USF falls in AAC finals


If there’s one thing the Bulls have learned this weekend, it’s that the results of penalty kicks are completely unpredictable

The USF men’s soccer team beat UConn in the semifinals Friday, but lost to Tulsa on Sunday in the finals, with both matchups decided by penalty kicks.

Even though the Bulls had not given up a goal in more than 220 minutes of gameplay, their efforts fell short in the final in Storrs, Connecticut. This game marks USF’s second loss to the Golden Hurricane this season, with the earlier result being a 4-3 loss that ended with both benches clearing after the final whistle was blown.

USF sophomore goalkeeper Spasoje Stefanovic, who was awarded AAC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year, had a strong weekend. He recorded 10 saves through both games and made two vital penalty saves against UConn. 

After overtime, both teams were called to penalties.

 Stefanovic dominated the shootout by not allowing a single shot by UConn to go in. The Bulls made two of their three shots, giving them a 2-0 penalty shootout win.

The AAC final against Tulsa turned into a matchup between USF’s Stefanovic and Tulsa goalkeeper Jake Mcguire, with 14 saves made by both keepers. Although both teams combined for 27 shots, none reached the back of the net. 

The Bulls were again called into penalties, and this time they went in with the confidence from the previous win. Both teams made their first five shots, with Stefanovic nearly making a save on the shot by Tulsa freshman Zack Stavrou. 

After Tulsa made its sixth straight penalty, USF freshman Eduardo Maceira was called to the penalty line to try to tie the matchup. He shot wide right of the goal to give Tulsa the 6-5 shootout win.

With this loss, USF must now depend on an at-large bid to make the NCAA tournament.