Five games into the season and coming off of a 1-0 over University of Alabama, the USF Bulls Women’s soccer team is unbeaten and ranked a program-high 14th in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.
This ranking is the first time that the women’s program has cracked the top 15 in the poll, besting last year’s previous high of 18th. Thus far, they’ve knocked off Louisiana-Monroe, FIU, Kentucky, UMass, and Alabama by a combined goal margin of 12-4.
The unprecedented ranking is perhaps surprising considering the surplus of youth on the roster, including 12 freshmen, many of whom have quickly found themselves as steady contributors on the unbeaten squad.
While senior forward Leticia Skeete has remained a steady offensive force for the Bulls, compiling three goals in the first five matches, freshman Evelyn Viens has three herself, including two in USF’s 3-0 victory over UMass. This melding of senior leadership and reliance upon young, yet highly talented, freshmen has been a recipe for success thus far for the lady Bulls.
With senior Carlotta Fennefoss’ rangy, cerebral play and Jordyn Listro’s relentless tenacity setting the tone early from the back line in most matches, the freshmen have had no choice but to keep up the high expectations exemplified by the play of their elder teammates.
With a 2-3 University of Jacksonville squad next on the schedule, the Bulls will aim to lengthen their unbeaten streak to six games at home Thursday.