Junior goalkeeper Alexandra Kapicka had three saves against UCF.
Sept. 14, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. - The No. 18 Illinois soccer team (4-3) collected four shots on goal, but the Illini were unable to capitalize as they fell, 2-0, to the UCF Knights (5-1-1) on Sunday afternoon at the UCF Soccer Complex. The Orange and Blue out-shot the Knights, 16-10, and also owned a 5-4 corner advantage.
"We're giving up goals at inopportune times and missing the opportunities we create," head coach Janet Rayfield said. "A combination of those two things makes it challenging to succeed, especially on the road."
Illinois created a few of those opportunities within the first 20 minutes of the match on a trio of shots on goal from junior forward Chichi Nweke, junior defender Brittany Garrett and senior midfielder Marti Desjarlais, but UCF goalkeeper Aline Reis made the save each time to keep the match even.
UCF broke up the tie three minutes before halftime on a corner kick into the box. Senior Danielle Dos Santos took a pass and slipped a high shot over Illini goalkeeper Alexandra Kapicka to give the Knights a 1-0 lead at the break.
"We let the fact that we hadn't scored create a lull late in the first half," Rayfield said. "We just didn't focus at the end of the half."
The Illini nearly tied the game coming out of halftime, as sophomore forward Jordan Hilbrands outran a pair of UCF defenders, but her shot from the top of the box glanced off the right post.
The Knights added to their lead in the 59th minute when sophomore Amanda Martorana punched in a shot from six yards out. The Illini attack continued to press with the two-goal deficit, but UCF's defense held on for the 2-0 victory.
"We had several opportunities in the second half, but the longer you don't put one away the more confidence they gained," Rayfield said. "(UCF) had a quality chance and they finished it. We need to be more accurate in our finishing."
Illinois will look to snap the three-game skid at home in the upcoming weekend. The Illini host Colorado College on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. then wrap up the non-conference schedule on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium.