USF men’s soccer coach George Kiefer just can’t win — against Cincinnati, that is.
Saturday, the No. 7 Bulls were handed their first loss of the season 1-0 by the Bearcats, making Kiefer’s all-time record against Cincinnati 0-3-1. The loss ended USF’s nine-game unbeaten streak.
Things didn’t go right for the Bulls from the beginning, as Cincinnati (4-7-2, 3-2-1 C-USA) out shot the Bulls 19-7.
The Bearcats shutout of USF snaps a streak of 15 games with a goal for the Bulls dating back to Oct. 24, 2003.
While the scoring opportunities were at a minimum for USF, its best chance was on an early penalty shot.
Bulls forward Kevin King passed the ball to freshman midfielder Simon Schoendorf, who took a quick shot on net but was immediately taken down by a Bearcat defender and awarded a penalty kick. Schoendorf shot the ball wide left of the goal.
Cincinnati controlled the rest of the game and netted their goal with fewer than 12 minutes left. A long throw-in from the Bearcats’ Jeff Hughes sailed into USF’s goal box, and planted itself at UC’s leading scorer, Wiremu Patrick. Patrick put it in the lower left corner past USF freshman Freddy Hall, who made his first career start.
“A great coach once told me, ‘You’re either going to go to a wedding with the team after a game or you’re going to go to a funeral,'” Kiefer said. “We went to a funeral after Cincinnati, and the group was pretty down, and I think that they realized they got off track a little bit.
“We probably performed at our lowest level on Saturday, and we still walked away like we could have won the game.”
USF (7-1-2, 3-1-1 C-USA) moved down to fourth in C-USA standings. After Saturday’s match-up, Cincinnati is right behind the Bulls in the fifth spot, riding a four-game unbeaten streak of its own.
“We’re all pretty clear on what we need to do to be successful, and as a group, everyone, all four coaches, all twenty players that were on the trip, agreed that we got off track,” Kiefer said. “We got off track in training. And those who didn’t score Saturday will score Wednesday against UAB.”