Three Orlando Pride Players Earn 2017 CONCACAF Awards

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Orlando Pride forwards Alex Morgan and Marta as well as defender Ali Krieger have been named to the 2017 Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Female Best XI, it was announced today.

Morgan, 28, was named the 2017 CONCACAF Female Player of the Year on Sunday night after leading the U.S. Women’s National Team with seven goals and scoring a total of 21 with her club teams (nine with Orlando Pride, 12 with Olympique Lyonnais). It was the third time Morgan was honored with the award, the most by any player, making her a back-to-back winner after taking home the accolade in 2016 as well.

Marta, 31, made an impact in her first season in Central Florida, leading the Pride with 13 goals and six assists. Marta played in 23 regular season matches, scoring four game-winning goals. The Brazilian legend was named to the NWSL Team of the Month each month from June to September and took home September Player of the Month honors. Marta was also named to the 2017 NWSL Best XI and won Week 16 Goal of the Week.

Internationally, Marta led the Brazil Women’s National Team to a 7-5-2 record during the 2017 calendar year, while scoring seven goals as the team’s captain. Before joining the Pride, Marta was a member of Swedish side FC Rosengård, leading the club to the quarterfinal round of the 2016-17 UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Krieger, 33, was the only Pride player to play all 2,160 minutes this season. While playing primarily as a center back, Krieger added two assist and was named to the 2017 NWSL Best XI as well as the NWSL Team of the Month for June and August. The Penn State product led the Pride in clearances (107), interceptions (47) and successful passes (1,099).

Krieger made two appearances for the U.S. WNT during 2017, starting on March 4 against England in the She Believes Cup and coming in as a substitute on April 6 against Russia.

Midfielder Camila’s 16th-minute goal against the Houston Dash on June 17 finished as runner up for the 2017 CONCACAF Goal of the Year.

Season tickets for the 2018 Orlando Pride season are currently available and can be purchased at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

CONCACAF Awards are selected on an equally-weighted vote among Member Association women’s and men’s national team coaches/captains, media members and fans. Winners were announced on Sunday night during the Premios Univision Deportes.

Alex Morgan Named 2017 CONCACAF Female Player of the Year

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Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan has been honored as the 2017 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Female Player of the Year, becoming the first player - male or female - to earn the honor three times. Morgan is a back-to-back winner, taking the honor in 2016, and won for the first time in 2013.

Morgan appeared in 13 matches for the Pride during the 2017 campaign, ranking second on the team with nine goals, fifth best in the league. Morgan scored in each of the Pride five matches in the month of August, leading to her being named NWSL Player of the Month. The Cal product also added four assists on the year and helped lead the Pride to the team’s first-ever playoff appearance.

On the international stage, Morgan finished the year with seven goals in seven straight matches for the U.S. Women’s National Team, ending the year with the team lead in goals.

Prior to joining the Pride in July, Morgan opened the year with French side Olympique Lyonnais where she helped the team claim the treble - winning the French league, the French Cup and the Champions League title. Over all appearances, Morgan totaled 12 goals.

Winners for the 2017 CONCACAF awards were selected in an in an equally-weighted vote among Member Association women’s and men’s national team coaches/captains, media members and fans. Winners were announced on Sunday night during the Premios Univision Deportes.

The winners in nine additional categories for the annual CONCACAF Awards, including the Male and Female Best XIs, will be announced on Tuesday, December 19, 2017, via CONCACAF.com.

Three Pride Players Ranked In FourFourTwo.com’s USA’s ‘Best 50 American Women’s Players of 2017’

 Photo: FourFourTwo

Photo: FourFourTwo

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It was in Orlando, in partnership with Marta, where Morgan’s year truly took off. She tallied nine goals and four assists in 13 games for the Pride, helping Orlando climb into an unlikely NWSL playoff position for the first time. Morgan’s dominant form continued for the United States as she led the team with seven goals in 698 minutes.

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Krieger, 33, took on a central role for the Orlando Pride in 2017 in a move that made sense for both parties. Orlando needed her leadership and was thin at center back, and Krieger – and Orlando coach Tom Sermanni – recognized that her future with the U.S., if there was to still be one, was more likely as a center back in her later years.

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In a season when she missed almost a dozen NWSL games as well as some U.S. women’s national team friendlies, her mental fortitude to regain fitness was evident, especially returning later in the season, when the race for playoffs was in much sharper relief and points grew more and more critical. Still, her position at 28 on this list reflects a good-not-great year for a goalkeeper, as well as the increasing competition in the American ‘keepers pool.

