USF travels to play Cincinnati

Its sights are set on another Big East tournament appearance, but to get there the South Florida men’s soccer team must concentrate on the task at hand and take care of business at Cincinnati (5-8-2, 2-5-1) tonight.

The Bulls (10-3-2, 6-2-1) are in an ideal position with two games left in the regular season. They are in second place in the Big East Red Division, and the top two teams from each division receive first-round byes in the conference tournament.

The Bearcats have struggled this year and are fighting to keep their season alive. They are last in the division.

“Cincinnati’s situation can make it tough on an opposing team,” USF coach George Kiefer said. “They’re trying to stay alive, and that can make them a very dangerous opponent. We need to remain focused.”

Kiefer said he was pleased with the way his team has responded following the loss at St. John’s.

He added that much of USF’s success this year has been due to great senior leadership, with the freshman class playing a key role.

“Our freshmen are really contributing,” Kiefer said. “Aubrey Perry has played every minute this year. Sebastien (Thuriere) was one of the main reasons we won our last game. I just tell them to keep working hard and it’ll pay off, and it has.”

Yohance Marshall, USF team captain, has received praise from his coaches and teammates.

“I try to make sure that we improve each and every week,” said Marshall, who scored the game-winner against Villanova on Friday night. “It’s my job to make sure everyone’s on the same page. We like where we’re at right now, but need to continue to improve and play smart.”

Marshall was named as one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior Class Award, which is given to athletes in several sports.