Women’s soccer fails to make a comeback in season-ending FAU match

One goal defined the end of the 2023-24 women’s soccer season. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

After clinching the regular-season title five days prior, losing to FAU was not part of the USF women’s soccer’s game plan on Tuesday night.

USF (10-6-2, 6-1-2) fell to FAU (8-6-5, 3-3-3) 1-0 in the first round of the AAC Conference Tournament.

This marked the end of coach Denise-Schilte Brown’s 17-season tenure with the Bulls. She departs USF with an 184-97-43 record. 

Schilte-Brown’s final career home game on Oct. 26 was a 2-1 victory over the Owls, making USF the champions of the East Division.

Related: “Relationships above winning”: Schilte-Brown clinches division title in final regular season game at USF

South Florida lost in the first round of the AAC Tournament for the second consecutive year. The last time the team won the AAC title was in 2020 against Cincinnati, 4-0.

Sophomore midfielder Gentiana Fetaj opened the match for South Florida by attempting a  shot 53 seconds into the match. The Owls took their first shot only a minute later. 

USF led the first half with nine shots compared to three from FAU. Neither team scored a goal or recorded a corner kick in the first 45 minutes. 

Half-time comebacks are common for the women’s soccer team, and they’re what led the team to win against the Owls on Oct. 26.

It didn’t work this time – FAU had its first shot on goal in the 51st minute. 

Three consecutive shots later, FAU scored its lone goal in the 63rd minute. Six shots and two corner kicks later from the Bulls, the final whistle blew marking the end of the game.

The Bulls’ defense limited FAU to nine shots while USF had 17, six on goal.

Sophomore midfielder Sadie Sider-Echenberg led with four shots in this match, followed by sophomore defender Signe Markvardsen with three. Both Fetaj and senior forward Serita Thurton each had two.

Although this marks the end of the women’s soccer team season, a new era for the Bulls’ is on the horizon.

No announcements have been made yet in search of Schilte-Brown’s replacement.

Stay with The Oracle for updates on future coaching announcements.