USF’s winning momentum halted by Clemson in 3-2 defeat

The Bulls had 17 fouls, two of which were turned into goals by the Tigers. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

USF men’s soccer received their fourth loss of the season, falling 3-2 against Clemson on Tuesday at Corbett Stadium due to second-half foul troubles.

The Bulls (1-4) had 17 fouls in the game, with 10 of them coming from the second half. Clemson (3-2-1) had 10 by the end of the game.

The Bulls’ fouls led to free kicks that put the Tigers in scoring position frequently.

The first foul happened at the 66th minute, giving Clemson a free kick opportunity at the top of USF’s goal box. Junior midfielder Joran Gerbert headed the ball into the top right corner of the net over sophomore goalie Alan Horrocks’ reach.

The Bulls placed another foul in the same spot as Clemson’s previous free kick. The Tigers netted their second goal at the 70th minute and their final goal at the 81st.

Head coach Bob Butehorn said he was disappointed in the Bulls’ second half performance, especially after they held an initial lead over Clemson.

“I just don’t think we played to our level in the second half. I think we sat in a little bit too much,” Butehorn said.

In the first half, the Bulls had two shots on goal, both coming from senior midfielder Ajmeer Spangler, while Clemson had three. Spengler netted the first goal for South Florida in the 13th minute, which was the Bulls’ overall second goal scored this season.

Spengler said the team needed to do a better job at drawing fouls to set up their own scoring opportunities.

“Once you kind of see the game starting to go that way you have to try and use it to your advantage…we got to do a better job of minimizing the ones that we give away and maximizing the ones we get,” Spengler said.

Heading into their matchup against the Tigers, the Bulls changed their formation from Tuesday’s game against Indiana.

Butehorn reflected on the strategy’s effectiveness in Tuesday’s match.

“I honestly think that it works and the guys can play it. We didn’t play as well as we wanted to today,” Butehorn said.

“But I think we need to be better as an attacking group. And I think that’s just going to take us a little bit more time with more work.”