The last time the USF mens soccer team played on a national television stage, it came back in the second half for a 2-1 win over Michigan. If the Bulls (7-3-4, 1-1-3) hope to return to the Big East Tournament this season, they will need another strong performance when they take on the Louisville Cardinals at 7 p.m. in a game televised live on ESPNU.
With one win in their last five games, the Bulls have dropped to seventh in the Big East Red Division, after celebrating the Red Division championship a season ago. USF is coming off its first loss in regular season conference play since 2011, and the road gets more difficult as the team prepares to take on the Cardinals (8-4-1, 4-1-0), who are at the top of the Red Division.
Three games remain in the regular season with only a three-point gap between second-place Syracuse and seventh-place USF. The proximity between the teams jockeying for the six conference tournament spots means the Bulls are still in a position to make a run to the Big East Tournament.
With the pressure of postseason doubts and a national television audience, the Bulls will be honoring their seniors: defender Brenton Griffiths, midfielder Ashani Fairclough, midfielder Kyle Nicholls, forward Kevin Olali, forward Leston Paul, forward Stiven Salinas and midfielder Sebastien Thuriere.
Following the match against the Cardinals, USF will head on the road for its final two matches of the season, when it takes on DePaul, which is 0-5 in conference play, and St. Johns, one of the three teams sitting a spot ahead of USF in the Red Division.
Bulls honored by Big East
Four USF student-athletes were recognized by the Big East after leading the USF womens soccer and volleyball teams to a pair of weekend sweeps.
Goalkeeper Christiane Endler was named the Big East rookie of the week after consecutive shutouts against St. Johns and Syracuse, while senior Kelly Campbell was named to the conference honor roll after scoring her first goal of the season a game-winner against Syracuse.
For the USF volleyball team, a freshman and a junior were awarded for their performances in wins over Villanova and Georgetown. Freshman outside hitter Erin Fairs was named rookie of the week after recording a pair of double-doubles in the two wins, while junior right side hitter Kayla Walton was named to the Big East honor roll for picking up 25 combined kills over the weekend.
Golf pulls out win in Mexico
Despite a rainout, the USF mens golf team was able to celebrate a second place finish in the Querencia Cabo Collegiate golf tournament thanks to its performance a day earlier.
The 12 holes the Bulls were able to get through Monday were combined with the opening round scores from Sunday. USF won a tiebreaker for second place over Kentucky and finished in front of No. 8 Arkansas and No. 16 Florida State, a feat that impressed coach Chris Malloy.
To come out and beat two top 25 teams was great. For this group of young guys, it was great to end the fall season on a really positive note, Malloy said. It will give them motivation heading into offseason and preparing for the spring.
Tennis prepares to host home tournament
After winning the singles championship at the Miami Invitational last weekend, Loreto Alonso Martinez will look to lead the Bulls to a strong performance in the USF womens tennis teams first home tournament of the fall season.
The Spanish junior finished off last weekend with her fourth straight match win in Miami, beating Lina Lileikite 6-3, 4-6 and 6-1.
The Bulls will host the USTA/ITA Regionals at the Varsity Tennis Courts beginning Friday.