With a 3-2 record, the USF women’s soccer team is striving for something it hasn’t achieved in three years.
A winning record.
After defeating Jacksonville and Elon last weekend to capture the JU-Brine Dennis Viollet championship, momentum is riding high on the team’s first winning streak in two years.
The Bulls’ last winning season under coach Logan Fleck was an 11-8 record in 1999. Since then, the team has gone a dismal 10-22-2.
The Bulls will face a strong task, as they begin their conference play, when they host DePaul at 5 p.m. today. The Blue Demons (4-1) come into the game on a four-game winning streak. The Bulls then are on the road as they travel to Florida State with the matchup beginning at 1 p.m.
Even with a five-day layover, the team has been working hard during practices this week.
“Coach Fleck has been working more on 1-2 touches and set plays this week,” midfielder Katie Reed said.
DePaul boasts a formidable duo in senior Ogonnaya
Dotson-Newman and freshman Julianne Stich. Each have scored three goals, while junior goalkeeper Erica Keppel leads the team with three shutouts and only one goal allowed.
The defense has been stingy, allowing only 12 shots in five games. The Blue Demons tied the Bulls in the only contest last year, 2-2. The Bulls haven’t lost to DePaul in its six-year history, leading the all-time series 4-0-2.
FSU comes into the game with a 3-2-2 record.
The Seminoles have been virtually unbeatable at home with a 17-2 record the past two years as they posted the best record in school history with a 15-8-1 mark and a NCAA tournament berth in 2001.
The Seminoles lead the all-time series 4-0-1.
FSU is led by sophomores Camie Bybee and Jez Ratliff. Bybee has paced the Seminoles with three goals and two assists, while Ratliff has two goals and one assist.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kerry York has a 3-1-2 record, posting 44 saves.
In their five games this year, the Bulls have been a second-half team. Seven of their nine goals have come in the second half, with senior Tia Opliger, sophomore Rachel Thjomoe and freshman Rachel Ross pacing the team with two goals each.
The Bulls have also dominated shots and corner kicks with 54 and 26 respectively. Sophomore goalkeeper Breck Bankester comes into the game with 16 saves and seven goals allowed.
Thomas Carrigan covers USF women’s soccer and can be reached at email@example.com