Lightning mercifully ends Bulls’ 3-0 win over Buffalo

Senior Lindo Mfeka scored USF's second goal Sunday in the Bulls' 3-0 win over Buffalo. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

After breaking through late in the first half, USF didn't let up all match, winning 3-0 against the University at Buffalo at Corbett Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams struggled coming out of the gate, as the two squads were held scoreless for nearly the entire first half of play.  

However, USF’s fortune changed when senior forward Melvin Becket passed the ball to fellow senior Marcus Epps directly in front of the goal.  Epps ripped the ball past Buffalo’s goalkeeper, Joseph Kuta for the opening goal in the 43rd minute.  

Kuta could only watch as the ball sank into the back of the net, then booted the ball high into the air in disgust.

Buffalo (6-1) was put on the defensive immediately to start the second half. Just two minutes into the second half, USF rocketed a ball off of the right crossbar. However, the ball ricocheted into Buffalo’s defense before USF could get a follow-up opportunity.  

Senior midfielder Lindo Mfeka added another score for the Bulls in the 49th minute after crisp passing from Epps and junior midfielder Ricardo Gomez, both credited with the assist.

Buffalo’s sideline implored their defense to “stand him up…slow him down,” but USF was not content with a two-goal lead. Buffalo’s frustrations mounted in the 64th minute when USF junior midfielder Gabriel Menescal got the ball past Kuta once more, giving his team a commanding three goal advantage. 

With just ten minutes remaining, the players’ frustrations boiled over, as there was some pushing and shoving. The referee quickly ran in the middle of the exchange to deescalate it before anything became too heated.  

Just a minute later, the cloudy weather cooled things down even more as the referee saw lightning in the area’s vicinity. The game was officially called with 9:20 left in the second half after Buffalo’s coach, Stu Riddle, elected to throw in the towel. 

“Being up 3-0 the (Buffalo) coach opted to (not continue playing)…with the storms in Tampa…it could take three, four hours to get back out there,” coach George Kiefer said.

The USF Bulls (3-3-2) look to carry the momentum to Orlando. After picking up their first three victories in the team’s last three games, the Bulls will begin their conference schedule this Saturday at Central Florida as they battle their rival, the UCF Knights at 7 p.m.  

“From day one, I thought it would be a very, very strong team and you started to see it click a little bit better with more guys getting healthy,” Kiefer said. “Guys coming off the bench and still a few more guys that, I think, you’ll start to know their names as they come back as well.”