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Bulls get tournament berth, bye after pair of victories

USF (11-4-3) is back in the postseason with momentum on its side.

The Bulls won both of their final regular season games, locking up the Big East American division’s No. 3 seed with a 2-1 win against Syracuse on Sunday at the USF Soccer Stadium.

The Bulls earned a bye and will face No. 2 seed Georgetown on Sunday in the quarterfinals.

“Playing in the postseason is so different. There is so much pressure and anxiety, you get a different type of rush,” junior goalkeeper Nicole McClure said.

Sunday’s game was also special for seniors Angelique Walker, Lindsey Krakower and Kim Diaz, who were honored before the game for Senior Day.

“It was an emotional day” coach Denise Schilte-Brown said. “On one hand, you want to be focused on the game, but on the other, you can’t help thinking about these great girls that you were blessed to coach.”

The Bulls got on the board first after Reid scored on a free kick in the 30th minute. USF wasn’t done, either, with Reid assisting on another goal that was finished by junior forward Chantelle Goodson.

On Friday, the Bulls downed St. Johns to clinch a spot in the tournament for the second straight season. Junior forward Chelsea Klotz and junior forward Venicia Reid scored goals.

“We’re just following our game plan, we have a really tough group of girls that are hard to break,” Schilte-Brown said.

“Because it’s the first time we have gotten a first-round bye, it’s a mark of our progression as a program,” Schilte-Brown said, “and it’s important to us as far as recovery is concerned because our girls really battle hard.”

“The victory also gave the Bulls their best season under Schilte-Brown and the most wins since 1999.

“It’s such an honor to have a season like this for coach Brown,” McClure said. “It’s just so great to be a part of this team.”