This past weekend in Ohio certainly did not go as planned for the USF mens soccer team who went winless with a draw and a loss in the University of Akron Tournament.
Ready to bounce back from a draw versus Butler on Friday night, the Bulls were hungry for a win taking on No.9 Akron (4-1-1) Sunday night. About 12 minutes into the game the Zips put up the first goal as senior midfielder Scott Caldwell scored for the third time this season, the assist coming from junior midfielder Aodhan Quinn.
With USF going into the second half down 1-0, Akron looked to take advantage of their early lead. The Zips went on to score four more goals in the second half by four different players. Caldwell was a part of the second half scoring frenzy as he scored off a penalty kick late in the game. The last goal was scored by Quinn with less than 10 minutes to play.
The tournament kicked off Friday afternoon against Butler, in a game that started off promising for the Bulls (4-2-1) as they finally hit a goal in the first half of play which is something they haven’t this season. The goal was scored by sophomore midfielder Roberto Alterio coming off an assist from junior midfielder Leston Paul. Riding off the momentum of the first goal, USF scored again 5 minutes later with an unassisted goal by junior midfielder Ricardo Webb after a turnover in Butler’s backfield.
Coming out of the locker up 2-0, something unusual for the Bulls this season, USF managed to keep their lead throughout most of the second half. However, the Bulldogs (1-1-4) didn’t let hope fade away. In the 78th minute of play, Butler finally was put on the scoreboard as sophomore forward Chad Rigg scored off an assist from sophomore midfielder Brycen Howard. With time becoming a factor, Butler capitalized again, 4 minutes later, when sophomore defender Brandon Fricke knotted things up 2-2, sending the match into overtime.
While Butler went into overtime on fire, they could only muster up a single shot in both periods of overtime. The Bulls, while only managing a shot in the first overtime period, started to pick things up, managing 3 in the second overtime period but couldn’t find the back of the net. Friday night’s match ended in a tough draw for USF.
The Bulls’ weekend could have started better and definitely could have ended better, but USF will be seeking redemption heading into their first conference game of the season at home against Providence (2-4-1) this Saturday night at 7:30pm.
Bulls win second straight tournament
Perhaps the USF volleyball team should hold player-only meetings more often.
Since a tough loss to Southeast Missouri State and a subsequent closed door meeting, the team has won five consecutive matches, and two straight tournament championships. The latest came at the USF Tournament, in which the Bulls lost just one combined set in wins over James Madison, Bethune Cookman, and Florida International.
“We had so many strong performers throughout the tournament,” head coach Courtney Draper said. “I’ve been really pleased with our play through this five-match winning streak.”
Junior Kayla Walton was named team MVP following a strong performance in the final game, a sweep of FIU. The right side hitter led both sides with 12 kills in the three-set victory.
“Kayla had some favorable matchups today, and she executed well,” Draper said. “We talked to the setters early about that matchup being a strength for us.”