Trinidad twosome

The University of South Florida could have been called the University of Trinidad on Sunday night at the USF Soccer Stadium.

Trinidadians Jason Devenish and Kevon Neaves scored both of USF’s goals in the Bulls’ 2-1 double-overtime victory against Syracuse (6-7-1, 1-7-1). Neaves won the game for the Bulls (8-4-3, 4-2-3) on a free kick in the 106th minute, 23 yards out from the goal.

“We had one point with four minutes remaining (in double overtime),” Neaves said. “The team put me in a valuable position (to score).”

Neaves also had the assist on the Bulls’ first goal. USF scored right out of the gate in the second half, netting the first score of the night in the 46th minute. Neaves took a pass from forward Kris Raad and quickly sent the ball to an open Devenish.

“Jason (Devenish) came inside like he’s allowed to do and buried a good ball, a good finish,” coach George Kiefer said. “It was nothing I designed. It was more of them being creative and hitting a good shot.”

It was Devenish’s first goal of the season.

“I just trapped the ball and hit it as hard as I could,” Devenish said. “I had a formation in front of me, I took the space and took my opportunity.”

Kiefer was pleased with his players in a game that was a competitive Big East battle.

“I’m happy, and the guys have been working hard for the last two and a half weeks,” Kiefer said. “And now we’re just starting to get on the right side of these types of (close) games, which is good.”

The game was a significant win for the Bulls, who gain ground on Red Division leader No. 14 Cincinnati (9-4-2, 5-3-1), which lost 1-0 to Rutgers on Saturday. With the win, the Bulls move within one point of Cincinnati for first place in the division.

“(The team) was excited to learn about (Cincinnati losing),” Kiefer said. “But again, our focus has to be on the day-to-day stuff. We can’t be worried about the points. We just have to be concerned with (Wednesday’s opponent) Louisville. They could potentially finish where they get a home game. That’s what is great about the Big East. Everyone is still in it.

“And I think we qualified for a spot in the tournament (Sunday), so that takes a little pressure off us.”

The players are aware of what is at stake.

“We are trying to repeat our tournament from last year,” Neaves said. “And also, when you are at least No. 2 or No. 3 (in the tournament), you get byes and home games in the tournament. We look forward to both games (remaining on the regular season schedule).”