The final preseason match of the year proved to be a good test for USF men’s soccer. The Bulls fought then University of Tampa hard from kickoff to secure a 3-2 win in the annual Rowdies Cup.
USF senior forward Melvin Beckett got the scoring started in the first minute of the match. Lindo Mfeka sent a perfect cross into the box directly to the foot of Beckett, putting the Bulls up 1-0 early.
Coach George Keifer said he was pleased with the fast start for his team
“The first five minutes is where we like the game to be played,” Keifer said. “The approach was perfect and hopefully they get it in there. Obviously, to walk away with a goal in the first minute, that was great.”
Although the Spartans countered just nine minutes later, the remainder of the first half was all USF. The Bulls dominated possession and broke through again in the 15th minute.
Senior Nazeem Bartman scored past the keeper on a ball sent into the box by midfielder Marcus Epps.
“That’s actually something we have been working on in practice,” Bartman said. “He had good vision of the field and found me by the goal. Luckily I was able to finish.”
USF scored once more before heading into halftime off the foot of Mfeka.
UT attempted to get back into the game in the second half, scoring a goal in the 55th minute. Despite their late effort, the Bulls’ defense tightened up for the remainder of the match, sending UT home with a 3-2 loss.
USF opens up regular season play against Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m. at Corbett Stadium.