a convincing 4-1 victory over Northern Arizona. Sunshine Fontes netted her team-leading tenth goal in the match, moving her to 29th in the country with 27 total points. She and Lexi Wright, who had two of her own on the night, lead the attack for UCLA, combining for 17 goals thus far.
The Black and Gold's history with the 2013 NCAA Champions is quite short with just a lone matchup all-time, a fitting 2010 second-round meeting that the Bruins took 2-1. Another link between the east coast – west coast schools of note is Amanda Cromwell, who took over UCF in 1999 and managed the program into its last season in Conference USA before joining the American. She would leave Orlando for UCLA, immediately leading the Bruins to their first-ever National Championship. Cromwell left Los Angeles following the conclusion of last season's first-round exit versus UC Irvine.
Friday's second-round match will be played at the newly built Wallis Annenberg Stadium, which opened in 2018. The match will be available to stream on ESPN+.