The UCF men’s soccer team opened up the first round of the 2011 NCAA Soccer Tournament against the team that knocked them out of the top 25 earlier this season, Florida Gulf Coast University.
Kevan George’s overtime goal in the 107th gave the Knights a 1-0 victory at the UCF Soccer complex Thursday night and sent them into the second round.
Both teams were aggressive out of the gates with Florida Gulf Coast taking 10 shots to UCF’s eight, but neither team was able to get on the board. UCF goalie Sebastian Evers was put to the test throughout the first half with four big saves that were inches away from being goals.
With 33:18 left in the game, a goal was reversed preventing a Knights score. This was the story for most of the game as neither team was able to convert on opportunities. The Eagles controlled the first 25 minutes or so, but the Knights were able to sustain and prevent a goal.
“Having not given up a goal then, I thought our players settled down and started to control the game a little bit and control the tide if you will,” UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham said.
After a scoreless regulation, the game proceeded to overtime where again neither team could convert for the first 10 minutes. Penalty kicks seemed like a sure thing as the period progressed until Kevan George put a short pass from Malcom Reed into the back of the net at the 107:00 mark to send the Knights into the second round.
“I just don’t remember what happened after that, I just remember seeing the ball in the back of the net,” George said.
The Knights will head to Tampa Sunday to take on their rivals, the USF Bulls. This is a rematch of last years first round of the NCAA Tournament which UCF won, 3-0.
USF features goalie Chris Blais, who was on the Michigan Wolverines team that knocked the Knights out of the NCAA Tournament last season. The game will be held at 6 p.m.