Notebook: USF to host AAC Tournament, still undefeated at home
No. 14 USF women’s soccer secured its spot as the AAC regular season champion after a 1-0 win over UCF on Friday. With the victory came the spoils — home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the AAC Tournament.
While any team would be pleased to have these conditions for a postseason championship run, the Bulls (13-2-0, 8-1-0) are in especially good shape with 14 straight wins a Corbett Stadium including a perfect 9-0 home record this season. Their last loss at home was Aug. 27, 2017 against UNC.
The Bulls’ lone conference loss this season was to Temple in double overtime. USF outshot Temple 12-6, but still came up short when Temple’s Gabriela Johnson crossed a ball that ricocheted off of USF defender Chyanne Dennis’ foot and slowly trickled into the goal.
USF took its only conference loss in stride, outscoring their next seven opponents 19-5 in consecutive matches. The Bulls are on a seven-game win streak, which has been exclusively against AAC opponents.
The Bulls tied UCF in last season’s finale that decided the location of the postseason tournament, but went on to win against the Knights in penalty kicks to clinch the AAC championship.
USF will look to defend its title next weekend. The AAC playoff seeding isn’t completely determined yet, however — SMU and ECU are competing for the No. 4 and No. 5 spot in the tournament, which features six teams.
Regardless of where those two teams end up, they will play against each other Wednesday at 7 p.m. The winner will go on to face USF on Friday night. The Bulls have beaten both ECU 4-0 and SMU 5-1 earlier this season.
Viens still on fire
Junior Evelyne Viens is ranked the No. 6 player in Division I women’s soccer, according to TopDrawer Soccer, and still leads the nation in goals with 18 this season. Her score in the 82nd minute put the Bulls ahead of UCF to seal its spot as the top team in the AAC.
Viens and the Bulls need just two more wins at home to top their season off with a conference championship.