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Top UCF Knights Teams of the 2010s: Part 3

We reveal our picks for the best teams of the 2010s in Soccer, Track & Field, Softball and Football

UCF players celebrate their Peach Bowl victory over Auburn (Photo: Derek Warden)
UCF players celebrate their Peach Bowl victory over Auburn
Photo: Derek Warden

Let’s finish up our look at the best UCF Knights teams of the 2010s by sport:

Softball: 2015

The Knights produced the best season in program history in 2015 with a school record 50 wins, plus 11 single-season records. UCF led the nation with a 0.93 team ERA and their .979 fielding percentage ranked second.

Making their national poll debut on Feb. 17, the Knights were ranked for 14 consecutive weeks. They peaked at #13, and finished at #16.

Junior Shelby Turnier and senior Mackenzie Audas finished the season ranked first and second in the nation in ERA, as both were below 1.00. Turnier became the first NFCA All-American in program history, while Audas earned the first Capital One Academic All-America honor in school history.

Head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie earned her second American Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year accolade, while guiding Turnier to The American Pitcher of the Year and Jessica Ujvari to The American Player of the Year honors. A program-best seven Knights earned All-AAC First Team honors, and six Knights earned NFCA All-Region recognition. UCF would win The American regular season championship for a second straight season, and won the AAC Championship Game at home over Tulsa 1-0 on Samantha McCloskey’s walk-off home run in the bottom of 7th.

Despite UCF having an RPI of 15, they did not host in the NCAA Tournament, and instead were sent to Tallahassee, where the Knights would lose to #9 Florida State in the regional final.

Men’s Soccer: 2019

The Knights posted a record of 15-3-2 and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The 15 victories tied a program record and was the highest win total in UCF’s Division I era.

The Knights went 6-0-1 in conference play, making them just the third team in the history of The American to go unbeaten in conference play, and went 16 straight without a loss, beating the previous season’s record of ten.

For the second straight season, Scott Calabrese and his staff earned the American Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year award. The Knights earned their second straight national seed in the NCAA Tournament, checking in at #9 despite the fact that UCF’s RPI was at #5. In the second round, the Knights defeated Missouri State by a score of 2-1 in overtime on a golden goal by Cal Jennings. UCF season would come to an end in the Round of 16 with OT loss at 8-seed SMU.

Women’s Soccer: 2011

Uber International Cup 2019 Photo by Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images

UCF enjoyed a magical run to the Elite Eight in 2011. The Knights went 13-5-6 during the campaign and recorded a 6-2-3 mark in C-USA play. Head coach Amanda Cromwell’s squad faced six nationally-ranked teams during the season, beating #19 Penn State, #20 Florida, #22 San Diego State and #24 San Diego.

UCF defeated host Florida 3-2 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville to advance to the Round of 16 setting up a contest with the North Carolina Tar Heels. The Knights advanced past the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1987 after getting past North Carolina thanks to a thrilling shootout win.

Several UCF players from this roster went on to success after college, most notably GK Aline Reis, who still plays for the Brazilian National Team.

Track & Field Team: 2013

UCF had a historic year in 2013, posting the best finish in program history at 5th at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The Knights earned the best finish by a non-BCS team since 2000 (BYU, 4th place) and more than doubled their previous program-best point total (16 points, 2011) at an NCAA Outdoor Championship. UCF’s NCAA Championship Qualifiers were:

  • Aurieyall Scott - 100M and 200M
  • Octavious Freeman - 100M and 200M
  • Alexis Faulknor - 100M
  • Jen Clayton - Long Jump
  • Sandy Jean - 400M Hurdles
  • 4x100 Relay Team (Faulknor, Scott, Freeman and Afia Charles)

UCF was the first women’s program in Conference USA history to win four straight outdoor championships, as they capped their dynasty run with their best all-around performance ever at a championship meet, scoring a program-best 167 points - outscoring runner-up SMU by 67.5 points — and winning 17 medals, six of which were gold. UCF finished in the top 10 of track teams in the country.

UCF also won the C-USA Indoor Championships and produced first National Champion as Scott won the school’s first NCAA title in any sport, taking the 60 meter title at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship with a time of 7.13 seconds while leading her team to a 5th-place finish.

Football: 2017

In the 22 seasons that UCF has been a member of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A), no other team has gone from winless to an undefeated regular season in two years. That changed in 2017.

The Knights had their first-ever undefeated regular season in program history on their way to winning the American Athletic Conference Championship over Memphis, 62-55 in overtime, which would send the Knights to Peach Bowl where they would knock off Auburn, 34-27, to complete a perfect 13-0 season - the only team in the country to finish undefeated in 2017.

The Knights led the nation in scoring offense in 2017 at 48.2 points per game. They finished the regular season ranked tenth in the nation in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ polls. It was the highest ranking ever for UCF in the coaches’ poll and tied for the best ranking ever by the AP.

Quarterback McKenzie Milton was named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting, the highest for any Knight in program history.

Head Coach Scott Frost also was named Home Depot College Coach of the Year and American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year, and American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. In addition, he was a finalist for the Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Coach of the Year Award and a semifinalist for the George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year.