USF battles weather, Rutgers in draw

An 86 minute mid-game weather delay and a late deficit were not enough to prevent the USF mens soccer team from remaining unbeaten in conference play, albeit with yet another draw Saturday.

After 110 minutes of soccer, the Bulls picked up their third consecutive draw of the season, 2-2 against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-4-1, 1-2-1) moving to 1-0-3 in conference play.

Were always looking to get wins, coach George Kiefer said. But when you compete in the Big East, its the best conference in the country. This was a battle. Everyone was exhausted. But I like what I saw with the (scoring) chances.

USF took an early lead when sophomore midfielder Lucas Baldin was fouled in the box, drawing a penalty kick opportunity 28 minutes into play. Baldin drilled the penalty, giving USF an early lead.

Eight minutes into the second half, Rutgers Mael Corbozs free kick sailed past USF keeper Eric Osswald and through the net, tying the match just minutes before lighting struck literally.

In the 57th minute, fans and players alike exited the field and stadium due to inclement weather conditions. The teams returned to the field 86 minutes later with the game tied but neither offense done for the night.

After the Scarlet Knights took the lead in the 66th minute when Corboz scored another goal this time via assist to Kene Eze USF struck back less than a minute later. Samuel Hosseini led Ben Sweat to the box, where Sweats low cross met the feet of Leston Paul and landed in the net to tie the game once again at 2-2.

I was pleased with the performance, Kiefer said. They went up a goal on us, and we figured out a way to equalize. As long as you keep on the same path, the chances you take and make will become goals for you.

Kiefer said a tie with Rutgers though it only accounts for one point in the conference standings will be impressive in the national landscape.

Its a tie in the Big East, but in the big scheme of things, this is a highly regarded team, he said. So I think for performances against quality opponents, a draw against Rutgers will do the trick.

USF returns to play on Wednesday, when it takes on Mercer at home in a non-conference game. The match will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is the second of four straight home matches for the team.