With back-to-back wins on the road for the first time this season, it seems the USF women’s soccer team is peaking at the right moment as it travels to Orlando for its AAC Tournament semifinal matchup Friday night against top-seeded UCF.
USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown said the team’s previous road wins against Houston and UConn give the team momentum going into Orlando.
“It speaks about the end of the year,” she said. “This is when your team is focused the most and understanding what is at stake, and the concentration is there for longer stretches of time.”
The fourth-seeded Bulls (10-4-5), fresh off their 4-1 quarterfinal victory over fifth-seeded UConn Sunday, are hoping to avenge their 2-1 defeat against their cross-town rivals, who are on a 16-game unbeaten streak and snap an eight-game losing streak.
With the momentum on its side, the team is ascending at the right time, Schilte-Brown said.
“Every team at this point should be peaking,” she said. “Our defenders are sharper, our midfielders are thinking quicker and our strikers are finishing more often.”
In the past two games, USF has attempted 36 shots, 25 of which were on goal that led to the team scoring 10 goals.
The Bulls are also on a five-game unbeaten streak, having not lost a game since Oct. 13, when they lost 3-2 against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Meanwhile, 97 miles east of Tampa, the No.17 Knights (16-2-2) walk into their semifinal match with a 3-0 win against eighth-seeded SMU last Sunday, continuing their 16-game unbeaten streak.
Led by junior forward Tatiana Coleman, who leads the team with nine goals, UCF hasn’t lost a game in two months. Its last defeat was a 1-0 loss in overtime against No.3 Florida State back on Sept.1.
USF is 1-8 all-time against the Knights. The Bulls’ last win against the Knights came in an exhibition game back in 2008.
The match is set to begin at 5 p.m.