Last season, midfielder Bernardo Anor tore his ACL in the Bulls’ seventh match and was unable to play the remainder of the year.
Coming off the bench in his third game since returning from the injury, Anor scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give USF a 1-0 victory against the Valparaiso Crusaders (1-2-0) Tuesday night at the USF Soccer Stadium.
“It feels amazing to score the winning goal,” Anor said. “It is definitely a confidence builder for me, and I am really happy that we came away with the win against a really tough opponent.”
Though the match was a tight defensive contest for a majority of the night, it took 55 seconds of the first overtime for the sophomore midfielder to score for the No. 11 Bulls (3-0-0).
The Bulls are off to a 3-0 start, and junior defenseman Javed Mohammed, who was a key contributor on defense, said he was pleased with the result. Mohammed scored the game-winning goal in USF’s 1-0 victory at Florida Gulf Coast Saturday.
“It was a difficult match for us because we couldn’t capitalize on our chances,” he said. “We should have scored a couple goals in the first half but things didn’t go our way. We never gave up though and kept at them all night.”
USF coach George Kiefer said he would like his team to capitalize on some of the chances on goal the Bulls had in regulation. USF outshot Valparaiso 15-7 and had eight shots on goal.
“We definitely created enough chances to win the game,” he said. “It seemed that the net was smaller for us tonight.”
USF has scored four goals in its first three games. Kiefer said he knows his team’s offensive capabilities.
“We have been getting a good number of chances to score in the past few games but our offense does need to improve,” he said. “Where we’ll get much better is in transition, which will create more scoring opportunities for us.”
Kiefer said the goal should lift Anor’s confidence after his long awaited return from injury.
“That was a huge goal for him, and an even bigger one for our team,” he said.