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Mfeka saves Bulls in 1-1 draw

USF men’s soccer played to their sixth tie of the season Tuesday night against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville .

On a damp, dewy night at Corbett Soccer Stadium, things were confrontational at times between the two squads. USF had seven fouls in the first half, while SIUE (5-5-1) had three. SIUE responded with seven in the second half to USF’s four.

The tension appeared to escalate in the second overtime when an SIUE player went face-to-face with USF senior goalkeeper Brentton Muhammed but cooler heads prevailed, Kiefer said.

“I didn’t think there was too much on our end,” he said. “There were some times on restarts where they were pushing our guys a bit. I thought we did a good job of sticking with the plan.”

The Bulls’ freshman midfielder Lindo Mfeka was part of that plan and evened the score at 1-1 in the 67th minute with an unassisted rebound goal off of a defender, his fifth goal of the year.

USF coach George Kiefer said there was no doubt the goal would go in when it left the foot of USF’s leading scorer.

“Lindo is a very dangerous player,” he said. “But I think we have four or five guys like him. He’s in a groove right now.”

Prior to Lindo’s goal, it was a cross tapped in from the left side by SIUE’s Christian Volesky in the 41st minute that started things off ultimately leading to the draw.

Though it was the Bulls’ sixth draw of the year, and one against an opponent from a mid-major conference, Kiefer said he was happy with the effort.

“I told my guys I thought they left everything on the field tonight,” he said. “I told them sometimes the game is cruel, where I would get upset if they didn’t leave it on the field.”

With the draw, the Bulls (4-2-6, 1-1-2) tied the USF record of six draws in an entire season, which took last place in 1997. But with a consistently aggressive attack each game, Kiefer said he thinks luck will turn in USF’s favor.

He was pleased with 20 shots on goal compared to SIUE’s 11.

“If we keep moving the ball and playing good soccer, things will start to turn our way,” he said. “I thought we had some other good chances, and that’s the key to the game. As long as we keep getting chances, the goals will start to come our way.”

USF is sitting in fifth place in the American Athletic Conference standings and head to seventh-place Rutgers on Saturday.