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USF men’s soccer shuts down UNF offense

Senior forward Nazeem Bartman (9) scored the match's only goal Wednesday night in USF's 1-0 win over UNF.

In a lightning-delayed match against the University of North Florida, USF kept the Ospreys’ offense off the board and capitalized when given the opportunity, defeating UNF 1-0

In the first half, the Bulls (2-3-2) offense was stagnant. At one point, USF was being outshot 7-0 and only managed one shot through the first 45 minutes. Senior goalkeeper Spasoje Stefanovic made some difficult saves to keep the game scoreless heading into halftime.

Head coach George Kiefer was quick to point out how well his goalkeeper handled the onslaught from UNF.

“I thought he looked excellent tonight, it looked like I was watching a pro goalkeeper,” Kiefer said. “To be fair, that’s what we expect him to do.”

In the second half, it looked as if an entirely different team came onto the field at Corbett Stadium. USF took control of possession and didn’t relent for the rest of the match. Senior forward Nazeem Bartman could tell there was a different energy to the team in the second half.

“The first half wasn’t as how we planned it to go,” Bartman said. “We didn’t go off from each other, we tried to help each other in the locker room. We came out in the second half and everything just changed for us.”

11 minutes after the second half began, the Bulls were able to cash in on their offensive pressure. Senior midfielder Marcus Epps spotted Bartman coming across the box toward the net. Epps passed the ball through the defense and placed it at Bartman’s foot, where he shot it past the goalkeeper for what proved to be the deciding goal.

USF has now won its last two games and looks to put the first five games of the season behind them and move on.

“Everyone is having faith in one another, they’re trying to build each other up,” Bartman said.

The Bulls look to continue building on their success when they welcome the undefeated University of Buffalo (6-0) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Corbett Stadium