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Trying to make the grades

One A, four Bs, the rest Cs.

That was the grade the women’s soccer team rated themselves in various aspects after their 5-1 loss to Miami Sunday.

And with a 10-game losing streak dating back to Oct. 5, 2001, it’s going to take more than good grades to break the streak.

“Those grades are average for us, and we want more out of that,” coach Logan Fleck said.

The Bulls are looking forward to breaking that streak as they begin their regular season home schedule against Stetson University at 5 p.m. tonight at the USF Soccer Stadium.

The coach on the opposing side will be a familiar one. Second-year head coach Julie Orlowski was a former assistant to Fleck, and her team comes into the game with a 1-1 record.

After losing to Miami 7-0 on Aug. 30, the Hatters rebounded to win 2-1 against Charleston Southern Sunday.

The Hatters won only four games last year, but Fleck knows Stetson will be no pushover.

“They’re going to be good,” Fleck said. “They know our system pretty well. They just lost to Miami, but they were missing some key players and those players are now returning. I wish them luck in every game, just not this game.”

After losing 5-1 to Miami Sunday to begin their season, Fleck was pleased with several facets of the match: senior Tia Opliger’s successful return from a foot injury that caused her to redshirt last year, and the tempo the team had throughout the game.

“I was pleased with tempo and ball possession against Miami,” Fleck said. “Again, it’s like a kiss on the cheek or a date with your cousin, but we maintained possession, and Miami actually countered us, and that’s kind of like a compliment.”

One frowning aspect of the match, however, was placed on the offense. With only five shots on goal – four being off target – the team didn’t get a chance to attack the defense with the aggressiveness Fleck knows his team has.

“I’d like to see more confidence and striking on frame,” Fleck said. “We tried hard to create the perfect goal and that’s not the way the game really happens.

“We did score a pretty goal but you don’t get points for cuteness or prettiness.”

However, one high for Fleck was seeing the return of Opliger after a year-long absence.

The fifth-year senior connected for a goal in the 70th minute, and Fleck couldn’t have been more pleased.

“I was glad for her,” Fleck said. “She had a beautiful ball from (Berna) Breirem who served it into a good position.

“Tia took a very good first touch, and three Miami players tried to catch her. She shielded it well and hit a left-footed goal.”

The Bulls can break their streak against the Hatters, but it will take an A effort.

The Bulls’ next game will be on the road when they play Jacksonville at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Thomas Carrigan covers women’s soccer and can be reached at