Last weekend, the women's soccer team traveled to DeLand and Jacksonville to play The Atlantic Sun Conference's Stetson Hatters and Jacksonville University Dolphins. The Stetson game ended in a 1-1 tie, thanks to a first half goal by Olivia Chance. Against Jacksonville, goals were scored by USF forwards Jessica Hamrick, Ocean Parr and Leticia Skeete, as well as midfielders Brittany Raymond and Olivia Chance. The Dolphins failed to score in the game.
Regular season play began Friday night in Waco, Texas as the Bulls took on the Baylor Bears. Aside from four corner kicks, the ball stayed mostly around midfield in the first half, with neither team consistently posing an offensive threat. Sixteen minutes into the second half, senior defender Cristina Ferral scored to put USF up 1-0.
Baylor answered with a goal six minutes later, and the game continued in a tie until the end of regulation. USF came out on fire in the first overtime, with a shot off the crossbar, a shot on goal and two corner kicks, but couldn't get the ball into the net. Finally, three minutes into the second overtime period, Olivia Chance came up with the game winning goal with an assist by Cristina Ferral.
Women's soccer continues the season next weekend in Tampa against Long Island University and Mississippi State. What we know so far is that after a disappointing end to last year, this team is older, wiser and tougher and has an appetite for winning.
Men's soccer played an exhibition game against Stetson last week, which the Hatters won 2-0, marking the Bulls' first loss to Stetson in 15 years.
The second men's exhibition game was played against the University of Tampa Saturday night. Less than two minutes into the match, Spartan midfielder Keith Francisco scored on a long shot to the corner of the goal. USF forward Nazeem Bartman immediately tied the game on a beautifully centered ball from midfielder Lindo Mfeka.
The game went on for 30 minutes before USF broke the tie with a goal from defender Gabriel Pfeffer on a free kick from Mfeka. The Bulls withstood a shot off the post, another off the crossbar, and two free kicks near the box to keep the 2-1 lead through the entire second half.
The win returns the Rowdies Cup, which has been the object of this matchup for eleven soccer seasons, to USF. The Bulls have now improved to a record of 8-2-1 in the Rowdies Cup Era.
Heading into games that count, be confident that South African teammates Lindo Mfeka and Nazeem Bartman will do great things for the Bulls this year. Also, know that goalie Spasoje Stefanovic is still amazing. The regular season begins next weekend as USF takes on Missouri State and Georgetown.