USF (15-5-2) at Connecticut (19-2-1)When: Sunday, 1 p.m.Where: Joseph J. Morrone StadiumTV/Radio: None
The men’s soccer team will continue its bid for an NCAA tournament championship Sunday when it faces Connecticut in third-round action at Joseph J. Morrone stadium in Storrs, Conn.
The match marks the third time this season the Bulls have faced the Huskies. In the first clash between the two Big East foes, Connecticut dealt the Bulls their only loss at home all season in a 2-1 thriller Sept. 21.
The Bulls fared worse when they traveled to Connecticut in the Big East championship. In the second-round match that put the Bulls’ hopes of making the NCAA tournament in jeopardy, the Huskies outshot USF 15-4 and came away with a 2-0 win in front of a crowd of more than 4,000.
The Bulls and team captain Yohance Marshall are riding high after the junior defender put away game-winning goals in each of the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.
Senior midfielder Simon Schoendorf is leading the Bulls in assists with 13 and is second in the nation to Connecticut’s Mike Pezza in that category. His leadership and ability to create opportunities on the wing – as well as distribute the ball into the middle of the field – is essential for the USF attack to be effective against a Connecticut defense that has allowed only 12 goals all year.
Coming into the match, the Bulls are ranked second in both goals and assists in the Big East during a season that saw seven teams from the conference make the NCAA tournament. The only team they’re trailing in those statistical categories is none other than the Huskies.
A victory Sunday would make history for the Bulls in more ways than one. The team would not only advance further into the NCAA tournament than any men’s team in school history, they would also beat the Huskies for the first time in school history as they are 0-6 all-time against Connecticut.