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Knight Cap: Men’s Soccer, Volleyball Keep Rolling, Men’s Golf Makes History

Plus: Women's Tennis opens its fall season

Lucca Dourado of UCF Men’s Soccer
Lucca Dourado
Photo courtesy: UCF Athletics

The past week of UCF Knights sports saw two teams continue their winning ways in conference play, one team has continued having struggles in-conference, and another team turned both a dominant and historic performance. Plus, we name the Knight of the Week in your latest Knight Cap for Monday, September 27.

Men’s Soccer continues conference dominance with Temple win

The UCF Men’s Soccer team won its second straight conference match on Friday against Temple, 4-1.

The teams traded goals in the first half. Fifth-year senior forward Alessandro Campoy scored for the Knights in the 13th minute, with an assist from junior forward Gino Vivi.

Meanwhile, Temple sophomore forward Mike Eijgenddaal equalized the match with a 38th-minute goal, with assists from junior forward Chaim Roserie and graduate student defender Mickael Borger.

After the team’s return from the halftime break, the Knights broke through the Temple defense. Of the 15 shots UCF shot during the match, 11 of them came in the second half.

Sophomore forward Lucca Dourado got the second-half goals started for the Knights with one in the 53rd minute with an assist from fifth-year senior midfielder Nick Taylor.

Just over 20 minutes later, Taylor scored a goal for himself, unassisted. It was the SMU transfer’s first goal in a Knights uniform.

Finally, redshirt junior Gianluca Arcangeli scored the match’s final goal in the 80th minute, with assists from Vivi and senior defender Yanis Leerman, to give the match its final score. The goal was Arcangeli’s first of the season and the first goal he’s scored since Nov. 5, 2019.

UCF’s offense was not the only side of the ball that improved in the second half, the defense did as well. While the Owls shot the ball four times in the first half, they only shot it twice in the second half.

Of the three shots Temple shot on goal, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Tyler Lavigne saved two of them. This match gives Lavigne his third win as a goalkeeper in as many starts.

Riding a 2-0 conference record, the team travels to Tampa on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. match with USF.

Later in the week, the team returns home for a match that pits the Conference’s best offense against the conference leader in saves. UCF’s offense is tied for the conference lead in shots (109) and leads in goals (21). However, between Memphis’ two goalkeepers, senior Parker Lackland and freshman Collin Welsh, the Tigers lead the conference with 36 saves (4.5 saves per game).

The match will be streamed live on ESPN+ and kick off at 6 p.m.

Volleyball sweeps twice to open conference play

The UCF Volleyball team opened conference play with two three-set sweeps this weekend against East Carolina and Cincinnati.

The Pirates closed the gap with each individual set they played on Friday, but the Knights would still end up sweeping them, 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-19).

Senior outside hitter McKenna Melville led the team with 11 kills, closely followed by junior middle blocker Claudia Dillon with 10. Dillon and Melville also were the team’s Top 2 in blocks, with Dillon getting five and Melville getting three. Sophomore libero Chloe Scheer led the team in digs, with 16.

In a reverse of the East Carolina match, Cincinnati kept up with the Knights in the first set, losing by two points, but the score gap ended up increasing with each subsequent set. The Knights ended up sweeping the Bearcats, 3-0 (25-23, 25, 19, 25-13).

Melville led the team in kills once again, with 15, this time followed by fifth-year right-side hitter Anne-Marie Watson, with 10. Redshirt senior Nerissa Moravec and senior setter Amber Olson tied for the team lead in blocks, with five apiece, closely followed by Dillon with four. Junior setter Dresden Pass led the team in digs, with nine, followed by Olson with seven and Melville with six.

Dillon got six of the team’s 11 aces in the match as well. While senior outside hitter Tali Marmen did have an eight-ace match back on March 5 against East Carolina, it is the first time a UCF Volleyball player has scored exactly six aces in a single match since Kelly Weaver did it in a match with Central Michigan on Sept. 7, 2007.

The team will be heading on a road trip this weekend. First, the team stops in Wichita, Kansas to plays the Shockers in a 7 p.m. match on Friday. On Sunday, the team will play a 1 p.m. match against Tulsa.

Women’s Soccer suffers second straight loss, moves to 0-2 in-conference

The UCF Women’s Soccer team lost its second straight conference match on Thursday to Memphis, 2-1.

After a scoreless first half, the Tigers scored the first two goals of the match. Senior defender Mackenzie Bray scored to get the Tigers on the board first in the 48th minute, with assists from freshman midfielder Momo Nakao and junior midfielder Saoria Miller. Nakao would later score a goal herself, the first of her collegiate career, in the 66th minute with an assist from senior midfielder Tanya Boychuk.

The Knights answered Nakao’s goal a short time later in the 67th minute with an unassisted goal by senior midfielder Darya Rajaee.

