The USF men’s soccer team heads to Columbia, S.C. this weekend for the last two games on the schedule before the start of conference play.
The Gamecock Classic includes games against South Carolina on Friday at 7 p.m. and Kentucky on Sunday at 11 a.m., which is the shortest time between contests on the USF schedule.
Coming off a frustrating 2-0 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers on Sept. 12, USF
redshirt junior forward Edwin Moalosi said it’s important to move past the team’s first loss of the season.
“Coach (George) Kiefer told us we need to get over the loss because (Wisconsin) is already over the win,” he said. “Not to forget about it, but to get it out of the way and learn from it because it’s our first loss and we have a lot of games left.”
Moalosi said mistakes from the Wisconsin game need to be fixed in practice this week, and the focus has been on defense and parts of their offensive attack that weren’t executed well in the loss.
With eight days between the Wisconsin loss and the next game against South Carolina, Moalosi feels confident heading into the only two-game road trip on USF’s schedule this season.
“From what I saw this week in practice, the boys are ready and they’re buzzing,” he said.
As for the opponents, South Carolina is 2-4-0 with a three-game losing streak and Kentucky is 2-2-0, but Moalosi said the focus isn’t solely about the opponents.
“I haven’t seen them play yet, but the coaches are getting a game plan ready,” he said. “I’m not sure how many of us have seen them play, but I’m never worried about the opponent. I just worry about my team and I know if we’re good we can beat any team.”
Moalosi said USF is well equipped to handle the physical test of playing two games in roughly 40 hours.
“It’s kind of up to us (regarding fatigue),” he said. “When you have a good pool of players and depth like we do, I know if we rest somebody and put someone else in, it will still be the same team.”
But Moalosi is eager to face a personal obstacle – — he will play two games in three days, a physical test he hasn’t experienced since breaking his tibia last year.
“I feel like I’m back,” he said. “My leg hasn’t been hurting me at any time. I’m just ready.”
After USF returns to Tampa, the team will get ready for the start of AAC play Sept. 27 against No. 5 Connecticut.