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#2 Men's Soccer Continues USF's Streak With #2 Rankings

You could sort of feel that something wasn't right as soon as it began raining on campus at about 4:30 yesterday. The first game of the USF Invitational Tournament between Florida Gulf Coast and Iona was set to kick off in half an hour, and just like every crappy movie scene before it, ominous dark clouds rolled in with distant rumbles of thunder. Not distant enough, though, because the officials decided to postpone game one until the lightning was a safe distance off. Turns out that game didn't even get started until about 9 PM, meaning the Bulls had to bide their time against South Carolina even longer. Sad recap after the jump.

The USF game finally kicked off just after 11:00, four hours after the scheduled start time, and fans were pretty sparse. No fan wanted to sit on the berm or on the wet chairs, so many just turned and went home. Attendance ended up being about one-third of the Bulls' one other home game against Mighigan. The fans that remained were treated to a true USF-fashion, we-control-the-ball-the-whole-game-but-the-other-team-scored-first game for the next two hours. South Carolina was handed a long free kick in the 32nd minute from Niklas Kivinen. The ball, soaked with rain, slithered through the hands of USF keeper Eric Osswald, who actually made a good play on it, but his gloves simply weren't sticky enough. After the USC goal, it was more of the same for USF. The Bulls had control of the ball for a large percentage of the game, they had chances, they took shots, but just couldn't put it in the net. USF had five corner kicks in the first half alone. Still nothing. They ended up with fifteen total shots, eight corner kicks, and three shots on goal.

Overall, Kiefer was pretty pleased with the way the Bulls played, and with relatively good reason. They controlled the ball, they took shots, and if not for the ball being extra slippery, they might have had a chance in extra time. But it doesn't work like that. USF was handed their first loss of the season by the third Conference USA team they've played this week. This won't cost USF its chances at the tournament. It probably won't even cost them a top-5 ranking. No one (except maybe North Carolina) was going to go undefeated this year. But one thing is certain: There is officially a curse on USF teams being nationally ranked #2 in anything.

This is why we can't have nice things.