Crossbar helps Owls tie Bulls

Florida Atlantic had an extra player in Saturday’s 1-1 double-overtime tie against USF.

It’s called the crossbar.

The Bulls (1-2-2) were denied a go-ahead goal when two shots late in the second half bounced off the crossbar. USF out shot FAU 21-14.

“I hope you’re lucky in love and other things,” USF coach Logan Fleck said. “But I don’t like saying you’re unlucky in sports. In sports, you have to learn how to make your own luck.”

FAU’s Danielle DiLeo scored the game’s first goal in the 19th minute when she beautifully headed a cross from Christina Chang past USF keeper Breck Bankester. Bankester had six saves for the game and FAU (2-2-2) never seriously threatened after their goal.

In the 56th, Erica Lewis converted a penalty to tie the game at one. It was Lewis’ second goal of the season.

“Erica Lewis played great,” Fleck said. “She’s not afraid to shake and bake you down the line.”

The Bulls played a sluggish first half, forcing only one shot. In the second half, though, they came out a different team, pushing the ball forward and forcing 15 shots.

“We’ve developed into a second-half team right now,” Bankester said. “We don’t really start playing until we’re down or until something bad happens to us.”

Fleck says it’s something they’re trying to remedy.

“That is definitely a trend we’re trying to break,” Fleck said.

“I really think that we just haven’t bonded enough as a group. I told them they need to play for each other more. It sounds like a cliché, but the reason it is a cliché is because it’s true — a very good team will beat a team of all-stars every time.”

Added Bankester: “I think next game is when we finally come out and play both halves. I have a lot of confidence in my teammates.”

USF’s conference schedule starts Friday when it welcomes Louisville.