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Saku Heiskanen Signs with Gnistan IF

by Ryan Ladika

ORLANDO – On the heels of a standout freshman campaign in Orlando, the reigning Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, Saku Heiskanen, has taken the next step in his soccer career, signing with IF Gnistan in Helsinki, Finland.

Heiskanen returns to his native Finland after producing a dominant debut season with the Knights, earning Sun Belt All-Conference Second Team honors in addition to his Freshman of the Year award. He appeared in each of UCF’s 16 matches, including 12 starts, and totaled 1,045 minutes on the pitch.

He made his first collegiate goal count, scoring in the 43rd minute of the Knights’ 2-1 season-opening upset victory over the No. 4/9 Clemson Tigers to tie the match at one goal apiece at the time. He also recorded the secondary assist on Emmanuel Bam’s game-winning goal in the 69th minute of the contest to record his first collegiate three-point game.

Heiskanen made a bit of history in the Knights’ 3-2 double-overtime loss to Vermont in the team’s NCAA Tournament second round match as well, scoring the fastest goal in UCF’s NCAA Tournament history just 66 seconds into the contest.

The Espoo native scored five goals and added two assists en route to registering 12 points last fall, notching 33 total shot attempts and 15 on goal.


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