The USF men’s soccer team dropped their final preseason game Saturday in a 2-1 loss to instate rival UCF. The Bulls took an early lead but were unable to put the game away, missing a number of scoring opportunities.
Sophomore Kris Raad put USF on the board in the 10th minute of the contest, scoring on a header. Sophomore Rodrigo Hidalgo had the assist, passing the ball to Raad, who smashed it into the back of the net, past UCF goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh.
The Bulls managed to hold tough until the 29th minute, when the Golden Knights’ Jon Irman put a shot past Dane Brenner to tie the game 1-1. Forward Adham Rashwan scored the game-winning goal for UCF in the 78th minute due to USF’s inability to clear the ball out of its area. Rashwan took the shot on an out-of-position Brenner from 12 yards out to give UCF a 2-1 lead.
“I think by Friday the team will be very prepared,” coach George Kiefer said. “You seem to learn more from your losses than from your wins. I mean, you never want to lose, but they are good learning experiences.”
True to form, USF kept the pressure high through the remainder of the game, but was unable to capitalize on a number of scoring chances even though it out shot the Golden Knights 17-11.
“We still have a few days until FIU,” Bulls assistant coach Ryan Anatol said. “We’re going to use these days to evaluate ourselves. We did some things in the UCF game that worked out well and some things that didn’t. But we saw what we needed to do and we have to play better.”
Brenner had two saves on the night while his counterpart McIntosh had seven. With the loss, the Bulls finished the 2005 preseason with a 1-1-1 record.