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Knight Cap: Men’s Soccer Eliminated in Sun Belt Quarterfinals

Plus: Women’s Soccer learns NCAA fate

Noah Goldberg

This past week of UCF Knights sports saw Women’s Soccer learn its postseason fate and Men’s Soccer suffer a postseason setback.

We recap all of that action, plus we give you our Knights of the Week and Plays of the Week in this week’s Knight Cap for Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

Men’s Soccer Shocked by Gamecocks

The UCF Men’s Soccer team was sent packing from the Sun Belt Tournament in the quarterfinals Sunday thanks to a 2-1 loss to #7-seed South Carolina.

Despite the Knights (10-3-2, 6-2-1 Sun Belt) outdoing the Gamecocks in shot attempts (28-11) and shots on goal (7-5), South Carolina caught UCF off guard with two goals in the first half, one in the 6th minute and another in the 24th minute.

While Second Team All-Sun Belt defender Anderson Rosa’s free-kick goal in the 58th minute got the Knights back in the game, allowing them the opportunity to tie the match later, the equalizing goal never came.

The loss dropped the Knights seven spots to #10 in the RPI rankings. While it does not change the fact that UCF will be in the NCAA Tournament or that Orlando will play host to at least one NCAA Tournament match, it will factor into which seed the committee will assign it during the selection show at 1 p.m. on Monday.

Going into the Sun Belt Tournament, the Knights were in the mix for a top-four national seed. However, the loss to South Carolina makes this less likely. So, the question now is will they be a top 8 national seed or a top 16 national seed?

Here are the teams the Knights are up against:

NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament Bubble Seed

Team Conference RPI Ranking KPI Ranking Avg RPI Win SOS Quad 1 Conf rank
Team Conference RPI Ranking KPI Ranking Avg RPI Win SOS Quad 1 Conf rank
Marshall Sun Belt 1 1 92 51st 4-1 4th
Notre Dame ACC 2 2 71 4th 3-0-3 1st
Georgetown Big East 3 3 74 32nd 1-1 7th
SMU AAC 4 6 96 54 0-0-1 8th
New Hampshire America East 5 4 77 34th 3-0-2 5th
Virginia ACC 6 7 72 3rd 1-3- 3 ties 1st
West Virginia Sun Belt 7 8 91 43 3-1-1 tie 4th
Hofstra CAA 8 10 92 12th 0-1- 2 ties 5th
North Carolina AAC 9 13 71 7th 3-2-2 ties 1st
UCF Sun Belt 10 14 102 29th 2-1-1 tie 4th
Wake Forest ACC 11 9 149 74th 2-2-2 ties 1st
Portland WCC 12 11 88 40th 3-3 6th
UCLA Pac-12 13 20 59 19th 2-2-2 ties 2nd

Volleyball Drops Pair to Houston

With a pair of losses to #22 Houston over the weekend, the UCF Volleyball team has now lost five of its last six matches.

The Knights were swept by the Cougars on Saturday night, 3-0, and despite winning the opening set on Sunday night, they lost 3-1.

Outside hitter Emily Wilson accounted for most of UCF’s kills on Saturday night, totaling 11. Meanwhile, on Sunday night, outside hitter Avah Armour led the charge with 15 kills.

The losses drop the Knights (17-7, 8-5 Big 12) to a tie for 4th in the Big 12 standings with Baylor and 21 spots in the RPI rankings to #63.

Next up:

vs. BYU - Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m.

Men’s Tennis Doubles Pair play in ITA Fall Nationals

Fifth-year senior Lleyton Cronje and sophomore Santiago Giamichelle of the UCF Men’s Tennis team competed at the ITA Fall National Championships last week in the Men’s Doubles tournament.

The duo picked up a win in the first round on Wednesday over Montana State’s Andras Necz and Max Relic (6-3, 7-5), but fell in the Round of 16 on Thursday to Pepperdine’s Edward Winter and Maxi Homberg (3-6, 5-7).

Next up:

M25 Austin - Nov. 6-13

Women’s Soccer Left Out of NCAA Tournament

The UCF Women’s Soccer team was not selected for the NCAA Tournament on Monday evening.

The Knights will end their 2023 campaign at 10-7-1 (5-4-1 Big 12) and at #45 in the RPI rankings.

Women’s Tennis fall pro circuit continues

A pair of UCF Women’s Tennis players continued their fall professional tournament circuit at the ITF Tour’s Norman Open in Norman, Oklahoma.

In singles play, both players fell in the first round of the main draw. Webb lost to Oklahoma sophomore Julia Garcia Ruiz (6-4, 6-2) while Biolay was defeated by North Carolina commit Tatum Evans (7-5, 6-2).

The duo had better fortunes in doubles play, picking up a win over Emma Rizzetto and Tiziana Rossini (6-3, 6-2). However, they would ultimately fall in the next round to Julua Garcia and Zdena Safarova (3-6, 1-6).

Next up:

W15 Champaign - Nov. 6-10

Big 12 Individual Championships - Nov. 9-12

Knight of the Week

Anderson Rosa, Men’s Soccer

Rosa’s free-kick goal brought the UCF Men’s Soccer team to within one goal with time to equalize the match. While that equalizing goal never happened, the opportunity to do so would not have been there without him.

Additionally, he received his fourth career all-conference honor by getting named to the Second Team All-Sun Belt.

Knights Play of the Week

Anderson Rosa gets Men’s Soccer on the board vs. South Carolina