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Women's Soccer Falls to No. 4 Penn State, 1-0

by Logan Hasselbach

UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. – The RV UCF women’s soccer team (2-2-0) dropped its final road non-conference test on Thursday night after a late goal from No. 6/4 Penn State (4-0-1) decided the match, 1-0.

“Tough one to take tonight because the team played with so much grit and heart. Going a player down is not easy against one of the best teams in the country. Caroline [DeLisle] was a rock and had one of the best performances of her career tonight. The team will hold their heads high, recover and refocus for a big home match against FAU this Sunday.”

Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak

The Nittany Lions came out strong, showing what would turn out to be a defensive battle between the two teams, taking three shots in the opening t10 minutes of the match, two of which were on goal. The possession in the first 45 was very back-and-forth. The Knights were kept to just two shot attempts, the first of which came from Dayana Martin in the 28th minute. Ellie Moreno got the first shot on goal not long after, forcing the Penn State keeper to make a save.

The second half started off with both teams getting good opportunities to score, as Katie Bradley recorded her second shot on target of the season and two Nittany Lions put shots on goal. After a red card was issued to Sanja Homann in the 52nd minute, the Knights went down to 10 women for the remaining 38 minutes. Penn State attempted to take advantage of this, racking up six shots in the following 15 minutes. It was a complete team effort to starve the Nittany Lions of a goal in this flurry, with a massive block from Stetson transfer Kyleigh Thelen, along with numerous saves from DeLisle.

The lone goal of the match came in the final two minutes, with Penn State center back Mieke Schiemann getting her first of the season off a first touch after a pass from Payton Linnehan inside the box.

When the final whistle blew, the Knights had four shots, three of which were on target.

Despite the goal, DeLisle had one of the best matches of her career with 10 saves, a season high for the fifth year. The total came just shy of her career-high single-match total (11), achieved against SMU in 2021. DeLisle still sits fourth in program history in saves with 251.

This is the first time since the 0-0 draw against Utah Valley on Aug. 25, 2022, that the Knights have been held scoreless. The result snaps what was the Big 12's longest active record for consecutive matches with a goal scored.


The Knights return home for a three-match homestand, starting on Sunday, Sept. 3 against in-state rival FAU. The match will kick off at 6 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex.