Box Score (PDF)
ORLANDO, Fla. – For the second-straight season, the North Florida men's soccer team shut out in-state foe, UCF, 1-0. Simen Solstad punched home the game-winner in the 76th minute to help the Ospreys to their third win of the season.
The scoreless stalemate was finally broken with just under 15 minutes to play in the second half. A crucial Knight foul led to a free kick for the Ospreys just outside the center of the box. Head coach Derek Marinatos elected Solstad to take the attempt and the sophomore delivered with his fourth goal of the season. The second-year defender now takes over the Atlantic Sun lead in goals.
"Simen made a great strike on the ball and it was great to have him back on the field," said Marinatos." He has become a threat for us on offensive set pieces so far."
Making his first start of the season in goal for the Ospreys, Kyle Nasta was tested early in the first half and was able to get in front of a pair of Knight scoring chances in the sixth minute. Knight forward Handji Barry had both of his close-range chances turned away by the Osprey junior. Nasta went on to make three more saves in the first half and a total of six for the game.
"Nasta made some key saves for us in goal," added Marinatos. "A credit to Coach (Josh) Dunn for our defensive organization tonight, they (UCF) had a tough time breaking us down."
The Osprey defense was able to limit the Knights to just one shot on goal in the second half and was able to effectively protect the 1-0 lead late in the game. The shutout is the first of the season for the Ospreys and the first of Nasta's career. The victory gives the Ospreys their first win away from Hodges Stadium and ends a three-game losing streak.
UCF has been a tough opponent for the Ospreys since the UNF Division I era began in 2005. The Knights own a 7-3 all-time series advantage but North Florida has taken down the Knights twice in four meetings since Marinatos took over the program. After tonight's match the Ospreys improve to 3-3 on the season while the Knights drop to 1-4-1.
"The biggest thing for us was to get a shutout on the road," said Marinatos. "This gives us some much needed confidence going into conference play."
A schedule reminder, Sunday night's non-conference match against Wofford has been CANCELED. The game will not be rescheduled. The next time the Ospreys will be on the field will be on Sept. 27 when they open up Atlantic Sun Conference play at Stetson. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. in DeLand, Fla.