A ‘perfect’ day for seniors

Senior day was everything the USF seniors could have asked for – and maybe even a bit more.

USF (6-5-3, 3-2-2) upset No. 24 Connecticut (9-5-0, 4-3-0) 2-1 at the USF Soccer Stadium on Sunday while honoring its seniors in their final home match.

“It was great that everyone on our team came out and played for the seniors and for our last home game,” said senior forward Amanda McCormick. “It turned out perfect.”

The Huskies took an early lead as Elise Fugowski scored off a deflection from senior goalkeeper Mallori Lofton-Malachi.

However, the Bulls controlled the second half, holding the Huskies to only one shot on goal while USF poured on six.

Eventually, freshman midfielder Taylor Patterson found sophomore Gina Pacheco, who blasted a shot past Connecticut’s Jessica Dulski in the 54th minute to put the match in a deadlock.

Sophomore striker Chelsea Klotz then broke the deadlock.

USF’s mounting pressure paid off with just under 10 minutes remaining in the match, when Klotz found the back of the net for the game winner. It was Klotz’s fifth of the season.

“I think we’ve been tested time and time again against these top teams, and we’ve responded really well,” said USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown. “We showed a lot of character going down a goal and coming back to win the game. I’m just real proud of the team and it meant a lot.”

The win was the first against the Huskies and the first over a ranked team since the Bulls defeated No. 23 Marquette in 2007.

“I think it’s always important to win, but it’s more important the way we played especially in the second half scoring two goals against a ranked team like UConn,” Lofton-Malachi said. “These are big wins for us and just put our program on another level.”

USF suffered a 1-0 loss to Providence (7-5-3, 2-3-2) Friday, however.

Providence’s Alyssa Gillespie sent in a corner kick that deflected off USF defender Bahar Sansar for the only goal.

“I didn’t think that we came prepared to play (Friday),” Schilte-Brown said. “I felt that we made some good adjustments in the second, but we couldn’t get it into the back of the net.”

Despite the loss, the seniors were sent out winners on Sunday.

“I’m real proud of the seniors and blessed to know them,” Schilte-Brown said. “They’re great girls and they’ve enhanced my life in many ways and (Sunday) was a great day to honor them.”