The South Florida football team wasn’t the only ranked squad that couldn’t escape New Jersey with a win this weekend.
Two days after the No. 2 Bulls fell to the Scarlet Knights 30-27 in Piscataway, the No. 18 USF men’s soccer team faced the same fate, losing to an unranked Rutgers team 3-1 on Saturday.
The loss dropped the Bulls (9-3-2, 4-3-1) from first in the Big East’s red division to third place in the standings, three points behind first-place Louisville and one point behind second-place St. Johns.
Defensively, this was the worst match of the year thus far for a USF squad that gave up a season-high three goals.
Coming into the game, USF had been ranked No. 18 in the national polls. They’re the only ranked team Rutgers has beaten all season.
The Scarlet Knights scored first on a penalty kick by Chris Moore
In the sequence leading up to it, Rutgers’ Adam Sternberger was pulled down just outside the six-yard box by a USF defender. No card was given, and just like that, the Bulls were behind in the first 10 minutes.
For the remainer of the first half, USF was able to turn away the rest of Rutgers’ chances and out-shot the Scarlet Knights 5-3 in the half. The second half was another story.
Knights’ forward Tomislav Barisic personally buried any hopes the Bulls had of rallying with two second-half goals. The first came 11 minutes into the half when the sophomore struck a shot from 35 yards out that sailed past USF goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.
Later Barisic would make it a two-goal game for himself by putting away a rebound off a blocked shot. He now has four goals in his last two games.
The Bulls were able to avoid being shut out late in the game as junior Kevon Neaves put away a penalty kick. It was his fourth goal of the season and made the final score 3-1.
It was the Bulls’ first loss in three games and was important; only one chance remains to get points away from home this season.
For the Scarlet Knights, now one point behind USF in the standings, the win was a key to get them back into the division points battle.
Asst. Sports Editor Eric Moeller contributed to this report.