Bulls make history by advancing to semis

After making school history by earning a first-round bye in the Big East tournament, USF (12-4-3) had some more history to make Sunday.

The Bulls got another exceptional effort from their defense and advanced to the tournament’s semifinals for the first time in school history after a 1-0 win at Georgetown (13-6-1) Sunday.

“It’s a really big deal for us,” coach Denise Schilte-Brown said. “We are growing as a program, and following the plan is important to get where we want to be.”

USF had lost 3-1 earlier in the season at Georgetown after taking an early lead on a goal by junior forward Venicia Reid.

Reid, along with the defense, played the hero again Sunday.

Because of women’s soccer sudden death extra time rules, Reid’s 108th minute goal ended the game.

The defense, which had given up just one goal in its last four games, once again rose to the challenge.

Junior keeper Nicole McClure, who has nine shutouts this season, had seven saves.

“The defense was great once again,” Schilte-Brown said, “and with the extra time, they had to play quite a bit of defense.”

The game was physical from start to finish, with 24 total fouls. Reid drew a yellow card.

Both teams traded shots and saves for the first 10-minute overtime period. After 18 minutes of extra time, Reid finally broke through with the goal.

The victory also improved the Bulls’ NCAA tournament resume. Before the game, USF was ranked 46th in the RPI, which put them as a potential “bubble team.”

“Even though we are taking this one game at a time, we knew the Georgetown game would be a big game in our push for the NCAA tournament,” Schilte-Brown said.

The Bulls won a date to play Marquette (15-3-2) at Rutgers, which is the host site for the 2010 Big East tournament’s final two rounds. USF suffered a 2-1 home loss to the Golden Eagles this season

“It’s good to have a first-hand look at their team, rather than just seeing them on film,” Schilte-Brown said. “I think it will help us on Friday.”

Men finish fourth in division, play West Virginia in first round of tourney

USF ended its regular season with a 2-0 loss at St. John’s on Saturday night.

The Red Storm used its 7-2 shooting advantage to defeat USF.

USF, which is 4-3-2 in the Big East and finished fourth in the conference’s Red Division, plays at West Virginia on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Big East tournament. The Mountaineers (9-6-2) finished fourth in the Blue Division. The winner faces Louisville, the Red Division’s top seed, on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinals.