Eleven games into the season, the USF women’s soccer team (4-5-2, 1-2-1 in Conference USA) has yet to consistently fill the goalkeeper position. The situation was a concern for USF coach Logan Fleck from the start of preseason practice.
At first, it was a battle between freshman Breck Bankester and two-year starter, junior Valerie Wetzel. Now, another contender from the past has come into the picture, Alicia Bostain.
“All three of them have greatness in them,” Fleck said. “I just wish we could combine all three of them together to make the ultimate goalie.”
Fleck said each of the three possesses certain attributes that can help the team, depending on the opponent.
For instance, against 12th-ranked Florida State, Fleck decided to go with Wetzel due to her shot-blocking abilities and past success vs. the Seminoles. She went on to have an amazing match, allowing just one goal on 27 ‘Nole shots in the 1-0 loss.
Against Louisville, the Bulls went with Bankester, the best distributor of the three, according to Fleck. The Bulls pulled out a single goal, and Bankester recorded her first shutout of the season.
And finally, there is Bostain.She is listed as a junior, but after sitting out two seasons for medical reasons, she returned to the team this year for a comeback attempt.
“Shooey (Bostain) was the starter on our 15-3-1 team back in 1998, and that cannot be taken away from her,” Fleck said. “She still feels the flow of the game well and knows how to direct the defense under pressure situations.”
As has been the situation all season long, the Bulls go into their match against TCU (6-5-0, 2-2-0 C-USA) tonight at the USF Soccer Stadium at 7:30 not knowing who will be minding the net.
“I believe Coach puts the best person out there for us to win each particular game,” said junior defender Jamie Anderson. “He’s been around (the world of soccer) for a while and I’m sure our coaches know what is best for our team.”
The match with the Horned Frogs gives the Bulls an opportunity to creep back up to .500 in the conference and also put them ahead of TCU in the standings.