A lot has changed since the world emerged from the COVID-19 lockdowns, which was the last time we ranked the Top 100 Female Athletes in UCF history.
In just three years, many legends cemented their status in her final few seasons, while others were born, and for a few athletes, their stories have been rediscovered.
With UCF getting ready for its first year as a member of the Big 12, it’s once again time to count down the Top 100 female UCF Knights athletes of all time.
Criteria used to create this list include:
- A player’s impact on their respective sport and on the school
- Accomplishments they had after their UCF career
- Accolades they have received. For example, if an athlete has been inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame, they are automatically on the list.
We made sure to include at least one athlete from every UCF sport.
In case you missed them, check out #100-11 in the links below:
Now, here is the Top Ten:
#10 - Jada Cody (Softball)
Jada Cody has helped lead the Knights program to new heights with the Knights having three straight 40-win seasons, Three straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2021-2023), two AAC Championships (2022-2023) and winning the school’s first regional as a first-time host in 2022.
In 2022, Cody had a historic year breaking UCF single-season record for most RBIs with 75 RBI breaking UCF Hall of Famer Stephanie Best’s record from 2003 which had stood for 19 years (66). Cody was the fastest Knight to get to 30, 50 and 60 RBI in a single season. Cody was named an All-American, earning a spot on D1Softball’s First Team and Softball America’s Second Team. Cody was the American Athletic Conference’s Most Outstanding Player Award for her performance at the AAC Championship leading UCF to the 2022 AAC Tournament title.
Cody was a First Team All-AAC 1st team member three times (2021-2023).
In her first two at-bats of the Knights’ first NCAA Tournament game as a host and 16th national seed against Villanova in 2022, Cody became the first Knight to hit two home runs in an NCAA Tournament game while becoming the first Knight to reach 70 RBIs in a single season and the first since 2010 (Hillary Barrow vs FIU) to drive in five RBIs in an NCAA Tournament game while also catching Gianna Mancha’s shutout in UCF’s 6-0 win at Orlando Regional.
Cody is the first UCF Softball player to be on the U.S. National team playing in the 2022 Pan American Games and Japan All-Stars series and will be back in Japan this August with Team USA.
Going into 2024, Cody ranks among the Knights’ all-time leaders in RBI (147, 2nd), slugging percentage (.576, 2nd), total bases (358, 3rd), home runs (32, 3rd), runs scored (157, 3rd), doubles (42, T-3rd), walks (89, 4th), average (.328, 3rd), on-base percentage (.417, 4th), triples (8, T-6th) and total hits (204, 10th).
#9 - Renata Menchikova (Volleyball)
Renata Menchikova led UCF in kills and aces in all three seasons she played at UCF (1995-1997) while leading the team in digs in 1996 and 1997. She set the school record for career kills (2,151), which lasted until 2022, though she still holds the school record for kills per set (5.85).
She also ranks third in career service aces (154) and service aces per set (0.42), seventh in digs (1,192) and fourth in digs per set (3.24).
Menchikova was a three-time first-team All-ASUN honoree and a two-time AVCA All-Region selection (1995-1996). She was also named the ASUN Tournament MVP in 1995 and ASUN Player of the Year in 1996.
She was part of three ASUN Championship teams and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. Menchikova was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002 and the UCF Volleyball Ring of Honor in 2019.
Nowadays, she is a senior software engineer for a technology company.
T-#8 - Rayniah Jones (Track and Field)
Hailing from Miami, Rayniah Jones heralded the arrival of a new era of UCF Track and Field success in the 2020s.
Coming out of the early part of the pandemic, Jones caught people’s eyes on April 24, 2021, when she, a freshman, broke the school 100-meter hurdles record with a 12.73-second time in the Knights’ home meet. Before that day, Jones had never recorded a sub-13-second time in competition.
She has not slowed down since, becoming the first UCF athlete to qualify for an NCAA Championship for a hurdles event since 2013, the first UCF athlete to podium in any NCAA Championship since 2013 and the first UCF athlete ever to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in both the 60-meter hurdles and the 60-meter dash in the same season.
Entering 2024, she has earned two medals, one silver (2021 Outdoor) and one bronze (2022 Indoor), in NCAA Championships. Across the five NCAA Championships Jones has competed in, she earned eight All-American honors across several events, such as the 60-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles, 60-meter dash, 100-meter dash and the 4x100-meter relay.