Read more at https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/fourfourtwo-usas-50-best-american-womens-players-2017-30-21?page=0%2C1&hub=#HhFReVVEUltdwGyC.99

Nominees Set for 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year

 Photo: USsoccer.com

Photo: USsoccer.com

U.S. Soccer has announced the five nominees for the 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award. This year’s field features midfielders Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan and Samantha Mewis and forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

Voting for the candidates closes on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced throughout the month of December.  

All five players played prominent roles for the WNT during a 2017 calendar that featured a 16-game schedule and matches against seven of the top nine teams in FIFA’s Women’s World Rankings. They also led on their club teams, earning playoff appearances, championships and league-wide awards as a result. 

Finishing on a hot streak, Morgan and Ertz topped the list of goal scorers for the WNT this year with seven and six goals, respectively. All their goals came in the final eight games of 2017. Rapinoe (five) and Horan (four) were tops on the team in assists. Rapinoe also scored three times while Horan had one goal. For Mewis, 2017 represented a year of growth that saw the 25-year-old become a leader in the center of the midfield while starting every match and playing the second-most minutes on the team. All five players had excellent NWSL seasons as well, with Mewis being named to the NWSL Best XI, and the other four nominees named to the NWSL Second XI.

A new voting process was put in place starting in 2014. Votes will be collected from National Team coaches and staff, WNT players who have earned a cap in 2017, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer’s Athlete Council, National Women’s Soccer League coaches, select college head coaches and select media members. 

Only one of the nominees has won the award before, with Morgan earning the honor in 2012. Ertz (neé Johnston) and Horan have previously received the Young Female Player of the Year award, with Ertz winning in 2012 and Horan in 2013.

The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer (known then as Sharon McMurtry) earned the inaugural honor.

No. 8 UCF Women's Soccer Falls in First Round of NCAA Tournament

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An incredible season came to an early end for the No. 8 UCF women’s soccer team. The Knights dropped a 1-0 decision to Washington State on Saturday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the UCF Soccer Complex.
 
“I love this team; I love my seniors,” UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "I did not want this season to end - ever. I enjoy every minute being together. But I'm proud. I told them that our season is not defined by this one game. They've accomplished so much."
 
Washington State (10-7-3) went ahead 1-0 in the fifth minute as a misplayed ball found the back of the net.
 


While not accustomed to facing a deficit, UCF, who made its return to the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 after a year-long absence with a comeback upset of then-No. 4 UNC, continued to attack.
 
A flurry of shots came to close out the first half, but the Knights were unable to find the equalizer. Junior Vera Varis, who finished the season with a career-best 0.27 goals against average, was solid in goal once again, making key saves to keep the deficit at just one goal.
 
The Knights came out on the attack in the second half and continued to push. Several members of the Black and Gold had great opportunities, with shots missing the net by just inches. Still searching for the equalizer, UCF increased its pressure, but was still unable to find the back of the net.
 
As the seconds ticked down, Washington State’s goalkeeper, Ella Dederick, and the Cougars defense held on for the victory.
 
UCF closed its season with a 13-2-3 overall record, the most wins since the 2014 campaign.
 
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No. 7/8 UCF Women's Soccer To Host Washington State in NCAA First Round

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The UCF women's soccer team (13-1-3) will host Washington State (9-7-3) in the NCAA Tournament first round on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex. 
 
The Knights, who enter the tournament on a 16-match unbeaten streak, will be playing in their 21st NCAA Tournament and their first as a two-seed.
 
"We are thrilled with earning a No. 2 seed," UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "This team really deserved that. I am really proud of them and really excited to host this first match. Washington State is a good team and beat UCLA this year, so this will not be an easy road to get out of the first round. We are thrilled to be home and hope to have a lot of fans out there on Saturday night."


If the Knights advance, they will host the winner of a first-round match between Tennessee and Murray State. The second round and Sweet 16 will be held November 17 and 19.
 
The Knights and the Cougars have only met once on the pitch, with UCF earning a 2-0 win in 2011.
 
UCF has moved on to the second round in seven of its last nine NCAA Championship tournament appearances. The Knights advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2014.
 
This year marks the 10th time that UCF has hosted at least one NCAA Tournament round.
 
Since 1981, UCF has accumulated 22 conference championships, including the 2017 American Athletic Conference regular season title. The Black and Gold's 20 NCAA Tournament berths include appearances in the 1982 NCAA title game, 1987 Final Four, 2011 Elite Eight and 2014 Sweet 16.
 
Ticket information will be available on UCFKnights.com shortly.
 
Gates will open to the public at 6 p.m.

