Not since 1999 had the UCF women’s soccer team made it through its regular season home schedule with an unblemished record. Until Sunday.
The Knights’ 2-0 win over Cincinnati in the regular season finale cemented a perfect 9-0 record at the UCF Soccer Complex this season. Moreover, UCF (15-3-0, 8-1-0 AAC) has successfully defended its home turf in 16-straight conference matches since Oct. 7, 2012.
“In preseason we talk about all of our goals for the season. One is to always be undefeated at home. We didn’t quite get that last year, so the fact that we were able to accomplish that this year with this team is a big step mentality wise,” UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said.
UCF senior forward Tatiana Coleman stole the show, accounting for both goals in UCF’s 12th shutout. She wrapped up senior weekend with three goals and an assist.
“She can get the job done by scoring goals and creating chances for the team,” Roberts Sahaydak said. “I love that she’s an emotional leader for our team and just a leader by example.”
The Knights got after it early when defender Caroline Bado booted an attempt from outside the box that was saved by Cincy keeper Kristina Utley. Coleman nearly scored in the 6th minute when her screamer hit the crossbar.
UCF broke through in the 30th minute on a set piece after Coleman drew a foul just past the Bearcats bench. Carlin Huegli’s free kick into the box first connected with Fish’s header and then found Coleman in front of the net, where she finished it off for her fifth game-winner of the year.
She waited until the 75th minute to find the back of the net again off a give-and-go exchange with junior midfielder Amanda Wilkin. She kicked it low to the far, left post past the keeper for the 2-0 win.
In UCF’s nine home matches, the Black and Gold (and sometimes Pink) outscored their opponents, 23-1, in nearly 820 minutes of playing time.
“You have a few shutouts and then it keeps rolling. That’s part of us. We talk about shutout mentality,” Roberts Sahaydak said. “Connie (Organ) holding it down for us in the back, and then a really strong back four… just really solid performances by them all year long.”
As the top seed in the American Athletic Conference Championship, UCF will host the first round and quarterfinal matches next weekend. The winner of the neutral-site contest between the No. 8 and 9 seeds at 4 p.m. on Oct. 31 will move on to face the Knights at 1 p.m. on Nov. 2.