While the yellow cards and banter were plentiful for both teams, the goals only came in bunches for the Bulls on Wednesday night.
Playing in front of 909 fans at Corbett Stadium, Tomasz Skublak and Adrian Billhardt scored goals for USF in the game’s first six minutes and had three combined assists to lead USF past UNF 5-1.
Both Skublak and Billhardt went on to score another goal later in the game.
“We came out here to send a message and I think we did the job,” Skublak said postgame. “I feel like we’re starting to get to know each other a lot better and unifying as one…We came out strong in the first half, second half and we punished them.”
Before the game, USF hadn’t scored five goals in a game since they put five past UCF on Aug. 31, 2007.
“It was our night,” coach Bob Butehorn said. “It’s always good to play on home turf in Corbett and again, we need to get this place packed, people need to come out here. We will put on a good show if we can get some more fans.”
The win brought USF’s record at home to 3-0, and their overall record to 3-3 with their 2017 losses coming against ranked opponents.
“This should’ve been a tougher game tonight,” Butehorn said. “It’s an in-state rivalry, which was tough… I think they (USF) went at it with the sense that they were going to try to send a message and sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight it did.”
The game had one red and nine yellow cards issued by referee Ted Unkel, including one yellow to UNF coach Derek Marinatos at the beginning of the second half.
The lone red card was issued to Cormac Begley in the 88th minute after he took a Bull down from behind. He had already been booked with a yellow card for instigating a scuffle in the 60th minute. Playing with only 10 men, the Osprey’s lone goal came in the 83rd minute off a penalty kick.
USF will open up conference play Saturday night at Corbett Stadium in the only regular season game scheduled against UCF in 2017.
“Ricky’s (Ricardo Gomez) leadership was outstanding and (Gabriel Pfeffer) Pfeff’s organization was outstanding,” Butehorn said. “I as a coach am proud when guys on the field begin to convey what I’ve been saying to them. Tonight was a good one.”