Knight Cap has returned for a new athletic year and it is good to be back.
For first-time readers, the purpose of Knight Cap is to keep the UCF community informed of all the happenings within the world of UCF sports, including sports that can go under the radar.
This past week (and some change) of UCF Knights sports saw Soccer enjoy its time in the limelight as the only UCF fall sport in action, followed by Cross Country joining the fray. Plus, we name the Knight of the Week and the Knights Play of the Week in your latest Knight Cap for Wednesday, September 6th, 2022
#13 Ole Miss Hands Women’s Soccer First Loss
The UCF Knights Women’s Soccer team’s season-opening unbeaten streak came to an end Sunday night after a 2-1 loss to No. 13 Ole Miss.
The Rebels took control of the match in the first half, converting two goals in the 18th and 25 minutes separated by a lightning delay. However, the Knights came out quickly in the second half, scoring a goal in the 47th minute off the foot of forward Anna Henderson, with assists from Katie Bradley and Dayana Martin:
The Knights out-shot Ole Miss in the second half, 8-3, and orchestrated some late chances to equalize. On one occasion, Martin set up forward Mallory Olson for a header, but Ole Miss goalkeeper Ashley Orkus blocked it. Then, Ellie Moreno ricocheted one off the left goalpost.
Due to head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak’s assistant coaching duties with the U.S. Women’s National Team, the Ole Miss game was the Knights’ first game without either Amanda Cromwell or Sahaydak on the sideline for the first time since 1998.
In her absence, associate head coach Tim Sahaydak, her husband, assumed head coaching duties.
The Knights are now 2-1-2 as they travel up to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for a 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon match with the Tar Heels.
Men’s Soccer Starts 2-1
The Men’s Soccer team got above .500 on Labor Day with a 3-0 win over UC Riverside.
Forward Gino Vivi got the scoring underway early with a 6th-minute goal off an assist from Mauricio Villalobos.
Villalobos would add another assist later on in the game, setting up forward Lucca Dourado for his first (official) goal on the season in the 48th minute (Dourado had scored a goal in the game with Florida Gulf Coast on Friday, but it got wiped when that match was ruled a No Contest due to inclement weather.
The Knights added an insurance goal in the 68th minute from midfielder Josiah Ramirez, a redshirt junior playing in his first match of the season. It was also Ramirez’s second goal of his UCF career, the first one coming just over a year ago against North Florida.
The Knights will take their 2-1 record out to the west coast on Friday at 9 p.m. ET to seek their first road win of the season against another school from the Big West, UC Irvine.
Cross Country Begins Season at Home
The UCF Cross Country team got its season off and running Friday evening by hosting the UCF Invite.
True freshman Isabella Richardson, a New Zealand native, led the Knights with a second-place finish in her first 5K on American soil, posting an 18:28.9.
The Knights brought home second place as a team, just 28 points behind first-place Florida.
Elsewhere in the field, true freshman Sofia Lantz droppedher 5K personal best by some 10 seconds, to 19:54.8 time. Sophomore Paige Kelly also set a new 5K personal best by nearly a full minute to 20:36.2.
The team heads to Huntsville, Alabama to compete in the North Alabama Showcase at 8:15 a.m. on September 16th.
For more about the team, check out our Cross Country preview, featuring special guest Anne-Marie Blaney.
Knight of the Week
Mauricio Villalobos, Men’s Soccer
The captain of the men’s soccer team returned for one more season and has exploded out of the gate in 2022.
Villalobos scored the game-winning goal against North Florida, taking advantage of an Ospreys mistake to snatch possession and send the ball into the back of the net.
With the FGCU match ruled a no contest, Villalobos officially followed that up with a two-assist performance against UC Riverside.
Play of the Week
This save from goalkeeper Caroline Delisle during the UCF Women’s Soccer team’s match against LSU got the No. 4 spot in the SportsCenter Top 10 for a reason: