Coming off of a winless weekend, the USF men’s soccer team looks to rebuild momentum before conference play begins next weekend.
After a 2-1 loss to No. 21 Bradley, the Bulls (3-1-1) escaped a game against Dartmouth with a 3-3 draw.
The weekend results moved the Bulls down to No. 12 in the Soccer America polls.
“I don’t think we need to change much defensively,” coach George Kiefer said. “We’re doing the right thing, clean sheets are our priority and we just need to stick with that.”
Friday night at 7:30, the Bulls will play St. Louis (1-3), which comes in with a losing record but has had a difficult schedule to start the season. The Billikens have beaten No. 20 Notre Dame, with losses coming against No. 7 Indiana and No. 4 Akron.
The Billikens are one of the most successful programs in the nation historically, with 10 National Championships from 1959 to 1973. Despite a lack of recent success, Kiefer said he knows his team is facing quite a challenge.
“You know, a lot of our alumni are from the St. Louis area, and it’s alumni weekend,” he said. “We’re facing a tough team, and I think we play well against the tougher teams.”
As part of the alumni weekend festivities, there will be an alumni game before kickoff for the St. Louis game.
It’ll be a quick turnaround for the Bulls as they host No. 10 UC Irvine (6-0), attempting to give the Anteaters their first loss of the season in a noon kickoff Sunday. The Bulls will be their toughest opponent yet, being the first ranked team the Anteaters will face.
Kiefer said he is not concerned about the potential heat factor on a September Sunday at noon.
“I think we are lucky to have such a deep roster, so we can manage the game well,” he said. “If someone gets hot or tired, we can get a sub in for them, so we’re not concerned about the weather.”