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Men’s soccer plays to a draw

After battling Big East rival Syracuse for 110 minutes Friday night, the South Florida men’s soccer team couldn’t muster a goal — and neither could the Orange. Instead, the Bulls settled for a 0-0 double overtime tie and remain unbeaten in conference play.

Sophomore Jeff Attinella had his fourth shutout in a row and fifth of the season but said the defense deserves the majority of the credit.

“The defense is playing amazing,” he said. “They make my job easy.”

The Bulls have allowed two goals in their last six games.

USF — 6-1-2 on the season and 4-0-1 in league play — remains in first place in the Big East Red Division. The Bulls maintain a one-game lead over St. John’s, which fell to Louisville on Saturday.

USF coach George Kiefer said he was satisfied with his team’s level of play, despite missing a few opportunities late in the game Friday.

“We’ll win a lot of games if we keep playing like that,” he said. ”I’m very happy with the way we defended and the way we’re keeping teams off the board.”

The first half appeared evenly matched, with each having an equal number of chances. It was USF that took control of the game in the second half, but the Bulls couldn’t convert on a few open opportunities.

“I thought we had complete control of the game in the second half if you look at the amount of chances we created,” Kiefer said. ”Some of the guys were a little unlucky tonight. Give Syracuse’s goalie credit.”

USF outshot the Orange 19-11 and had twice as many shots on goal.

The best opportunity for the Bulls came in the 58th minute when junior forward Zak Boggs collected a rebound off a diving save by Syracuse goalkeeper Robert Cavicchia. Senior midfielder Kevon Neaves, the team’s point leader, fired the initial shot but was denied, and Boggs’ bid for the rebound sailed just high of the goal.

Syracuse came into the game with a league record of 2-2 and an overall record of 5-2-2.

“They’re a good team,” Kiefer said. “They play a lot like us.” USF will look to stay atop the Big East Red Division standings when it hits the road Tuesday to face DePaul in Chicago. The Bulls have beaten the Blue Demons in 12 of the 14 meetings between the two teams.