USF defeats FGCU, advances to the NCAA Tournament’s second round

By defeating Florida Gulf Coast, USF made it into the NCAA Tournament’s second round for only the second time in school history. THE ORACLE/LYNDSAY BRUNSTETTER

In dominating fashion, USF women’s soccer got its revenge against Florida Gulf Coast.

Two years after the Eagles eliminated the Bulls from the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Corbett Stadium, USF (13-3-2) shutout the Eagles (14-4-1) 3-0 in a first round match at the same field Saturday. The win advanced the Bulls into to the NCAA Tournament’s second round for the second time in school history.

“It was one of these games where I really felt like we had the talent to win the game, and I knew our team had a great opportunity,” coach Denise Schilte-Brown said. “Having them at your house, and feeling just as confident having a great team two years ago as well. The team showed up and was ready to play and they performed well.”

The Bulls got their scoring started in the match’s 18th minute with a goal from sophomore forward Evelyne Viens, which extended her goal total on the year to a team-high 12.

Viens wasn’t the only underclassman player to put the ball in the back of the net, as sophomores Andrea Hauksdottir and Aubrey Megrath scored in the games 79th and 83rd minutes respectively. Viens, however, assisted on both of the goals.

“I am just trying to do what I’m able to do,” Viens said. “If I can score every game, I’ll do it, or if I can just pass the ball. I just do what I can do with the ball, and use my speed and use my feet and just put the ball in the back of the net.”

In addition to leading USF in goals scored, Viens also leads the team with nine assists. On defense, sophomore Kelli Burnley has played every minute of the Bulls’ past six games, helping to hold those six opponents to a combined total of two goals.

“I think the FGCU coach said it the best when he was disappointed that Kelli Burnley and Evelyne (Viens) are sophomores,” Schilte-Brown said. “I think that’s a great compliment to our team. They don’t want to see them in the future. That’s a real compliment.”

The win over FGCU extended USF’s unbeaten streak to ten matches, with its only draw being against UCF in the regular season finale Oct. 27.

Now, for the first time this season, USF will face Florida (15-6-0) in the NCAA Tournament’s second round on Friday at 6 p.m. at it’s on-campus stadium, Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

“This group has been really fun, really in it. I didn’t want it to end this weekend,” Schilte-Brown said. “I am really excited that it didn’t, and I don’t think we are going to be done on Friday.”