Bulls’ win sends team to AAC semifinals

Coach George Kiefer said senior Edwin Moalosi’s leadership was an important factor in the Bulls’ 4-2 win. ORACLE PHOTO/GABRIEL

Revenge is a dish best served cold and the USF men’s soccer team served it up when it defeated Memphis 4-2 on Saturday in rainy 60-degree weather, just two weeks after losing to the Tigers 2-1.

The first half was calm until the 29th minute when USF sophomore midfielder Lindo Mfeka dribbled down the right side of the field to assist the first goal of the game. He switched the play across the box to fellow sophomore midfielder Marcus Epps, who then gave a pass behind the defense to freshman midfielder Eduardo Maceira, who blasted the ball past Memphis goalkeeper Cody Uzcategui for the freshman’s fourth goal of the season.

As the second half was beginning, cold rain began to fall and the Bulls took full advantage of the change of weather. USF’s second goal came just 45 seconds into the half from a cross by senior forward Edwin Moalosi on the right side to Maceira in the middle, who made a controversial play as he initiated contact with the goalkeeper and knocked the ball into the net with no foul called on the play.

“The guys did a really good job,” coach George Kiefer said. “I especially think Edwin did a really good job leading the group. I heard him talking all night and keeping guys focused. We said let’s look at Maceira up top and I think that move really paid off for us.”

Moalosi scored the third goal for the Bulls when he received a ground cross from senior defender Wesley Charpie and shot from about 15 yards out. Moalosi’s shot rebounded off a defender and went past Uzcategui for the forward’s fifth goal of the season.

“The difference was just the energy,” Charpie said. “In practice, we were ready for it, everyone was buzzing. It showed tonight because everybody, including guys coming off the bench, had a great showing.”

Epps scored the Bulls’ fourth and final goal as he received a great pass from Moalosi into open space. Epps was one-on-one with Uzcategui and gently shot it toward the keeper’s lower right post.

Memphis scored two goals off a cross into the middle and a penalty shot late in the game, but both goals proved to be harmless to USF’s lead.

“Memphis is a real good team,” Kiefer said. “They beat us last year at their place, and they beat us at home. I felt like if our approach was right and we fully respected them this time, then the score would be like it was tonight.”

With USF notching the win and UConn beating Temple 5-0 the same night, the Bulls and the Huskies will meet Friday for the AAC semifinals.

“From the moment we started, everyone was on the same page,” Charpie said. “I’m glad we can come out here with the victory. I’m looking forward now to playing UConn in the semifinals.”