Whidden Scores Twice in UCF's First-Round Win Over
Knights advance to the Second Round and will face either Arizona State or
Final Stats |
Box Score in PDF Format
MADISON, Wis. (UCFAthletics.com)
Courtney Whidden (Palm Harbor, Fla.) tallied two goals and earned an
assist to lift the No. 3 seed UCF women's soccer team past UW-Milwaukee,
3-0, in the NCAA Tournament First Round in Madison, Wis. The Knights
(17-4-1) will now make an appearance in the Second Round for the
third-straight season and the fourth time since 2004 when they play either
Arizona State or host Wisconsin Sunday afternoon.
"Getting used to the field in the first half was hard," said head coach
Amanda Cromwell. "But the first-half goal was a typical
Courtney Whidden goal, she just cleaned up the mess. But I thought we
had to make adjustments on defense, and adjusted our formation a little bit
to try to get more possession in the second half. And even against a strong
wind in the second half we had some good possessions.
"The second goal was just a big-time goal with Courtney finishing it from
Becca Thomas and
Yvonne George. And
Alex Brandt showed great composure by a rookie on the third goal. But
Whidden is just a goal scorer. That's what she's been doing in her whole
Whidden set a career-high with her five-point affair against the Panthers
(12-6-3). Already ranked in the top six on UCF's career goals chart with 33,
she moved into a tie for eighth all-time with 77 points.
While Whidden was busy lighting up the scoreboard, sophomore keeper
Aline Reis was dominant once again. The Brazilian amassed seven saves to
post UCF's first shutout victory in the NCAA Tournament since 1999 (1-0 over
Furman). She was faced off against UWM's Sarah Hagen, the nation's leading
goal scorer, and Hagen placed four shots on goal, all saved by Reis. It was
Reis' seventh shutout in 2009 and her 13th in two campaigns in a Black and
Although Milwaukee took the first three shots of the match, UCF's first
attempt hit the mesh as the Knights grabbed an early 1-0 lead. Taking a
corner kick in the 18th minute,
Becca Thomas sent it to the far post and a Panther defender tried to
clear it. However it went straight to Whidden who capitalized from short
After UCF was outshot 6-1, scoring chances were slim for the first 15
minutes of the second half until Thomas sent a shot off the cross bar from
22 yards out with 29 minutes remaining. That seemed to spark the offense,
though, and Thomas came right back to find
Yvonne George on the left flank. The senior delivered a perfect ball to
Whidden who was waiting right in front. The forward settled it down and
easily found the back of the net in the 64th minute.
The Panthers were still putting pressure on the UCF backs after the goal,
and Reis kept it 2-0 by stopping Sarah Hagen from point-blank range with a
huge save in the 65th minute. Meanwhile, senior
Emily Maynard negated a UWM opportunity as well by heading a ball off
the goal line to clear it on a Panther corner kick.
With Reis making clutch stops and the defense stepping up, the Knights'
offense returned in the 77th minute to stretch the lead to 3-0. Gaining
possession in the middle of the pitch, Whidden passed it over to
Alex Brandt on the left side. The freshman dribbled around a defender,
was all alone with the keeper in the box and ripped her second goal of the
year past a diving Jamie Forbes.
UCF will now be attempting to get past the Second Round for the first
time since 1987 when it meets the Sun Devils or the Badgers Sunday at 2 p.m.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the
official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket
and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new
online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for
UCF action sports pictures, and become a follow of the Knights at
UW-Milwaukee (12-6-3) - 0
UCF (17-4-1) - 3
Courtney Whidden (10) 18th, UCF
Courtney Whidden (11) 64th, UCF
Alex Brandt (2) 77th
-UCF is making its 14th NCAA Tournament appearance.
-The Knights won their 17th game of the year, tying for the second-most
victories in a single-season in UCF history. The record is 18 set in 2002.
-Becca Thomas grabbed an assist on
Courtney Whidden's second goal. It was Thomas' eighth helper of the
year, while it moved her into a tie for fourth on UCF's all-time list with
-UCF has now scored three goals in the NCAA Tournament First Round in each
of its last four appearances (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009).
-The three goals also tie a school mark for the most goals in an NCAA