The busiest spring in UCF Knights athletics history is in full swing and we will keep you on track with recaps every Monday of all sports, plus we’ll name a Star Athlete of the Week.
Here’s your second Knight Cap of 2021:
No. 21 UCF Softball Wins 3 of 4 at Florida Gulf Coast
UCF Softball got off to a historic start on Saturday as they swept FGCU in a doubleheader, outscoring them 21-0, which is the most runs any Knights team has ever scored on opening day. Alea White won her first game of season, pitching a shutout, as UCF won 13-0. It was White’s 78th win of her career, tying her with Mackenzie Audas for 2nd place all-time and puting her two wins behind Shelby Turnier.
Georgia Blair and Juliana Wilson each hit two homers in doubleheader wins.
Unfortunately the Knights’ bats cooled off in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader as a late 3-run homer in the bottom of the sixth by FGCU handed the Knights their first loss of the weekend, 3-2. On Sunday’s last game of series, UCF’s offense woke up late, exploding for 8 runs from innings 4-6 to hold off scrappy FGCU. Georgia Blair and Juliana Wilson each hit 3 homers on the weekend with Blair driving in seven runs, and Wilson driving in six.
White pick up her 79th career win in the finale to pass Audas and get within 1 win of the school record held by Turnier. White’s next opportunity to join Turnier as only UCF pitchers to reach 80 wins comes at home on opening weekend against New Mexico State in a three-game series.
UCF Women’s Soccer Starts Season With Win at Temple
UCF got off to fast start in the 2021 season as Katie Bradley scored 2 minutes into the match to give UCF 1-0 lead.
Mallory Olsson came off the bench and made huge impact in the match, scoring in the 37th minute to give UCF a 2-0 lead heading into halftime, set up by great pass by Kristen Scott.
Olson put the exclamation point on things in the 71st minute with her 2nd goal. Goalkeeper Caroline DeLisle picked up her first shutout of the season after having 10 in 2019.
Up next is UCF’s home opener on Sunday against Cincinnati at 1pm on ESPN+
No. 14 UCF Men’s Soccer Wins at Temple
No. 14 UCF Men’s Soccer picked up its first win of 2021 at Temple, 1-0, playing in 28 degree weather at kickoff, to improve to 1-1 on season. Gino Vivi scored the only goal of the match in the 39th minute.
UCF returns home to host South Florida Saturday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN+
UCF Women Hoops Returns With Vengeance in Cincinnati
For the first time since January 27th, UCF Women’s Basketball returned to action and showed no signs of rust, as they dominated on defense, forcing 21 Bearcats turnovers and turning them into 23 points while getting a nice 1-2 punch on offense from Brittney Smith and Alisha Lewis to improve to 10-2 on season.
Smith scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Lewis scored a career-high 24 on six threes, which was just two away from a school record.
UCF Men’s Basketball Loses A Tight One at Cincinnati
Couldn’t pull off the road dub.— UCF Men’s Hoops (@UCF_MBB) February 14, 2021
Back home for a War on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/omVjWYEau1
The Men’s team did not have the same successful trip to Cincinnati that the women did as the Knights lost a close one to Cincinnati, 69-68. Brandon Mahan returned in a big way after missing Friday’s win against Tulane with 21 points to lead the Knights.
UCF goes 1-1 over the weekend as they knocked off Tulan at home on Friday night, winning 53-49 behind 18 points from Darin Green, Jr.
Up next for UCF is South Florida on Wednesday at home at 7pm on ESPNU.
No. 20 UCF Women’s Tennis Wins For First Time Over Miami
Women’s Tennis earned its sixth straight victory and fourth sweep of the season, beating Miami for the first time in program history, 4-0. The Knights clinched the match on court two where Valerie Zeleva earned her second win over a ranked opponent this season, knocking off Davenia Achong 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Up next for UCF is a trip to Texas where they will play at TCU on Friday and then a showdown with No. 2 Texas next Sunday.
- No. 18 UCF Men’s Tennis’ scheduled match at No. 12 Georgia on Saturday was postponed due to COVID-19. A make-up date was not immediately announced. UCF returns to action February 19th at UNF.
UCF Track and Field Has Strong Weekend in Houston
UCF won three events over the weekend in Houston, including the 4x400-meter relay, with Danielle Bess, Kiah Williams, Kai’lyn Kirkland and Latasha Smith finishing first. Smith also won the 400-meter dash with a personal best of 55.19 seconds.
Selena Wright won the 60-meter hurdles with another personal best of 8.28 seconds.
Just one week after being named the American Athletic Conference Cross Country Freshman of the Year, Valerie Lastra opened her indoor freshman season with a record-breaking mile of 4:51.75 to place second overall and breaking another UCF freshman program record held by Anne-Marie Blaney.
Asherah Collins also set a new freshman record in the triple jump, finishing 2nd overall:
RECORD ALERT— UCF Track & Field/XC (@UCF_Track) February 13, 2021
Asherah broke the freshman triple jump record and posted a PR pic.twitter.com/sg3N7RIhNU
Overall, UCF finished second as a team in the event behind Cincinnati. Up next is the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 12-13 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
UCF Men’s Golf Finishes in Top 16 in Gator Invitional
The Knights Men’s Golf season started this weekend in Gainesville, finishing in 16th place. UCF was led by Johnny Travale who finished tied for 18th at -5. UCF returns to action in a month at General Hackler Championship, hosted by Coastal Carolina, from March 14-16.
UCF Athlete of Week: Kennedy Searcy - UCF Softball
Here's how we're lining up for game ✌ #ChargeOn— UCF Softball (@UCF_Softball) February 13, 2021
LF Kennedy Searcy
C Juliana Wilson
3B Jada Cody
SS Georgia Blair
DP Shannon Doherty
2B Justene Molina
RF Denali Schappacher
CF Kyra Klarkowski
1B Jazmine Esparza
SP Gianna Mancha pic.twitter.com/XupMQ4PQFC
What a debut by the freshman Kennedy Searcy, who started all four games playing left field, right field and shortstop, went 7 of 14 in the 4-game series, drove in five runs, scored seven, and stole four bases from the lead-off spot. Searcy’s biggest hit of the weekend came in the series finale, when she hit her first career homer run as a Knight with a 3-run blast to break the game open.
Honorable Mention: Mallory Olsson, Women Soccer
Olsson doubled her output from her 2019 season when she scored one goal with two goals on Sunday at Temple to get the Knights off to a great start in 2021.