Dream season ends as Bulls fall in second round of NCAA tournament

Despite having one of the most successful seasons in program history, the women’s soccer team (14-6-3) saw its brief postseason run end Sunday.

After winning their first-ever NCAA tournament game – a 3-1 win against Auburn on Friday in the first round – the Bulls suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to No. 2 seed Florida State (15-5-1) in Tallahassee.

“Right now, I think we will take 24 hours to enjoy what we accomplished this season and appreciate it,” coach Denise Schilte-Brown said.

The Seminoles, who hosted the lower bracket for the tournament’s first two rounds, played what essentially amounted to a home game.

The Bulls, who are 0-7-1 all-time against the Seminoles, got a break in the 6th minute, when an FSU goal was called back because of an offsides penalty.

Florida State scored in the 24th minute to take an early lead, but USF freshman forward Sharla Passariello scored her second goal of the tournament with 15 seconds remaining in the first half to tie the game at 1-1.

“We were proud of Sharla coming off the bench,” Schilte-Brown said. “She really had a big impact for us.”

The Seminoles capitalized on an easy scoring opportunity when USF senior defender Angelique Waller was whistled for a foul in the box, converting a penalty kick by junior defender Toni Pressely into a 2-1 lead.

“I feel like it could have been cleared earlier,” Waller said, “but I guess I went in too hard for a tackle and (the referee) called it.”

The 2-1 margin held up for Florida State, as sophomore forward Taylor Patterson had a shot hit the post in the 74th minute for the final scoring threat.

Patterson, a third-team All-Big East selection, scored twice Friday to help the Bulls to a win in their first tournament appearance.