Out of chances

The USF men’s soccer team failed to capture an NCAA tournament berth when the 32-team selection was announced on Monday.

Out of the 10 Conference USA teams, Memphis was the only team to make the tournament. The Tigers won the C-USA tournament on Sunday by beating UAB 3-2. Winning their first conference title gave the Tigers an automatic tournament bid. Memphis will face Ohio State in the first round at Columbus, OH. The tournament spans the country, as teams will travel from North and South Carolina to Seattle to play postseason games.

The season started off well for the Bulls, as the team went on a nine-game unbeaten streak for the first month and a half of the season. But three straight conference losses to Cincinnati, UAB and Marquette left USF struggling to survive, and topped with a 5-0 loss to St. John’s on Oct. 30th, the Bulls were left with a 3-5 record for their last eight games.

“Down the stretch we played .500 ball,” USF coach George Kiefer said. “But of course, coaches and players need to be held accountable. It’s just unfortunate how the season ended.

“Today we had a meeting. I asked the seniors to leave and those seniors gave us everything they had, and if you looked around the room, there’s a lot of talent coming back and coming in, and if we can fill the needs of the team with the right players, we could be really good next year.”

USF (10-5-2, 5-3-1 C-USA) was quickly knocked out of the conference tournament on Nov. 12th when the team lost to St. Louis 2-0 at Cardinal Park in Louisville, Ky.

“I would have liked to have gotten in the tournament,” Kiefer added about the short post-season. “I think this group of seniors and this group of young players really got the program in the right direction.”