The USF men’s soccer team hosts Villanova on Saturday as it continues to make its case as the best team in the Big East, having already proven its Red Division supremacy.
After top-ranked and previously undefeated Conn- ecticut was handed its first loss of the season 2-0 on the road against the West Virginia Mountaineers – a situation from which the Bulls emerged with a 2-1 victory – the Bulls are now one of only two teams with no losses in Big East play, alongside Marquette.
The Bulls (10-2-2, 5-0-1) have risen to No. 8 in the latest rankings, and could jump higher next week due to their 3-1 road victory against No. 10 Louisville on Tuesday night. Before the Bulls can focus on improving their ranking, however, they must deal with Villanova (4-6-4, 1-3-1).
Saturday’s match has extra significance, as it is on the same day as the USF Homecoming football game.
“I’m hoping we’ll get a pretty good crowd,” coach George Kiefer said. “There’s the football game in the afternoon and then a soccer game at night. Hopefully, at least the fans that live on campus will just go from one stadium to the other.”
Yet, Kiefer said he is not letting his team get lost in the pageantry of Homecoming weekend.
“You know, it’s not really going to change anything for us,” he said. “It’s just us playing another game on a Saturday night. The only real difference is our guys will finally get to watch our football team. We’re usually out of town for those games.”
Leading the team in its Big East dominance is junior forward Dom Dwyer. After scoring six goals in the Bulls’ last five games, Dwyer now has 13 goals on the season, the highest total in the Big East. UConn’s Mamadou Doudou Diouf is second with eight.
Dwyer is tied for fifth in the NCAA in goals. His recent success has gotten him recognition on both the conference and national levels. Following his recent goal spree, Dwyer was named to the College Soccer National Team of the Week for two consecutive weeks. Dwyer also received the Big East Offensive Player of the Week award for those two weeks.
“Dom is great with how hard he works,” Kiefer said. “He’s great at doing the little things. He practices really hard, and works on his offense and defense. He’s great at moving without the ball, and that’s exactly what sets him up with those goal opportunities.”
Saturday’s match against the Wildcats kicks off at the Corbett Soccer Stadium at 7:30 p.m.