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Knight Cap: Women’s Soccer returns, Cross Country gets a win

Plus: Men’s Soccer’s struggle in AAC play

Noah Goldberg

This past week of UCF Knights sports saw one team continue travel halfway across the country to continue their schedule despite Hurricane Ian, two teams taking the same playing surface, and another team continuing its conference play struggles.

Plus, we name the Knights of the Week and the Knights Play of the Week in your latest Knight Cap for October 7th, 2022.

Women’s Soccer returns with AAC win

For the first time since Sept. 18, UCF Women’s Soccer team took the pitch, getting a 2-0 victory over Temple.

The match marked the return of forward Kristen Scott after a four-match absence due to injury. She played for 13 minutes and got an assist on a 43rd-minute goal by fellow forward Mallory Olsson.

Olsson added an insurance goal later in the 60th minute to put the match away. It is the Knights’ first win since Aug. 28.

Now 3-2-4 (1-0-1 AAC), UCF will return home for the first time since Sept. 4 to take on SMU at 1 p.m. on Sunday and Cincinnati at 3 p.m. on Thursday, a match originally slated for Sept. 29, but was postponed due to Hurricane Ian.

Volleyball stays undefeated amidst Ian-forced exodus

Despite Hurricane Ian’s presence the UCF Volleyball Team still took the court last weekend, just not in Florida.

The team evacuated Orlando to Atlanta before taking a flight to Wichita, Kansas, where it would play its scheduled conference matches against Tulsa and Wichita State.

The Knights swept both conference opponents, 3-0. Outside Hitter McKenna Melville tallied 38 kills and 18 digs on the weekend.

With these two victories, the Knights climbed another spot to No. 23 in the AVCA Coaches Poll and debuted at No. 7 in the first RPI ranking of the fall.

The team will be back on the road this weekend, taking on Houston at 8 p.m. on Friday and Tulane at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Cross Country takes victory in Boca Raton

The UCF Cross Country team was unaffected by Hurricane Ian as it traveled south to Boca Raton for the FAU Invitational 5K.

True freshman Penelope Sosa built a commanding lead to take the individual victory with a 17:55.3, a time 25.7 seconds faster than the runner-up.

Sosa was joined by six other Knights in the Top 10, which helped the team take the team title as well. UCF finished with 23 points, 36 points ahead of runner-up Nova Southeastern, and an average time of 18:32.

The Knights take the course for The Arturo Barrios Invitational 6K at 9:45 a.m. next Saturday. It will be the Knights’ last regular season meet before the conference championship.

Men’s Soccer’s AAC woes continue

The UCF Men’s Soccer team was the first UCF team to return after Hurricane Ian but has yet to find a victory after 2-1 losses against both Florida Atlantic and SMU last week.

While the Knights and Owls remained close in their shot counts (14-12 in favor of FAU), SMU got the victory despite being outshot by UCF, 13-6.

Forward Lucca Dourado was responsible for both UCF goals on the weekend. His 57th-minute goal against the Owls, with an assist from fellow forward Emmanuel Bam, equalized the match after FAU got on the board first six minutes earlier.

FAU got the match-winning goal later on in the 68th minute.

Against the Mustangs, Dourado’s goal came in the 31st minute with assists from defender Anderson Rosa and midfielder Mauricio Villalobos. It got the Knights on the board first and gave them the lead for the next 44 minutes.

Of SMU’s three shots on goal, two of them ended up finding the back of the net. The first was in the 75th minute, and the match-winning one came two minutes later on a free kick.

Now with three straight losses in conference play, the Knights (4-4, 1-3 AAC) fall back to 8th- place in the ten-team AAC.

The team will look to get back on track on Sunday at 6 p.m. with a road match against FIU.

Men’s and Women’s Golf take the same course in Arkansas

Both the UCF Men’s and Women’s Golf teams traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Blessings Collegiate Invitational last week.

One golfer for each team found success on the individual leaderboard.

For the men, it was fifth-year senior Johnny Travale. His 214 (-2) tournament score helped him finish in a tie for 5th for another top 5 individual finish to open the season.

For the women, it was senior Tunrada Piddon. Her 221 (+5) tournament score put her in a tie for 7th place, making it her third-straight Top 10 individual finish for the season.

Both teams finished near the bottom of the team leaderboard, with the men finishing in 11th place at 904 (+40) and the women finishing in 10th place at 926 (+62).

For the full individual results from the tournament, check out

The men’s team will be back in action this weekend in Spartanburg, South Carolina for the Carolina Collegiate Invitational from Oct. 9-11.

Meanwhile, the women’s team will have a few weeks off before competing in its final tournament of the fall schedule, the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, North Carolina, from Oct. 28-30.

Women’s Tennis pair compete in North Carolina

A pair of UCF Women’s Tennis players took the court in Cary, North Carolina for the ITA All-American Championships this week.

Senior Marie Mattel, ranked No. 90 in the ITA’s preseason rankings, picked up a win in three sets in the first round of the qualifying draw over Auburn’s No. 61-ranked Ariana Arseneault (6-4, 1-6, 6-3). She fell in the next match against North Carolina’s No. 31-ranked Reilly Tran (6-3, 6-3).

Mattel teamed up with redshirt senior Nandini Sharma for the doubles tournament, where the pair suffered defeats in the first round of the qualifying draw against a Texas A&M pairing (8-7 (7-3) and in the consolation match against a pair from Duke (8-6).

Back on the professional circuit, three UCF women are slated to take the court next week for the ITF W25 tournament in Florence, South Carolina, starting Monday.

As for the collegiate circuit, the Knights have the ITA Regional Championships on the schedule, which is set to start on Thursday.

Knight of the Week

Mallory Olsson, Women’s Soccer

Olsson only spent 26 minutes on the pitch against Temple, but she made every one of them count.

Her two-goal effort is her first multi-goal match since last season’s Sept. 19 match against Stetson. She also led the team in shots, with four, and shots on goal, with three.

Play of the Week

Mallory Olsson’s header seals the match for UF Women’s Soccer