Senior midfielder Simon Schoendorf continued his impressive season with a goal and an assist Tuesday night in the Bulls’ 2-0 victory over conference rival DePaul.
Schoendorf now leads the team with six goals and eight assists on the season.
“We’re showing up at the right part of the season,” Schoendorf said. “It’s not just the weekend games in front of big crowds that you have to win. You have to beat the DePauls at home on a Tuesday. Those are games that we haven’t always won in the past and in the end it caught up with us.”
Bulls coach George Kiefer has been impressed with Schoendorf’s performance this year and is confident that the senior can move on to the next level.
“Simon’s leadership as a senior is showing how much he wants it this year,” Kiefer said. “He always showed up in games, but now he’s showing up in training every day and that’s what professionals do. I think he’s going to make a good pro.”
The Bulls got the scoring started quickly. In the fourth minute, after a pair of quick passes from Armante Marshall and Jordan Seabrook, the ball found its way through the box in the direction of Schoendorf. The ball bounced over the diving keeper’s hands and was put away by Schoendorf, giving the Bulls a 1-0 lead.
Possession in the first half went back and forth with DePaul holding a slight edge. The Blue Demons were unable to pose a serious threat to USF as they only managed two shots on goal – both of which were handled easily by Bulls goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.
“Our communication is good right now,” Kiefer said. “We got good weapons going forward and we’re focused on being a very disciplined team defensively right now.”
With just over 10 minutes left in the half, USF was back on the attack. With good ball movement, the Bulls’ Luke Magill found Schoendorf streaking down the left side. Schoendorf was able to feed freshman Tony Taylor as he arrived in the box and put a shot past DePaul goalkeeper Brian Visser.
Going into the half, the Bulls led 2-0 against a team that had allowed only six goals all season coming into the match.
In the second half, the Blue Demons were able to maintain possession better than the Bulls, who managed to create a few chances on the counterattack. Offensively, DePaul lacked the overall intensity to capitalize on any of their chances.
USF captain and center back Yohance Marshall was as active as anybody on the pitch, killing countless Blue Demons’ attacks.
“Yohance is a great leader and a great athlete,” Kiefer said. “He’s going to be a great player in the future if we can keep developing him further.”
The Bulls would have one last opportunity to get a goal. Late in the game, freshman forward Tony Taylor was tripped inside the box, giving the Bulls a penalty kick. Schoendorf stepped up to the spot to take the penalty, and hit the outside of the left goal post.
The opportunity was squandered but it was a moot point in the game, as the Bulls came away with the victory.
“This is the way it should be,” Schoendorf said. “You want to be getting hotter as the season goes on. We’re still healthy, and at this point things are looking good.”
For Restrepo, it was his sixth shutout of the season.
“I have to give the credit to my defense,” Restrepo said. “They’re playing great in these last five games and I don’t really feel like I’ve had to work that hard. Our communication is really good right now, and it shows.”
With the win, the Bulls move into first place in the Big East’s Red Division, one point ahead of Villanova, who lost 4-0 to Maryland on Tuesday.
“This is a good win for us in a tactical match,” Kiefer said. “To get a 2-0 shutout against a Big East team and have a chance to get a third goal toward the end, I feel good about that.”