A two-goal second half propelled by forward Carol Rodrigues gave the Knights (4-1-1) a 2-1 win over Oklahoma State (2-3) on Sunday afternoon.
It was UCF’s second win over a Power-5 conference member this season, with the first coming by a 4-3 victory at Miami in double overtime.
Rodrigues tallied the Knights’ first goal of the game, her third in two matches, and assisted on Ashely Spivey’s game winner.
“[Rodrigues] is the epitome of what UCF-culture is, and she’s only been here for a few months,” head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. “She’s a competitor, and she inspires her team.
“I thought her pass to Spivey was so unselfish.”
After Oklahoma State struck first in the 25th minute on a 35-yard shot, the Brazilian native found the back of the net. She created open space and put the ball off the outside of her right foot into the bottom right corner.
Spivey found the back of the net less than five minutes later. Rodrigues played the ball to Spivey, who put a right-footed shot to the bottom left corner from the top of the goal box, for her team-leading fourth of the season.
“She was in a better position than I was, so I could pass the ball, and she scored,” said Rodrigues, a junior transfer from Monroe College.
The Cowgirls put consistent pressure on the Knights, including seven corner kicks, but freshman goalkeeper Vera Varis was able to keep the ball out during the second half.
“We shouldn’t give that much corners. That’s not acceptable,” Varis said. “We handled it well. They didn’t get that good [of] chances from them, so I’m happy with that.”
Varis was tested on a shot from forward Anna Beffer in the 58th minute. She shot from the top of the box, the ball banked the bottom of the crossbar and bounced back into play, but Varis was able to pick it up before it crossed the goal line.
The Knights will hit the road to take on No. 5 Florida State Thursday at 7 p.m. The Knights were knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the third round by the Seminoles, 1-0, last season.
Jarrod Heil is the Sports Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @JarrodHeil or email him at JarrodH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.