Jones also led the way for the Knights to close out their time in the American Athletic Conference with four consecutive titles. Individually, Jones has won 11 medals in AAC Championships (two bronze, one silver and seven gold) and been honored as the AAC’s MVP twice (2022 Indoor and 2023 Outdoor) and the AAC’s Freshman of the Year in 2021.
She also competed in the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2023 USA Championships. With her rise happening alongside the rise of Name, Image and Likeness, Jones was the first UCF student-athlete to star in a commercial for Addition Financial, correlating with the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Entering 2024, Jones has lowered the program’s 100-meter hurdles record to 12.63 seconds and holds the school 60-meter hurdles (7.90 s). She also ranks second in program history in the 100-meter dash (10.94 s), fourth in the outdoor 200-meter dash (22.64 s) and fifth in the indoor 200-meter dash (23.35 s).
As for relays, Jones is a part of the fastest outdoor 4x400-meter relay (3:31.42) and shuttle hurdle relay (53.45 s) times in program history (3:31.42). She is also a part of the second and third-fastest 4x100-meter relay times in program history (43.22 s and 43.26 s).
Jones was also awarded with the university’s most prestigious student award, the Order of Pegasus, in 2023.
T-#8 - Aurieyall Scott (Track and Field)
Atlanta native Aurieyall Scott won the first track and field NCAA national championship in UCF history at the 60-meter indoor race in 2013, with a school record time of 7.13 seconds, edging out teammate Octavious Freeman, who got the bronze with a 7.16. She also earned a silver medal in that same meet in the 200-meter dash with a 22.71-second time.
Scott is the UCF Track and Field team’s most decorated athlete on the national level, earning five medals in NCAA Championships over her three-year career (2011-2013), was the USTFCCCA’s Indoor and Outdoor South Region Track Athlete of the Year in 2013 and was on the Bowerman Watch list in 2013.
She also earned 14 All-American honors across all six NCAA Championships she competed in spanning several events, such as the 60-meter dash, 100-meter dash, both indoor and outdoor 200-meter dashes, the 4x100-meter relay and the indoor 4x400-meter relay.
Scott was also an asset for the Knights in conference meets, leading the team to five CUSA titles (two indoor, three outdoor). She was the Freshman of the Meet at the 2011 CUSA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, tied with teammate Alexis Faulknor for the highest individual scorer in the 2013 CUSA Outdoor Championships and the 2013 CUSA Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Over six CUSA Championships meets, Scott earned one bronze, two silver and 11 gold medals in events she would later get All-American honors in.
She still holds the program records for the 60-meter dash (7.13s) and the indoor 200-meter dash (22.68). As for relays, she is part of the fastest 4x100-meter relay (43.15), indoor 4x400-meter relay (3:34.00) and 4x200-meter relay (1:32.81) times in program history. She also held the program’s outdoor 200-meter dash record (22.46) until it was broken in 2023.
She also ranks seventh in program history in both the indoor and outdoor 400-meter dash. As for relays, Scott was part of seven of the Top 10 fastest 4x100-meter relay times and three of the top five fastest indoor 4x400-meter relay times in program history.
Outside of pure collegiate events, Scott made it to the final of the 200-meter dash at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and finished sixth in the 100-meter dash at the 2013 USA Championships. She turned professional in the fall of 2013, after signing with Global Athletics and Nike.
Nowadays, she is wide receiver for the Florida Avengers of the Women’s National Football Conference.
#7 - Tyra Harper (Turner) (Volleyball)
Tyra Harper had a historic career at UCF from 1994-97, earning First Team All-ASUN three times and All-ASUN third team in her freshman season (1994). She was named the ASUN Tournament MVP twice (1996 and 1997) and was named ASUN Player of the Year in 1997.
Harper led the Knights to four consecutive ASUN titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances (1994-1997), reaching the second round of the 1997 NCAA Tournament when UCF swept Clemson.
Harper is at or near the top of many UCF record categories, including owning the school record for total blocks (631) and solo blocks (156). She ranks third all-time in kills (1,932), trailing only Renata Menchikova and McKenna Melville, and block assists (475).
Harper also ranks second in games played (151), fifth in sets played (506), fifth in kills per set (3.82), third in blocks per set (1.25), and 12th in digs (1,097). She was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.
