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Highlight Moments of Fall 2012

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012

Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 00:12

It was a fall sports semester full of action. There were big wins, agonizing losses, surprising teams and a fired football coach.

The football team went from one of the most anticipated seasons in school history to ignominy, while the women’s soccer team went from missing the Big East Tournament in 2011 to sealing the second seed and earning a first round bye in the conference tournament.

The men’s soccer team shook off a rough end to the regular season and hosted two NCAA Tournament games, and the USF volleyball team eased into the Big East Tournament and upset the third-seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

The Oracle counts down the top five moments of the fall semester.


5. Volleyball sweeps Georgetown for Big East Tournament berth
After fighting for one of the eight spots in the conference’s postseason tournament, the USF volleyball team, with first-year coach Courtney Draper and with a roster loaded with underclassmen, entered the final game of the season against Georgetown with one task: win the game and make the conference tournament.

The Bulls performed aggressively from first tip and swept past the Hoyas, ending the game on a 19-10 run and sealing a spot in the tournament as the sixth seed. The team played Notre Dame, the third seed, in the first round and beat the Fighting Irish in four sets.


4. Women’s soccer beats Louisville in penalties
The USF women’s soccer team came into 2012 having lost multiple weapons on offense and defense, but two freshmen — midfielder Olivia Chance and keeper Christiane Endler — helped carry the Bulls to a seven-game unbeaten stretch that set the team up for a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, a bye week and a home game in the second round.

Corbett Soccer Stadium was packed for a rematch with the Louisville Cardinals — a team the Bulls tied in double overtime. Both teams were again scoreless after 110 minutes in the second round of the conference tournament, and the game went to penalties. Chance made the final penalty of the game and sent the Bulls to the conference semifinals.


3. Men’s soccer beats Florida Gulf Coast in penalties
Having won just two games in the final eight of the season and missing out on the Big East Tournament after losing the final game of the regular season to DePaul — which was winless in conference play — the USF men’s soccer team seemed to be out of contention for a NCAA Tournament berth. But the team’s high RPI ranking helped it earn an at-large bid and a home game.

The Bulls hosted Florida Gulf Coast, a team it beat 3-0 at Corbett Soccer Stadium earlier in the season, but faced a much tougher test in the tournament. After two extra time periods, both teams were scoreless and the game went to penalty kicks.

The Bulls went 5-for-5 in the penalty kick period and Dallas Jaye made two saves to give the Bulls a victory and a second NCAA Tournament home game, which the Bulls lost to Tulsa in extra time.


2. Lejiste, Watson interceptions in win over Connecticut
In the midst of a history-making six-game losing streak, the USF football team matched up against the one team with an equally poor record in the conference: UConn. The Bulls and Huskies were a combined 0-8 in conference play going into the game, and it seemed like both teams needed a miracle to win in the conference. The Bulls got just that.

USF was the only defense in the nation without an interception nine games into the season, but recorded two — one from senior safety Jon Lejiste and another from sophomore defensive lineman Elkino Watson — in the final 6:27 to seal its first win since the second week of the season.


1. Andre Davis’s record-breaking performance carries USF
In September, the USF football team was still full of hope for conference and national success and traveled across the country to Nevada to play the Wolf Pack.

A sluggish defensive performance saw the Bulls down 21-6 late in the first quarter and down 11 with 8:16 to go in the game. Two long touchdowns in the span of 2:37 seconds — including a game-winning 56-yard touchdown by sophomore receiver Andre Davis with 38 seconds left on the clock — helped the Bulls earn their second win of the season.

Davis’ touchdown was his second of more than 50 yards in the game to go along with a 51-yard score in the first quarter. He finished the game with a school record 12 catches and 191 yards.

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