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Bulls pick up Big East honors

For her performance against Alabama A&M on Sunday, senior USF midfielder/forward Noelle Pieiro earned the Big East Offensive Player of the Week award, the conference announced Monday afternoon.

Pieiro and the Bulls picked up two wins over the weekend, beating Indiana 2-1 Friday before blowing out Alabama A&M 9-0. She starred in the second game, scoring a goal and tallying three assists in only 28 minutes of play.

Pieiro scored the sixth goal of the game less than two minutes into the second half.

Blais named

USF graduate student goalkeeper Chris Blais is off to a good start in his USF career after transferring from Michigan. Blais picked up the first Big East Goalkeeper of the Week award of the new season.

Blais posted a shutout in his first regular-season game, helping USF to a 2-0 victory on the road over No. 13 Wake Forest. He made seven saves in the game, matching a career high from his days with the Wolverines.

Blais was a big offseason pickup for coach George Kiefer, after leading Michigan to an appearance in the College Cup semifinals in 2010.

Attinella honored

Blais’ predecessor in the net for USF, Jeff Attinella, also had a good weekend, posting a shutout of his own in a 2-0 win for FC Tampa Bay. That effort was good enough to earn Attinella the North American Soccer League (NASL) Defender of the Week award.

Attinella kept his fourth clean sheet of the season in FC Tampa Bay’s road victory over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Attinella took over the starting job early in the season after the previous starter, Daryl Sattler, tore his ACL. He has made 17 starts, climbing to the top of the NASL leaderboard in saves with 106.

It was the second time this season that Attinella earned the award.

Cunningham breaks record

USF soccer alum Jeff Cunningham, who played at USF from 1994-97, became the all-time leading goal scorer in Major League Soccer history this weekend, scoring his 134th career goal in the league.

Cunningham rejoined the Columbus Crew – the team he began his professional career with – prior to this season, and scored the record-breaking goal from the penalty spot in a 6-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

Cunningham has also had stints with Colorado, Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC and FC Dallas in a 14-year MLS career. He also made 14 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Herbstreit picks USF

With college football season set to kick off Thursday night, the time has come for analysts nationwide to make their predictions for the coming season.

Former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit picked USF to win the Big East for the first time in school history this season.

He also picked redshirt junior quarterback B.J. Daniels as the best quarterback in the conference and named Notre Dame as the ranked team most likely to lose to an unranked opponent during the opening weekend of play. Notre Dame is ranked No. 21.

“I think South Florida (will win the Big East),” Herbstreit said Saturday on “SportsCenter.” “I think that B.J. Daniels is the best quarterback in the conference. (It’s the) second year for Skip Holtz to be in charge. They’ve got a defense that’s going to get after some people. They get most of the big games in the conference at home. I just think there’s a lot of respect from me about the overall team speed on that football team.

“I think the leadership of B.J. Daniels will be the difference in the Bulls,” he said. ” Don’t forget: All the excitement about Notre Dame. You know who they open up with, before they go to the Big House to play Michigan? Don’t sleep on the South Florida Bulls.”