With temperatures seeping into the low 50s in Louisville, Ky., the USF women’s soccer team hits the road Friday night against the conference leading Cardinals.
As the Bulls (7-2-3, 2-1-0) prepare for cooler temperatures, sophomore midfielder Olivia Chance said she’s fine with playing in cold weather games, but thinks her teammates who are not used to playing in it will need to focus on the game instead Mother Nature.
Chance said her teammates will have to “toughen up.”
“The girls that struggle with the weather have to focus on the game and not focus on things they can’t control,” Chance said. “You can’t control the weather. We need to focus on things we can control.”
USF coach Denise-Schilte Brown has a philosophy similar to Chance’s. Weather, she said, you don’t prepare for.
“You just talk about how you’re not going to be distracted by anything,” Schilte-Brown said. “You go up there with all the Under Armour gear provided, you use them wisely and you warm up
Days following their 3-2 victory over UConn in double overtime Sunday and a 1-0 win over Temple, the Bulls come into the week preparing for the Cardinals (8-3-1, 4-0-0).
Both teams are familiar with each other from last year when USF ended the Cardinals’ season in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. Chance had the final kick to advance USF to the next round.
While Louisville could be looking for some redemption from last season, Schilte-Brown said she isn’t particularly concerned with the intensity of the matchup.
“Every year is a new team,” Schilte-Brown said. “We look different. They look different.”
Like their football counterpart, the Cardinals enter the game with a 1-0 victory over the Houston Cougars as they extend their winning streak to four games.
Led by senior forwards Charlyn Corral and Christine Exeter, Louisville leads the conference in goals per game, averaging three goals a game.
Corral leads the conference in shots per game, averaging six shots as well as kicking in 11 goals through 12 games.
Chance said it’s going to take the whole team to slow down Corral and Exeter.
“I think it’s going to be a team effort,” Chance said. “It’s whoever is on the field and off it. It’s going to be hard work.”
The goal, Chance said, is to allow no goals for Louisville.
“That’s how we win,” she said.
The match begins at 7 p.m Friday.
After playing the Cardinals, the Bulls head to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats on Sunday at