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Bulls open Big East season

The last time the USF men’s soccer team lost a match at the USF Soccer Stadium was September 2007.

Since its 2-1 defeat at the hands of Connecticut that year, USF is 18-0-2 at home over a span that will reach 728 days Friday, when the Bulls host their first Big East opponent of the season.

USF’s 20-match home unbeaten streak will be tested this weekend as the Bulls welcome Marquette (1-3-0) and No. 21 Notre Dame (2-2-1) to the USF Soccer Stadium.

Marquette won its first match of the season 1-0 against Milwaukee but has been outscored 7-0 since. The Golden Eagles lost to No. 9 UC-Irvine Friday, which caught USF coach George Kiefer’s attention.

“I understand the lure of the Notre Dame game, but this Marquette team is a good team,” Kiefer said. “We saw that game and they had chances.”

USF, which won both home games this season, in the top 10 in many polls, ranking as high as No. 5 by

Sunday, USF will host No. 21 Notre Dame at 1 p.m. Last year, the Bulls were blown out 5-0 by the Irish in the regular season but turned it around in the Big East tournament semifinals, beating the Irish 2-1.

The Bulls are led this year by defender Javed Mohammed, who has one goal and two assists for a team-high four points.

Despite beginning conference play this weekend, Kiefer doesn’t place any more importance on winning.

“We don’t try to approach it that way. Right now, we’re focusing on each day,” he said. “I think at the end of all the games, they’ll add up the points and designate a winner. There’s not a focus to win the Big East, there’s a focus to play Marquette and try to keep my guys in tune.”

The Bulls went 7-4-1 in the Big East last season before hosting the conference tournament at the USF Soccer Stadium, where they won the school’s second Big East Championship.