The South Florida women’s soccer team embarked on its first road trip of the 2008 season this weekend, moving its record to 1-1-1 after a 1-0 victory over the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Friday and a 1-0 loss in overtime to Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulls’ victory over UAB Friday night was an encouraging result for second-year head coach Denise Schilte-Brown, considering that USF has 22 newcomers on its team.
“It is a youthful squad this year, but I think they used (their youth) well today,” Schilte-Brown said. “The confidence and quietness of the way they played for 90 minutes was really good.”
USF had several chances to take the lead throughout the game against Alabama-Birmingham, like hitting the crossbar and having a penalty kick saved. It wasn’t until the 88th minute that the deadlock was broken, however, as senior vice-captain Melanie Sutherland tallied her first career goal, giving USF the win.
The Bulls found themselves on the opposite end of a 1-0 result Sunday. Vanderbilt was undefeated (2-0) coming into the game and outshot South Florida 20-7. Still, with a collective defensive effort, USF managed to push the game into overtime.
In the second overtime period USF freshman Molly Stack conceded a controversial penalty and Vanderbilt defender Lindsay Ratterman put the penalty, as well as the game, out of reach.
“I think we learned a lot with our first weekend on the road, and the growth was tremendous with this young team. They really battled for two games,” Schilte-Brown said.
Experience is what the Bulls are looking to gain. Sophomore midfielder Angelique Waller certainly gained time on the field, playing more than 185 minutes for the Bulls.
“It’s unfortunate, but I think we stuck it out hard,” Waller said. “We worked hard as a team to get forward offensively and also to defend as a team. I think we did well for both games.”
The USF women’s soccer team will look to build on its experience next weekend when it travels to Louisiana to face Dartmouth and Kent State.