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No. 25 USF looking to refocus after conference loss

Despite a successful season so far, the Bulls are .500 against conference opponents. They will look to improve against Cincinnati on Thursday. ORACLE PHOTO/SAM NEWLON

Though No. 25 USF women’s soccer recorded its first conference loss of the season against Temple, coach Denise Schilte-Brown said the weekend wasn’t a total waste.

After the 1-0 loss in double overtime, Schilte-Brown said the players were heartbroken. She is confident, however, that the Bulls will bounce back from the heartbreaker.

“You just have to find a way to accept the loss and use it as character building and motivation to win your next game,” Schilte-Brown said. “Championship teams don’t make excuses, they just get the job done.”

The job for the Bulls (6-2-0, 1-1-0) is their Thursday night match at Corbett Stadium against Cincinnati (7-5-2, 1-2-1). Schilte-Brown said her team will use some different tactics Thursday night, but some parts of the game will remain unchanged.

USF didn’t allow Temple to have a shot on goal for 73 minutes in its weekend loss.

“We didn’t really give up chances,” Schilte-Brown said. “When you’re on the losing end of a game and you didn’t really give up any chances, that can be a frustrating result.”

In Philadelphia, USF had to deal with the artificial turf which, according to Schilte-Brown, was a “whole different animal.” The Bulls had to prepare to play on the turf in a tough environment. Returning to Tampa, however, the Bulls will try to play on their existing strengths to beat Cincinnati.

“I think we’ll continue to build confidence in our ability to break teams down with possession because I think we’re very good at that,” Schilte-Brown said. “The tactics we used against Temple probably would not reflect the same tactics we would use against Cincinnati.”

The Bulls’ main focus will be on set pieces in the final third on offense. They had nine corner kicks, but didn’t score on any against Temple.

“I think that’ll be a key factor going into the next game because I feel like we have one of the more dangerous offensive teams in the country,” Schilte-Brown said. “So we’ll work hard in our final third and be dangerous on our set pieces to make the most of our chances.”

For a team that has outscored its opponents this season 27-6, USF has had a seemingly easy time winning. Its only other loss came in August against Auburn.

The team’s loss against Temple might have served as a wake-up call for some players.

“I love that at the end of the game [the players] were so heartbroken and disappointed and reflected on what happened because I know that they’re destined for more this season,” Schilte-Brown said. “I think they’re excited to get another game under their belt.”