NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 19 UCF women’s soccer team wrapped up its Oklahoma road trip on Sunday afternoon, successfully bringing home three points after defeating Oklahoma 2-1 at John Crain Field. Both Mia Asenjo and Kyleigh Thelen scored their first career goals in Black and Gold, while Katie Bradley earned another multi-point night, grabbing assists on the two goals.
"Thrilled to get three points today. Kyleigh was awesome coming off the bench and executing on a corner kick to put us ahead. OU was very good. They put us under a lot of pressure which forced us to defend our box the majority of the game. Overall, the team was committed to defend and we had a no quit attitude. As always, very proud of our grit!"
The opening 15 minutes of the match were intense and action-packed, with Oklahoma getting off two shots in the first six minutes. The Knights brought offensive intensity immediately, scoring on their first shot attempt of the match. Bradley played a perfect ball to Dayana Martin in the box, who instantly crossed it to Asenjo. With the Oklahoma goalkeeper out of her box to try and get the ball away from Martin, Asenjo had a wide-open net to knock home her first career goal. The redshirt sophomore shifted up to the forward line alongside Martin and Chloe Netzel for this match and gave the Knights the early lead in the 11th minute.
The Sooners didn’t take long to retaliate, notching their lone goal of the match two minutes later. An odd deflection caught the Knights defense off guard and knotted the score at one goal apiece.
The remainder of the opening 45 was much of the same with both teams getting good chances and both defensive lines keeping the ball out of the back of the net. When the whistle blew to send the teams back to the locker rooms, UCF had four shot attempts, two on target, and Oklahoma had 12 shot attempts, six of which were on goal.
When tied at the half this season, the Knights have a 3-1 record, which they were ready to defend and improve. The final 45 minutes began very physical, just as the first half ended, with both squads determined to collect the three points given with a win. Bradley had a good chance in the 51st minute but was denied by the Sooners keeper. Moments later, the Knights were awarded a corner kick to be taken by Bradley. The senior lobbed the ball perfectly into the box and all the Sooners on the field were preoccupied with their man-to-man coverage, leaving Thelen unguarded and in a perfect scoring position. The junior headed the ball perfectly in the back of the net to give the Knights the lead once more.
From then on, it was a defensive lockdown for UCF. With every good chance Oklahoma appeared to have, a UCF player was there to deny the opportunity. The Sooners got seven shots off after the Knights’ goal, only one of which was on target. When the final whistle blew, Caroline DeLisle had collected six saves, with an .857 save percentage.
The Knights are 3-0 coming back from a loss this season. The last time the squad lost back-to-back games was over a year ago, with two losses to Ole Miss (9/4) and North Carolina (9/11). UCF now owns 12 points in conference play, tied for third with Oklahoma State and only three points back from conference leader No. 14 Texas Tech with 15.
UCF will return home Thursday, Oct. 5, when No. 21 Texas comes to town for the annual Space Game. The match will have a 5:30 p.m. kickoff and will be streamed on ESPNU, the first nationally televised match of the season for the Knights.