USF (3-3) opened the scoring up in the sixth minute against No. 8 Washington (6-1), but couldn’t hold off the Huskies in a 2-1 defeat Sunday night at Corbett Stadium in front of 970 fans.
Senior forward Kennedy Selorm Adablah scored the Bulls’ only goal of the night on a header off a corner kick from senior midfielder Lucas Baldin.
“I was just doing my part, putting the ball on the box and (Selorm Adablah) was terrific going on the first bolt and headed the ball perfectly,” Baldin said. “He deserves all the credit for the goal.”
The Bulls kept the Huskies from scoring until the 28th minute of the match when sophomore forward Mason Robertson scored on a header from 12 yards out.
After Robertson tied the match, coach George Kiefer said he didn’t think the Bulls made good use of their conditioning advantage.
“We just need to manage the first half better,” Kiefer said. “We gave the ball away a little carelessly down the stretch of the first half and they’re good enough to make you chase. In the second half, we were very good on the ball, and in the humidity, you started to see them fall deeper and deeper and deeper.”
The score remained tied through halftime until the Huskies scored the game-winning goal in the 56th minute on a header from junior forward Josh Heard.
The Bulls outshot the Huskies 10-3 in the second half and Kiefer came away with the impression that they can keep up with any team in the country.
“I give (Washington) credit, but I don’t walk away feeling like they beat us,” Kiefer said. “I feel like if we do a couple things better, then we can play with the best teams in the country, as we showed tonight.”
The loss for the Bulls was their first at Corbett Stadium this season as well as their only match against a ranked opponent thus far.
USF will begin conference play in its next match when it travels to Storrs, Connecticut to match up with UConn at 7 p.m. Saturday.