In possibly the youngest college soccer matchup in the country Saturday, the UCF men’s soccer team trailed behind Tulsa going into halftime and couldn’t find the back of the net in the second half as it fell 1-0.
The Knights (4-6-1, 1-2-1 in AAC) failed to score the first goal for the fifth game and trailed at halftime for just the third game this season. Their loss to the Golden Hurricane (5-5-2, 1-2-1 in AAC) was a matchup that combined for 41 of 50 players holding underclassmen statuses.
"I thought we had a lot of energy coming into the game, and then we kind of got put on the back foot. They possessed the ball and they're good at getting numbers forward," head coach Bryan Cunningham said. "That's what kind of caused the first goal."
Tulsa got on the board in the 12th minute with Lesley Nchanji’s first goal of the season. Midfielder Ray Saari played the ball into the UCF goal box and Nchanji slid it into the back left corner of the net past UCF goalkeeper Zach Biggs.
"We were in that situation [trailing 1-0] a couple nights ago, so that didn't bother me so much that we gave up the early goal. It's just that we didn't react the same way as we did the other night," Cunningham said.
UCF had a few chances, most notably a 10-yard opportunity by senior Hadji Barry in the 35th minute that was struck directly at the Tulsa keeper.
The Knights are now 1-9-1 all-time against the Golden Hurricane. Their only win came by a 2-1 score in 2011.
UCF’s three-game home stand concludes with a non-conference matchup against Stetson Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Jarrod Heil is the Sports Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @JarrodHeil or email him at JarrodH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.