Bulls shine in the spotlight

The national stage was set and the South Florida men’s soccer team took full advantage of the opportunity Friday night.

In front of a record crowd at the USF soccer stadium, No. 11 USF beat No. 8 Louisville in overtime on national television to regain sole possession of first place in the Big East Red Division.

Junior forward Zak Boggs scored the game-winning goal midway through the first overtime period on a cross pass from senior Jordan Seabrook.

Seabrook eluded his man and sent the ball to the left of the field where Boggs collected it, made a move to his right and fired a shot from just inside the edge of the 18-yard box.

“Jordan turned his guy and I was ready,” Boggs said. “He made an unselfish play, and I thought it might be coming. I was prepared and just took it in stride.”

Aside from a game-winning overtime goal on national television, Boggs said what he really enjoyed was playing in front of the crowd of 2,192.

“It was awesome,” he said. “I wish we could have (a crowd like that) more often. We gave them a good show, so hopefully they’ll come back.”

With the win, the Bulls move to 7-2-2 on the season and 5-1-1 in Big East play.

USF dodged a bullet late in the first half when senior defender Yohance Marshall was called for a foul in the box, giving Louisville a penalty kick and a chance at the lead.

Sophomore keeper Jeff Attinella made a diving stop to his right to block the kick, however, and Louisville couldn’t convert on the rebound as the game remained scoreless.

Kiefer said he wasn’t sure if the Cardinals should have gotten a penalty kick.

“I thought the placement of it was very fair for Louisville,” Kiefer said. “I felt like he fell in the box, but the foul occurred outside.”

If the foul had been called outside of the box, Louisville would not have been awarded a free kick, just possession of the ball.

The Bulls averted an early-game deficit and capitalized in overtime to move a full game ahead of Louisville in the standings.

“We stuck to our game plan for the full 90 minutes and overtime,” coach George Kiefer said. “We wore Louisville out. I felt if we could be patient and methodical about the way we move the ball they would get tired.”

Kiefer said the style of play was extremely beneficial to the program.

“To be able to go out and execute our style of play on national television was huge for us,” he said. “Good players want to play that way. To be able to beat one of the toughest teams in the nation in front of a national audience was great for us.”