Men’s soccer ready to take show on the road
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 02:08
After showing its moxie with a gritty, nationally televised win over the Michigan Wolverines, the USF men’s soccer team looks to tackle a different challenge: the first road trip of the season.
The Bulls, who moved up to 4th in the NSCAA rankings on the strength of their win, may not have a record-setting crowd on its side this week at the Hurricane Classic in Tulsa, but coach George Kiefer doesn’t seem to be worried.
“We’re looking forward to our match against SMU, one of the top teams in the country year in, year out,” Kiefer said. “They play a good brand of soccer where I know it’s going to be a soccer match. We tend to like being in those games where people try to beat us rather than just sit back and try to steal it from us.”
The televised game against Michigan didn’t just give USF a boost to start the season, but it also gave senior midfielder Leston Paul a chance to showcase his skills as a team player. Paul, who lifted the Bulls with two assists that led to a pair of goals late in the second half, recently made the Big East’s weekly honor roll for his performance.
The Bulls will take on No. 16 SMU on Friday at 4 p.m., and though the Mustangs didn’t exactly impress with a 1-1 draw against Campbell University in their season opener, one thing is to be certain: the team will be looking to knock the Bulls off the pedestal.
“SMU is an ideal opponent — they attack, they get forward, they’re going to come after us, we’re going to come after them,” Kiefer said. “It’s going to be a great college soccer game.”
On Sunday, the Bulls will take on Tulsa, who will enter the tournament coming off a dominating 4-0 shutout over UMKC this past weekend.
While USF impressed with two second-half goals against Michigan, the Golden Hurricane could have topped the Bulls’ late game performance. All four of Tulsa’s goals in its season opener were scored in the second half, two of which came in the final 20 minutes of play. The match against Tulsa will kick off at 8 pm.