The No. 18 UCF Knights Men’s Soccer team advanced to their second straight Sweet 16 as they earned a 2-1 victory over No. 17 James Madison Sunday night in Wilcon, North Carolina. It is the second time in program history the Knights have advanced to the Sweet 16.
The The Knights got off to a fast start when Gino Vivi knocked home a cross from Lucca Dourado to give UCF the lead just four minutes in.
James Madison evened the match in the 51st minute on a goal by Josiah Blanton. But UCF would respond just five minutes later when Lucca Dourado chested home a chance past JMU’s star goalie T.J. Bush to put the Knights in front for good.
The Knights scored two goals against Bush, who had only given up two goals the entire season, making him tops in Division 1. Bush was selected 80th in MLS Super Draft.
Bush can now focus on his pro career while the Knights go from playing one of top defensive teams in the country to one of the top offense teams in the country in No. 2 seed Pittsburgh, who blew past Monmouth 6-1 on Sunday night to advance to the Sweet 16. The Panthers come in averaging 2.59 goals per game, which is ranked 4th in the NCAA. They are led by ACC Player of the Year Valentin Noel, who has scored 12 goals this season, which ranks 3rd in the NCAA.
The Knights can advance to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history Thursday in Cary, North Carolina with a win against the Panthers. The winner would face the winner of No. 7 Washington and Missouri State on May 10th.