UCF rolls past FIU in first round
Published: Saturday, November 12, 2011
Updated: Sunday, November 13, 2011 17:11
Junior Tishia Jewell helped boost the Knights (12-4-5) past FIU (13-7-3) with both a goal and an assist in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Knights statistically dominated the visiting FIU squad, outshooting the Panthers 20-8.
All Conference USA first-team selection Jewell and second-team selection senior Aline Reis led the charge for the Knights; Jewell led the team with the shots on goal while Reis finished the match without allowing a goal.
"I think we played very well. It was one of the most complete games of the season. I think we pretty much dominated the 90 minutes with shots and corners," said coach Amanda Cromwell, who has led the team to the NCAA tournament for five straight years. "I think it was a very complete game, and we have that feeling that we're peaking at the right time."
Also scoring for the Knights was freshman Emily Grider, who capitalized on a rebound. After FIU's goalkeeper deflected Jewell's breakaway shot, Grider was able to finish for the second goal of the match.
"I was so excited Grider was there to finish that off; I was so proud of my teammates," Jewell said.
Reis made two point-blank saves in the second half, one in the 76th minute and the other in the 85th minute as FIU was making a final surge to shorten the gap.
"I can't tell [you] how I happy I was to have another game at home because the last one was not how I imagined, and it felt great to finish it with a win," Reis said.
Cromwell said that it was the Knights' first home tournament game since 1988 when Virginia, a team Cromwell was a member of, played UCF.
Cromwell noted that the team's experience in the NCAA tournament played to its advantage.
"It's definitely a sense of we've been here before; it's comfortable," Cromwell said. "That being said, anyone can win on any given night. In tournament time, anyone can win."
UCF will play No. 20 Florida in a second-round matchup that will take place on Nov. 18. UF downed FGCU 3-0 in a first-round matchup.