Harper, now Tyra Turner, is also a former member of the U.S. National Team and was an alternate for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. She played professionally in indoor and beach volleyball, competing on the FIVB World Tour from 2005-2012, and participating in 53 events and securing nine podium finishes (5 silver medals, 4 bronze), highlighted by a silver at the 2008 Paris Grand Slam with her partner Rachel (Wacholder) Scott. During her tenure as a USA National Beach Team member, Harper ranked in the top ten in the world for over 6 years and narrowly missed qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games due to country quota regulations.
2018 Ring of Honor Inductee— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) November 10, 2018
⚔️Tyra Harper⚔️ pic.twitter.com/BMREUbHKWw
Harper played 10 seasons (2003-2012) on the AVP Tour, with 2007 being her best season, doubling her career earnings and playing in 11 AVP semifinals, including four title matches. She was inducted into the UCF Volleyball Ring of Honor in 2018.
#6 - Amy Allman (Griffin) (Soccer)
Amy Griffin (nee Allman) played goalkeeper during her career from 1984-87, which culminated with her being named the NCAA’s Adidas Goalkeeper of the Year and to the ISAA’s All-American south squad in 1987.
Succeeding Kim Wyant at the net, Allman teamed with fellow UCF Hall of Famer Michelle Akers to be part of two NCAA Tournament appearances (1984 and 1987), including a trip to the 1987 Final Four.
Allman ranks fourth in program history with a 0.74 career goals-against average for her career, eighth in saves with 166 and her 24.5 shutouts rank sixth all-time. She also holds the single-season shutouts program record thanks to getting 13 in her 1986 season.
She did all this while competing in cross-country and rowing as well.
She played 24 caps (23 starts) for the U.S. National Team from 1987-91, posting a 12-8-3 record with a 0.99 goals-against average in international play, and was on the squad that won the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991.
Griffin later served as a broadcast commentator with NBC, ESPN and Fox, and provided analysis for ESPN2 during the 1995 and 1999 Women’s World Cups as well as NBC’s 2000 Sydney Olympics coverage.
She also got into coaching, with brief stops in Santa Clara, San Diego and New Mexico before spending 24 seasons on the coaching staff of Washington. Griffin has also served on many coaching staffs for Team USA. She was on the coaching staff for the U.S. Women’s National Team for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2011 World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics.
After her days coaching the senior national team, Griffin served on the coaching staff for other U.S. Soccer teams, including the U17, U20 and U23 National Teams. During this time, she helped the U20 National Team take gold in the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Griffin was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999. Nowadays, she is the executive director of OL Reign Academy and the head coach of the U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team, which officially joined U.S. Soccer’s National Team program in 2022 after 23 years of existence.
T-#5 - Mackenzie Audas (Softball)
“The Strikeout Queen of UCF Softball,” Mackenzie Audas holds many UCF career pitching records, including strikeouts (945), Saves (10), K/7 (8.29), and No-Hitters (5).
Audas is one of only three Knights pitchers in school history to reach 70 career wins and 800 career strikeouts, along with UCF Athletic Hall of Famer Allison Kime and Shelby Turnier.
Audas ranks in the top five all-time at UCF in, Wins (3rd-78), Shutouts (2nd-29), Games appearances (2nd - 150), starts (2nd - 125), Complete Games (3rd-85), lowest opponent batting average (2nd - .185), shutouts (3rd - 23), innings pitched (2nd - 823), and lowest earned run average (3rd - 1.65).
Audas was a 2015 unanimous All-American Athletic Conference First Teamer, Capital One All-American, 2012 Conference USA Co-Pitcher of the Year, and 2012 Conference USA Freshman of the Year. She was the first Knight to ever win Pitcher of the Year, helping to turn around a UCF program that was coming off a 22-32 season in 2011 to 39-19 in 2012, and making the NCAA Tournament.
Audas was part of three NCAA Tournament teams (2012, 2014 and 2015), two regional final appearances (2014 and 2015), two AAC regular season championships (2014-2015) and an AAC Tournament championship (2015).
She was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022.
Nowadays, Audas gives pitching lessons in the Tampa region through Pitching with Purpose.
T-#5 - Shelby Turnier (Softball)
Shelby Turnier is the most decorated softball player in UCF Knights history.
Turnier became the first player in program history to be an All-American making the NFCA’s Division I All-America First Team in 2015 and finished as a Top Ten finalist for National Player of the Year. She became the first UCF Player to earn the ESPNW National Player of the Week award (2/18/15) and the first Knight since Stephanie Best in 2003 to earn an NFCA National Weekly honor, being the first pitcher to be named the NFCA Pitcher of the Week (2/17/15).
