Almost any way you look at it, they dominated the game. Just don’t look at the scoreboard.
In its 2004 season opener against Stetson, the USF women’s soccer team played to a 0-0 tie at the USF soccer stadium Saturday.
“We’re a little disappointed,” senior defender Stacci Sastre said. “We know we were the better team.”
Facing a stingy Bull defense, Stetson garnered only one shot on goal the entire match. The lone shot on goal came early in the first half. Stetson never seriously threatened again.
“(Our defense) has been playing together a long time,” Sastre said. “Organization comes from the back and goes forward.”
Though they applied steady pressure, USF couldn’t find a way to score. The Bulls’ best chance to score came early in the second overtime when Beckie Ware fired a shot from inside the penalty box, but Stetson goalkeeper April Eilering made a diving save. In the second overtime alone, USF had three shots on goal.
“We took some chances on goal that were downright exciting, but we didn’t work hard enough to get the high-percentage finish in the box,” coach Logan Fleck said. USF finished with seven shots on goal for the game.
“We’re a young team when it comes to match maturity,” Fleck said. “We just need to work together and get better shots.”
While the first half was a stalemate, the Bulls controlled the second half. USF toyed with scoring and teased the 330 fans in attendance on several occasions.
“We passed well, but we just couldn’t get it done,” midfielder Jenny Mulvihill said. “But it will come together.”
Making a solid return to the USF lineup was goalkeeper Breck Bankester, who for the past ten months has been inactive due to a back injury.
“I think it was good to have (Bankester) come back, I was impressed,” Fleck said. “For a kid to come back and have her timing like that, she’s doing very well.”
The aggressive Bankester showed no signs of injury as she fearlessly charged the Stetson attack several times.
“She showed why she’s such a threat counter attack-wise,” Fleck said. “You haven’t seen the best of her yet.”
Fleck went deep into the roster, playing a total of 19, and admitted that it probably broke up their rhythm.
“That’s something I was predetermined to do because honestly, I’m not set on my top 14 players yet,” Fleck said. “So I think that will give us a very competitive training Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.”
The team travels to face Jacksonville Sept. 3. Their next home game is Sept. 5 against Georgia State.