You may have thought you knew about every successful sports team at UCF, but have you heard much about this one?
A squad that competes in the top level of collegiate hockey in the nation has captured three regional titles in the past six years and made 15 straight National Championships appearances.
Those are a few accomplishments of the Division I UCF roller-hockey team, yet there is not much buzz to be heard around campus about it.
"We need to do a better job of getting the word out there that we even exist," head coach Kevin Scarpati said.
Founded as a club sport 15 years ago, the future success of the team was unforeseen. The Knights now compete in Division I of the American Collegiate Roller Hockey League. Over the past few years, the team has traveled across the United States, competing against some elite college roller-hockey teams.
Being that the Knights' roller-hockey team isn't one of the official university-sponsored sports teams, it does its own work to raise money for team operations.
"We're fundraising a lot [at] Publix raising money," said team president and captain Tyler Gilbert. "We can go out there for two days, six hours a day and try to get at least $1,000 each time."
The team receives a fair amount in fundraising, which cuts costs, but the players still have to contribute, too. Still, some of the money will come out of the players' pockets regardless.
"We require dues, $300 per season. Everybody splits the hotel [fees] together and gas, and it ends up being really cheap for everybody to play," Gilbert said.
The Division I team returns eight players from the 2013-14 season out of the 11 players total, including alternate captain Danny Taule.
"It's always good to have the same chemistry going, and the few new guys that we did pick up, they seem pretty eager, willing to listen, willing to work hard," Taule said.
The Knights also field a B team that has competed in Division III in the past. They're breaking ground in club history this season as two women step onto the rink to play — a first for the team.
"You can't really consider yourself a lady," B-team goaltender Ashley Roseman said. "When you say 'One of the guys,' you kind of have to be one of the guys, otherwise you won't be taken seriously."
But whether they are new to the team or veterans, almost all of the players hope to eventually get more student support.
"You wish UCF roller hockey could get more recognized," sophomore goaltender Andres Perez said. "If people just realized how entertaining hockey is, I think they could get into it."