USF, Charpie maul Bears
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 01:10
The USF men’s soccer team (7-2-4) broke through after back-to-back double overtime draws by striking early in a 1-0 win over the Mercer Bears (8-4-1) Wednesday night.
Things got off to a fiery start for the Bulls, who immediately dominated possesion with 3 corner kicks within the first five minutes of play.
With a first half that featured an aggressive USF attack, the Bulls put themselves ahead early as sophomore midfielder Wesley Charpie hooked in a goal from outside the right corner of the box through a multiple Bears defenders in the 16th minute of play.
“It was a good intensity from the team. Coach really stressed it today to come out sharp and score first.” Charpie said. “And we definitely did.”
Charpie hit the goal after receiving a deep assist from senior defender Brenton Giffiths who was far back on the left side of the field.
After a dominating performance by USF’s attack, outshooting the Bears 10 to two at the end of the first half and seven to zero in corners, the Bears had other plans in mind. As a team that was looking for its fifth straight win, Mercer showed its aggressive side, as it managed the ball considerably more than it did in the first half, and took seven shots by the end of the match to USF’s 17.
Despite Mercer displaying the talent that got them to eight wins this season, USF coach George Kiefer said he was confident and happy with the Bulls’ effort in holding off the Bears.
“I’ll take the win for sure — but not just the win, but the performance and how we got it,” Kiefer said. “I was pleased because I never felt once that (Mercer) had too much, that we were in too much danger.”
The Bulls defense held its ground throughout the second half with sophomore goalkeeper Dallas Jaye, who got his first career start in the shutout win, ending the night with three saves.
“Dallas did a good job,” Kiefer said. “I thought he was always in good spots, he was confident back there and he was good at communicating to the back four.”
The win over Mercer marks USF’s sixth straight game without a loss, their last three ending in draws.
“Coming off a lot of ties, it’s been stressful especially on the body,” Charpie said. “So we didn’t want to go into overtime again today.”
This win will lead the Bulls back into conference play as they face off at home against Syracuse Saturday at 7:30p.m. in USF’s second to last home game of the regular season.