Nov. 5, 2008
No. 3 seed UCF claimed the final spot in the C-USA Championship Semifinals with a 2-1 victory against Rice in tonight's quarterfinal nightcap. The Knights join East Carolina, Colorado College and Memphis, their opponent for Friday's semifinals. The winners of those matches will advance to Sunday's championship final at 1 p.m. CT. That game will be televised live on CBS College Sports.
Quarterfinal #4 - (3) UCF 2, (6) Rice 1
UCF won its fifth straight match with a 2-1 victory against host Rice in tonight's C-USA Championship quarterfinal finale at the Rice Track/Soccer Stadium.
After three quarterfinal matches were played earlier in the day with a scoreless first half, UCF and Rice combined for three goals before the break. It took only 1:37 for UCF to get on the scoreboard, when senior Danielle dos Santos connected for her sixth of the year on an assist from junior Brianna Schooley.
UCF's very next shot in the ninth minute also counted as junior Becca Thomas ripped a 30-yarder off the right post and over the goal line for her fifth goal of the season.
The Owls would not give up and cut the lead in half on a Shelley Wong goal in the 34th minute. However, that was the last goal of the match and Rice fell to 10-9-0 on the season.
"We beat a very motivated Rice team tonight. They felt the pressure to win that game and were fired up to be on their home field in the postseason," UCF head coach Amanda Cromwell said. "We knew we had to come out and work hard for the full 90 minutes, and the ladies were scrappy and defended well to get that win. We now look forward to Friday's match versus Memphis and are hoping for a little payback after last year's title game."
UCF held Rice to just eight attempts, which were the second-lowest amount by an opponent this year (Tulsa had five Oct. 26). Freshman keeper and All-C-USA Second Team honoree Aline Reis needed to make just one save to secure the win.
UCF will play No. 2 seed Memphis - a rematch of last year's championship final - in Friday's semifinals, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Quarterfinal #3 - (2) Memphis 2, (7) UAB 0
Defending champion Memphis got another step closer to a repeat title with a 2-0 victory over UAB in today's third quarterfinal match of the C-USA Women's Soccer Championship, hosted at the Rice University Track/Soccer Stadium in Houston.
As has been the norm today, both teams played strong defense and neither was able to score until the 75th minute. Junior Laura Laufenberg took a direct kick at the goal off a pass from C-USA Co-Freshman of the Year Lizzy Simonin. UAB goalkeeper got her fingertips on the ball, but it continued over her head and into the goal for what would be the game winner.
In the 84th minute, Simonin picked up her own goal - her ninth of the season - off an assist from classmate Lizzy Hildebrandt.
UAB's Tiffini Turpin, the Co-Freshman of the Year with Simonin, took a team-best three shots as the Blazers close their season with a 7-11-2 record.
Memphis freshman goalkeeper Elise Kuhar-Pittars was credited with six saves in the match.
"I'm very pleased with the way we played all over the field," Memphis head coach Brooks Monaghan said. "Everybody stepped up and did a great job. That's what it takes to win championships. I thought it was a phenomenal overall performance by our team. We had great individual performances by Kelsey Bakker who was spectacular tonight. Elise (Kuhar-Pitters) came up big time for us with a couple of saves in the first half she kept the game even."
Memphis, who improved to 13-4-2, will play the winner of tonight's UCF/Rice match.
Quarterfinal #2 - (5) Colorado College 1, (4) UTEP 0
No. 5 seed Colorado College became the second team to advance to the semifinals of the 2008 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship with a 1-0 shutout of fourth-seeded UTEP.
Similar to the first match, it was a defensive battle for most of the game. The Tigers got on the scoreboard when sophomore Ericka Baer took a long pass from defender Alexa Bannerman in the 80th minute and headed in the game-winner.
The two teams, who tied for fourth place in the regular season standings, had also met in the championship quarterfinals the last two seasons. Colorado College won in 2006 and UTEP took the victory in 2007 and both matches were decided in double overtime. Today's contest looked as though it could have gone that way again as CC held just a light 12-11 advantage in shots and both teams had five shots on goal.
"I'm very happy with the result today," Colorado College head coach Geoff Bennett said. "Every game we play with UTEP is always a great game and both teams really fight. It is nice to be on the positive end and now we look forward to playing a very organized and talented East Carolina team."
Senior goalkeeper Geneva Sills and freshman keeper Caitlin Hulyo each took a half in the net for the Tigers to share CC's ninth shutout of the season. Sills was credited with three saves and Hulyo made two stops.
The Tigers improve to 13-6-2 and will play top-seeded East Carolina on Friday, Nov. 7, at 5 p.m. Central. The Miners fall to 13-7-1.
Quarterfinal #1 - (1) East Carolina 1, (8) SMU 0
East Carolina's Bailey Wilcox scored the lone goal in the Pirates' 1-0 victory against SMU in the first quarterfinal match of the 2008 C-USA Women's Soccer Championship, hosted by Rice University at the Rice Track/Soccer Stadium.
After battling through a scoreless 73 minutes, top-seeded East Carolina got on the board when junior Alexis Foltz played a corner into Wilcox. The sophomore forward headed it into the goal from close range for her second score of the season.
ECU senior goalkeeper Amber Campbell, the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, made eight saves to register her ninth shutout of the season.
SMU outshot the Pirates, 19-10, on the sunny afternoon in Houston. Freshman goalie Courtney Webb made one save for the game as the Mustangs finished their season at 6-13-1.
East Carolina will play the winner of UTEP/Colorado College in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 7, at 5 p.m. CT.
Tonight's session begins at approximately 5:30 p.m. as defending champion and No. 2 seed Memphis will play No. 7 seed UAB. The Blazers were the 2006 champions, also as the No. 7 seed. The nightcap features host and No. 6 seed Rice against No. 3 UCF. That match is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.
Complete coverage is available here on www.ConferenceUSA.com, including live video streaming, live GameTracker stats and game recaps.