Penalty shot leads to No. 9 men’s first loss

With more than 1,000 fans in attendance Sunday at the USF Soccer Stadium to watch the men’s soccer team try to win its second game of the season, the No. 9 Bulls (1-1) fell 2-1 to Fordham (1-0).

The Bulls played the majority of the match a man down due to a red card called on sophomore Yohance Marshall 31 minutes, 31 seconds into the game. In retaliation to being kicked by a Fordham player, Marshall elbowed him in the neck and was instantly sent off. The match was scattered with a plethora of fouls for both teams – 18 for USF and 27 for Fordham, along with a total of five yellow cards and Marshall’s red.

“I thought they battled after we got the guy sent off,” coach George Kiefer said. “We had some chances, but it was just one of those nights where it didn’t go right for us.”

Early in the second half, Fordham midfielder Kevin Meyer was tripped inside the USF goal box. Meyer’s penalty shot sailed over the arms of senior goalkeeper Dane Brenner and into the top-left corner of the goal, giving Fordham the 2-1 advantage.

Fordham then adopted a more defensive approach by dropping its midfielders into the backfield. The shift opened up the field for USF and allowed the Bulls to get deep into Fordham territory, as USF outshot the Rams 19-9.

Throughout the second half, the Bulls had opportunities with forwards Hunter West and Kevon Neaves running the field on a number of occasions, but each opportunity proved to be yet another shortcoming.

Kiefer, however, thought his team played well for being a man down.

“I thought they responded well to the guy being sent off, and I thought we were able to keep the ball pretty good,” Kiefer said. “We were still able to create chances. We still had 80 percent of the possession. Obviously you don’t want to play a soccer game with one less man. It just didn’t work out for us.”