The No. 23 UCF women’s soccer team’s 4-1 win at Tulsa on Sunday was accented by a little extra something special.
The victory marked the Knights’ 22nd-straight unbeaten conference match (including conference tournaments) dating back to Oct. 14, 2012. As a result, UCF worked its way into the NCAA record book as the 18th program in Division I history to achieve such a milestone.
“As the game went on we did gain more confidence. Great performances off the bench. It’s great having a deep team where we can rely on everybody,” UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. “Great performance, overall. We’re happy with the result, and we did grow as the game went on.”
UCF (9-2-0, 2-0 AAC) struck quickly when senior forward Tatiana Coleman dribbled down the right sideline and crossed a perfectly placed ball to a rushing Ashley Spivey, who buried it past Tulsa keeper Courtney McKeon.
Freshman forward Christina Holmes responded for Tulsa (7-4-1, 1-1-0 AAC) in the 31st minute. Despite pressure, Holmes was able to maintain control and slipped it by goalkeeper Connie Organ, who had come out to meet her.
The Knights didn’t stay behind for long. Less than two minutes later, Spivey got into the mix again when her shot was deflected, allowing senior midfielder Jennifer Martin to pick up the rebound by the left post and reclaim a 2-1 lead for UCF.
Senior Kayla Darden added to UCF’s edge just before halftime when she broke down the Hurricane defense and connected with the back of the net from 18 yards out for her first goal of the season.
Darden wasn’t finished, yet. She netted her second of the match in the 59th minute after junior midfielder Amanda Wilkin forwarded a ball to Coleman on the right side. Coleman sent it through to Darden in the box, and she bounced it off of the top of the crossbar into the back of the net.
“Darden has had a good season. She’s been in and out of the starting lineup. She came off the bench and provided a lot of energy, some toughness,” Roberts Sahaydak said. “Her first goal came off of her really battling with the outside back and defending well and created a chance for herself. We love to rely on her athleticism.”