Facing off for first place in Conference USA, the No. 19 UCF women’s soccer team and Rice played to a 1-1 draw Sunday in Orlando. The Owls remain in first with a 5-0-1 C-USA record (8-5-1 overall) while the Knights’ record moved to 9-2-3 on the year and 4-0-2 in league play.
The tie enabled UCF to stay undefeated in its last 15 regular-season C-USA matches (13-0-2), and it also stretched its overall undefeated streak in 2010 to eight games (5-0-3).
The Knights took 22 shots on the day, their second-most in a match this season, however it also allowed 18 attempts which tied for the most by a UCF opponent. The Black and Gold finished with a 7-2 lead in corner kicks, while in net, Aline Reis recorded five saves in 110:00 minutes of work.
It was evident both teams put in a lot of energy during their respective victories Friday, as the first half opened a little slowly with neither team putting a shot on goal until the 21st minute. UCF would go on to outshoot Rice, 7-4, in the opening half with four of those attempts on goal but the score remained 0-0 at the break.
However the state of the game changed completely in the opening minutes of the second half. Finding herself in a 3-on-2 situation thanks to a pass from Tishia Jewell, Nicolette Radovcic delivered a low cross from the right side into the 18. Waiting right in front, Kim Newsome easily tapped it past keeper Catherine Fitzsimmons for her sixth goal of the year.
Now looking for the equalizer, Rice earned a corner kick in the 54th minute and eventually the ball found Korey Taylor from 11 yards out, but her header was stopped by Reis who was in the perfect spot to cover up.
At the other end of the pitch, the Black and Gold was poised to double its lead in the 61st minute only to have shots by Marissa Diggs and Jewell be blocked in front, and then Stacie Hubbard delivered a shot that barely sailed wide from 25 yards.
Without getting its second goal, UCF watched as Rice countered on a goal in the 66th minute from Elizabeth Nesbit even though the Owls were very close to being offsides, and after an initial save from Reis, Nesbit put in the rebound to tie it at 1-1.
UCF’s best chances to find the game-winner came off the foot of Radovcic, yet her shots in the 70th minute and then 2:30 into the first overtime were both corralled by Fitzsimmons to send both teams home with one point in the C-USA standings.
With the weekend wrapped up, the Knights will focus on their last regular-season road trip when they travel to Colorado College Friday and UTEP Sunday, Oct. 17.