#26 UCF Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

UCF Knights

2012 Overall Rank: #26
Conference Rank: #2 Conference USA
UCF Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
UCF Team Page


The UCF Knights women’s soccer team had one of their greatest seasons in school history with a run to the NCAA Quarterfinals where they lost to Wake Forest. Along the way the Knights knocked off the likes of powerhouses North Carolina in penalty kicks and in-state rival Florida in Gainesville to really cement their place on the women’s soccer landscape in 2011. In 2012, they head into their final season of play in Conference USA as a team on a mission to go out in style with a league title before leaving for the Big East.

2011 Record: 13-5-6, 6-2-3
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Amanda Cromwell

The experience of competing and winning in the postseason can’t be underestimated as nine starters return and four of the top five scorers are back for Head Coach Amanda Cromwell. The attack returns leading goal scorer senior F Nicolette Radovic, who tallied eight goals in 2011. Tishia Jewell is the leading shot taker and playmaker returning for UCF as she had 91 shots and 10 assists last season. The defense was very consistent as well for the Knights as they only allowed five multi-goal games and had ten clean sheets during the 2011 season. Junior defender Marissa Diggs will return to help anchor the backline and will help ease the transition involved in breaking in a new goalkeeper.

It is going to start with replacing the graduated Aline Reis in goal. Reis was the stalwart of a good defensive team last season as she came up huge in the postseason and started 24 games in goal for the Knights. Lianne Maldonado, a junior who played 16 minutes in one game at Southern Miss, will be relied upon heavily to anchor the defense for the UCF.  They will also need to be able to get their goals scored total up into the 40s and maybe 50 as it may take some time in the non-conference schedule for Maldonado to get rolling in goal.

Final Projection:
This team offensively will be able to elevate themselves to an even more explosive level if senior forward Tishia Jewell can find a way to be a double-double threat offensively by scoring at least ten goals and matching or surpassing her assist total of ten from 2011. Also, if sophomore Madison Barney, who made 21 starts last season in the midfield, can grow offensively, it will be huge as teams will be keying on Jewell and Radovic. The last season of Conference USA also makes for an interesting storyline as well, as the Knights will probably get the best shot from every conference opponent. The schedule is challenging out-of conference with Florida State coming to Orlando and a tilt against Florida Gulf Coast. Playing on the road against Boston College right before the conference should be beneficial and Memphis on the road looms large on September 21st. Overall, there is plenty of talent back from last year’s run to the quarterfinals and the chance to be a threat again for a deep run come tournament time is very real if the Knights stay healthy and get the leadership they need out of Jewell and Radovic.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Nicolette Radovcic, Senior, F, 8
Assists: Tishia Jewell, Senior, F, 10
Shots: Tishia Jewell, Senior, F, 91
Saves: None