For the second straight game, the women’s soccer team was held scoreless by an in-state rival. After lightning caused a game delay for more than an hour, the Bulls (4-2-1) eventually fell 1-0 to the Miami Hurricanes (6-1) on Friday.
Although it appears the Bulls are struggling on offense, coach Logan Fleck said he feels his opponents are dropping back more defenders to prevent USF’s offensive attack.
“When teams know that you’re good, they drop back eight defenders,” Fleck said. “And that is what they did, so we’re going to need some good passing. We’re not going to have one-on-one situations anymore, so we’re going to work on running without the ball.”
After a fast start to the season, during which the Bulls scored 13 goals in four games, USF has only scored once in its last three games.
“As the season goes on, goals become more and more precious,” Fleck said. “We were a little off rhythm, but that’s OK.”
Defender Kristen Chapman scored the lone goal of the game for Miami, heading in her first goal of the season off a corner kick from defender Jessica Wyble.
“We missed an assignment. We left (Chapman) open, and she put it away,” Fleck said. “Our team can’t make mistakes like that, especially against an ACC team like Miami. They are a good team, but we had chances to win that game.”
Miami took six corner kicks during the contest, while USF was had only one. During corner kicks, Fleck said his team plays a zone defense, and goalkeeper Casey Garrett comes up to provide some extra insurance.
“It depends on how the ball is hit, but I try and get to it and use my height to my advantage,” Garrett said. “On the goal, I saw the whole play, but once it was hit, I dove to my left and didn’t get there.”
Some players are responsible for a 3-yard area and assume responsibility for players in their zone. The remaining players are assigned to a specific individual to cover and try to keep the ball away.
Despite losing their last two games, the Bulls remain confident.
“I don’t think we are struggling at all. We just didn’t get off any shots,” Garrett said. “We had an attack, but we just couldn’t finish.”