However, facing a Memphis defense that only allowed more than one goal only once this season, the team was unable to equalize the rest of the match. UCF would end up only getting seven shots off, only two were on goal. Meanwhile, Memphis shot more than double that, getting 18 shots off with nine of them on goal.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Caroline DeLisle ended her night with seven saves, the second-most she’s had in a single match this season.

Meanwhile, DeLisle’s Memphis counterpart, senior Elizabeth Moberg, had only one save the whole match. Despite DeLisle keeping the Knights in the match, Memphis was able to break through the UCF defense too many times while the UCF offense could not break through the Memphis defense enough times.

Memphis and Houston, who beat the Knights on Sept. 16, 1-0, have allowed the 2nd and 3rd least number of goals The American. As of Sept. 25, the Tigers and the Cougars have allowed 5 and 6 goals all season respectively, while UCF and USF are tied for 4th with 10 goals allowed.

The UCF defense will have to step up for next week’s match against SMU on the road. The Mustangs lead The American with four goals allowed all season and will be entering Thursday’s match coming off five straight shutouts. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+ at 8 p.m.

Men’s Golf thumps competition in Connecticut

The UCF Men’s Golf team shellacked the competition in the Hartford Hawks Invitational, winning the tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

The team shot a combined -35 (829 strokes) for the tournament, beating out second-place Seton Hall by 35 strokes.

The mark ties the second-lowest 54-hole team score in program history from the 2019 FAU Spring Championship, only falling short of the team’s 818-stroke tournament at the 2009 NCAA Southeast Regional. The team’s final round score (270) also made the record books, becoming the new second-lowest 18-hole team score in program history, short only of a 268-stroke round at the 2019 FAU Spring Championship.

The team will have a couple of weeks off before their next two tournaments that make up a busy mid-October that wraps up the fall schedule. First, the Carolina Collegiate Invitational in Spartanburg, South Carolina will be played from Oct. 11-13. Then, a few days later, the team will return to Florida to host the Isleworth Collegiate in Windermere from Oct. 17-19.

Women’s Tennis Opens Fall Schedule at Wolfpack Invite

The UCF Women’s Tennis team began its fall schedule at the Wolfpack Invitational in Cary, North Carolina this weekend.

Five Knights competed in the invitational with two pairs of them competing in the doubles matches.

In doubles action, redshirt senior Valeriya Zeleva and senior Evgeniya Levashova went 2-1 with their wins coming against a No. 40-ranked duo from South Carolina (6-4) and an unranked duo from Duke (6-2). Their only loss came from a duo from North Carolina (7-6 (5)).

Meanwhile, junior Marie Mattel teamed up with redshirt junior Nandini Sharma to go 1-2 for the invitational. Their only win came against a duo from Virginia (7-6 (5)) while their two losses came from USC (6-2) and Ohio State (6-4) duos.

Singles action was led by No. 20-ranked Zeleva, who went 3-2 for the Invitational with a highlight victory against No. 16-ranked Isabella Pfenning of Miami (FL) in a tiebreaker set (4-6, 6-3, (13-11)).

No. 80-ranked Levashova went 2-3 for the Invitational but had a highlight win by upsetting No. 8-ranked Natasha Subhash of Virginia (6-3, 7-6 (4)). If UCF Tennis fans recognize that name, this is indeed the very same Subhash that took out Zeleva at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championship back in March.

Mattel finished her Invitational 1-4, with her only win coming against Hibah Shaikh of Virginia (6-4, 7-6 (3)). Meanwhile, Sharma and sophomore Jaleesa Leslie both went 0-4.

The team has a short break before it heads to Tampa to play in the Bedford Cup from Oct. 1-3.

Knights of the Week

Johnny Travale, Clement Charmasson, and Teddy Tetak- Men’s Golf

These three seniors on the Men’s Golf team played crucial roles in the Knights’ fourth consecutive win at the Hartford Hawks Invitational by a commanding 35 strokes. However, it is their individual performances that land them as this week’s Knights of the Week.

Travale, Charmasson, and Tetak finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively as individuals at the Invitational, making the podium all Black and Gold.

Travale finished the tournament -11 (205), which is his lowest 54-hole score in a Knights uniform since his 202 at the 2019 Travistock Collegiate. Coincidently, the 2019 Travistock Collegiate is also his only other individual win since he transferred to UCF from Kent State.

The mark also ties Greg Eason and Manuel Elvira for the 6th-lowest individual 54-hole score in program history. His final round 64, the lowest round of the tournament, also made the record book, tying Greg Forest, Mike Stern, Barry Roof, and Elvira for the 4th-lowest individual 18-hole score in program history.

Meanwhile, Charmasson finished one stroke behind his teammate, ending his tournament at -10 (206). This is Charmasson’s second-straight Top 5 to begin the season after finishing tied for 3rd at the Island Resort Intercollegiate.

As for Tetak, he rebounded from hitting +2 (74) in the first round to finish his tournament at -8 (208) in his season debut.