Gritty defenses leads to scoreless draw

Despite shooting 14 shots, the Bulls failed to score in their first draw of the season. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

After an hour-and-a-half rain delay, the USF women’s soccer team played a physical and gritty match against Charlotte to result in a 0-0 tie. 

This marks their first draw since they faced Memphis in the AAC Championship game on Nov. 7, 2021. 

The Bulls (4-4-1, 1-0-1 AAC) and the 49ers (4-3-4, 0-0-2 AAC) combined for 19 total fouls while playing aggressive defense all game long. This was USF’s first tie of the season. 

During their last four matches, the Bulls have now withheld a single shot on goal in four halves while outshooting the opponent in five of the nine matches this season. 

USF limited Charlotte to only four shots and one shot on goal, all of which came in the second half. The only shot on goal occurred during the 86th minute and was promptly saved by sophomore Bulls goalkeeper Leire Herraez Gallach. 

The Bulls forced the action on offense with 14 shots yet couldn’t find the back of the net. 

USF came close to taking the lead during the 48th minute when sophomore forward Gentiana Fetaj’s shot bounced off the crossbar twice, but it failed to yield a goal. 

Despite 10 more shot attempts than Charlotte and a 57% total time of possession, the Bulls couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities against a staunch 49ers defense, including two yellow cards that resulted in free kicks during the 41st and 64th minute. 

Junior midfielder Madison Schwartzenberger said she was frustrated from the lack of scoring given the opportunities the Bulls had.

“It’s always tough when you don’t score a goal and you know you’re dominating the whole game,” Schwartzenberger said. “We kept on pushing and pushing for that goal. It was tough when we thought that goal went in… so we’re a little frustrated.” 

Head coach Denise Schilte-Brown was disappointed about the lack of offense from USF but remained optimistic about her team’s performance heading into their next matchup.

“I feel like we created a good amount of chances. It’s just frustrating that we didn’t get one to go in,” Schilte-Brown said. 

In their next game, the Bulls will need to capitalize on their scoring chances in order to beat No. 21 Gonzaga on Sunday. The Bulldogs (7-1-1) rank second in the country in goals scored this season with 33. 

Schilte-Brown said the matchup will be a measuring-stick to evaluate where the team is at.

“I think Gonzaga is a good opportunity for us,” Schilte-Brown said. “It’ll teach us a lot, they’re a good team, we’re a good team. It’ll be a fun game.” 

USF will face off against Gonzaga at Corbett Stadium on Sep. 24 at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and Bulls Unlimited.