Cressy, Williams Propel No. 21 Jayhawks Past No. 18 UCF, 3-2
ORLANDO, Fla. – Freshman Emily Cressy’s goal with just over eight minutes left in the second half broke a late tie and powered the 21st-ranked Jayhawks to a thrilling 3-2 victory over No. 18 UCF Friday evening at the UCF Soccer Complex.
The win, KU’s first on the road against a ranked opponent since a 1-0 triumph at then-No. 13 Texas A&M in 2004, gives KU a 6-1 overall record, while UCF falls to 5-2-1.
For the second time this season, Cressy found the back of the net in the final ten minutes to lead the Jayhawks to a win.
In the 82nd minute, sophomore Katie Williams played a ball from the near sideline to the middle of the field, where Cressy took control, drove between defenders and lifted a shot over the keeper on the left side of the net. It was the Cressy’s team-leading fifth goal of the season.
The goal capped a wild contest between a pair of ranked teams. The two schools combined for 38 shots, including 14 on net.
UCF took an early lead when Yvonne George blasted a perfect ball into the upper right corner of the net from 30 yards out. It gave the Knights a 1-0 advantage 8:38 into the first half.
The Jayhawks answered in the 25th minute, when junior Shannon McCabe sent a perfect ball into the middle of the box, where sophomore Katie Williams knocked it past the UCF goalkeeper to tie the game. It was the defender’s second goal of the season.
Later in the half, Kelsey Clifton gave the Jayhawks a 2-1 lead when she finished a long cross from Jessica Bush in the 38th minute. Bush carried the ball across the midfield stripe, and fired a cross to the far side of the field, where Clifton picked it up, dribbled past her defender and fired a low shot into the near corner of the net. It was the freshman’s first goal of the season.
The Knights tied the score midway through the second half. After Kansas was called for a foul in the box, Becca Thomas was given a penalty kick in the 60th minute. Thomas hit a low shot to the far side of the net where goalkeeper Julie Hanley made the initial save, but couldn’t secure the rebound. Thomas followed her shot and tied the contest by tapping the ball past the keeper.
Hanley, however, had the upperhand for most of the match. The junior made a season-high seven saves to keep the game tight.
UCF outshot Kansas, 22-16 in the match, including 16-9 in the second half.
Williams, who had a goal and an assist in the match, recorded a season high three points, while Cressy tallied six shots to lead the Kansas offense.
The Jayhawks, 6-1 for the first time since 2004, will travel to No. 15 Florida for a Sunday afternoon match at noon CDT.