It was tough to think that Knights junior forward Carol Rodrigues could follow up her two-goal game on Thursday night against Memphis with a better performance Sunday afternoon.
But she did just that.
The Knights (8-5-1, 3-3-0 in AAC) came away with a 3-1 victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (11-3-1, 2-2-1 in AAC) behind two outstanding goals by Rodrigues.
The second goal, and eventual game winner, came a little more than three minutes after Tulsa tied it 1-1 in the 47th minute. On a set piece ball from sophomore Bridget Callahan, Rodrigues was able to control the pass, pop the ball in the air and put a flawless bicycle kick on the ball, which went just past the diving Tulsa goalkeeper.
“I tried to hold my mark off, and then as soon as I got the ball up the only option I had was a bicycle,” Rodrigues said. “So I tried, and I was really happy that I got the goal.”
With four goals in a two-game stretch, Rodrigues is now the leading goal scorer for the Knights with nine. With just three American Athletic Conference games remaining, she has also helped them regain their footing in the conference.
“This weekend was crucial. It was going to make us or break us and that’s why we chose to be mentally tough and get back on track,” head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. “I am so glad that they got the result because they deserved it and they worked hard for it.”
With momentum in the Knights favor, they were able to seal the deal in the second half with an insurance goal. In the 56th minute, a Golden Hurricane player was called for a hand ball in their own box and senior Ashley Spivey drilled the penalty kick past the keeper to make it 3-1.
The Knights will be in action when they travel to play SMU Thursday at 8 p.m.
Matthew Saunders is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.