UCF Records Third-Straight Draw at Temple

October 8, 2014

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By Nate Blythe
UCFKnights.com

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF freshman Matias Pyysalo opened the scoring in the 43rd minute, but Temple knotted the contest, 1-1, on Wednesday afternoon at the Ambler Sports Complex. It was the third-straight draw for the Knights to start play in The American.

"This is three games in a row, where we have let one slide," head coach Bryan Cunningham said. "We were up a goal and playing well. With a young group, they have not figured out how to finish games off. Again, we had chances to get the second goal and did not convert on those opportunities. When a hard-working, blue-collar opponent like Temple is given a chance, they are going to take care of it, which is what happened this afternoon."

The 43rd minute started for UCF (1-5-4, 0-0-3) with a pass from senior Jake Weiss into the 6-yard box to Williams, who recorded a shot on goal that was saved. The Portmore, Jamaica, native retrieved the rebound to the left of the goal and sent a cross back through the box.

Pyysalo received the cross on the right post about 10 yards out and beat the keeper for his second goal of the campaign. An assist was credited to Williams, his scored of the season.

"We have been trying to get these guys to believe in our system and allow the game to flow a little bit," Cunningham said. "We were able to do that by creating a nice chance in front of the goal and Matias finished it. "

Temple (2-7-1, 1-1-1) notched the equalizer with two minutes remaining as Chas Wilson scored on a rebounded after an initial shot by Jared Martinelli from just inside the box.

Sophomore Zach Biggs recorded six saves for the Knights. The Owls' Dan Scheck posted four saves at the other end.

Playing 110 minutes for the Knights in the back row was Freshman Phil Hicks, who helped to keep the Temple shots from the outside.

"Phil tried to take control a little bit from the back," Cunningham said. "I thought he made some good decisions and is really starting to emerge. I think we forget at times that he is just a redshirt freshman with us. As games have gone along, he has gotten better and better."

One of the Knights' second-half opportunities came off the foot of Williams, whose shot went just wide on a right-wing feed from junior Hadji Barry.

The Knights continue their three-match road trip on Saturday at Memphis with kick set for 8 p.m. The trip concludes on Oct. 15 with a stop at in-state foe FIU at 7:30 p.m.

UCF presented by Napleton's Volkswagen returns home on Oct. 18 with a 7 p.m. match against UConn. For more information on how to purchase tickets click here or call 407-UCF-1000.

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