A day after earning arguably one of the biggest victories in recent program history, the USF men’s soccer team was awarded a national ranking for its effort.
Coming off a 2-0 upset of No. 3 Georgetown in a weather-delayed match at Corbett Stadium on Monday, the Bulls debuted at No. 24 in Tuesday’s NSCAA Division I poll — their highest ranking since October.
USF (2-0) topped Missouri State 2-0 in its opener Friday night, before blanking the Hoyas on a pair of goals by senior defender Brandon Riley and junior midfielder Kendan Anderson. It was the Bulls’ first victory over a top-10 team since 2011.
The schedule ahead won’t get any easier, though. USF travels to South Bend, Indiana for the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament this weekend to face No. 5 Notre Dame on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and No. 18 Indiana on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
“The players that we have here, they want to play good teams,” USF coach George Kiefer said Monday. “To look at it as Notre Dame and Indiana would be exhausting. So, now it’s just Notre Dame.”
Men’s basketball schedule finalized
USF men’s basketball finalized its 2015-16 schedule and will host five opponents that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.
The Bulls, who finished 9-23 in coach Orlando Antigua’s first season, face Albany, Cincinnati, North Carolina State, SMU and UAB at the Sun Dome this season. They are also scheduled to play George Washington — for the first time in 15 years — on Nov. 19 in Tampa. The Colonials went 22-13 last season, winning their first-round game in the NIT.
In AAC play, USF will play an 18-game conference schedule for the second consecutive year, which includes a home-and-home with eight teams and two one-plays. The Bulls will travel to Tulsa on March 5 and host UConn one time this season Feb. 25.
“This is a challenging schedule for us, as five of our 13 non-conference opponents played in postseason tournaments last season,” Antigua said. “Our conference has been regarded as one of the best in the country and this season will be no different with many experienced and senior-laden teams.”
Bethel not joining football
Touted offensive-line prospect Glen Bethel will not join the football team this fall, coach Willie Taggart announced.
Bethel, who starred at Arizona Western Junior College last season, was expected to compete for a starting position this fall. The three-star recruit reportedly was not admitted into the school because of academic-related reasons.
The Hialeah native committed to USF in February over offers from Florida, Arkansas, Arizona and others. Bethel was ranked 11th in the nation at his position by ESPN.
There are 14 former Tampa Bay area high-school standouts on USF’s first two-deep, game-week depth chart. … Freshman Chris Barr was named USF’s starting slot receiver ahead of fellow freshman Jordan Reed (Plant High) and redshirt Chase Whitehead. Sophomore Emilio Nadelman edged out senior Michael Hill (Tarpon Springs) for starting kicker. … Florida A&M’s famed Marching 100 band will perform Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.
Follow Jeff Odom on Twitter @ByJeffOdom.