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USF Bulls downed by Georgetown Hoyas

Senior Autumn Browning draws a yellow card Tuesday against Georgetown. ORACLE PHOTO/JOE ROBERTS

The USF women’s soccer team played its final home game of the season Tuesday night, making up a contest from Oct. 5 against the Georgetown Hoyas.

For the Bulls, the strain of playing three games in five days proved to be the difference, as they dropped their third straight game – a 2-0 decision to the Hoyas.

Tuesday night’s game was a scheduled make-up game. USF and Georgetown were originally scheduled to play earlier in the month, but the game was recorded as a no-contest because of weather.

The Bulls and the Hoyas battled for 69:59 of scoreless soccer, but Mother Nature decided to intervene. The game was delayed twice because of lightning and stopped at the last second. If the game had lasted just two more ticks, it would have gone into the books as a draw.

On Tuesday, the Bulls (4-8-2) had their hands full with the Hoyas from the beginning of the game. USF was forced to play aggressively from the opening kick of the game, as the Hoyas kept the ball in USF territory for most of the first half.

USF managed to take three shots on goal in the first half – when the team was able to move the ball past the aggressive Hoyas’ defense. The Bulls’ best opportunity for a score came with eight minutes in the half. Senior Autumn Browning had her shot sail just over the top of the net.

On defense, the Bulls faced an aggressive Georgetown attack. Despite having the ball in USF territory for most of the first half, the Hoyas managed only one shot on goal. This helped the Bulls go into the half with a 0-0 tie.

In the second half, the strain of having to play three games in five days for the first time this season seemed to catch up with the Bulls. USF took control of the ball early in the second half, but could not maintain possession. Just five minutes into the second half, the Bulls started to break down defensively.

Hoyas’ midfielder Sara Jordan took a pass from midfielder Stephanie Zaire and put it past a diving Mallori Lofton-Malachi to score the first goal of the game. Just five minutes later, Zaire took a pass from Ingred Wells to put the Hoyas up 2-0.

Fatigue seemed to doom the Bulls. However, head coach Denise Schilte-Brown felt that the Bulls’ conditioning played a factor in their late-season fatigue.

“I think that we didn’t come in fit for the preseason,” Schilte-Brown said. “When you don’t put the work in during the summer, you’re going to pay for it, because you don’t have time during the season to work on fitness.”

As fatigue began to set in, USF players began to show frustration. With only six minutes to play, Bulls’ defender Melanie Sutherland picked up her fifth yellow card of the season – and a one-game suspension.

“Mel is at the (yellow card) limit, so we won’t have her for the game against West Virginia,” Schilte-Brown said. “We just need her to come back and play big against Pittsburgh.”

Less than a minute after Sutherland picked up her card, Browning picked up a yellow card for throwing a Georgetown defender to the ground.