South Florida men’s soccer won its first conference match of the season against Temple on Saturday after back-to-back goals in the second half finalized the score 2-1.
The Bulls (2-3-2) dominated the first half with three corner kicks and 69% ball possession. Despite this pressure, Temple (2-4-2) netted a goal in the first 20 minutes after a ball landed in the top right corner of the net.
With an attempt to tie the game, the Bulls got a break when Owls midfielder Draven Barnett received a red card 10 minutes after the goal. He was ejected from the rest of the match.
After finishing the first half with nine shots and no goals, coach Bob Butehorn knew this would give the Bulls an opportunity to put one in the net.
“We were getting some good chances before the red card and then I think once the red card happened we felt like, ‘OK, we’re gonna get one at least,’” he said.
This red card proved to work in the team’s favor as they came back strong in the second half with 12 shots in under 15 minutes.
In the 68th minute, sophomore center back Brian Schaefer broke through the Owl’s defense and tied the game with the Bull’s first goal of the night.
Returning to the field with more ease, sophomore midfielder Marcus Victorio was able to score the team’s second goal in the 74th minute.
Schafaer’s first goal was what the Bulls needed in order to gain their momentum and get a win over Temple.
“We were just fighting for that first goal for 60 minutes and once we got that first one, it was just a weight off our shoulders and we could just play and find that second one,” Schaefer said.
Despite facing a worthy opponent, Butehorn felt the Bulls talent shined through in their performance against the Owls.
“You give a lot of credit to Temple, they battled and made it tough,” Butehorn said. “For our guys to dig in and try to get behind them and they’re sitting in trying to keep us from scoring it’s always tough. But the boys showed some maturity and scored some goals when we needed to.”
South Florida will face its next conference match against Charlotte on Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.