Having played five consecutive overtime matches going into the weekend, the USF women’s soccer team was forced to play two more on a road trip to Cincinnati and Louisville.
The Bulls (5-4-4, 1-2-3) started their two consecutive away matches in Cincinnati (5-5-4, 1-3-2). The first half went scoreless, with both defenses playing well, but it was the Bulls who struck first when senior midfielder Noelle Pieiro found the back of the net for the second time this season with an unassisted goal early in the second half.
It didn’t take long for the Bearcats to strike back when, 14 minutes later, senior midfielder Logan Ballinger scored her first goal of the season, tying up the score at 1-1 in the 67th minute.
Though USF was out-shot by Cincinnati in both periods of overtime, the Bulls managed to walk away with a tie for the fourth time this year – a result that coach Denise Schilte-Brown said she was comfortable with.
“I think Cincinnati is a tough place to play and the girls handled it well,” she said. “It was unfortunate not to get the results (we wanted), but a tie was fine there.”
Overtime reared its head again two days later when USF traveled to Louisville to take on the Cardinals (5-5-3, 3-1-2). The scoring started early when, in the fourth minute of play, USF junior midfielder Taylor Patterson scored her third goal of the season off an assist from sophomore forward Demi Stokes to put the Bulls ahead.
The lead didn’t last long when, two minutes later, Louisville’s sophomore midfielder Angelika Uremovich scored to take USF’s lead away and tie the match. The match would head to overtime even at 1-1.
The overtime period didn’t last long; five minutes in, Louisville’s sophomore forward Christine Exeter managed to score a sudden-victory goal off a corner kick and give the Bulls their fourth loss of the season.
In addition to the loss, the Louisville match made for the Bulls’ seventh straight overtime match – something that Schilte-Brown said can be considered a positive.
“Obviously you want to end the match in regulation, but it’s good preparation for the rest of the season,” she said. “We’re fit, strong and know how to handle the situation.”
The Bulls now return home to continue conference play, facing Connecticut (5-5-2, 2-2-2) Friday night and Providence (4-6-4, 2-4-0) Sunday afternoon.