The UCF women's soccer team played a nearly flawless game Sunday against SMU in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
The team secured a spot in the Semifinals with a 4-0 victory at home. The Knights put the Mustangs behind early scoring three times in the first 10 minutes of the game. Junior Ashley Spivey had 2 of those goals and senior Kayla Darden brilliantly headed in another on a set piece ball from Karoline Heinze.
"I think it is a great way to start. I think we can go far this year, we have a great team, we have great team chemistry I think everyone really wants it," Ashley Spivey said after the game, "We have a great senior class and I think all of the younger kids want to do it for them because they deserve it."
UCF added a fourth goal with just about two minutes left in the first half when sophomore Carlin Huegli came off of the bench and took a shot that was just past the keeper and went in the far post.
"We had a great team effort today, we really played almost every player off of the bench and so having that depth and having that trust in your players to help come off the bench and make a difference is great," UCF head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said about her team's performance on Sunday.
SMU was coming off of a victory against Temple on Friday but was not sharp in the opening half. The Mustangs struggled to maintain possession and only managed to get 2 shots on goal the entire game.
This season the Knights have been dominant, having only lost one conference game heading into the AAC tournament. That one loss came in a visit to UConn in which the Huskies came away with a 1-0 victory. The Knights next opponent is that same Huskies team.
"I think that we lost focus on what we were going to do, we were so focused on how to stop them. This upcoming game against UConn we are going to focus on us and only us and just do what we know we can do and show them they should not have won the first game," senior Kayla Darden said of the semifinal matchup.
UConn beat Tulsa to advance to face UCF Friday, Nov. 7 at USF's Corbett Soccer Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The weather conditions will be much different than in previous matchup.
"I think it will be exciting to get them in Florida on our turf, not in the freezing cold weather," said Spivey, "We are just going to be really fired up to play them."
With all of the experience under the team's belt, they hope to make a run past the AAC tournament and further into the postseason.
"I'm excited to keep the train rolling," said Darden, "We're not going to stop, we're looking for a championship in the NCAA."