USF men’s soccer will have its chance this weekend to even its conference record.
At 0-1 in Conference USA following a 2-1 loss to Charlotte Sept. 12, the Bulls will travel to Milwaukee to play in the Marquette tournament.
The Bulls face Marquette (3-3) Friday and No. 30 Michigan (4-2) Sunday.
“Marquette is a very tough team,” USF coach George Kiefer said. “I think it is going to be one of the toughest matches of the year.”
USF will be the first conference opponent Marquette has faced this year, and the Bulls have beat Marquette in seven of the past 10 meetings, including a 1-0 victory last season.
It was the only loss the co-C-USA champions suffered at home in conference last year.
“We beat them on a goal that was deflected off their player,” Kiefer said.
Trying to stop USF’s leading scorer Hunter West may be a daunting task, but if anyone has a chance it could quite possibly be Marquette’s goalkeeper Adam Ubert. Ubert, who was named C-USA co-defensive Player of the Week, has 26 saves this season and has shut out the last two teams he has faced.
“He’s a big boy and a good goalkeeper,” Kiefer said. “If we can make some penetration and play well, it will help our players have success against them.”
Ubert is not the only one this weekend who has experienced recent shutouts. USF goalkeeper Dane Brenner recorded the first shutout of his career Sunday against Providence.
The redshirt freshman is fighting for the position of starting goalkeeper with sophomore Peter Lechak.
USF will once again be experiencing nationally ranked competition. Michigan, ranked No. 30 by College Soccer News, will be the third nationally ranked team the Bulls have faced this season.
The other teams were Furman and Clemson.
“I think (playing against ranked teams) helps,” Kiefer said.
“The thing that these games help with is that when you go into your conference games, it helps you prepare for those teams.”