The UCF women’s soccer team defeated USF, 5-1, Friday night in its regular-season opener and the first official game at the newly expanded UCF Soccer Stadium. The Knights started the game strong, scoring three first-half goals en route to the four-goal victory over their in-state rivals.
Less than two minutes into the contest, junior Tishia Jewell (Satellite Beach, Fla.) scored UCF’s opening goal from 18 yards out, with junior Nicolette Radovcic (Rockaway, NJ) picking up the assist. Senior Katie Jackson (Satellite Beach, Fla.) scored the Knights’ second goal of the night as she placed a shot into the far right corner of the net past USF goalkeeper Nicole McClure.
“It’s huge, coming out scoring in the first two minutes of the game and then to score again early in the second half too,” head coach Amanda Cromwell said. “It is important to score early and both halves we scored within the two minutes so that gives us the confidence we need and it’s a rival team so we know we need to get to them somehow.”
UCF’s third goal of the night came as Jewell chipped a ball over the USF keeper into the left side of the net to give the team the three-goal advantage. Radovcic and junior Bianca Joswiak (Berlin, Germany) collected the assists on the tally.
The Knights came out strong in the second half as Joswaik scored her first of the match off a corner kick in the 47th minute.
The Bulls got onto the just three minutes after Joswiak put the Knights up by four when Demi Stokes put a pass across the box to Chelsea Klotz who finished the play to make it a three-goal game again.
With UCF in control and sitting on a comfortable lead already, Joswaik netted her second goal of the night off a corner kick, finishing a play started by Jewell and Hubbard, who each collected assists.
“We finished really well with five goals and we did some good things in the midfield and our defending was really good,” Cromwell said. “We didn’t give up a corner kick the whole night and did some positive things in the attack. We just have to prepare for Wake Forest on Sunday night which we know is going to be a hard game.”
The Black and Gold outshot the Bulls, 18-12, and held a 9-0 advantage in corner kicks in the game. Seven of the nine came in the second half as the Knights finished the game strong to earn the season-opening victory.
“Tonight they get to relax a little bit and enjoy this win, and tomorrow we will get back to training and get ready for Wake Forest,” Cromwell added.