The soccer season is full swing, with UCF racking up a loss and a win in their first two contests. The Knights beat Florida Atlantic (1-1) in their first contest but fell to #11 Old Dominion (2-1) in the home opener.
After a (12-6-3) season last year, the Knights made it to the second round of the playoffs before dropping an elimination game to USF. This year, the team is poised to make a deep playoff run. As the rankings stand at the moment, UCF is just outside of the top 25.
Of the top three points leaders from 2011, only one will rejoin the team. Forward McKauly Tulloch, who led the team with 15 goals in his first year with UCF, looks to play a significant role in the offense again. Off to a rough start, Tulloch has taken a team high ten shots, but has not connected with the net on any, with only 3 shots coming on goal.
Newcomer and fellow forward Deshorn Brown, however, looked excellent in his UCF debut. He scored both goals in the team’s 2-1 victory over Florida Atlantic. The performance in Boca Raton landed him on the National Soccer News Team of the Week. Brown is a transfer student from the University of Mobile, where he led the NAIA in 2011 with 32 goals scored and earned the Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year award in both his freshman and sophomore years.
The Knights next head to California, where they will complete a two game road trip before returning home. On the trip UCF will play the University of California (1-1) September 7th at 7:30 PM and UC Davis (1-0-3) on September 9th at 7 PM.
California is coming off a recent loss to Virginia and will be kicking off a seven game homestand when the Knights come into town.
Look for Tulloch and Brown to spark the offense against the UC Davis Aggies and their stone cold stingy defense. The Aggies have only surrendering one goal in their past three games, which have all ended in torturous double overtime ties. UC Davis will have a slight advantage in overall cohesiveness headed into the game, as the Knights will have played two less games in this early season.
UCF returns to Orlando on September 14th against Jacksonville University (0-4). Jax U was shut out by the same team UCF earned their first win against, FAU.