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Men’s soccer hosts Orange for USF Alumni Weekend

The USF men’s soccer team will go for its sixth consecutive win at 7:30 p.m. Friday when it hosts Syracuse as part of USF Alumni Weekend.

The Bulls — who are on a five-game stretch during which they have outscored opponents 8-2 — can’t afford to look past any opponents despite their early-season success, said coach George Kiefer.

“We can’t look too far ahead,” he said.  “If we focus on our next two games, we could drop one.”

Syracuse upset a then-ranked Providence squad Friday and fell to seventh-ranked Connecticut on Sunday. Kiefer said he likes the way Syracuse plays soccer and respects the way they compete.

“Syracuse really tries to play similar to us,” he said.  “They play soccer, they move the ball.  They’re going to come to Tampa to try to beat us, whereas some teams come and try and not get beat. They’re going to come out and play, we’re going to play, and the better team will win.”

With records of 6-1-1 on the year and 4-0 in conference play, USF holds a half-game lead over second-place St. John’s in the Big East Red Division.

The Bulls’ coaching staff has stressed one message throughout the season.

“Our goals all year have been to take it one day at a time,” assistant coach Ryan Anatol said. “Our focus is on tomorrow, each training session, and just working hard each day and getting better.”

Sunday’s game against West Virginia was USF’s 450th win in school history and Kiefer’s 70th victory as a Bull.

In addition to Friday’s game, the soccer team will host USF’s Alumni Weekend, where many soccer alumni including former coach Dan Holcomb will be in attendance. Holcomb, who coached the Bulls from ‘65-‘86, holds the record for most wins in the history of the program (216).

Friday will mark the fourth game between USF and Syracuse, with  the Orange winning two of the first three meetings.  The Bulls won last year in double overtime.

Friday will be the end of a three-game home stand. The Bulls head  to Chicago on Tuesday to take on DePaul. USF defeated DePaul 2-0 last year.