Sept. 10, 2009

Courtesy of UCF Athletics

ORLANDO, Fla. – A school-record 1,142 fans were treated to one of the most entertaining women’s soccer games in UCF history, as the Knights shocked No. 4 Florida State, 1-0, in double overtime Thursday at the UCF Soccer Complex. Senior Courtney Whidden (Palm Harbor, Fla.) headed in the game-winner with 5:01 left in the second and final overtime period vs. FSU (5-1-0) to enable the Black and Gold to improve to 4-1-1 on the season.

Taking a free kick outside of the box and to the left of the net in the 105th minute, UCF played it just like a corner kick. Senior Becca Thomas located Whidden and sent a perfect ball into the box, where Whidden fought off a defender and headed it far post, causing a massive celebration.

“I knew we could do it. This team has worked so hard and finally we are getting recognition,” said Whidden. “We are showing everybody that we need to be ranked. We got what we deserved tonight.”

Fans hoping to watch highlights of the Knights’ upset victory can do so by tuning into UCF SportsKnight Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on UCF-TV. The show also will re-air on Bright House Sports Network, just check your local listens for airtimes.

The win marked the second for UCF over a top-10 program this season as it defeated then-No. 10 Duke Aug. 30, while it also was the first road loss for FSU since 2007. And the Knights did it in front of a crowd that topped the all-time attendance mark of 1,134 set in the 1982 NCAA Finals vs. North Carolina.

“What an incredible night. A record crowd. An awesome game. Exciting chances. They were the No. 4 team in the country and we beat them in overtime so we are very excited and looking forward to Sunday and USF,” said head coach Amanda Cromwell. “Our back line was tremendous tonight, and Aline Reis came up with the big saves when she had to. It’s a huge win for the program.”

Reis was a wall for the Knights in goal against the Seminoles. The sophomore keeper, who returned after missing the previous two games with an injury, stopped all nine shots on net for her eighth-career shutout. Reis, along with senior netminder Lynzee Lee, has now helped UCF to three-straight shutouts. The last time the Black and Gold allowed a goal was in the 3-2 win over Duke.

The UCF offense came out on a mission and held an early 4-1 lead in shots. Senior Emily Maynard put a sharp-angle shot from the left side that FSU keeper Erin McNulty tipped away, and junior Christina Petrucco headed a perfect corner kick 12 minutes into the half that McNulty was able to smother, keeping the Knights off the board.

Eventually both teams had six shots with each keeper tallying three saves midway through the half. Senior Yvonne George provided UCF with its final great chance of the stanza when the Knights drove past the Seminole defense with 13 minutes to go. She received a pass on the far left side of the net but witnessed her shot sail just wide.

Holding an 8-6 advantage in shots, UCF opened the second half on its heels a bit but found their legs 10 minutes in when Thomas ripped a shot from just inside the top of the box on goal only to see McNulty again get in the way.

After each team kept holding each other at bay, UCF had another golden opportunity with 11 minutes remaining. Senior Nikki Moore stepped in to steal an FSU pass, found Thomas who sent in a deep ball to junior Amanda Martorana. She stopped it from going over the end line and quickly ripped it into the box where sophomore Katie Jackson rifled a shot that barely went wide of the left post.

FSU then had a pair of shots on goal just moments later but was stoned by Reis as she was in excellent position on each attempt.

When overtime started up, the action continued to be back-and-forth and although the scoring chances were piling up, it was not until the 105th minute before Whidden finally sent the fans home happy.

UCF will now get set to host USF Sunday at 1 p.m. in the final non-conference home contest of the season. The first 125 fans attending the USF game will receive a free ticket to the Knights’ volleyball match Tuesday at 7 p.m. At that volleyball game, the first 1,000 students will be given a free ticket to the UCF-Miami football game Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com – the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF’s new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Postgame Notes

No. 4 Florida State (5-1-0) - 0
UCF (4-1-1) - 1

Goals: UCF Courtney Whidden (4) 105th

-UCF has now defeated two top-10 teams (No. 4 Florida State and No. 10 Duke), while its only loss was to No. 1 North Carolina. The lone tie came against LSU, which was ranked in the preseason.

-Florida State only held an 18-17 lead in shots, even though it entered the game outshooting the competition 118-25.

-The Knights led in the corner kick department, 10-7.

-Emily Maynard paced all players in the game with four shots, three of which were on target.

-Along with keeper Aline Reis, Lauren Halbert, Nikki Moore, Stacie Hubbard, Christina Petrucco and Bianca Joswiak played all 105 minutes.

-It was the first time since 1998 that UCF defeated Florida State in Orlando, which also was a 1-0 shutout.