Florida hosts UCF in NCAA second round

No. 2 regional seed Florida (18-4-1, 11-2 SEC) and UCF (17-4-2, 8-3 C-USA) meet Friday for the second consecutive season in NCAA Soccer Second Round play. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at the James G. Pressly Stadium. Notre Dame and Wake Forest meet at 4:30 p.m. in Friday’s first match at Pressly Stadium.

UF is one of eight programs playing host to 2012 NCAA Second and Third Round action this weekend. The winners from Friday’s second round matches meet Sunday at 1 p.m. in the NCAA Third Round. The winner of Sunday’s match advances to NCAA Quarterfinal play, which will be held Nov. 23, 24 or 25 on four campus sites. The Women’s College Cup is set for Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 in San Diego, Calif., at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium.

This is the third time in the last six seasons these two teams meet in NCAA Second Round action, with UF advancing in 2007 and 2008. UCF defeated Florida 3-2 in 2011. All-time, UF owns a 3-2-1 advantage over UCF in NCAA action and all six previous meetings were at Pressly Stadium.

Florida moved to 2012 NCAA Second Round play after a 2-0 home win over Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 9. Senior All-American Erika Tymrak played a role in both goals. She used the back-heel pass from junior Adriana Leon to score on a 12-yard shot in the 21st minute. Sophomore Annie Speese used the end line cross from Tymrak to score her sixth goal of the season in the 76th minute to give Florida the final margin.

SEC Players of the Year honors went to Tymrak and fellow senior Holly King, the league office announced Oct. 29. Tymrak is the first Gator to be named SEC Offensive Player of the Year since the league began naming an Offensive and Defensive honoree in 2005. King is the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and is the third Gator to earn the honor since 2009. Joining the pair on the All-SEC first team is senior Jo Dragotta. Center back Christen Westphal is part of both the All-SEC second and Freshman teams. All four also represented UF on the SEC All-Tournament team, with Tymrak picking up her second SEC Tournament MVP honor after three goals and three assists during the course of the event.

Tymrak leads the Gators’ in goals (9), assists (11) and points (29). Her 11 assists shares the nation’s 10th highest total in Division I. Dragotta and sophomore Havana Solaun each have seven goals to share second. Solaun’s 22 points is second on the team. Tymrak’s 103 points place her sixth on Florida’s career chart with fellow senior McKenzie Barney in eighth at 72.

A 5-3 penalty kick advantage sends UCF to the NCAA Second Round after tying Miami (Fla.) 1-all in double overtime Saturday in Orlando. UCF entered the Miami match with a seven-match shutout streak and shares the C-USA season record with 15 clean sheets in 2012. The Knights posted 2-0 wins in each of their three Conference USA Tournament matches to claim their first C-USA Tournament title. Senior Nicolette Radovcic leads UCF with 12 goals and 27 points and was the C-USA Tournament Offensive MVP. Senior Tishia Jewell’s 10 assists this season ranks No. 14 in 2012 NCAA Division I play. Junior Lianne Maldonado has started every match in goal and owns the nation’s 11th-lowest goals-against-average of 0.541. Junior Marissa Diggs picked up both the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and tournament defensive MVP honors.

The UCF Knights ended the Gators’ 2011 season by a 3-2 score in NCAA Second Round action. The Knights scored early in the fifth minute and senior Tahnai Annis tied the match in the 24th minute. UCF goals in the 33rd and 71st minutes gave the Knights a two-goal advantage the Gators couldn’t close. Speese’s 20-yard free kick in the 85th minute was the final score of the match.

Courtesy of UF Communications