COLLEGE CUP
The pinnacle of college women's soccer will be co-hosted by UCF and the Central Florida Sports Commission, and held at the new Orlando City Soccer Stadium from Dec. 1-3, 2017. Purchase your tickets by clicking here.
 
BECOME A PART OF THE WATCH
Membership to Knights Watch, the official supporters group of UCF Soccer, begins at $15 for students and $50 for fans. Packages include tickets to all home contests for men's and women's soccer, a Knights Watch T-Shirt, a soccer scarf and a variety of free catered tailgates. To become a member, click here.

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 Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak

“We are thrilled with earning a No. 2 seed. This team really deserved that. I am really proud of them and really excited to host this first match. Washington State is a good team and beat UCLA this year, so this will not be an easy road to get out of the first round. We are thrilled to be home and hope to have a lot of fans out there on Saturday night.”

“It is a great thing to have some players with NCAA tournament experience and that maturity level. As a whole, this team is mature and knows what is on the line. They have big dreams and want to go far. They want to stay in Orlando as long as possible.”

Senior Kayla Adamek

“It is pretty exciting. We have been waiting for this moment. We don’t know much about (Washington State), but are excited to get after it.”

“I believe that this team can beat any team in the tournament. We just have to give it our all.”

“We have to refocus. (The result against South Florida) kind of put us in our place. Now we have that in the past. We know that we have to put in 100% in every game. Every team in this tournament is really good."

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No. 7 UCF Women's Soccer Tops Memphis, 3-0, in The American Semifinal

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Three first half goals by the Knights helped send the No. 7 UCF women's soccer team to the 2017 American Athletic Conference championship game on Sunday. The Knights topped Memphis, 3-0, in The American semifinal on Friday night at the UCF Soccer Complex.
 
"I'm happy they were hungry," UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "I don't want this team to ever get satisfied. Our goal is to get better in every game, and in areas of the game, I think we did. Another goal was to get a shutout, and we got that too. I'm happy for them."
 
UCF (13-1-2) extended its unbeaten streak to 15 matches with the victory over the Tigers.
 
The Knights took an early 1-0 lead over Memphis (11-6-3) after a Tiger defender misplayed a cross that was redirected across the goal line.
 
After freshman Dina Orschmann drew a foul in the box, senior Morgan Ferrara extended the UCF lead to 2-0 on a penalty kick in the eighth minute. The third marker came on a throughball from Orschmann to classmate Stefanie Sanders, who drilled a shot that beat the keeper to the far post.
 


UCF is still rolling.

  • The win over the Tigers extended UCF's unbeaten streak to 15 matches.
  • 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.

The Knights advance to their second championship game in The American.

  • UCF advances to its first tournament championship game in The American since 2013.
  • The Knights earned their first semifinal victory in The American. The Black and Gold advanced to the 2013 title game on penalty kicks, and all postseason shootouts are officially entered in the record books as a tie. 

The defense was dominant.

  • UCF posted its ninth shutout of the season on Friday night.
  • Junior goalkeeper Vera Varis was solid for the Knights once again, dropping her season goals against average to 0.24.

 
NEXT UP
UCF will take on second-seeded USF on Sunday. The 2 p.m. match will air on ESPNews. Ticket information can be found here
 
BECOME A PART OF THE WATCH
Membership to Knights Watch, the official supporters group of UCF Soccer, begins at $15 for students and $50 for fans. Packages include tickets to all home contests for men's and women's soccer, a Knights Watch T-Shirt, a soccer scarf and a variety of free catered tailgates. To become a member, click here.

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In Memory of Joseph Campo

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A gapping hole has been left in The Wall, and our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew and loved Joseph Campo, who was also known as Purple Deadpool. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to assist in costs for caring for his four year old son, Tony.

No. 7 UCF Women's Soccer Sweeps American Athletic Conference Major Awards

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For the first time in program history, the UCF women’s soccer team swept the American Athletic Conference major awards on Tuesday.

Senior Morgan Ferrara was named Offensive Player of the Year; senior Kayla Adamek earned Midfielder of the Year honors; senior Kathellen Sousa shared Defensive Player of the Year honors with Cincinnati’s Vanessa Giles; junior Vera Varis was named Goalkeeper of the Year; and freshman Dina Orschmann was lauded as the Rookie of the Year. Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak was the unanimous selection as The American Coach of the Year.

All five earned all-conference nods. Ferrara, Adamek, Sousa and Varis earned first-team selections, while Orschmann was a second team honoree. Orschmann, who was a unanimous selection, was joined by classmate Stefanie Sanders on the all-rookie team.

