For UCF Women’s Soccer Coach Amanda Cromwell and her Knights the 2011 postseason has been one of firsts. UCF got to host a NCAA Tournament game last week for the first time in 25 years. Friday night UCF advance for first time past 2nd round as they knock off in state rival Florida in Gainesville. Sunday UCF took down the giant of women’s college soccer for the first time in program history as the Knights (13-4-6) knock perennial power North Carolina on sudden death penalty kicks to advance to the elite 8.
UCF and North Carolina has played six times in NCAA Tournament which included a meeting in first ever national championship game back in 1982 with North Carolina coming out on top. The Tar Heels have won 20 championships in women soccer and no one knew Tar Heel program as well as Cromwell who was an all-american player at Virginia from 1988-1991 could never get past North Carolina but that would change on sunday.
After a scoreless first half, UCF took the lead in the 71-minute mark. The Knights struck on an 18-yard shot by sophomore Kristina Trujic to the top right corner of the goal past UNC’s Anna Sieloff. UNC would answer back 14 minutes later as Dunn kicked a Courtney Jones feed inside the box past the outstretched arms of UCF Senior goalie Aline Reis to tie up the match.
After two scoreless overtime sessions with the match tied at 1-1, UCF and North Carolina season would be decided by penalty kicks. After five rounds of penalty kicks, it was still tied 4-4. Bianca Joswiak scored in 6th round which was sudden death. Reis denied North Carolina’s Ranee Premji shot to give the Knights the 5-4 win on penalty kicks and give UCF their first berth in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament since 1987. It was also the first time UCF has advanced past the Tar Heels in postseason play.
UCF now travels this week to Winston-Salem to take on national number one seed and defending ACC Regular season champion Wake Forest. The Knights hosted Wake Forest back in 2nd regular season game on August 21st won by Wake Forest 1-0. Here postgame below with UCF Goalie Aline Reis and UCF Soccer coach Amanda Cromwell right after the team got back from Gainesville.