UCF women’s soccer runs ‘Wilde’

By Neil Tredray
Valencia Voice

The University of Central Florida women’s soccer team moved to 4-1-1 Friday night with a 2-1 victory over the Illinois State Redbirds (3-4-0), extending their undefeated streak to five games.

“We were kind of up and down tonight as far as our rhythm and attack are concerned,” said head coach Amanda Cromwell. “They made it hard for us to find our forwards at times so we needed to use the width of the field more, and in the second half I think we did a better job of that.”

Senior midfielder Hanna Wilde assisted on UCF’s first goal in the 28th minute. Junior Becca Thomas played a cross to Wilde, who crossed to freshman Katie Jackson. Jackson then passed the ball to junior Courtney Whidden who quickly tapped the ball in the goal.

“She just creates opportunities for herself,” said Cromwell of Wilde.

Wilde created the biggest opportunity for herself and the team in the second half by scoring the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute.

Just five minutes after Illinois State scored, junior Nikki Moore, on the near sideline, crossed the ball to Wilde who took a shot. Initially gathered up by Redbirds keeper Katie Grill-Donovan, the ball came loose and just barely crossed the goal line.

“I thought we created some decent chances,” said associate head coach Colby Hale. “Individually we did all right. We’re getting results. It’s not pretty, it’s not in the dominating fashion we’d like, but we’re getting in the box now which is a step forward. We’re definitely taking steps in the right direction, it’s just fine-tuning things. [No. 17] Illinois and [No. 18] Kansas will be big tests for us.”

Illinois and Kansas will be the Knights’ third and fourth games against ranked opponents.