A major reason for the men’s soccer team’s success this year has been its defense.
The Bulls haven’t allowed a first-half goal all season and their opponents have scored nine times in 13 matches.
As the leader of the defense, USF coach George Kiefer said junior Javed Mohammed deserves a great deal of credit for how well No. 7 USF (9-2-2, 4-2-2), which faces No. 18 Dartmouth (8-2-1, 3-0-0) tonight at 7:30 at the USF Soccer Stadium, has played this season.
“Javed has been outstanding for us,” Kiefer said. “His hard work and effort have really shown.”
Mohammed – a native of La Romain, Trinidad – has been effective in his ability to both defend and push forward in attack from an outside back position, Kiefer said.
“We’re talking to Javed and Aubrey (Perry) (about how) they can be two of the better attacking backs in the country,” Kiefer said. “I think that’s the reward for those guys who want to come to USF as an outside back. We don’t ask them just to stay home.”
Mohammed leads the team with seven assists and has one goal as well.
“This year has been very rewarding so far,” Mohammed said. “I worked hard in the summer and preseason and have improved in many aspects of the game. There is still room for improvement, though, and I think we can get much better as a team.”
The Bulls are coming off a 3-0 victory over Syracuse on the road. The Big Green defeated Pennsylvania 3-1 last time out. For USF, this is the only ranked non-conference opponent faced in the regular season, and it is 5-0 in non-conference matches
Dartmouth enters with a four match winning streak, having outscored its opponents 12-5 in that span.
To win, Mohammed said USF must play with the same kind of chemistry it’s played with during a two-match winning streak. USF scored three goals in its two previous games after dropping points in consecutive matches against Louisville and St. John’s.
“As a team we are very united,” he said. “We work for one another and are definitely one of the hardest working teams in the country.”