NORFOLK, Va. – For the fourth time in his last two matches, Lucca Dourado found the back of the net at a crucial moment.
As the clock ticked down past 10 minutes to play and both teams locked in a 1-1 tie, the veteran forward, already the owner of the Knights’ first score of the night, added his second in the 82nd minute to lift the No. 2 UCF men’s soccer team to its third straight win, a 2-1 road victory at Old Dominion Saturday night.
“We were relieved to get the goal, and the game in that second half, and for periods in that second half, wasn’t the game we were hoping to create,” said head coach Scott Calabrese.
Fellow forward Emmanuel Bam ignited the Knights’ (7-1-2, 3-1-1 SBC) timely scoring play with a kick into a scrum just in front of the Monarchs’ (5-2-5, 2-2-1 SBC) net, which was quickly met with a header attempt on goal by midfielder AJ Seals.
Old Dominion goalkeeper Michael Statham alertly batted the ball away, though right to the waiting feet of Dourado. After taking a moment to corral the ball, he turned with a quick right-footed strike that rebounded off the left shin of Monarchs defender Samuel Mar Kristinsson and just inside the right goalpost.
The late tally gave the senior his eighth goal of the season, his second straight two-goal match and the eighth multi-score contest of his career. His second goal of the match also represented his third game-winner of the season and 12th of his four-year Knights tenure, and Dourado has now recorded back-to-back multi-goal games for the third time in his career (Sept. 11-18, 2021, vs. FGCU, at Memphis, and Sept. 9-17, 2022, at UC Irvine, at Temple).
“He’s definitely looked really good in front of the goal,” Calabrese added. “It’s always good for strikers to hit the back of the net for confidence, and he’s got a high level of confidence right now. He worked really hard tonight.”
With his second straight four-point night, Dourado’s career point total of 75 also rocketed the forward past Mark Lamb (1984-87) for sole possession of eighth place on the UCF all-time points list, and he now sits just three goals shy of tying Rony Francois (39, 1980-83) for fifth place on the all-time goals scored list with 36 in his career.
The winning effort also clinched the Knights’ second three-game win streak of the fall slate, after UCF emerged victorious in each of its first three matches this season against then-No. 4/9 Clemson (Top Drawer/United Soccer Coaches), Stetson and NC State Aug. 24–Sept. 1.
Dourado’s second score injected new life into a Knights team that, 12 minutes prior, surrendered its first goal since the team suffered its 1-0 loss at No. 1 Marshall Sept. 23, dashing UCF’s bid for a third consecutive shutout win and snapping its scoreless goals-against streak at 314 minutes and 45 seconds.
Before the Monarchs managed the equalizer in the 70th minute, Dourado broke the ice in the 12th minute with his seventh goal of the year on his second converted penalty kick in as many tries this season. Defender Raphael Crivello, playing in his first match since UCF’s 2-0 win over Brown Sept. 9 as he nursed an injury, drew a penalty in the box to set Dourado up to give the Knights an early 1-0 lead.
Rapha draws the penalty in his return and Lucca tallies his seventh of the season! 💪 pic.twitter.com/iqRQIdWKvo— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) October 14, 2023
“It’s important for every team that wants to achieve things to have periods of a game that don’t go the way that you want, and to still be able to win, and that’s what happened tonight,” Calabrese continued. “We created some really good moments where we got into the final third and were dangerous, and the game got away from us a little bit at times. Not every game is going to go the way that you want it to, but you still have to try to find a way to win, and we were able to do it tonight.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Juanvi Muñoz also produced another strong showing in his 23rd consecutive start to begin his career, racking up seven total saves en route to clinching his 13th collegiate win. The effort represented his second contest with seven or more saves this season and the third such match of his UCF tenure.
Riding the momentum of their third consecutive win, the Knights will return home for a short turnaround before their next match, a Wednesday evening tilt against Coastal Carolina. Kickoff from the UCF Soccer Complex is scheduled for 7 p.m. for the Knights’ second and final Space Game of the season.
FOLLOW THE KNIGHTS
Follow UCF men’s soccer on X (@UCF_MSoccer), Instagram (@UCF.MSoccer) and Facebook (/UCFMensSoccer).
GET THE APP
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite teams by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android devices. The app provides personalized information for men’s and women’s teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and breaking news. Click here to download the app now.