USF’s men’s soccer team left Tampa for a pair of Big East road matches this weekend with an undefeated record and the No. 3 ranking in the country.
The Bulls didn’t return unscathed, however.
West Virginia (3-2-2, 2-1-0) handed USF its first loss of the season with a 1-0 overtime victory at the Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown on Friday night.
Following a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation, it took just 72 seconds for West Virginia freshman Abel Sebele to score the game winner.
After USF could not clear the ball from its own end, WVU midfielder Alex Silva took control and sent a crossing pass to Sebele, who sent it just out of reach of Bulls goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, giving West Virginia the win.
“West Virginia was the better team,” said coach George Kiefer. “I was proud of the way our guys played, but you have to give the Mountaineers credit.”
Despite its first loss of the season, USF got some unorthodox inspiration for Sunday’s match.
“Our football team really gave us a lift,” said Kiefer of USF’s 17-7 victory over FSU. “We were all upset after losing Friday night, but after watching USF beat Florida State, we were all in a great mood. That was a huge win for our football program.”
USF defeated Pittsburgh 2-1 at Founders Field on Sunday.
The Bulls (6-1-1, 2-1-1) got off to a fast start, testing Pittsburgh goalie Keegan Gunderson with two shots in the first five minutes. USF got on the board in the 16th when junior forward Andre Mittoo headed a corner kick past Gunderson for his first goal of the season.
USF kept the pressure on Pittsburgh’s defense and scored its second goal of the game in the 52nd minute. After the Panthers (1-8-0, 0-4-0) committed a foul inside their box, midfielder Bernardo Anor knocked in his team-leading third goal of the season on a penalty kick to give USF a 2-0 advantage.
Pittsburgh midfielder Justin Boehm’s goal in the 85th minute was not enough, as the Bulls handed the Panthers their eighth consecutive defeat.
“I was happy to see us get the win in a difficult place to play,” Kiefer said. “It had been raining, and the field was very sloppy but our guys got after them.”