Men’s soccer drops second straight game

After Rutgers’ football team squeaked by the Bulls, the No. 16 USF men’s soccer team (5-4-2, 3-2-2) also was unable to stop the Scarlet Knights. The Bulls lost 1-0 in front of a season-high crowd of 1,283 on Saturday at USF Soccer Stadium.

“It was a tough loss, but at the same time we did leave it out there,” midfielder Sammy Castellanos said. “They pretty much high-pressured us the whole game. I just think our finishing was a little bit off tonight.”

The loss marked the first time the Bulls have lost consecutive Big East games, and it was Rutgers’ (5-6, 3-4) second straight win against USF.

“It was a rough night (Saturday),” coach George Kiefer said. “It felt like we played well. The first half I thought was our best first half of the year.”

However, the game’s lone goal came in the first half. Rutgers’ Michael Crowley scored in the 15th minute on an 18-yard shot.

Sophomore Jordan Seabrook, junior Rodrigo Hidalgo and sophomore Kevon Neaves combined for 10 shots, seven of those on goal. Seabrook had two scoring opportunities on fast breakaways.

“I just got behind (the defense),” Seabrook said. “I try to be as calm as I can, find the corners, and I thought the goalie did a good job of getting down to them, getting his feet on the ball both times. Obviously I could have done better – probably should have done better – but I can’t take it back.”

The Bulls also hosted alumni weekend at the stadium. Despite the loss, the players and Kiefer appreciated the support.

“It definitely brings more spirit to the game,” Kiefer said. “The players are buzzing around and (have) more energy. It was a good environment (Saturday). I wish we could have gotten a win for them.”

Castellanos, who transferred from Rutgers in 2004, got a chance to play against some of his former teammates.

“(It’s) strictly business when it’s game time,” Castellanos said. “Of course, at the end of the game, we’re all still friends. We’re always wishing each other good luck – in life.”