Central Florida was down three with two minutes to play against Lindenwood in the DI-AA National Championship game May 12 in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Knights had struggled to reverse field position much of the contest and just missed on an important kick for touch following a Lindenwood penalty. But a hustle play from a wing and a clutch performance from a captain resulted in our 2013 try of the year.
UCF’s Gerhard Veit had just scored his second try of the match to close Lindenwood’s 10-point lead three. The Knights had regained possession, and the Lions just committed a penalty near UCF’s 22-meter line. The kick for territory didn’t find touch, seemingly ruining what would be UCF's last chance to win the game, but wing Lee Soprenuk hustled downfield and forced Lindenwood’s reserve wing into touch, earning UCF an attacking lineout after all.
With so little time left on the clock, UCF couldn’t afford another error, and Lindenwood’s defense couldn’t stop the never-ending motor of Veit. In the midst of a flurry of hard-charging forward runs, Veit made two carries himself. On his second, about five meters from the line with no time left on the clock, Veit floated a pass just over the outstretched fingers of Lindenwood’s Matty Harris and into the hands of wing James Boozer, who caught the ball and scooted the short distance into the try zone for the game winner. Just as Veit was making the pass, two Lindenwood defenders were converging to sandwich him.
“When our scrummy started heading into the ruck, I started screaming for it because they were on their heels there a little bit," Veit told RUGBYMag after the game, describing the final play. “I almost tried to take it in myself, but I did see their winger was playing on the inside a little bit more and our winger was on the outside, and I threw it out there and it worked out, man.”