CINCINNATI, Ohio – Program history was made on Sunday afternoon at Gettler Stadium, where Caroline DeLisle secured her 31st career shutout to set a UCF record in a 1-0 victory over Cincinnati. The win also marked the first time that UCF has beaten the Bearcats in Cincinnati.
“It was a gritty team performance today. Cincinnati is one of the hardest places to play in the country, so I’m very proud to come away with a win.”
The opening minutes favored the home team, with Cincinnati getting a few shots off. DeLisle and the back line covered them with ease. Once the initial rush slowed, the momentum shifted in favor of the Knights. Chloe Netzel created the perfect opportunity, drawing a penalty on a run inside the box, giving the Knights their second penalty kick opportunity of the season. Just like the first, Katie Bradley stepped up to the spot to take the kick. With the utmost composure, the England native placed the ball beautifully into the net to give the Black and Gold an advantage 16 minutes into the match. Bradley is now 2-for-2 in her career on penalty kicks and has tied her season high for goals with three.
The composure from KB 😮💨— UCF Women's Soccer (@UCF_WSoccer) October 15, 2023
That’s 1️⃣2️⃣ points from the England native on the season 🏴 pic.twitter.com/7PG5RQobrN
The Knights continued to apply pressure through the remainder of the first 45, only allowing the Bearcats to get one shot on target on five total shots. Kyleigh Thelen did what she does best, making numerous clutch clearances and getting blocks on potential shots. Ariel Young also impressed in the first half, clearing a dangerously bouncing corner kick in the 37th minute to keep the Bearcats scoreless as the teams headed back to the locker rooms.
The final 45 opened with the same amount of intensity from UCF as it closed with. In the 47th minute, Maggie Jenkins nearly connected on a pass from Dayana Martin, but just barely missed the net, chipping it over the goal. The Knights continued to pile on the shots, with good looks from Martin and Netzel within the six-yard box. The Bearcats earned a dangerous free kick, but DeLisle remained as steady as ever, saving the shot that went near post. Cincinnati thought that the equalizer had been netted in the 66th minute, but the play was called offsides, keeping the Knights lead.
After Cincinanti was handed a red card in the 69th minute, the Bearcats had to play a woman down for the remaining 21 minutes. UCF took advantage of this with continued pressure on the Cincinnati players. Just as before, whenever the Bearcats thought they would have a good look, there was always a UCF player there to squall any hopes of getting a draw.
“Carol is so deserving of this record! To accomplish this in her career at UCF is incredible, especially since we’ve had so many amazing goalkeepers play for the program. Not only is she one of the best goalkeepers in the history of UCF women’s soccer, but she is also a special person who leads with class and selflessness. It has been an honor to coach her.”
With her four-save performance, DeLisle gained sole possession of first place in UCF career shutout history. The previous record holder, Karen Richter, had held the record with 30.5 clean sheets for over three decades. The Tampa native is also fourth in program history for saves, currently at 293.
The Knights will conclude the regular season at BYU on Monday, Oct. 23. The match is slated for an 8 p.m. ET/6 p.m. MT start and will air live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ from South Field in Provo, Utah.