The USF men’s soccer team finished the regular season strong with a 1-0 victory over Temple on Saturday night at Corbett Soccer Stadium.
Already the regular season champions and conference tournament hosts, the Bulls celebrated their eight seniors (Nazeem Bartman, Liam McNally, Marcus Epps, Lindo Mfeka, Graham Smith, Spasoje Stefanovic and Jason Velasquez) before the game.
Temple apparently wanted to honor the seniors too, as they allowed Bartman a beautiful chance not two minutes into the game off a long ball that drifted over the defense. Not long after, Epps made a great cross into the six-yard box, but Becket couldn’t quite finish it off.
The giving mood for Temple did not last. Toward the end of the half, a Temple defender went down in front of their goal quite easily, denying Epps a great chance. In the last minute of the first half, USF whipped off three straight shots, the last of which was saved as time expired.
The breakthrough came midway through the second half. After going up and down the field for about 20 minutes, Ricardo Gomez made a run to the touchline in the 64th minute, and sent a ground ball across the face of goal. It found Luis Garza on the far post, who has probably never scored an easier goal.
Becket and Bartman nearly duplicated the play just minutes later, but couldn’t quite connect. Toward the end, Temple’s push for a late equalizer did not amount to any shots on target. Spasoje Stefanovic made three saves in the match, one in the last few minutes to preserve the shutout.
After the game, the team was presented their trophy for winning the regular-season title. They promptly took it over to the Goalmouths to celebrate.
Video from last night's soccer celebration (credit: Judy Reese) pic.twitter.com/OIR6ifduvB— Carl Zee (@c350Zee) November 6, 2016
More video from last night's soccer celebration (credit: Judy Reese) pic.twitter.com/LyFgrHHkON— Carl Zee (@c350Zee) November 6, 2016
While the Bulls had their spot locked up at the top of the conference, the rest of the conference was still fighting to make the four-team field. When the dust settled, the final standings read #1 USF, #2 Tulsa, #3 UConn and #4 UCF in the conference tournament.
That means: Friday, November 11, 7:00 p.m., Corbett Soccer Stadium, USF vs UCF in the conference tournament. Be there. This game does not count towards whatever that trophy is that we all hate.
Also, Tulsa and UConn will play each other at 4:30 that afternoon. Come annoy them if you want.