Sept. 28, 2012
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Jenna Marina
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The No. 10 UCF women's soccer team put on a show Friday night in its 2-0 win against Houston, ending the Cougars' three-match unbeaten streak. The Knights put up an onslaught of 15 shots on goal - their most in a game in two years.
"We played together as a team," defender Ashley Nicol said. "We keep talking that we need to play a full 90 (minutes), so that's what we came out with in mind, and we knocked the ball around very nice tonight."
UCF (8-2-1, 2-1-0 Conference USA) dominated the first half on both sides of the field, racking up nine shots on goal while limiting the Cougars (4-5-2, 0-1-2) to just one.
The Knights got their first good look at the net five minutes into the game when Tishia Jewell's corner kick was cleared out of the box. Nicol was waiting to receive the ball and booted it toward the net, but Houston's keeper Cami Koski came up with the save.
Nicol did capitalize 48 seconds later when senior defender Bianca Joswiak crossed a ball from the left side to her teammate five feet in front of the net. Nicol headed in the ball for her third goal of the season and first game-winner to give UCF a 1-0 advantage.
UCF head coach Amanda Cromwell said she was pleased with UCF's attacking rhythm and movement off the ball.
"When you have your backs combining to each other for a goal, it's pretty good attacking," Cromwell said. "If we're getting numbers forward, it's very hard to defend and we can do that because of our very good defense. Marissa (Diggs) and Carleigh (Williams) hold us tight in the centerback and Maddie (Barney) and Sophie (Howard) [sit tight] in the defensive mid."
UCF threatened to score again in the 17th minute when Jewell's free kick from 10 yards outside of the box was deflected to Madison Barney, but Barney's attempt was also saved.
The Knights drew a corner in the 32nd minute and Andrea Rodrigues lined up to take the kick. She sent the ball in front of the net, where Barney headed it to Kristina Trujic, who added the insurance goal for her third score of the year.
Following the half, UCF had several great attempts at goal - Nicol rocketed a shot that hit the crossbar in the 61st minute and Jennifer Martin forced Koski to make a diving save less than a minute later - but none would find the back of the net.
UCF continues its homestand Sunday on Knights for Youth Day at 1 p.m. against Rice. An inflatable for kids will be set up outside the main gate and following the game, the team will sign autographs.