Turnier led the NCAA in ERA in 2015, tying a school record with a 0.87 ERA set by Allison Kime in 2007. Turnier became the first Knight to win AAC Pitcher of the Year (2015) and is one of only three Knights to win a Pitcher of Year award along with Mackenzie Audas (2012-CUSA) and Sarah Willis (2023).
Turnier is one of only three Knights pitchers in school history to reach 70 career wins and 800 career strikeouts, along with UCF Athletic Hall of Famers Allison Kime and Mackenzie Audas.
Turnier led UCF to three straight NCAA Tournament regional finals from 2014-2016, two AAC regular season championships (2014 and 2015) and the 2015 AAC Tournament championship, pitching a 1-hit shutout over Tulsa in a 1-0 win at the UCF Softball Complex.
Turnier ranks in the top five all-time at UCF in seventeen categories including wins (2nd - 80), appearances (2nd - 143), starts (2nd - 113), Strikeouts per 7 innings (2nd-7.83), lowest opponent batting average (3rd - .188), shutouts (3rd - 23), innings pitched (4th - 742.1), strikeouts (3rd - 830), Saves (5th-5), lowest earned run average (5th - 1.75) and in No-Hitters (3rd- 3).
Turnier has the most strikeouts in a seven-inning game with 16 against Bowling Green in 2014 which ranks as the 3rd most overall in a game behind Audas (17 in 2013 vs Utep in 11 innings ) and Kime (18 in 2007 at FSU in 12 innings).
Turnier is one of three Knights to be selected to an All-Region team three times joining the UCF Athletic Hall of Famer Best and Alea White.
Turnier was drafted by the Chicago Bandits with the 11th overall pick in the 2016 NPF Draft, the highest by any Knight, and made an immediate impact as a pro, becoming the third UCF alumna to win the NPF Championship, doing so in her rookie year with the Bandits as their closer.
Turnier played three seasons in NPF (2016-2018), making All-NPF honors in 2018, the first UCF Knight to ever make All-NPF honors. Shelby worked as an assistant coach at the University of North Florida for two seasons (2017-2018). She is currently a pitching instructor at Delta Performance Softball in Illinois.
T-#5 - Allison Kime (Softball)
Allison Kime (2006-2008) took the torch from Stephanie Best and brought the UCF Softball program to new heights. In 2007, she set school records for shutouts in a season (15), the lowest ERA in a single season (0.87) in 2007 and the most strikeouts in a game as Kime struck out 18 Florida State Seminoles on 3/28/07, giving UCF a 1-0 win in 12 innings.
Kime helped the Knights improve from just 19 wins in 2006 to 38 in 2007. She holds numerous UCF career records including ERA (1.20), opponent’s average (.183), and Shutouts (34).
Kime also ranks in the top five all-time at UCF in wins (4th -71), Complete Games ( 2nd-96) appearances (4th -129), starts (4th - 107), Strikeouts per 7 innings (3rd-7.43), innings pitched (3rd - 798.1), strikeouts (2nd - 847) and No-Hitters (2nd-4).
She was a two-time All-Conference USA First Team selection and a two-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region First Team pick in 2007 and 2008.
Kime still holds numerous UCF single-season records she set in 2008, including wins (34), starts (42), complete games (36), and strikeouts (359). Kime led UCF to the C-USA Championship in 2008 in Houston, going 3-0 in the tournament, including a win over 8th-ranked and defending champion Houston.
Kime got the best of her rival, Houston pitcher Angel Shamblin, in the final matchup between the two in the C-USA title game in 2008, Knights won 4-2.
Kime led UCF to a 1-0 win in 8 innings over No.1 Florida ending the Gators’ 37-game win streak and a 41-game home win streak in the 2008 Gainesville Regional final. Kime became the first Knight pitcher to beat Florida, Florida State, and USF.
Kime would play in National Pro Fastpitch in 2008 and 2009, winning the NPF Championship with the Rockford Thunder in 2009. She was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
Kime is still involved in softball today as she finished her 2nd full season as a color commentator in the Central Florida region for ESPN Plus. She was part of the American Athletic Conference studio show as part of the AAC Tournament coverage on ESPN Plus from Tampa, Florida which was nominated for a Golden Mic Award for best softball studio show.
