UCF breaks out offensively on senior night
Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 11:10
UCF (12-4-1, 6-3-0) started off its senior weekend on the right foot, with a 7-0 win over the East Carolina Pirates (8-6-3, 4-2-3).
With it being the last weekend of regular season games to be played at home, the Knights made sure it was a weekend to remember.
“The seniors were huge tonight. The whole team rallied around them,” head coach Amanda Cromwell said. “Scoring four goals in the first 11 minutes of the game — we just sat there like, ‘Wow.’ I don’t know how another team could recover from that. We were just phenomenal in our finishing.”
Three of the seven winning goals were scored within a minute and 37 seconds of each other, which is the sixth-fastest time of three consecutive goals in NCAA history.
Senior Tishia Jewell started the landslide of goals in the sixth minute.
“It feels good to start the night off as well as we did, and it felt like we were on fire the first 15 minutes,” Jewell said.
Three minutes later at 9:05, defender Ashley Nicol and forward Jennifer Martin assisted senior Andrea Rodrigues in her first goal of the 2012 campaign.
“It felt good to not only come out with a win, but to come away with a huge win, especially against a team that usually gives us some trouble,” Rodrigues said. “Tonight I had my first goal of this season. I was glad to finally get that chip off my shoulder.”
At 10:08, Jewell and Nicol assisted Martin with a free kick inside the box, which brought the Knights to a 3-0 lead over the Pirates.
The Knights’ next goal came in at 10:42 courtesy of Sophie Howard with an assist from Martin.
The ball took a bounce from the post before hitting the net and giving UCF a 4-0 lead in just the 11th minute.
“Everyone was talking about let’s have senior night every night, because we were on fire,” Nicolette Radovcic said.
Jewell had a busy night as she scored two goals and assisted two others.
April Asby assisted Jewell in her second goal of the match in the 85th minute. The Satellite Beach native is three shots and three assists shy from tying the school’s record for a career high of shots and assists.
With seven seconds left on the clock, Jewell assisted Kayla Darden with the seventh and final goal of the night.
“ECU has only been scored on twice in the entire conference play, and we just scored seven goals on them. It feels pretty good,” Radovcic said.
The Knights’ defense limited the Pirates to three shots in the first half and shut them down to zero shots in the second half.
Before the Knights demolished the Pirates, they celebrated senior night with a ceremony before the game.
UCF honored the four seniors for their contributions to the program during the past four years.
The four seniors, Radovcic, Jewell, Rodrigues and Bianca Joswiak all were handed flowers and warmly greeted by teammates on the field with their loved ones.
Joswiak’s parents couldn’t make it out to Florida from Germany, but they wrote her a letter, which was read while two of her teammates walked with her to the middle of the field.
In honor of Joswiak’s last regular-season weekend at the UCF Sports and Track Complex, the German national anthem was played before the American anthem.
“It was nice to hear my own anthem, and I enjoyed that,” Joswiak said. “[Senior Night] was really special. My parents weren’t here, but they wrote a letter, so I was really happy.”
UCF still has a lot of soccer to play; it still has two regular-season games before heading into the postseason.
The Knights have outscored their Conference USA opponents 22-6, so far.
The team took on Marshall on Sunday for their second-to-last conference match and their last regular-season home game of the 2012 campaign. Results were unavailable at the time of press.