USF’s senior class made sure a night dedicated to them didn’t end in disappointment.
Senior midfielder Shawn Chin and senior defender Andre Mittoo scored goals to lead the Bulls (9-3-4) to a 2-1 win against Rutgers (4-10-1) on Senior Night at the USF Soccer Stadium on Wednesday.
“I was pleased with the victory. You always want to watch a group after a very emotional game Saturday, so I thought they responded well,” coach George Kiefer said. “That’s a good team (Rutgers) over there, they’ve been a bit unlucky this season. College players will sometimes look at another team’s record and get a little bit sidetracked, so I thought they did a good job tonight making sure they were focused for Rutgers, because that’s a good team.”
In the first half, the Bulls’ defense had their hands full. Rutgers’ freshman midfielder Brennan McNicoll converted on a free kick in the 15th minute to put the Scarlet Knights up 1-0.
Five minutes later, Bulls senior midfielder Fernando Gonzalez assisted Mittoo, who put a header past junior goalkeeper Adam Klink to knot the score at 1-1.
“It felt great scoring a goal. I was really determined to score on my senior night, my last home game at USF,” Mittoo said.
The second half showcased defense, but Chin placed a penalty kick in the left corner of the net in the 76th minute for the game-winning goal. It was his fifth goal of the season.
Senior goalkeeper Jeff Attinella came up with key saves to help USF put the game away late.
“I mean, after the loss against Louisville, it was a terrible loss. We played our hearts out, and we end up losing (against Louisville), and then coming here to get a win at home again, it felt great,” Mittoo said.
The win increases the Bulls’ chances of hosting a match in the Big East tournament, as the team sits third in the conference’s Red Division. The Bulls finish their regular season at St. John’s on Saturday at 7 p.m.