You might think the UCF men's soccer team is focused on becoming an offense-driven squad, scoring a combined 10 goals in its last two exhibition games — but it's not.
After scoring a total of 20 goals in 2013, the Knights will look to navigate into a more defensive role as they open their season at Portland on Friday.
"We are looking to improve defensively," UCF goalkeeper Sebastian Evers said. "We've been focused on a defensive shape, making sure there are no gaps inside for other teams to penetrates us through. We can't make it easy for them."
Evers, who started for both the Knights' exhibition matches, recorded two shutouts. Meanwhile, forward Romario Williams has been the engine for UCF's attack. With five goals in two games, which includes a hat trick in the first exhibition game versus Jacksonville, that may show that UCF is looking content with its offensive approach.
"The most important thing is we're coming together as a unit," Williams said. "At this point, compared to last year, we have a more cohesive unit. This year is much better because of the newcomers — everything is good."
The Knights' defensive approach to the new season can be also credited to depth, as eight defenders fill the 2014 roster. Meanwhile, a total of nine players fill the offensive void, listed between playing midfield and forward.
UCF will kick off its season on the road, with Portland being the first destination on Friday and Oregon State on Sunday. Both road games will be pivotal for the Knights after only winning two games out of six on the road last season.
The Knights don't return until Sept. 5. They host Florida Atlantic University at 5 p.m. that day.