Bulls fall 3-2 against Temple in season opener

Sophomore forward Victor Claudel scored his fourth career goal in USF’s loss to Temple on Saturday. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

USF men’s soccer opened its season with a loss to Temple at home Saturday. 

After an extended amount of time away from the pitch, the Bulls were surely eager to get the 2021 campaign started with a positive result — especially against a side they lost to last time they met in 2019.  

However, it was not to be for the Bulls as they were beaten 3-2.

Temple struggled to create any notable chances in the opening stages, and USF made good on the early dominance by scoring a goal at the five-minute mark through sophomore Victor Claudel. 

The Owls then managed an equalizer in the 30th minute and the go-ahead goal was scored 10 minutes later, giving Temple a narrow lead going into the break. 

USF looked rejuvenated in the second half as senior Josue Monge scored the game-tying goal early after coming out of the break in the 49th minute, leveling the score at 2-2. 

However, the momentum was short-lived for the Bulls, as 20 minutes later Temple’s Jalen Campbell scored his second goal of the night, lifting the Owls to a 3-2 lead and the eventual win.

Despite the loss, USF coach Bob Butehorn expressed how proud he was of his team’s persistence in the face of adversity.

“I was proud of the guys for showing a little bit of resolve, a little bit of leadership, especially from the older guys to get that quick goal [in the second half], and also being persistent,” Butehorn said.

Butehorn told the players to stay motivated as they still have a long journey ahead of them.

“From my history, I don’t think any team has lost any season just by one game, especially the first game, so I just poised that question to the guys,” he said. “Who we were today was a team that we believe is better than we showed, and we came out on the wrong end of things today.

“It’s a long season … they need to go make up for that loss at home and grab one on the road [at some point this season].

An opportunity to balance out their record awaits the Bulls next week as they face SMU on Saturday in Corbett Stadium. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN+.