Days after earning its first road win, the USF women’s soccer team came into its inaugural AAC tournament quarterfinal matchup Sunday against the Huskies in Storrs, Conn., hoping to continue the momentum.
It was senior forward Sharla Passariello’s second half goals, six shots and one assist that helped the fifth-seeded Bulls surge past the fourth-seeded Huskies to a 4-1 victory, setting up a semifinal matchup with top-seed UCF in Orlando on Friday night.
Facing a resurgent Huskies’ offense, which outshot the Bulls, 13-7, in the second half and cut USF’s 2-0 lead to one, Passariello gave USF breathing room, kicking in two
Her first goal came in the 63rd minute, when she scored at the top of the box, 18-yards out and the other came 18 minutes later on a breakaway to kick it in the left corner of the net – Passariello’s seventh and eighth of the season.
USF struck first in the 11th minute, when sophomore midfielder Jackie Simpson received a pass from redshirt graduate Marsha Harper inside the box to slide past goalkeeper Emily Armstrong into the net, scoring her first goal of the season.
The momentum continued in the 20th minute, when sophomore midfielder Olivia Chance kicked the ball into the right corner of the net to give USF a 2-0 lead.
UConn answered back with forward Rachel Hill, cutting the deficit to one at the 57th minute, when she received a pass from Stephanie Ribeiro.
Though the Bulls came out with a win, their defense allowed the Huskies to kick 21 shots, nine of which were on goal, compared to 13 shots by the Bulls.
USF’s semifinal match against the UCF Knights, who are on a 16-game unbeaten streak, is set for 5 p.m.