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USF heads past DePaul

USF men’s soccer coach George Kiefer talked earlier this week about overcoming complacency and defeating a team the Bulls expected to beat.

The Bulls passed that test with flying colors en route to another Big East victory Wednesday, keeping their hot streak alive.

No. 11 USF is now undefeated (5-0-1) in its last six matches, improving its record on the year to 8-2-2 and 3-0-1 in the Big East, leading the Red Division with 10 points. Matched up against an inexperienced DePaul team that is winless on the road, the Bulls wanted to win and win in convincing fashion.

The Bulls got their scoring started when sophomore Ben Sweat pushed the attack down the sideline, sending a low cross to freshman winger Wesley Charpie. Charpie headed in his second goal of the season in the 23rd minute to give the Bulls the early 1-0 lead.

“I think we did a great job of kind of switching the field,” Kiefer said. “We went on one side, kind of crossed it over, and Wes was right there to give us the lead.”

Of course, the game would have been incomplete without a goal from junior Dom Dwyer. Just six minutes later, in a situation similar to the Bulls’ first goal, senior defender Aubrey Perry, a team co-captain, calmly led the attack down the field and made a quick cross to Dwyer, who successfully finished, notching his Big East-leading 11th goal of the year and providing the Bulls with a 2-0 lead. The goal also tied Dwyer for sixth in the NCAA.

“It was really the same thing the second time around,” Kiefer said. “(It) just went to the opposite side, and Dom was there to get that lead.”

A strong defensive second half finished the game off for the Bulls, giving graduate student goalkeeper Chris Blais his fifth shutout of the season. The margin gave the Bulls another solid victory as they head on the road for their next challenge Saturday night at Syracuse.

“We’re moving on to Syracuse now, a team who just tied with Louisville,” Kiefer said. “It’ll be a fun chance for the guys, you know, getting to go up to Syracuse and facing another tough challenge.”

The Bulls return home Oct. 22 to face Villanova at 7:30 p.m.