Riding an impressive hot streak, the USF men’s soccer team will look to continue its recent success tonight at the newly christened Corbett Soccer Stadium.
After five consecutive games against teams that were ranked in at least one major poll – going undefeated (4-0-1) in the process – the Bulls (7-2-2, 2-0-1) now face an unranked DePaul squad that coach George Kiefer hopes his team will take seriously.
“As a coach, you’d love to say (complacency) doesn’t happen, but it’s human nature,” he said. “My goal is to treat DePaul with plenty of respect, and give them our ‘A game’ on Wednesday night.”
The Bulls’ success is being recognized on a national scale, as well. The Bulls are ranked No. 11 in the nation in the Soccer America Top 25 Poll. “We still are getting some criticism for not playing as well against teams that are ranked lower than us,” Kiefer said. “We’ve dropped some games we shouldn’t have dropped and tied some games we shouldn’t have tied.”
The Bulls have also seen individual recognition on the national stage. Junior midfielder Dom Dwyer was named to the College Soccer News Team of the Week on Monday, and was also named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week. Both honors were firsts for the Tyler Junior College transfer.
Dwyer earned the awards after a three-goal week, in which he scored one goal against No. 25 Florida Gulf Coast and managed to score another two goals in a key 3-2 victory over No. 8 St. John’s, including the game winner. The three goals put Dwyer at 10 for the season, the most a USF player has scored since Jordan Seabrook had 14 goals in 2005.
“You know Dom is real smart because he works extremely hard, and you see that in both his offense and defense,” Kiefer said. “Sometimes, forwards, they score goals, but are a bit lazy everywhere else, and teammates resent that. But Dom works hard to do everything.”
Dwyer is becoming well known for his trademark celebration, a back flip, which he performs after every goal he scores.
“I’m not a big fan of the back flip,” Kiefer said with a laugh. “I don’t like it at all, personally. He’s having some twinges in his back, so I think we’re going to have to ask him not to do that for a while. But, for all I know, he’s gonna come up to me and say he’s still doing it.”
Both Kiefer and the Bulls hope that Dwyer will have a reason to back flip tonight, as the Bulls match up against the Blue Demons at 7:30.