ORLANDO, Fla. – Despite finishing with a major advantage in shots, the No. 25 UCF men’s soccer team was unable to get past No. 11 Old Dominion Saturday at the UCF Soccer Complex as the Monarchs scored a pair of goals in the first half to post a 2-0 victory. The Knights, who were playing in their home opener, finished with a 20-10 edge in shots.
The contest, which featured two teams that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship in 2011, was the first of eight regular-season home matches for the Knights (1-1). The Monarchs, who scored both of their goals off of rebounds in a four-minute span in the first half, improved to 2-0 with the victory.
Some of UCF’s best scoring opportunities came early from a pair of shots from McKauly Tulloch, but Old Dominion’s Victor Francoz was sensational all evening. He finished with four saves, all in the opening half. Deshorn Brown also had some good looks in the first half, including a shot that sailed high on a breakaway with 18 minutes to play.
The Monarchs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute when Gideon Asante found a rebound following an Ivan Militar shot and scored. Four minutes later, Asante’s shot fell to Tim Hopkinson inside the box who punched it in.
In addition to the overall shot advantage, the Knights also had a 9-4 edge in corner kicks. The hosts nearly got on the board in the 32nd minute when Eduardo Jimenez connected with Steven Lamberta off a corner, but Lamberta’s header went high.
“You feel like you played well enough to win, and controlled the game, but in the end, you look at the scoreboard and you lose two-nothing. We’ll be better because of this game. I told our players to keep their heads high because we’ve got a good team, and we are only going to get better,” UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham said.
The Knights opened the regular season on Aug. 24 with a 2-1 win at Florida Atlantic.
UCF will head west for a pair of matches next weekend. The road trip begins Friday at California and will conclude Sunday at UC Davis.
The Knights’ next home match is set for Sept. 14 versus Jacksonville.