Gators, Knights will play benefit soccer match


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For the first time on the Space Coast, the University of Florida and University of Central Florida’s men’s soccer teams will square off in a regular-season match. Hosted by the Space Coast Gator Club, the match will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 9, under the lights on the football field at Viera High School. The event is a fundraiser for both teams, as both universities cover only a small portion of their operating budgets.

“Anytime you play an in-state rival, it’s a huge game,” Space Coast Gator Club president David Melnyk said. “This will be a ‘Battle for Brevard.’ We would like to thank both teams for making a special effort to come here to play, and also the UCF Alumni Space Coast Chapter.” 

UCF won the Fall Tournament Championship and was ranked No. 3 in the Southeast region of NIRSA. They were also national championship qualifiers and finished in the elite eight.

Florida ended the fall season with an impressive 8-1-2 record, with its only loss coming to UCF in the finals of its own tournament. UCF went on to the national tournament and placed in the elite eight.

There will also be a youth soccer mini clinic from 5 to 6 p.m. with the players from both teams on the field before the regular match. Both teams will have official team merchandise and other items for sale.Tailgating begins at 3 p.m. and the stadium gates and concession stands open at 4 p.m.

UF’s roster is filled with plenty of Brevard homegrown talent including Thomas McDowell, Drew Geyer, James Bocinsky and Zach Stewart, all hailing from Melbourne.

Seating, especially for the youth soccer clinic, is limited. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Adult tickets are $5, children 10 and younger get in free and the youth soccer clinic is $5. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com, spacecoastgatorclub.com or from any Space Coast Gator Club or UCF Space Coast Alumni board member. 

For more information, email spacecoastgatorclub@gmail.com or call 321-890-7754.