The women’s soccer team has the honor of playing the first regular-season match in USF’s new Corbett Soccer Stadium when it hosts Indiana on Friday at 7:30 p.m., before playing Alabama A&M on Sunday at 1 p.m. to close the weekend.
The Bulls (0-1-0) opened their season in disappointing fashion against No. 24 UCF last Friday, losing 5-1, but now have the luxury of playing seven consecutive home games. Forward Chelsea Klotz, last season’s leading goal-scorer, tallied the only USF goal of the opening match in the 50th minute.
Indiana (1-0-1), has never played against USF – a factor that senior goalkeeper Nicole McClure said will make the team’s ability to make on-field adjustments much more important. The Bulls must keep an eye on Hoosier’s midfielder Lisa Nouanesengsy, who scored a hat-trick in the team’s last game, a 6-1 blowout win against Butler.
“We basically just have to go back to the basics and focus on the little things,” said McClure, who finished second in the Big East in saves last year.
USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown, who guided the Bulls to an appearance in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, said the memories of last year could either spur the team this year or lead to complacency.
“We’re going to use that season as a springboard for this season. We’re going to learn from it, grow from it and use it to propel us forward,” Schilte-Brown said. “With all of the hype surrounding the stadium and with fans still paying attention to last year’s performance, it might be hard to stay focused. Every game is hard work, and if you worked hard last year to get to where you were, then you have to work even harder this year to get any farther.”