Sydney Martinez breaks shutout record in win against Tulsa

Senior goalkeeper Sydney Martinez passed USF alumni Katarina Elliott in the career records for shutouts. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

South Florida women’s soccer continued its conference games on Thursday against Tulsa winning 1-0 and snapping a three-game losing streak.

The Bulls (4-6) have won all of the home games against Tulsa (6-4-1) since September 2014, leaving the home record 5-0.

Clean passes and possession throughout the game was the Bulls’ strong suit when it came to their effort in getting ahead against Tulsa. They started both halves with aggression and control on the field.

Senior goalkeeper Sydney Martinez contributed to the win as she got her 25th career shutout to become the program’s all-time leader in that category. Her leadership over the years has meant a great deal to the program. Freshman midfielder Daniella Chung  mentioned how proud she is of her and how the team feels about this huge accomplishment.

“She’s been insane,” Chung said. “I can’t believe she broke the record. She’s been a great leader on the team and we all look up to her.”

USF had 10 shots in the first 45 minutes while Tulsa ended the half with two. The Bulls ended the match with 17 shots, six of which were on goal. 

They controlled the starting half with possessive power as well as clean passes, coach Denise Schilte-Brown emphasized this as part of their game plan going into the game.

“[We wanted to] keep them in their own half. Do not let them out and shut the door [on Tulsa] when we can,” Schilte-Brown said.

Chung chipped the ball into the net to give the Bulls the lead in the 70th minute. Chung emphasized how important it was to take the shot she saw in such an intense game.

“There was just so much adrenaline I wanted to score so bad, we needed that. I just took it and shot it,” Chung said.

USF stood its ground against Tulsa’s physical defense. Tulsa ended the game with three yellow cards while USF only had one.

“It was very intensive, obviously at the end, but I think our team stayed compact and we kept it together,” Chung said.

A standout during the game was sophomore midfielder/forward Serita Thurton, as she hustled both defensively and offensively making it hard for Tulsa to get anything past her. Schilte-Brown believes her ability can reach higher than what was shown in-game.

“Serita sets a standard of work rate and she’s really a model kid for us. [We’re] always proud of her,” Schlite Brown said. “Honestly, that was an average game for her. She can play even better. She is usually the hardest working kid on the pitch.”

Last season, Thurton had 23 shots with six on goal.

The Bulls will hit the road to continue their conference play against SMU on Sept. 29 at 8 p.m.