The USF women’s soccer team ended its season with a new school record.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, it was not a pleasant record, as they lost for the ninth consecutive match with their 3-1 loss to UAB, Friday night at the USF Soccer Stadium.
Despite failing to record a shot until late in the first half, the Bulls (4-13-2, 1-8-1) kept the match tight, allowing just one goal in the half.
Jenny Rynders connected on a corner kick from Briana McCarty at the 19-minute mark for the first of two goals on the evening from the tandem to give the Blazers a 1-0 advantage.
“We failed to clear the ball and mark up correctly,” said Bulls defender Jamie Anderson, who later sprained her left elbow and left the game in the second half.
Blazers leading scorer Denise Peters gave UAB a 2-0 lead in the 49th minute with her eighth goal of the season.
Fourteen minutes later, the Bulls struck back when they caught the Blazers pushed up too far and were able to get a two-on-one breakaway with forwards Stine Hagh and Rachel Thjomoe. Hagh broke out with the ball on the left flank 15 yards before midfield and beautifully led Thjomoe down the middle as she crossed midfield. That left the hard-charging goalie Lisa Nowoslawski as the only Blazer left, and Thjomoe was able to loop the ball over her head for her fifth goal, tying her with Hagh for the team lead, and making the score 2-1.
“At that point we felt we were right in it, but unfortunately we failed on a couple of opportunities to tie it up,” said Thjomoe.One of those opportunities was a header attempt by Hagh off a corner kick that missed just wide of the net.
In the 73rd minute, the Blazers got a two-goal cushion on the second goal from the Rynders-McCarty combination, and that left the Bulls out of gas.
“Basically, it was the story of our season,” said the disappointed Thjomoe. “We failed to stay focused for the full 90 minutes once again.”
Bulls goalie Breck Bankester finished with eight saves, giving her 64 on the season, although the loss dropped her record to 2-6-2.
The Blazers (10-8, 7-3) will head to Milwaukee for the Conference USA Tournament beginning Wednesday, while the Bulls will stay home for the first time in the tournament’s five-year history.
- Chris Lemke covers women’s soccer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org