The American Softball Championship Pregame Show is live!— The American (@American_Conf) May 13, 2023
Head to ESPN+ to watch @Morgan_Uber, @georgecorrick, @allisontrela & @RyanUrqPxP preview our Championship game between @TulsaSoftball & @UCF_Softball!
#4 - McKenna Melville (Volleyball)
McKenna Melville raised the bar for UCF Volleyball. Melville became the first UCF Knights Volleyball player to be named First Team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2022. It is the fifth year in a row Melville was honored by the AVCA. She was Third Team All-American in 2021 and an Honorable Mention in 2018, 2019, and Spring 2021.
Melville also was a three-time AAC Player of the Year, the 2018 AAC Freshman of the Year and a five-time All-AAC First Team selection.
Melville leaves UCF as the all-time leader in kills with 2,563, which also ranks eighth all-time in NCAA Division I Volleyball history regardless of scoring era and second among players in the 25-point rally-scoring era behind only Cincinnati’s Jordan Thompson, who led Team USA to the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Melville is one of only ten players in D-I history with at least 2,500 career kills.
Melville also put up historic defensive numbers as well by finishing with the third-most career digs in school history with 1,650, the most by any non-Defensive Specialist or Libero player.
She also ranks second in program history in sets played (533), second in kills per set (4.80), tied for fifth in matches played (146), seventh in block solos (66), ninth in service aces (123) and 12th in total blocks (301).
During the Melville era (2018-2022), UCF won five straight AAC Championships, made five straight NCAA Tournaments, and made three trips to the Second Round (2019, 2021, 2022).
In 2018, her freshman season, Melville led the Knights to a 27-4 record, including a 21-match win streak, with her first of four 500-kill seasons. The Knights hosted an NCAA Tournament regional for the first time in program history. Four years later, Melville led the Knights to a 28-2 record finishing 22nd in the final AVCA poll, which is the team’s highest finish in the D-I era.
Melville was the 2022 AVCA Southeast Region Player of the Year and became a five-time All-Region performer. To put that in perspective, only UCF Athletics Hall of Famers Michelle Akers and Aline Reis from women’s soccer are the only other female Knight athletes to be a four-time all region performers in their sport.
In 2022, Melville received the Order of Pegasus, the most prestigious award any UCF student (athlete or not) can earn.
It turns out that trip to Central Florida for that All-America volleyball career was just a detour on the way back home for McKenna Melville. @UCF_Volleyball @Eagan_Athletics #mshslhttps://t.co/QHkJguRmyW— Star Tribune Sports (@StribSports) March 29, 2023
Melville is now back at Eagan High school, located in Eagan, Minnesota, where she won two state Class 3A championships in 2015 and 2016. This past spring, Melville was hired by the school as its new volleyball head coach and math teacher for the 2023-24 school year, taking over for her mom Kathy Gillen who won seven state titles at Eagan and will stay on as assistant coach on McKenna’s staff.
#3 - Stephanie Best (Softball)
Stephanie Best helped start the UCF softball program in 2002 and put the Knights program on the map as UCF won the ASUN Championship Tournament for the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005, recording its first NCAA win when they eliminated Florida, as Best went 3/4 with 2 RBI, 2 runs, a double and a triple.
A 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, Best was a three-time ASUN Player of the Year in her career in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Best holds almost every major offensive career record including batting average (.384), slugging percentage (.756), on-base percentage (.487), runs (216), hits (285), home runs (71), RBI (213), total bases (562) and walks (147). Best led the NCAA in home runs with an incredible 26 in 2005, and shares an NCAA record for most RBI in a game with 11, which she set on March 19, 2003 vs Army.
Best was named to the 2003 NFCA All-Region First Team and the Second Team in 2004 and 2005. She was also named to the ASUN All-Decade Team from 2001-2010.
Best would play in National Pro Fastpitch, getting drafted in the fourth round of the NPF Draft by the New England Riptide in 2005. She would play in NPF from 2005-2008, becoming the first UCF softball player to be drafted and play in the league.
❤️ Was an amazing few days together in Kentucky spending time with my family and receiving such an incredible honor from the @ASUNSports Hall of Fame!!— ProSwings (@ProSwings_) June 3, 2023
Thank you so much to my Mom, Dad, Dustin, Bentley, Coach Gillispie & Jenn for making me feel like the most loved person ever! pic.twitter.com/R3vYsofcmT
Best has been inducted into three Hall of Fames, the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame (2015 class), the Seminole County Athletics Hall of Fame (2021 class) and the ASUN Hall of Fame (2023 class). Michelle Akers is the only Knight female athlete to be in more Hall of Fames.
