Senior forward Tyler Blackwood was the only player to score in No. 22 USF’s 3-0 win against the Temple Owls, scoring three goals in the first half.
He is the first USF player to score a hat trick since Sept. 15, 2007, when the Bulls beat American University 6-1.
Blackwood began his hat trick in the 21st minute of the first half by stealing the ball away from pressured Temple defender Robert Sagel and immediately shooting toward goalkeeper Dan Scheck’s first post.
Scheck had a touch on the ball but the shot was too powerful for him to save, as it soared into the back of the net.
“I think Lindo Mfeka’s work to get the ball away from the defender was what gave me the chance to take away the ball, and I just capitalized on the players’ mistakes,” Blackwood said.
Coach George Kiefer said the Bulls’ effort Saturday is what he looks for in an offensive attack.
“I love to see goals like that because it comes from hard work and just staying on it and putting Temple on their heels and just getting after it,” Kiefer said. “The shot was a laser; I was just pleased with the effort for that goal.”
The next two goals came back-to-back for the Bulls.
Eight minutes after the opening goal, USF was able to stretch its lead to three, with 23 seconds between each goal in the 29th minute.
The goals were from crosses by Wesley Charpie and Eduardo Maceira, respectively.
“The team today was incredible,” Blackwood said. “It’s easy for a striker to score when you have passes like that.”
The Bulls’ high-pressure defense also kept the Owls at bay, not allowing a single shot on goal throughout the entire game.
This constant pressure transitioned into easy counter-attacks for the USF forwards.
“I think it’s all 11 guys involved, as far as defensive work-rate,” Kiefer said. “We really pride ourselves in playing defensively. The guy for me who has gone unnoticed is (Nikola) Paunic in the back. He’s organizing everything in the back, and a good center back gets everybody to do their work correctly and he’s really doing a great job doing that.”
USF finished the match with a total of 21 shots with six on goal, compared to five shots by Temple.
USF (6-3) will look to extend its winning streak to four games when it hosts Tulsa (5-4-1) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Corbett Stadium.