UCF shuts out No. 17 SMU, snapping its nine-game winning streak
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Behind a strong defensive effort and a goal from Steven Lamberta, Central Florida blanked No. 17 SMU 1-0 on Sunday. The win snapped the Mustangs' nine-match unbeaten streak and marked their first loss since Sept. 2.
Lamberta recorded the game-winning goal in the 68th minute when he got possession of a loose ball and fired into the back of the net. Michael Russo and McKauly Tulloch assisted on the score, which was Lamberta's second of the season.
SMU's best scoring opportunity came in the 79th minute when Brenden Lee dribbled past Evers and crossed the ball into the empty box, but Ben Hunt made a solid defensive play and knocked the ball away.
UCF (5-4-3) limited the Mustangs (8-3-2) to seven shots, with only two on goal, which were both stopped by Sebastian Evers. The shutout was the second in a row for the Knights and their fourth in their last five games. SMU entered the game first in the C-USA standings.
"It was a great game. The fans got to see a good soccer game [Sunday]. We were able to push the tempo a little bit in the second half," UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham said. "In the end, we were able to scratch and get the win."
The Knights were hosting a ranked team for the third time this season.
Both teams combined for only five shots in the first half. UCF had one good scoring opportunity in the opening period, but Romario Williams' header off a free kick went high. Williams nearly scored in the second half after receiving a feed from A.J. Nelson, but SMU's Jaime Ibarra made the save.
Ibarra finished with five saves as UCF recorded 11 total shots.