ORLANDO – The UCF women’s soccer team (8-5-1) will travel to Ohio to take on Cincinnati (3-6-6) Sunday afternoon. The final road trip for the Knights will kick off against the Bearcats at Gettler Stadium with a first kick time set for 1 p.m.
UCF and Cincinnati have long been conference mates in the American Athletic Conference, but this will be the first meeting between the two in the Big 12 conference. The Knights hold the overall series record, 6-5-2, but will face a difficult challenge playing in Cincinnati, where the series record is 0-4-2.
UCF will travel to Cincinnati fresh off a strong draw against No. 6 Texas Tech during its final home match of the 2023 season. Senior Maggie Jenkins was able to put the ball past arguably the nation’s best goalkeeper Madison White, who had collected nine shutouts in 15 matches, for her second career goal to open up the scoring for the match in the 57th minute. Caroline DeLisle has continued to show composure and leadership behind the posts, leading the defense to limit the Red Raiders to only one goal. The Tampa native remains one clean sheet away from breaking the program record for shutouts, as she is currently tied for second with 30.
Dayana Martin has also had a very good final season as a Knight, leading the squad in both assists (seven) and points (13). Her seven assists are a single-season personal best for the fifth year, and she is just two points away from tying her record of 15, earned in the 2022 season.
The Bearcats are set to host the Knights on the backs of a three-match unbeaten stretch which includes a strong 1-0 triumph over Oklahoma State. Cincinnati has shown the ability to grind out points during its first season in the Big 12. A one-all draw at No. 8 BYU and shared spoils with Oklahoma and Baylor have propelled the Bearcats to 10 points and currently the last spot in the conference tournament.
Embarking on its first season in the Big 12, Cincinnati hired Erica Demers to usher in a new era for the Bearcats. Demers led UAB from 2017-22, a period in which the Blazers went 50-38-19, as she was honored as the 2022 Conference USA Coach of the Year.
Cincinnati’s success thus far can be attributed to its defense, as the Bearcats have only scored 12 goals. Senior Ellie Flower and sophomore Megan Smith lead the squad with seven points each.