ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2013) – In a hard-fought American Athletic Conference Final, UCF outlasted the Rutgers women’s soccer team in penalty kicks to win the inaugural AAC Title.
The Knights converted eight PKs in nine rounds, while Connie Organ stopped RU’s final attempt to win the championship.
Redshirt senior Jess Janosz (Ringwood, N.J.) turned in the best game of her career Sunday afternoon, registering a career-high 10 saves. She was named the American Athletic Conference Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player, making 14 saves in two games in Orlando, Fla.
The Scarlet Knights will await the results of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship Selection Show, which will air online at NCAA.com beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11.
“I’m very proud of the team because it was so evident how hard they worked all weekend in every moment of the game,” said head coach Glenn Crooks. “Everyone contributed in such a positive way today. I really enjoyed the way we played for the majority of the first half, when we had better control and possession than we did on Friday night.
“UCF started to get their flow and they certainly took it to us at times but that’s the resiliency that it takes to be in a final and win a championship. Jess had a sensational weekend. Hopefully we‘re fortunate enough to get an NCAA at-large bid. To play at this level and to have an opportunity to win a championship or an NCAA game your keeper has to come up big and Jess did that today.”
Jennifer Martin converts, 1-0 UCF.
Sophomore Erica Skroski (Galloway, N.J.) converts, 1-1.
Ashley Nichol off the post, 1-1.
Sophomore Rachel Cole (Teaneck, N.J.) converts, 2-1 Rutgers.
Tatiana Coleman converts, 2-2.
Junior Amy Pietrangelo (Laval, Quebec, Canada) converts, 3-2 Rutgers.
Kristinia Trujic converts, 3-3.
Redshirt senior Tricia DiPaolo (Sparta, N.J.) converts, 4-3, Rutgers.
Allie Gerry converts, 4-4.
Sophomore Maggie Morash (Bernardsville, N.J.) saved, 4-4.
Alex Major converts, 5-4 UCF.
Freshman Jennifer Andresen (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) converts, 5-5.
Amanda Wilkin converts, 6-5 UCF.
Freshman Ali Ryan (Bowie, Md.) converts, 6-6.
Sophie Howard converts, 7-6 UCF.
Sophomore Erica Sousa (Franklin Square, N.Y.) converts, 7-7.
Taylor Townsend converts, 8-7 UCF.
Freshman Madiston Tiernan (Voorhees, N.J.) saved, UCF wins 8-7.
Janosz made countless saves down the stretch for RU, posting a pair of saves in the second OT to send it to penalty kicks. She recorded two crucial saves down the stretch of regulation, the bigger one coming in the 86th minute on a dangerous shot by Ashley Nichol. Nichol struck a low line drive at Janosz, who was able to punch the ball away to keep the match scoreless.
Her second key save was made on UCF’s best look to that point, punching away a one-time look by Jennifer Martin in the 76th minute.
The squads entered the half scoreless after a highly contested 45 minutes of play. Rutgers and UCF ended the period knotted with eight shots apiece, as UCF held a 2-1 advantage in shots on goal. Each squad had numerous opportunities, with Cole leading the way with four of RU’s shots. She led the Scarlet Knights with five on the afternoon.
Pietrangelo got the best look of the period for RU, receiving a ball in the box and flicking it off the crossbar with less than a minute to go in the period. Janosz recorded a pair of saves, while the RU backline made big plays on the Knights’ set pieces.
- Janosz posted a career-high 10 saves against UCF.
- Tiernan, Janosz and DiPaolo were selected to the American Athletic Conference Championship All-Tournament Team for their performances throughout the weekend.
- The inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships went without a goal, as USF, UCF, Memphis and Rutgers all failed to score in 330 combined minutes of soccer.
- RU fell to 0-3-3 this season when being outshot by an opponent.
- RU is now 6-1-3 in day games in 2013 after tying the Knights.
- Despite losing in PKs, the Scarlet Knights remain on a four-match unbeaten streak (2-0-2).
- The Scarlet Knights have not allowed a goal in the last 250:99 minutes of soccer.
- For the second-straight match, the RU backline of DiPaolo, Skroski, sophomore Brianne Reed (Tinton Falls, N.J.) and freshman Erin Smith (Medford Lakes, N.J.) logged all 110 minutes of game action.
- If the Scarlet Knights receive an NCAA at-large bid Monday, it would mark the program’s third in the last five seasons. RU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
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