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Shootout sorrow for USF

Charlottesville, Va. – Stressed or frustrated. Both described the way the men’s soccer team felt after its 7-6 shootout loss at No. 13 Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday.

In its second shootout of the postseason, freshman Joey Brown’s shot sailed over the crossbar after the No. 19 Bulls matched the Cavaliers shot for shot until that point. The game ended in a 4-4 tie.

“It’s certainly frustrating,” said goalkeeper Dane Brenner, who played in his first career shootout and had fives saves. “The whole game was frustrating and stressful because of how it went back and forth like that. Obviously you want to come out and establish some sort of dominance.”

USF, which has never scored more than three goals in a tournament game, had a quick two-goal lead on scores by sophomore Rodrigo Hidalgo and freshman Jordan Seabrook.Hidalgo’s goal came in the eighth minute when his shot deflected off the left goal post, and Seabrook’s came 14 minutes later when his shot bounced off the hands of Cavalier goalkeeper Ryan Burke.

Virginia responded by scoring three straight goals – two by Dale Murphy and one by Joe Vide – to put USF down 3-2 late in the first half.

“Having that two goal lead slip away hurts,” coach George Kiefer said. “You can talk about good defending, but sometimes you can have defended well and they still score on you.”

The Bulls tied the game at three with less than a minute left in the first half on a Seabrook header – his 15th of the season – from a long cross sent by Brown.

The Cavaliers retook the lead on Yannick Reyering’s goal just 48 seconds into the second half.USF tied the game at four when Burke fouled Seabrook just inside the goal box. The foul set up a Simon Schoendorf penalty kick, which he put away in the upper left-hand corner, making the sophomore 3-for-4 on penalty shots this season.

The call was so close to being inside that box, not even Seabrook was sure.

“It was close,” said Seabrook, whose 15 goals and 36 points are the most scored by a USF player in the past five years.

The Cavaliers had chances to take the lead, but Brenner came up with three clutch saves in overtime.

“They were pretty close to each other,” Brenner said. “We were just giving them too much room. I just knew they were trying to get it on goal and I was able to set well and make the save.

“We’re up, we’re down, we’re tied. I thought we’d come out on top before the end of regulation before the penalty kicks.”