This past week of UCF Knights sports was a historic one, as #3 Men’s Soccer nearly stole a result at #1 Marshall.
We recap all of that action, plus we give you our Knight of the Week and Play of the Week in your Knight Cap for Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
#1 Marshall ends #3 Men’s Soccer’s unbeaten streak
Battled hard, but came up short. pic.twitter.com/vnHgsl4P7F— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) September 24, 2023
The #3 UCF Men’s Soccer team, fresh off tying the highest ranking of any UCF team in school history, was dealt its first loss of the season at the hands of #1 Marshall.
The Thundering Herd got out ahead in the 25th minute, with a goal from forward Adam Aoumaich.
While unable to get the equalizer, the Knights did come close to one in the closing seconds of the game. Hiding behind the Marshall goalkeeper, defender Zane Bubb waited until the ball was tossed down for a goal kick. Once it was, Bubb slid to kick the ball away to midfielder AJ Seals who shot it into an empty net.
However, the goal was disallowed due to what was ruled as an illegal slide tackle from Bubb.
“The referee decided that Zane had left the field of play, and that he had re-entered, and that was impermissible,” head coach Scott Calabrese said in a press release after the game.
Despite coming up scoreless, both top-five-ranked teams kept each other in check throughout the contest. Marshall just edged UCF in shots, 11-9 (4-3 shots on goal) and goalkeeper Juanvi Munoz matched his Thundering Herd counterpart with three saves.
The match extended Marshall’s season-opening winning streak to eight matches, while the Knights now drop to 4-1-2 (0-1-1 Sun Belt), still on the hunt for their first win in conference play after two top-five matchups to start it.
Despite the loss, the Knights were ranked #2 in the nation in the first RPI rankings of the season, coming in behind the Thundering Herd.
NEXT UP: @ Kentucky - Friday, 5 p.m. ET
Women’s Soccer Winning Streak Continues
⚔️KNIGHTS WIN⚔️— UCF Women's Soccer (@UCF_WSoccer) September 24, 2023
Defended the Kingdom pic.twitter.com/EgaJKXkHHM
The wins also extended the Knights’ winning streak to five matches, making them 7-2 (3-0 Big 12) overall.
Midfielder Katie Bradley became the fourth different UCF player to score in 2023, picking up both match-winning goals: a corner kick in the 41st minute against Houston and a penalty kick in the 84th minute against Kansas.
“Getting the corner kick goal from the last game and now a penalty kick, it’s a hard thing to do when you’re fatigued and the game is on the line,” head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said after Sunday’s match. “So, I give her so much credit for being able to stay focused and put that away.”
Was there ever any doubt— UCF Women's Soccer (@UCF_WSoccer) September 24, 2023
That’s 2️⃣ goals in 2️⃣ matches for KB pic.twitter.com/UZ0AmGXH8e
The shot marked the first time a UCF player attempted a penalty kick this season.
“I had practiced these every single practice so I knew exactly where I was going, how high I was hitting it, how hard,” Bradley said after the match. “I was confident that it was going to go in.”
With both wins, UCF launched itself up 15 spots in the RPI rankings to #23 as they prepare for a couple of road matches in Oklahoma.
@ Oklahoma State - Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
@ Oklahoma - Sunday, 2 p.m. ET
Volleyball sweeps Big 12 openers against a familiar foe
Big 12 sweeps hit a little different pic.twitter.com/mNcINNjkDt— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) September 22, 2023
Outside Hitters Avah Armour and Emily Wilson led the team with 24 kills each between both matches. Libero Chloe Scheer picked up 23 digs and both middle blockers Claudia Dillon and Abby Hansen came away with 10 blocks each.
The wins get the Knights off to a 2-0 start in Big 12 play and elevate them to 11-2 overall. They also kept UCF ranked #29 in the RPI Rankings.
NEXT UP: vs. Oklahoma - Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m. ET
Lauren was on fire tonight— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) September 23, 2023
10 kills on 15 attempts
.600 hitting percentage pic.twitter.com/iG0Iw2etPU
Freshman Men’s Golf Player Gets Another Top 20
Of all the freshmen on the UCF Men’s Golf team, it was Garret Ebbert who followed up his Top 20 UCF debut three weeks ago with an improved performance at the Bearcat Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio, last week.
Ebbert led the way for UCF with a 211 (-2) that put him into a tie for ninth place individually.
As a team, trouble on the par-three holes and a down second round set the Knights back. Their 12th place finish at 866 (+14) was 28 strokes back of champion Chattanooga (838; -14) and 20 strokes back of runner-up Louisville (846; -6).
Click here for the full results of the tournament.
NEXT UP: Big 12 Match Play Championship in Houston, Texas - Oct. 9-11
Men’s Tennis hosts first fall event
Our guys showed out at the Bedford Cup this weekend— UCF Men's Tennis (@UCF_MTennis) September 24, 2023
➡️ Toto secured the singles title pic.twitter.com/bFLtTPXyfy
A pair of UCF Men’s Tennis teammates faced off for the title in the “B” Singles Draw of the Bedford Cup, the first event of the Knights’ fall schedule, hosted at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida.
Sophomores Francisco Llanes and Paul Colin each won three matches to advance to the final, but Llanes ended up the one to finish unbeaten, winning in straight sets (6-4, 6-2).
The tournament also marked the UCF debut for UT Arlington transfer Santiago Giamichelle. The reigning WAC Freshman of the Year went 2-1 in singles play and 1-1 in doubles play alongside fifth-year senior Lleyton Cronje.
Click here for the Knights’ full results from the tournament.
Elsewhere, sophomore Yassine Dlimi began his fall season in an ATP Challenger Tour event in Charleston, South Carolina. Though he bounced back from a rough start out the gate, he ultimately fell in his first match in the qualifying draw to #9 seed Aidan Mayo (1-6, 6-3, 6(5)-7).
ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma - Sep. 30-Oct. 8
Women’s Tennis Starts Fall Slate
The UCF Women’s Tennis team began its fall schedule over the weekend in the College Ranked Spotlight in Cary, North Carolina.
Junior Noel Saidenova led the way for the Knights, going 2-3 on the weekend in singles play, including victories over Arizona State’s Rachel Hanford (7-6(2), 3-6, 10-2) and Michigan’s Piper Charney (6-2, 6-3).
She also picked up a doubles victory alongside redshirt junior Anique Kattenberg against Michigan’s Julia Fliegner/Lily Jones (6-4).
Click here for the tournament webpage to find full results from the event.
ITF W15 Hilton Head | Hilton Head, South Carolina | Sep. 25-29
Bedford Cup | Tampa, Florida | Sep. 29-Oct. 1
ITA All-American Championships | Cary, North Carolina | Sep. 30- Oct. 8
ITF W60 Rome | Rome, Georgia | Oct. 2-6
Knight of the Week
Caroline DeLisle, Women’s Soccer
While she did pick up nine saves across the UCF Women’s Soccer team’s two games last week, DeLisle is on the verge of making program history in a different statistic.
Her shutout of Kansas Sunday afternoon marked the 30th shutout of her career, the third in program history to reach the mark. DeLisle ties the 30 shutouts Alyssa O’Brien tallied up from 1995-1998 and should she get one more, she will pass Karen Richter Hoppa’s 30.5 shutouts (1987-1990) for the program record.