Mora delivers; USF tops Dartmouth

As a midfielder, senior Jorge Mora doesn’t get too many chances to score. When he does get one, though, he hardly ever misses.

A lone goal by Mora made the difference Wednesday night when No. 12 USF defeated No. 18 Dartmouth 1-0 at the USF Soccer Stadium.

Entering the match, Mora had three shots on goal all season for one score. It didn’t take the senior long to grab his second.

In the 27th minute, he was wide open just beyond the 18-yard box. Taking a pass from freshman Hasani Sinclair, he dribbled nearly 10 yards uncontested and let it rip into the Dartmouth net.

“Usually, the defenders are right on top of you,” Mora said. “It’s good when you get a chance to turn and take a shot.”

Dartmouth outshot USF 9-3 in the first half. After the Bulls tempered some of the aggressiveness, however, USF began to take control of the ball, and that’s when Mora got the goal.

“There was about a five- or 10-minute span when we were really putting pressure on them,” Mora said. “It was just a good sequence of passes. Hasani was able to pick me out in the middle. I was able to turn and beat the keeper far post.”

Coach George Kiefer attributed the goal to the way his team was passing.

“We were in a good flow at that point and started to move the ball quickly,” he said. “If you get (the ball) moving, you should be able to get guys open like that. I thought his first touch was great. He hit a hard, low-driven ball to the low corner. It was a good goal.”

As Kiefer said he expected, Dartmouth put USF to the test early with its chances. As it’s been all season, however, USF’s defense and goalie Jeff Attinella were up to the challenge. Attinella recorded his sixth shutout of the season.

“Jeff is always good and came up with key saves when we needed it,” Kiefer said. “The back four (did well). They’re one of the more dangerous transition teams we’ll play. To get a shutout against them was good for us.”

Kiefer said his team might be playing its best soccer of the year. USF (10-2-2, 5-2-2) has won three straight matches.

“We’re getting close to it, we’re starting to gel pretty nice,” he said. “It’s a good time to start to feel that way.”

USF, two points behind Louisville for the top spot in the Big East red division standings, will host Villanova on Saturday.