Everything was looking good for the USF women’s soccer team. That was until junior defender Tara Escribano fractured her right arm at practice Wednesday.
Escribano, a staple in the Bulls (2-3-1, 1-0-1) defense, is expected to be out for at least three weeks, making her a spectator for at least four tough conference games. She will miss home games against also rivals Florida State and Jacksonville. The injury is one that can usually be played through by wearing a hard cast, but the fracture extends to her joint, complicating flexibility while running and her recovery time.
Escribano is a leader of the young team, and her tough defensive play will be missed. She said she has confidence in her teammates, though, and thinks they will have no problem filling in during her absence.
“The team has a lot of confidence. They’re going to be able to step up,” Escribano said. “I know I play a key role at sweeper, but it’s not all up to one person, it’s up to a team.”
Coach Logan Fleck said he needs the team to fill the void and stand up to the adversity.
“This team has to cultivate the ability to rise to every challenge,” Fleck said.
USF wants to keep its momentum rolling this weekend after two great games last weekend. The Bulls tied a tough ECU squad 1-1 Friday night and won their first conference match against defending Conference USA champion Charlotte 3-1.
The Bulls host two conference matches at the USF Soccer Stadium this weekend. The Bulls start off with Louisville on Friday night, a game that goalkeeping coach Eric Sims said the Bulls cannot ignore despite Sunday’s 1p .m. match against highly touted Cincinnati.
“We cannot look past Friday to get to Sunday,” Sims said. “It has got to be one game at a time in conference (play). We’ve got to get the first one Friday.”
First USF must get past the Cardinals (3-3-1, 0-2-0), who are still looking for their first conference victory coming off a stunning 3-0 loss to UAB. Then, on Sunday, the Bulls face the Bearcats (3-4-1, 1-1-0), who hold the C-USA record for most wins. Cincinnati boasts a 26-9-4 all-time away record in conference action.