USF suffers road loss to Cincinnati

Cincinnati 1, USF 0

The South Florida men’s soccer team couldn’t overcome the cold — or the Cincinnati defense — against a Bearcats team fighting to keep its playoff hopes alive.

The Bulls lost 1-0 Tuesday night in the 34-degree weather at Gettler Stadium on a goal by Cincinnati midfielder Paul Hoste.

USF came out strong, but Cincinnati took advantage of an opportunity early in the second half.

“We played well in the first half but the game got a little away from us in the second,” USF coach George Kiefer said. “The goal was a little bit of a mishap. The (Cincinnati) guy got a hold of a misclear (turnover) and put it toward the goal. I thought it was going to be wide but it found the back of the net.”

The miscue led to the only score of the game, and USF couldn’t find a way through the Cincinnati defense.

“After they scored, they sat back and made it really tough on us,” Kiefer said. “I felt real good about this game up until they scored.”

As in nearly every game in the Big East, this game had plenty of ramifications.

“That’s the beauty of the Big East,” Kiefer said. “We’re fighting for a position in the tournament. Cincinnati’s fighting to not stay home. Everybody is fighting for something, each and every game. The way they have it structured makes for an exciting season.”

The Bulls return to Tampa with hopes of finishing the season on a positive note. Junior midfielder Francisco Aristeguieta said the team needs to focus on the task at hand.

“We have to get focused for the next game,”  he said. “This was a bad game for us. We made some mistakes, but we know we’re capable of fixing them.”

In a time when it’s hard not to think about where one’s team is at in the standings, the Bulls know they can only control what their own team does.

“We can’t get caught up in what other teams do,” Aristeguieta said. “We can’t control that. We need to worry about our next game because that is what’s most important.”

The Bulls can still clinch a first-round bye with a win against Rutgers on Saturday.