USF (6-8-1, 3-6) at St. John’s (9-3-4, 4-2-3)When: Tonight, 7Where: Belson Stadium
The story: With only two games remaining for USF’s women’s soccer team, the Bulls control their destiny heading into the Big East Tournament.
Beginning this season, the conference was split into two divisions: the American and the National. In the new format, the top five teams from each division will advance to the Big East Tournament.
The top four teams in each division will host a home game during the tournament. West Virginia, Marquette, Connecticut and St. John’s have all clinched American Division tournament berths.
USF, Syracuse and Pittsburgh are battling for the fifth American Division spot in the tournament.
Tournament berths are based on a point system – three for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. The Bulls have earned nine points, while Pittsburgh has eight and Syracuse has seven.
The top three seeds from both divisions earn a first-round bye, while the fifth seed from each division travels to play the fourth seed from the opposite division.
If the season ended today, USF would travel to play Louisville, which is the fourth-place team from the National Division.
The Bulls close out the regular season this weekend on the road against St. John’s and Syracuse (3-11-3, 2-6-1).
Coach Logan Fleck likes his teams’ position.
“Obviously two wins would be ideal because that means we could move past St. John’s and get a home game for (the tournament),” he said. “But one win puts us in a great position.”
If the Bulls win one game, Syracuse and Pittsburgh would need to win both of their remaining games to qualify for the tournament.
Friday, the Bulls face St. John’s. USF hopes to snap a four-game losing streak against the Red Storm. Last season the Bulls earned their third Big East victory beating St. John’s 3-2 in double overtime. Despite tallying a conference low 137 shots this season, the Red Storm has recorded 15 Big East Tournament points.
The Orange trail the Big East in points (25), goals scored (8), assists (9) and goals allowed (36). For the second straight season USF closes its regular season against the Orange and hopes to avenge its 3-2 loss from last season.
Keep an eye on: St. John’s goalkeeper Jamie Beren. During her last game the junior stopped 11 shots to shut out Rutgers. St. John’s earned a tie despite being outshot 19-1 during the contest. Beren has recorded 74 saves and six shutouts.