Erica Lewis can’t help but take this one personally.
Lewis, a junior forward, transferred to USF this season from FSU, who welcomes the Bulls (1-4-2, 0-2-0) tonight at 7.
“I’m ready to play the game of my life on my former home field,” she said. “This is personal and I definitely have something to prove. I want to play well in front of the fans, my former teammates and especially my old coach.”
Lewis will have to do so against a Seminole squad that is ranked No. 9 in the nation.
On an offense that has struggled to score all season long, Lewis has been a bright spot with a team-leading two goals and 15 shots.
She scored the game-winning goal against Jacksonville on Sept. 2, the Bulls’ only win this season.
In the series’ seven-year history, USF has yet to beat the Seminoles, who, like the Bulls, are coming off back-to-back conference losses. Both teams have failed to score a single goal in their previous two games.
FSU (7-3-0, 1-2-0) leads the all-time series 6-0-1.
“Any time you get an opportunity against a top-10 team, you try to make the most of it,” coach Logan Fleck said. “No matter the result, it doesn’t do anything but make you stronger.”
The Bulls are coming off a 3-0 loss to UAB on Saturday. It was the fourth time the Bulls’ offense has been blanked this year.
In seven games, USF has scored four goals. The team has only one multi-goal game, a 2-1 overtime victory over Jacksonville.
“We’ve been struggling on offense, and of course it gets frustrating,” Lewis said. “We just have to create more chances to get more shots.”
USF, which was only one win away from the Conference USA regular-season title in 2003, still has time to make a run with seven conference games left to play.
“We’re just going to take it one game at a time right now. This will be a good trip for us,” said Fleck, whose team left Monday. “We get to bond more and play a top-10 team. We’re looking for that off-the-field chemistry, that’s what helped us a lot last year.”