The No. 19 USF men’s soccer team (8-4-0, 7-1-0 Big East) defeated an aggressive Stetson University (6-9-0, 4-2-3 Atlantic Sun) squad in overtime Wednesday night at USF Soccer Stadium.
The first score of the night came when Hatters forward Tanner Wolfe knocked a loose ball past junior goalkeeper Dane Brenner at 23:32 into the game.
The Bulls overcame the 1-0 deficit and tied the score late in the contest with a scorcher from midfield by Kevon Neaves at 85:30.
“It’s my first goal of the season, actually, and I’m pretty exited about it,” Neaves said.
Forward Jordan Seabrook scored the game-winner at 8:32 into overtime with a long shot that sneaked past the keeper and into the net. Midfielder Brian Gil had an assist on the play.
Seabrook knew exactly what do when he received the pass from Gil.
“The coaches tell me over and over to find a space. Because of my speed, they want me to find a space, not so much hold and stay in one spot,” Seabrook said. “When I saw Gil get in a turn, I just took off and tried to find an open space. Gil is a great player, and he found me with a perfect ball, and pretty much it was easy from there.”
The winning shot was the ninth goal of the season for Seabrook, who leads the team.
Seabrook knew the Hatters would not be an easy opponent.
“Stetson was a great team,” Seabrook said. “They came ready to play. Obviously they’re in-state rivals; they really wanted us bad. For them to come in and play as hard as they did was not unexpected.
“We didn’t overlook this team, but we were not as ready as we should have been.”
The Bulls managed only one goal during regulation, despite having 21 shots on goal compared to 11 posted by the Hatters.
Brenner, who was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Week for the week that ended Monday, had another remarkable game with only one goal against. Brenner got his third shutout of the season on Saturday against Big East rival St John’s.Coach George Kiefer knows that the victory was important, despite being against a non-conference foe.
“I give (Stetson) coach (Sean) Murphy a lot of credit,” Kiefer said. “His teams are always very organized and always good defensively, and it’s always a war. That’s why we keep the game on the schedule. If it was an opponent that came out and we just walked through, it wouldn’t do us any good. This game made us better. We’re consistently finding out how to win games when we’re down.”