A one-hour weather delay didn’t stop the USF women’s soccer team from drawing its third-largest crowd in program history Thursday night, with 1,124 fans in the stands watching it tie defending national champion Notre Dame (4-4-2).
The nationally televised match, featuring the 20th-ranked Fighting Irish, proved a tough one for the Bulls (4-3-3). The lightning cleared and Notre Dame struck first in the 27th minute, when freshman forward Lauren Bohaboy found the back of the net on an assist from sophomore midfielder Rebecca Twining.
The Irish held their 1-0 lead throughout the entire first half, outshooting USF 12-3. Things were not looking well for USF in the second half, either, until the final four minutes of the match when senior defender Valorie O’Brien nailed a header off an assist from fellow senior defender Molly Stack.
“I remember looking at the clock and I told myself, ‘This is 10 minutes,'” O’Brien said. “This is the time to gut it out.'”
Not only was the goal O’Brien’s second of the season, but it was also the second time O’Brien hit a header from an assist off Stack to put the match into overtime within the final minutes, the first coming against Jacksonville on Sept. 11.
Courtesy of the late goal, the Bulls had momentum swinging their way as the match went into overtime. However, they could not find a way to score, as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown said she was proud of her team’s effort in the match.
“The relentless pursuit to try to score a goal really paid off,” she said. “The Irish are a good team. They had their chances, but I felt like we had such a good team effort from everyone.”
After the tough draw with Notre Dame, the Bulls were hoping for their first Big East victory as they hosted DePaul (2-7-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday. However, weather again played a role as the game was delayed six minutes before halftime, with USF leading 2-0.
The match was eventually cancelled due to sustained delays and will be restarted today at 11 a.m., with USF’s two-goal lead erased.