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USF beats Providence in Big East opener

In its first Big East game of the season, the USF mens soccer team ended up with a 1-0 win over Providence in the teams first overtime match of the season Saturday night.

Returning home following a 5-0 loss to Akron the weekend before, the Bulls were eager to start conference play on the right foot with a win over the Friars.

USF came out aggressive, taking every shot opportunity that presented itself. With the Bulls playing a rapid style of attack, Providence aimed to match their energy, turning the first half of play into a shootout that had the teams putting up four shots apiece, heading into the locker room.

While both defenses held their ground in the first half, USF stuck with an aggressive approach on both sides of the ball in the second half. The Friars defense allowed six shots from USF in the second half, in addition to four USF corner kicks, but the Bulls were unable to score.

As the clock hit zero, the golden goal overtime period went underway. The Bulls didnt slow down on offense, as they put up five shots along with another corner kick.

Providence did not record a shot in overtime.

With 3:22 on the clock, senior midfielder Leston Paul headed a lead pass from midfield to sophomore midfielder Roberto Alterio, who went in to score, sending fans into a frenzy and putting the Bulls at 1-0 in the Big East.

We were working the entire week for this game. We wanted to win, Alterio said. So we just kept the hopes up. We knew the goal was going to come.

Coach George Kiefer said he was happy with Alterios performance and the teams ability to stick to the game plan.

I think these guys deserve the win, Kiefer said. Im very happy for Roberto to get the goal in overtime, but from the 55th minute on I felt like it was coming and I was pleased we stuck with it. There were other games earlier in the year where we kind of went away from what we were trying to do, but here we stuck with it, we kept moving the ball, we kept sharing the ball and we got a win. You play a tough schedule early to prepare yourself for games like this.

USF will try to match Saturday nights energy in a second home game Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. as the Bulls match up against Florida Gulf Coast.

Well relax tonight, but FGCU is a great opponent, Kiefer said. And we cant wait for that game.