Ferrara led the league in five statistical categories, netting 10 of her team-leading 12 goals in league play. A two-time Offensive Player of the Week, the Tampa native recorded her first career hat trick in a 5-0 win over Memphis. Ferrara, who earned all-conference honors for the second consecutive year, ranks among the top six in the nation in goals per game and game-winning goals.

Adamek earned her first major award as a Knight, ranking just behind Ferrara in four statistical categories. The Ottawa, Canada native bagged eight goals in league play and racked up 17 points in nine matches. Adamek, who collected her third all-conference nod, is among the top 50 in the country in goals per game, points per game and total goals.

Sousa played six complete games during the nine-game league campaign and recorded an assist in the 2-0 win over UConn. Moving to centerback in the season opener, Sousa has helped the Knights to eight shutouts during their 14-match unbeaten streak.

Varis has allowed just three goals all season, and only one over 740 minutes of league action. The Vantaa, Finland native currently ranks fourth in the country with an overall goals against average of 0.252 and compiled a 0.12 GAA that led the league.

Roberts Sahaydak earned her third Coach of the Year accolade after leading the Knights to their second season without a loss in The American. UCF (12-1-2), currently ranked No. 7 in the nation, stands among the top 10 teams in the country in scoring offense, points per game, assists per game, win-loss-tie percentage and shots on goal per game. During the non-conference season, she guided UCF to wins over programs from the Pac-12, ACC and SEC.

Orschmann made an immediate impact during her rookie campaign. The Berlin, Germany native ranked fourth in the league in goals, points and points per game, and is the top rookie in the conference in all three statistical categories. Orschmann collected Rookie of the Week honors a league-leading four times, and paced the conference with six assists in league play.

Sanders joined fellow German Orschmann on the all-rookie team. The Hamburg native tallied a pair of goals in conference play, which ranked fifth on the squad.

Ferrara, Adamek and Orschmann combined for 22 of UCF’s 30 goals in league play. On the defensive end, Sousa and Varis limited opponents to 28 shots on goal in conference action, with just three goals allowed.

Tuesday’s hardware haul marked the first time in program history – including UCF’s time in Conference USA and the Atlantic Sun – that the Knights swept each major award category.

UCF earned Defensive Player of the Year honors for the fourth time in the five-year history of the league, while collecting Offensive Player of the Year honors for the third time. The Knights earned their second Rookie of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year accolades, while garnering Midfielder of the Year laurels for the first time in The American.

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

As regular season champions, the Knights will host the American Athletic Conference Championship at the UCF Soccer Complex beginning Nov. 1. UCF will host the winner of the No. 4 Memphis – No. 5 UConn quarterfinal at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. The American Digital Network will provide coverage for the entire quarterfinal and semifinal action. ESPNews will broadcast the championship match on Nov. 5.

Full coverage of The American Championship will be available at the championship central.

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No. 7 UCF Women's Soccer's Dina Orschmann Named American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week

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For a league-leading fourth time, freshman Dina Orschmann represented the No. 7 UCF women's soccer team in the American Athletic Conference weekly awards, being named Rookie of the Week on Monday.
 
Orschmann's sixth goal of the season, and her fourth in league play, was the equalizer in the second half of Friday night's winner-take-all matchup against USF. The 1-1 double overtime result allowed the Knights to clinch their third American Athletic Conference regular season title on Oct. 27.
 
The Berlin native's goal against the Bulls marked the second time this season (vs. No. 4 UNC, Aug. 25) that she pulled UCF even after falling behind in a match.
 
Orschmann ranks fourth in the league in goals, points and points per game, and is the top rookie in the conference in all three statistical categories.

Monday's award marks the fifth time this season that a Knight has earned The American Rookie of the Week, and the 1th weekly accolade for UCF this season. The Knights also collected five Offensive Player of the Week honors, a pair of Defensive Player of the Week laurels and one Goalkeeper of the Week.

THE AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
As regular season champion, the Knights will host the American Athletic Conference Championship at the UCF Soccer Complex beginning Nov. 1. UCF will host the winner of the No. 4 Memphis – No. 5 UConn quarterfinal at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. The American Digital Network will provide coverage for the entire quarterfinal and semifinal action. ESPNews will broadcast the championship match on Nov. 5.
 
Full coverage of The American Championship will be available at the championship central.
 
BECOME A PART OF THE WATCH
Membership to Knights Watch, the official supporters group of UCF Soccer, begins at $15 for students and $50 for fans. Packages include tickets to all home contests for men's and women's soccer, a Knights Watch T-Shirt, a soccer scarf and a variety of free catered tailgates. To become a member, click here.

GET THE APP
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news.
 

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