Nowadays, Best is the owner of the ProSwings softball training facility, which she founded in 2013.
#2 - Aline Reis (Soccer)
Perhaps the best in a long line of great UCF goalkeepers, Aline Reis was the first UCF player since 1988 to be named an NSCAA All-American, making the Second Team as a freshman in 2008. She was also named to the All-Region team in all four years with the Knights which only the great Michelle Akers had previously done.
She was All-CUSA every one of her four years at UCF, making the First Team in 2009 and 2010, and the Second Team in 2008 and 2011. She was also on the CUSA’s All-Freshman team in 2008.
Reis ranks second in program history in career saves (347), fourth in shutouts (27) and eighth in goals-against average (1.04). She is the winningest goalkeeper in Knights history (48-19-12).
She led UCF to back-to-back CUSA Championships in 2009 and 2010 and made the NCAA Tournament all four years of her career, including an Elite Eight run in 2011 in which she helped knock off North Carolina in the Sweet 16 on penalty kicks.
Reis was also CUSA Player of the Week seven times, which is a school record. She was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
After a brief start to her professional career in Finland, Reis joined the staff of her former head coach, Amanda Cromwell, at UCLA as a goalkeeper coach from 2013-2016, helping the Bruins to a National Championship in 2013.
In 2016, Reis, a native Brazilian, resumed her playing career with the Brazilian club Ferroviaria and would end up named to the Brazilian National Team’s roster. She helped Brazil win the 2018 Copa America in Chile, and was on the roster for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and the 2019 World Cup, making her the first UCF player since Akers to participate in a Summer Olympics and a World Cup.
Outside of international play, Reis found a home with Spanish club UD Granadilla Tenerife of Liga F. After four seasons with the team, she announced her retirement in January 2022 and returned stateside to reunite with Cromwell on the coaching staff of the Orlando Pride.
However, one year later, Reis came out of retirement, returned to Tenerife midseason and recorded two shutouts, including one against Real Madrid, in 11 matches played.
#1 - Michelle Akers (Soccer)
Michelle Akers is regarded by many as the best female soccer player in the world during her career. Coming to UCF from Seattle, she was a four-time All-Region selection, a four-time All-American (1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988) and UCF’s Athlete of the Year in 1988-89.
Akers holds the program record for the most career points in program history (134), ranks second in goals with 52, and fourth in assists with 30. She led UCF to three NCAA Tournament appearances (1984, 1987 and 1988), including a Final Four appearance in 1987 and the NCAA Quarterfinals in 1988.
Akers was awarded the first-ever Hermann Trophy for women’s soccer in 1988. She had her #10 jersey retired by the school and was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
Akers’ career with the U.S. Women’s National Team is the stuff of legend. A member of the USWNT from 1985 to 2000, Akers scored the first goal in USA Soccer history in its second-ever international game against Denmark. She would go on to help Team USA win the 1991 and 1999 World Cups, along with the gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and gold in the 1998 Goodwill Games.
Her biggest moments came in the biggest games. In the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, she scored both of Team USA’s goals in their 2-1 win over Norway.
Akers scored 10 goals total in the 1991 World Cup, which is still a tournament record, and went on to win the tournament’s Golden Boot award. No male player has scored 10 goals in a World Cup since 1970. Five of those goals came in a single match against Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), which tied for the tournament record with Alex Morgan’s five-goal match in 2019 against Thailand.
Akers ranks sixth in USWNT history with 105 goals in 153 matches.
In 1998, she was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit, the highest honor a player can earn from FIFA, in honor of her contributions to the game. She was also a joint winner of the FIFA Female Player of the Century Award in 2000.
Along with Mia Hamm, Akers was one of only two women named to the FIFA 100, a list of the 100 greatest living soccer players, in 2004. That same year, she was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Nowadays, between her interviews, appearances and community work in relation to soccer, Akers is the CEO of Michelle Akers Horse Rescue and Outreach Inc., which she founded in 2007.
Akers is not only the greatest UCF Knight female athlete of all time but she is the greatest Knight athlete of all time regardless of gender.
With that, this list comes to a close. Did we get it right? Let us know below.