USF women’s soccer (2-3-0) was at a scoreless standstill against UTSA (4-1-1) for the first 87 minutes of Sunday’s game. A foul on the Roadrunners allowed sophomore defender Vivianne Bessette to take a free kick, giving the Bulls an opportunity to score, and win 1-0.
Sophomore midfielder Georgia Brown tracked down the airborne ball and headed it into the net for the game-winning goal. Coach Denise Schilte-Brown spoke highly of the goal and the team’s composure in a clutch situation.
”It was hard to hold your emotion because desperation was starting to sink in. You saw a couple of late long balls that were wasteful, but understandable,” Schilte-Brown said. “You’re looking for that moment, to break through and score the goal. I’m glad it came. I feel like that can calm us down a little bit and continue to build.”
USF maintained solid pressure on its opponent in its 12 attempted shots, two of which were on goal. One of the main challenges while doing so was the 16 fouls the Roadrunners committed. Brown and her fellow teammates were ready for the brand of soccer UTSA plays.
“I personally am not somebody to shy away from a physical battle anyway. So I just take it in my stride,” Brown said. “In terms of other players, you just got to pick yourself up and stick to our principles of play.”
The Bulls’ offense focused on maintaining possessions, which it did for 67% of the match. Schilte-Brown highlighted that coming into this contest.
“It’s more can we maintain possession on their side of the pitch and as a result of that, you’ll create more opportunities and win balls back and get opportunities,” she said.
Defensively, the Bulls maintained a similar effort. They only allowed four shots, two of which were on goal. In moments where it seemed UTSA made a push, USF’s backline held its own and Schilte-Brown took note.
“We asked them to take a lot of risks,” Schilte-Brown said. “They are often in one on one situations, they have to stop the counterattacks, and sacrifice their bodies; they’re doing a good job.”
Senior goalkeeper Sydney Martinez also contributed to this effort. The win completed her 24th career shutout, tying her with USF alumni Katarina Elliot for the career record.
By defeating UTSA, USF broke its three-game losing streak haunted by hours of weather delays and heartbreaking losses.
USF will remain at Corbett Stadium to face Miami on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. The match will be available for broadcast on ESPN+.