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USF Women’s Soccer falls in conference play

Junior Lindsay Brauer had one of six shots on goal for the Bulls against Louisville. The Bulls are in fifth place of the American Division in the Big East Conference. ORACLE PHOTO/JOE ROBERTS

Despite carrying the momentum of a four-game unbeaten streak into the weekend, the USF women’s soccer team could not manage a win during its road trip to the Midwest. On Friday, the Bulls fell 3-0 to the Cincinnati Bearcats. On Sunday, USF lost 2-0 to the Louisville Cardinals.

The Bulls (4-7-2) went into Gettler stadium on Friday to play the Bearcats (6-8-2) on Cincinnati’s Senior Night. Cincinnati came out very aggressive, and jumped out to an early lead. Sophomore Erin MacDonald put a header past USF goalkeeper Mallori Lofton-Malachi just eight minutes into the game for her fifth goal of the season.

In the 17th minute of the game, junior forward Kristen May fired a shot from 35 yards out, which hit the back of the net for a 2-0 Bearcats lead. In the 25th minute, MacDonald scored her second goal of the contest after taking a pass from May on a give-and-go play.

Head coach Denise Schilte-Brown said she felt that her team lacked the intensity of Cincinnati.

“The girls didn’t come out with the same energy level as Cincinnati did,” Schilte-Brown said. “We needed to make some plays in the first half, but we just couldn’t get it done.”

The Bulls managed to keep the Bearcats off the board in the second half, but also failed to manage a goal. Lofton-Malachi made eight saves in 76 minutes of play, and the Bulls had eight shots on goal on only 11 shot attempts. Even though the Bulls lost the game, Schilte-Brown saw some positives in the second half.

“The girls did everything we asked them to do, and executed much better in the second half,” Schilte-Brown said. “We played a lot better in the second half, but we just couldn’t make up the deficit.”

On Sunday, USF traveled to Cardinal Park to play Louisville (11-3-2) on their Senior Day. The Bulls once again fell behind early and were unable to dig out of the hole.

In the 27th minute of the game, Cardinals’ senior defender Erica Robinson put a ball just over Lofton-Malachi to notch her first goal of the season. During the 39th minute, senior Monique Gjini was awarded a penalty kick after Louisville’s junior midfielder Mallory Lampson was taken down in the box. However, Lofton-Malachi made the save – her first PK save of the season.

“Mallori made a great save on the penalty kick,” Schilte-Brown said. “She always manages to make the big saves, and that one was huge in this game.”

Despite six shots on goal, USF was unable to find the back of the net for the second straight game. In the second half, Louisville managed to add a second goal in the 70th minute. Sophomore Lindsay Boling took a pass from Gjini and put it just out of the reach of Lofton-Malachi.

“In the first half, we didn’t come together as a team, and we could have done a lot better,” Schilte-Brown said. “I do think we did better in the second half, but we cannot get outplayed in the first half.”

USF will need to fix their woes quickly. The Bulls host the Georgetown Hoyas (11-5-0) on Tuesday. The game is a makeup of the game that was rained out at USF Soccer Stadium on

Oct. 5. The Bulls will have to deal with their first midweek game of the season. The extra game is a concern to Schilte-Brown.

“I think that fatigue is going to play a huge factor on Tuesday,” Schilte-Brown said. “We need to get everyone iced, stretched, and ready to go. The girls are going to have to fight through this, go out, and play hard at home.”