Going into the 83rd minute of the women’s soccer game against Cincinnati on Sunday, the Bearcats gave the Bulls a curve ball no one was expecting.
With the match tied 2-2, Cincinnati had possession with a corner kick.
What followed sent the Bearcats into celebration with a 3-2 win.
Bearcats forward Jae Atkinson lined up for the corner kick and ‘bent it like Beckham’ inside the far post for the game-winner, handing USF its third conference loss of the season.
Atkinson’s goal would make for her second of the half and Cincinatti’s third.
All five goals scored Monday came after halftime as USF (7-4-3, 2-3-0) found itself in a second-half shootout with Cincinnati (7-8-1, 3-2-1).
The Bearcats’ first goal wasn’t until the 49th minute when Atkinson opened the half scoring inside the right post off a cross.
USF answered back 10 minutes later when junior midfielder Cristin Granados cleaned up a loose ball deflected by Cincinnati goalkeeper Natalie Smith.
Bulls senior forward Sharla Passariello followed Granados in the 78th minute with her sixth goal of the season, giving the Bulls their first lead all weekend. It was followed by the Bearcats rally featuring two goals within 10 minutes.
Offensively, USF stayed aggressive throughout both their weekend games, outshooting their opponents 25-17, but couldn’t find an answer in the second and third conference loss for the Bulls.
USF started playing its AAC road trip with a Friday matchup against Louisville (9-4-1, 5-1-0).
With the Cardinals’ Charlyn Corral scoring in the ninth minute, the Bulls started the game playing from behind and began to look for the equalizer as the first half ended with USF trailing 1-0.
USF kept plugging way, trying to apply offensive pressure with three shots in the first three minutes to open the second period.
Louisville would end up being outshot 9-8 on the night by the Bulls, but the Cardinals found two late goals to finish off the Bulls.
In the 75th minute, Louisville’s second lead goal scorer Christine Exeter found the back of the net off a cross from Corral that would be followed by another goal off a cross inside the box two minutes later to earn a 3-0 shutout victory.
The Bulls return to Corbett Soccer Stadium for a two-game homestand with a match against Memphis on Friday at 7:30 p.m. followed by one against Rutgers on Sunday at 1 p.m.