It wasn't the most satisfying result, but the UCF Women's Soccer team clinched the outright American Athletic Conference regular season title on the home pitch with a 1-1 draw against South Florida Friday night.
Here's the conclusion of the match, as seen by our own Eric Lopez:
And the celebration not long afterwards:
Here's the post-match reaction from head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak:
USF scored the first goal on a penalty kick before halftime, but the Knights evened the score on Dina Orschmann's sixth goal of her freshman season. Both teams traded close calls in the two ten-minute extra time periods, but in the end, the match ended all square at 1-1, and UCF sent off its seniors with a conference title on their home field.
Here's a look at the highlights of the match from UCF's video department:
The Knights, ranked 7th in the nation in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll, and holding a #6 ranking in the latest national RPI, finished the regular season with a 12-1-2 overall record and 7-0-2 in The American. Their only draws came against Cincinnati (RPI #44) in the conference opener and the Bulls (RPI #27) on Friday. The lone loss was at current #3 (and RPI #1) South Carolina in the season opener.
This was the third time UCF has won The American in the regular season, but the first time since 2014. UCF also won the regular season in 2013 en route to pulling the double, winning their only conference tournament in The American that same year.
It's also the Knights' 12th regular season conference title since first joining the Atlantic Sun Conference in 1993.
On to the Postseason
Unbeaten in their last 14 matches, the Knights now turn their attention to the American Athletic Conference Tournament, which they will now host by virtue of winning the regular season title. The Tournament gets underway Wednesday, but the top-seeded Knights have a bye into the semifinals on Friday, as does second-seeded South Florida. UCF will play the winner of Memphis and UConn in the 4/5 match, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the UCF Track & Soccer Complex.
UCF's first tournament match will be Friday at 7 p.m. at home. You can catch the first two rounds on the American Digital Network, with the Championship match on Sunday, November 5th, on ESPNews at 2 p.m.
More than 1,400 fans were in attendance at the UCF Track & Soccer Complex, the largest crowd of the season - even more than the attendance for Knights' season-making upset over North Carolina.
UCF now trails South Florida in the annual all-sports War on I-4 standings, 9-3, as both schools split the six available points in the Women's Soccer match by virtue of their draw.