The USF men’s soccer team had plenty of expectations coming into this season and, so far, they have done nothing to lower them.
Coming off a win on the road over Wake Forest and earning a No. 9 ranking in the Soccer America Poll, the Bulls (3-0-0) returned home for games against Georgia State and Robert Morris.
Defense was key for the Bulls all weekend, with the defensive front putting on a flawless exhibition Friday night in a 1-0 win over the Panthers. Goalkeeper Chris Blais only faced two shots on goal on the way to his second clean sheet in as many games.
Sunday’s second half turned into a showcase for the Bulls. After a shot-filled, scoreless first half that included a missed penalty kick, USF clicked on all cylinders in a dominant second half.
The Bulls went up 3-0 before giving up their first goal of the season in the 3-1 win. Led by junior forward Dom Dwyer, the Bulls got their second penalty kick opportunity when midfielder Kyle Nicholls sent a long pass Dwyer’s way. Sophomore Leston Paul found the back of the net on the penalty to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute.
A successful penalty kick was what the Bulls needed to jump start their offense. Four minutes later, freshman midfielder Wesley Charpie put a cross right on the mark, setting up an easy header for Dwyer. The British forward still was not done, adding another goal before the night was finished.
After a swift one-on-one drive into the box, Dwyer attempted to get a shot past Colonial goalkeeper Toba Bolaji. Although he managed to get it past Bolaji, he initially missed out on the goal when his shot hit the post. Refusing to give up, Dwyer got on the rebound and finished the shot for his third goal of the season.
The Bulls defense was unable to seal a third shutout for Chris Blais. After a foul in the 85th minute, the Colonials quickly restarted play and managed to get an open look at the goal, which was finished by sophomore Prince Samuels.
Coach George Keifer said he loved the Bulls’ finishing ability.
“I think we showed another side after we got the first one to stay on it, get the second, get the third,” Kiefer said. “After the first one, we really stepped on it a little bit more, really raised the game to go after them,” Kiefer said. “I like that about the group.”