Friday night’s regular-season finale was business as usual for the No. 20 UCF women’s soccer team, which rolled to its fourth-straight shutout victory in a 4-0 decision at Southern Miss.
The outcome marked a milestone for Amanda Cromwell, who earned her 200th victory as UCF’s head coach and 220th career win.
“It was a nice surprise and it’s something I didn’t even know it was on the horizon to tell you the truth,” Cromwell said. “Josh (Walters) announced it in our post-game huddle and the players were excited for me. I thanked them for playing well, and really, it was a team effort all-around — the whole staff is a part of this milestone. It’s not just me.”
With their win over the Golden Eagles (4-12-1, 1-9-0), the Knights (14-4-1, 8-3-0) locked up the most shutouts in a season (12) since 2004 and are one shy of matching the school record held by the 1986 squad.
UCF will head to the Conference USA Tournament as the No. 3 seed and is scheduled to face sixth-seeded Memphis in the opening round. Memphis defeated the Knights 2-1 in the conference-season opener earlier this year.
Forward Jennifer Martin headed in the first goal at the 6-minute mark off an assist from senior Tishia Jewell.
Nearly eight minutes later, midfielder Madison Barney sent a ball over the top to forward Nicolette Radovcic, who put the ball away for her 11th score of the season.
Two Knights recorded their first-career goals after halftime.
Kayla Darden connected with Tyler Law for the first goal of her career in the 58th minute when she left-footed a ball into the corner of the net.
Defender Bianca Joswiak sent a cross from the end line to Alex Piercy in the 86th minute to cap the match at 4-0.
UCF held Southern Miss to no corners and one shot on goal, which Lianne Maldonado saved in the first 45 minutes of play.
“I feel like we’re peaking at the right time. Unfortunately, we weren’t in control of our own destiny tonight, but either way, the team feels good about how we’re playing right now,” Crowmell said. “We’re looking forward to next week and we feel confident and excited headed into the tournament.”
The Knights travel to El Paso, Texas, in quest of their first tournament title with the 9 p.m. ET opening-round matchup Wednesday. The championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. ET and will be aired live on the CBS Sports Network. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be streamed through the C-USA All-Access package on www.ConferenceUSA.com.