Edged by UConn on Sunday, the Knights had their ten game winning streak and historic twenty-five conference game winning streak broken in the one goal game.
After a scoreless first half, UConn’s (10-4-4, 3-2-3 AAC) Julia Hubbard recorded her third goal of the season in the 65th minute, the only goal in the 1-0 game-winner for the Connecticut team. From nearly twenty-five yards out, Hubbard connected a pass from Huskies’ Megan Hunsberger and struck the ball across the net into the left corner, putting her team up 1-0.
The Knights (13-3-0, 6-1-0 AAC) attempted fourteen shots through the game – seven on goal – with senior Tatiana Coleman coming close to a goal in the first half, where her shot was saved after bouncing off of the crossbar, and senior Alex Piercy coming close in the second half, with her shot reaching far left. Goalkeeper Connie Organ would make a career high in saves against the Huskies, tallying up seven saves total.
The women’s soccer team claimed two years of unbeaten conference play before Sunday’s match, but the Knights refuse to let the loss deter them.
“I thought we fought to the end,” said head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak after the game. “I just think some days things don’t always go your way, and today was one of those days. I’d rather it happen today than later on. We can keep this feeling fresh for when we go into the conference and NCAA Tournaments… I am an optimist, so I think we’ll learn from this and be a better team for it.”
UCF will have its final two regular season matches played at home before beginning tournament play. This Friday the women’s soccer team will host their senior night match against East Carolina, which will kick off at 7 p.m.
The men’s soccer team would also fall to UConn Saturday knight in a 1-0 decision made early in the game.
A goal made by University of Connecticut sophomore Ethan Vanacore-Decker in the 9th minute put the Huskies ahead through the end of the match. Senior Romario Williams made one of two shots on goal for the Knights in the 90th minute, coming close to equalizing the game, but would be denied the win.
“[We played] a tough team in UConn,” said head coach Bryan Cunningham in a post-game interview. “They scored that goal against the run of play and I thought we pretty much had control of the game until that point… In the second half we tried our best to get it going and to create some chances and in the end they were able to stave off the game and, you know, we couldn’t get the result.”
Saturday night’s loss moved the Huskies to 5-6-2 overall and 3-1-1 in conference play, and dropped the Knights to 1-8-4 overall and 0-2-3 in conference play.
“I told the players after the game that I feel for them,” added Cunningham. “We’re on the wrong side of these one goal games. We’re thirteen games deep into the season and twelve have been one goal games.”
The Knights will meet rival USF next, where they will hope to follow up on their 1-0 win made last season.
“It’s going to be good, it’s going to be very fast paced… It will probably be very much like the game tonight were both teams want to kind of control the game and control the tempo. Hopefully it’s not a high scoring affair, it’s usually a pretty tight game that we play with them. We have a lot of respect for what they do over there and we’re happy to have them come play at our place and see what happens,” ended Cunningham.
UCF will continue conference play with a home game against rival USF on Tuesday, October 22 at 7 p.m.