Sunday marked the end of a stretch that included four games in seven days for the women’s soccer team. After upsetting No. 23 Marquette 1-0, the Bulls suffered their first loss of the season after falling 3-0 to Florida International.
Against Marquette, forward Jalessa Scott’s third goal of the season broke a scoreless game with 1:40 remaining. The freshman is tied for second in goals scored with Autumn Browning.
“(Scott) is an exciting player. At times she’s been brilliant,” coach Logan Fleck said. “She’s a special freshman, and we expect big things from her as the year goes on.”
Coming into Friday’s game against USF, Marquette averaged 18 shots per game, but only managed one shot on goal in eight attempts. Scott’s goal was only the second allowed by Marquette this season.
Goalkeeper Casey Garrett recorded her third shutout of the season and only trails Villanova’s Jillian Loyden for most shutouts in the Big East. Last season the Bulls only won two Big East games.
Friday’s success, however, was quickly forgotten as the Bulls failed to score against Florida International.
For the first time all season, the Bulls gave up the first goal of the game. Forward Nanna Rasmussen’s header proved to be the game winner as Florida International shut out USF for the first time since Oct. 14.
“No excuses, no explanations. We got beat today,” Fleck said. “We lost to a team we believe we are better than, but we certainly didn’t prove that today.”
USF had several opportunities to score but couldn’t capitalize on them. The Bulls best scoring chance came when Ebony Robinson found Lindsay Brauer during a two-on-one breakaway, but Brauer’s shot went wide left of the net.
“We outshot them, had more corner kicks, but couldn’t find the back of the net,” Fleck said. “Unfortunately, that’s soccer. We’ve had some good results during the past seven days. We can’t get too high after the Marquette game or get down about (Florida International).”
Defensively, the Bulls struggled and surrendered the most goals of the season Sunday. The final two goals for the Panthers came on breakaways.
“We were caught flat a few times, and they were able to get behind us,” defender Jeannette Dyer said. “At times we were unsure of where we were supposed to be and got caught looking forward.”
Both Fleck and Dyer said there “were no excuses” for the team’s performance against the Panthers and felt this game would be tough to win after Friday’s victory over Marquette.
“There was more pressure today than the Marquette game,” Dyer said. “We have nothing to lose in the Big East because no one expects anything from us. It’s hard mentally to come back from a big win like that, especially in a non-conference game.”