After losing to UCF on the road last week, the USF women’s soccer team returned home to Corbett Soccer Stadium over the weekend to play Temple and Connecticut.
The Bulls redeemed themselves with a 1-0 victory over the Owls on Friday and 3-2 double overtime thriller over the Huskies on Sunday.
With less than a minute remaining in the game against UConn (9-6-0, 2-2-0), tied at two, the Bulls hit a corner kick from the right side. What followed were two shots from USF, inside the box that hit the crossbar.
After the second deflection from the crossbar, senior forward Sharla Passariello passed the ball to midfielder Cristin Granados where the junior leaned forward and kicked the ball from the upper right corner, 18-yards out, to score the game-winning goal.
USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown said the game had its share of ups and downs.
“It was a bit of a roller coaster game,” Schilte-Brown said. “When we came out at halftime, it was probably the worst 20 minutes of soccer we played all season. It was nice to see the girls have the momentum change, believe in themselves and pick themselves up after that last 20 minutes. To be honest, we’ve never been in that spot all year.”
In the second half alone the Bulls allowed 13 shots with a goal.
Schilte-Brown also said she knew Granados had the ability to score the game-winning goal.
“We switched her to a more attacking role and asked her to step up,” Schilte-Brown said. “We knew that when she was at Virginia Commonwealth University, she was their leading goal scorer. So we knew she had it in her and answered the question to whether she could do it at this level.”
The game began with the Huskies executing their attack and playing aggressively that led to Julie Hubbard scoring the first goal from midfield at the two-minute mark.
The Bulls then responded with a goal at the 13th minute when Passariello passed the ball from midfield to sophomore midfielder Olivia Chance for an one-on-one opportunity, where she capitalized, kicking the ball into the back of the net for her fourth goal of the season and the equalizer.
USF would capitalize on another goal when Passariello, inside the goalie’s box, maneuvered the ball between a defender’s legs, then kicked it into the net putting the Bulls 2-1 at the 33rd minute.
UConn’s offense would respond with a goal of their own when forward Stephanie Ribeiro hit a header into the net over goalkeeper Christiane Endler’s head, tying the game at two. Ribeiro continued her attack, taking eight out of her 11 shots in that half.
Both teams had multiple opportunities to score in the second half and overtime, taking three shots in the double overtime period before Granados’ game-winning goal.
The momentum coming into Sunday’s game came from Friday’s 1-0 victory that saw the Bulls’ offense dominating Temple’s defense, taking 21 shots compared to the Owls’ five. Granados scored the only goal of the game at the 49th minute.
“The less goals against us the better,” junior forward Demi Stokes said. “It will help us going into the season as the games get more intense and a lot tighter, but credit to the defense. They have done a great job.”
The Bulls will be back on the road this weekend against Louisville on Friday at 7 p.m. and Cincinnati on Sunday
at 1 p.m.