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Bulls win second AAC Tournament title in 3 years behind brace by Viens

Evelyne Viens scored all four goals for USF in the AAC Tournament. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/GOUSFBULLS

For the third season in a row, USF women’s soccer has a claim to the AAC title.

Behind the second straight brace from senior striker Evelyne Viens, the No. 23 Bulls defeated No. 8 Memphis 2-0 in the AAC Tournament championship game Sunday in Memphis.

After playing a scoreless half in Graceland — though not without chances, as the Bulls recorded six shots during the game’s first 45 minutes — Viens struck twice within two minutes (65th and 67th minutes) thanks to assists from fellow seniors Aubrey Megrath and Andrea Hauksdottir, respectively, to give USF a comfortable second-half lead.

“The setup was a little different than we anticipated in the first half,” coach Denise Schilte-Brown said in a statement. “I don’t think the girls weren’t trying to follow instructions in the first half, but in the second half, Memphis didn’t change anything, so it was easier for us to break them down the way we wanted to. … It was nice to get the goals.”

Ultimately, Viens scored all four goals for USF (14-4-0, 7-2-0) in the tournament, including both in Friday’s win over UCF in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Martinez recorded her fourth clean sheet of the season, though she only needed to make one save in the process. Martinez did not allow a goal from the run of play the entire tournament, only conceding on a penalty kick against UCF on Friday while stopping three other Knight shots.

Viens, Hauksdottir, Martinez and sophomore forward Sydny Nasello were named to the AAC All-Tournament Team. Martinez was also named most outstanding defensive player, while Viens was named most outstanding offensive player.

The Bulls’ win in the AAC Tournament is their second in three years. While USF didn’t win the tournament in 2018, it won the AAC regular-season title before falling in the tournament championship game to Memphis at Corbett Stadium.

Thanks to the tournament championship, the Bulls have an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which begins on Friday. Thirty-two teams host first-round games, giving USF strong odds at hosting at least one game at Corbett Stadium.

The selection show will air on on Monday at 4:30 p.m.