Bulls could clinch division this weekend

The USF women’s soccer team is in a different place than it was a year ago: on the verge of clinching a Big East tournament berth.

USF (8-5-3, 5-2-2), tied for first place in the American division of the Big East, faces St. John’s, a team one point behind in the standings, on the road Friday at 4 p.m.

The Bulls have 17 points in their division and could clinch the regular season division title and a No. 1 seed in the tournament with wins over the Red Storm and Syracuse if Marquette loses a match. The Bulls play the Orange on Sunday at noon.

Last season, the Bulls missed the Big East tournament and finished with just three
conference wins.

“You have a different kind of focus and different kind of pressure heading into the game – a desire to win but not so stressed,” said coach Denise Schilte-Brown. “We’re not thinking about (the Big East tournament). We have to win this weekend.”

The Bulls haven’t made the tournament in two years. In 2007, USF lost in the first round to Villanova.

“Of course we’re excited about the Big East (tournament), but we’re focusing on St. John’s right now,” said sophomore Chelsea Klotz, who leads the team with seven goals.

The Bulls are on a three-match winning streak that dates back to a 2-1 upset of then-No. 24 Connecticut on Oct. 11.

Syracuse (4-10-3, 1-7-1) is in last place in the American division.