The No. 7 UCF women's soccer team clinched the American Athletic Conference regular season title after playing USF to a 1-1 double overtime draw on Friday night at the UCF Soccer Stadium.
"I was actually really nervous for this game, because I want it so badly for this team and the seniors," UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "I am so proud of the senior class. Watching them be happy is the best thing for me. I wanted this so badly for them tonight. It is just so sweet. I am proud to see them celebrating. They know that we are not done yet. We are not done yet at all. We made a lot of goals this season and they got that done."
UCF (12-1-2, 7-0-2 The American) entered the match with a one-point lead in the American Athletic Conference standings. The Knights would clinch the regular season title, and the right to host the conference tournament, with a victory or a draw.
The Knights fell behind less than a minute before halftime when USF (11-3-1, 7-1-1 The American) converted a penalty kick.
Feeding off the energy of the crowd – a season-best 1,410, the Knights began their rally in the second half. In the 58th minute, senior Morgan Ferrara found freshman Dina Orschmann in the box, setting up the equalizer.
Junior Vera Varis came up with two saves in both overtime periods to keep it a tie game. After 110 minutes, the teams remained locked at 1-1, leading to the draw.
UCF and USF will each earn three points in the War on I4 rivalry series. The Bulls now lead 9-3.
UCF captured its fourth title in The American.
- Friday's result led to the Knights third regular season conference championship in The American, and its fourth overall in the league.
- UCF won the regular season in both 2013 and 2014, while also capturing the 2013 tournament title.
- The Knights have now won 22 conference championships in program history, dating back to 1993 when UCF was in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Knights kept it rolling.
- UCF's unbeaten streak reached 14 matches with the result against USF.
- The Knights have not lost a contest since the season opener on Aug. 18
- UCF's 14-match unbeaten streak is its longest since the 2013 campaign when the Knights posted a school-record 18-match unbeaten streak.
UCF will host the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championship beginning Nov. 1. The Knights return to action on Nov. 3 and will face the winner of the 4-5 matchup at 7 p.m.
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