After allowing just five goals in its first nine games of the season, three of which came in one game against No. 7 Texas A&M, the UCF women's soccer team's defense is garnering a lot of attention.
But if you want to win, someone's got to put the ball in the net. So far this year for UCF (7-2), that someone has been senior forward Tatiana Coleman.
UCF defeated its first ranked opponent since 2012 on Friday night when it beat No. 23 Long Beach State. The game was a 1-0 shutout, and the lone goal was scored by, you guessed it, Coleman.
"I just remember busting my [butt] for a run toward the goal and Ashley Spivey gave me a perfect ball ... I took a good touch and beat the defender, [then I] took a good touch and looked at the back of the net where I wanted to put it, and just put it away," Coleman said.
On Sunday, in the 4-0 defeat of Ole Miss, Coleman had an assist.
On the year, Coleman has six goals, which is double what anyone else on the team has. She also has four assists, which is tied for the team lead.
Just nine games into the season, with conference play not even having started yet, Coleman's solid performances are already starting to get noticed. She has been named Conference Player of the Week in the American Athletic Conference three times already, and is the only player to do that so far this season.
UCF's non-conference schedule is now complete, so the Knights will begin playing opponents who are more familiar. Coleman thinks that could lead to more defenses putting pressure on her, but she thinks she'll be able to handle it.
"I take that as more of a challenge," Coleman said. "That gives me a boost of confidence because they're watching out for me and I know that I'm definitely dangerous on the field. It's more of a respect thing for me, but I like that; I like the way they play me."
Coleman was named to the All-AAC First Team before the season began after being named to the team after last regular season. She also won the American Championships Most Outstanding Offensive Player award and led the team with 10 goals last season.
Last season was Coleman's first at UCF, and she brought with her a résumé that was quite impressive. Coleman originally attended Auburn, where she was named to the 2012 All-SEC First Team as a sophomore, and the All-Freshman Team the year before.
However, as impressive as her awards may be, none of it will help Coleman or UCF once kickoff starts in conference play, which happens when they travel to Memphis Thursday night.