Two road games separate the No.11 USF mens soccer team from conference play, and USF coach George Kiefer said he looks forward to the challenge.
“Being 4-1 with the schedule that we have, I think it puts us in a good position entering the fourth week,” he said.
At 4:30 p.m. Friday, USF will kick off The University of Akron Tournament against Butler (1-1-2), a team coming off of a 2-1 loss to Central Arkansas.
The Bulldogs defense has only allowed one goal in the second half of play all season, a textbook defense for a USF team that has scored all its goals in the second half of games.
The match against the Bulldogs will lead to another tough opponent with a difficult opening schedule for USF. The Bulls will square off with No.9 Akron (3-1-1) on Sunday at 7 p.m.
The Zips got a solid start to the season, shutting out Florida Gulf Coast 4-0, in Ohio.
Akron went on to a 1-1 draw the next game, but recovered by picking up two straight wins, the second on the road against No.16 Indiana who was No.10 at the time. Though the Zips went on to lose to No.8 Notre Dame, Akron will finally be playing at home something they havent done since their first match of the season.
In the team’s loss to Notre Dame, Akron allowed three goals by three different players in the second half of play, something that can be replicated if USF continues to succeed in the second period of play.
The end result of this tournament can have a huge impact on USF, regardless of who comes out on top this week. Two straight wins for the Bulls in Ohio will mean that USF will head into their first two conference games, at home, on a three game winning streak. A loss, however, especially against a tough Akron team, can prove to be disheartening for the Bulls heading into a very important set of games. Kiefer said he plans to stay positive, pressure aside.
“Once we conclude this weekend, that’s seven very good matches that prepares us well to start the Big East, he said. We’re pleased with how things are going right now.”