A regular season divisional Big East title, a first round bye into the Big East tournament and a potential No. 1 seed awaited the USF women’s soccer team last weekend.
But two losses hindered the Bulls’ chances. Regardless, USF (8-7-3, 5-4-2) returns to the Big East tournament for the first time since 2007, facing DePaul (10-8-2, 5-6-0) at the USF Soccer Stadium tonight at 7:30.
“We’re taking a lot from the season and the lessons we learned,” said USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown. “When you lose two games in a weekend you learn from that, so some of the lessons that we’ve learned from those games we’ll keep an eye on.”
The Bulls have to be more aggressive in their style of play, said sophomore striker Chelsea Klotz, especially on their home field against a team they know well. USF has faced DePaul nine times and holds a 5-1-3 advantage.
“We just have to stay focused and play direct,” said Klotz, who scored last year against DePaul in USF’s 1-0 win.
USF, the No. 4 seed in the American Division, proved it can play with just about anyone in the country with wins over then-No. 18 Connecticut on Oct. 11 and Big East preseason favorite West Virginia on Sept. 27.
After two losses, Schilte-Brown said the team needs to remember its success psychologically.
“The expectations are that the girls come out mentally prepared and that they’re well rested,” she said.
If USF defeats the Blue Demons, the No. 5 seed in the National Division, it travels to play Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon.
“We’re confident, and I just think (we have) a good team and they want to keep playing,” Schilte-Brown said.