Escribano poised to play

All week, Tara Escribano has shown up early for practice to get back in shape. Escribano played last weekend for the first time since Sept. 21 when she fractured her right wrist after a ball struck it in practice. She hopes the extra work will get her back in top form as the Bulls take a break from their conference schedule to face Florida International University tonight at 7 at the USF Soccer Stadium before Sunday’s match against conference foe Houston.

“I am going to try to do my best and keep the ‘No Goal Patrol’ like we have had,” Escribano said, referring to the nickname the USF defenders have given themselves.

Ecribano said she is happy to return to practice and wants to use what she learned on her time off to help the rest of her team.

“Hopefully I can show the girls how to leave everything on the field, because you don’t know when you’re going to have to sit out,” Escribano said. “And hopefully I can lead them to give it their all and dive for every ball and tackle hard and do every little thing that you have to do to get the ball in the back of the net.”

Escribano’s return last weekend wasn’t as helpful as the Bulls anticipated. They lost their first conference game of the season against Tulane on Friday night and then lost again to Southern Miss on Sunday.

Coach Logan Fleck said he is still looking for growth from his young team of eight sophomores and 11 freshmen.

“We have to play well for ourselves,” Fleck said. “It’s not about standings. It’s not about the fans. It’s not about mom and dad. Right now it’s about us playing well for ourselves, because we are not satisfied with the results last weekend.”

Fleck said last weekend’s woes do not spell disaster for the Bulls, as they still have a few games to collect some conference wins and get into the Conference USA tournament.

“The problem with winning games is everyone thinks that everything is wonderful. The problem with losing games is most people think everything is wrong and that’s not true.” Fleck said. “We have improved in certain areas.”

USF (5-6-1, 3-2-1) gets a chance to make up for last weekend’s losses against two teams with a combined record of 4-20-2. Sunday’s conference game is against Houston, who comes in 1-5-0 against C-USA opponents. The Bulls would like to have a win before they finish up the season at Memphis (3-6-2, 0-4-1) and at home against two of C-USA’s better teams, UAB (8-4-0, 4-2-0) and TCU (6-4-1, 4-1-0).