Women’s soccer downs the Bearcats for first Big East win

The “Bird” is the word.

Megan Morton, who is known as “Bird” on the USF women’s soccer team, led the Bulls to a 3-2 overtime victory over Cincinnati (3-10-2, 1-7-1 Big East) on Sunday. Morton scored twice, including the game-winning goal in the first overtime to give the Bulls (6-6-3, 1-5-3 Big East) their first win in the Big East conference.

“(Morton) was injured in the beginning of the year, but now she’s back,” coach Logan Fleck said. “She’s extremely important to this team. She came up today and gave us some offense.”

After Morton’s first goal, the Bulls were up 1-0, but they gave up two goals to Cincinnati and were in danger of going winless for the eighth straight game.

“I had a lot of faith in our team,” Fleck said. “I think we were playing very well. I felt like that any moment we were going to break in and get ourselves a goal.”

That’s exactly what the Bulls did.

With five minutes left, midfielder Jenny Mulvihill sent a long pass down the left side to senior midfielder Katie Reed who scored to tie the match at 2-2 and send the game into overtime.

In overtime, it was Morton again, this time heading a crossing pass from Ebony Robinson near the post. Cincinnati goalkeeper Sherry Slye made a diving stop but was unable to stop the ball from creeping in.

The Bulls outshot the Bearcats 28-10, and Bulls goalkeeper Casey Garrett finished the match with 11 saves.

For the Bulls, their first win in eight games lifted some weight off their shoulders.

“To continue to lose it kind of brings the whole morale down. The whole weekend we were like, ‘We have to win, we have to win,'” Morton said. “Finally after all these games, this is what we wanted to come home with.”

Morton’s sentiments were echoed by Reed.

“It’s about time,” she said. “It felt like we were kind of coming out of our little slump. But we finally got a break. It felt great to finally get a win.”

Fleck was also happy that the team broke through in a game that almost slipped away from them.

“It was a well-deserved win. The kids played very well,” he said. “Going down two goals to one, it was a great character game, and it shows you what you have in your team.”