Trends held for both USF soccer teams against Jacksonville Thursday night. The women’s soccer team beat the Dolphins 6-0 before the men lost 2-0 in a doubleheader at Corbett Soccer Stadium.
Days after achieving the highest ranking in program history, Evelyne Viens scored the first USF hat trick in a decade for the women in an utterly dominant performance. It was a fast start for the #14 Bulls (6-0-0), who ran out to a 5-0 lead in the first half with goals in the 8th, 12th, 22nd, 25th, and 41st minutes. and 55th minutes.
Viens opened the scoring by controlling a low through ball from Andrea Hauksdottir and poking it past the keeper from close range. Leticia Skeete scored the second, but the credit for the play should go to Jordyn Listro, who fought off roughly a hundred fouls near midfield before sending Skeete a ball down the middle that Skeete angled home.
Trudi picked up a goal off a penalty, Viens knocked in a rebound for her second, then the water break came. Six subs came off the USF bench all at once. Despite half the team being reserves, USF still found the net as Aubrey Megrath scored her first career goal off a cross from Jessica Clark.
Viens completed her hat trick in the 55th minute for the hat trick from a volley off a high pass from Gudren Sigurdardottir. Not much later, the starters would come out and the reserve players would get double-digit minutes. A total of 25 different Bulls entered the game, including backup keeper Haley Johnson. USF was by far the better team in the contest, outshooting JU 28-10.
USF men’s soccer (0-3-2) did not have as good of a night. The return of Marcus Epps to the lineup was marred by frankly uninspired attacks and an extremely rare howler by Spasoje Stefanovic.
The first half was largely uneventful, save two chances by USF. Melvin Becket had a wide open look at net, but sent the shot into orbit, and Nazeem Bartman had a laser denied by JU keeper Patrick Harding.
The return of Epps on the wing instantly changed the look of USF into a much more dangerous team, but the lack of creativity in the final third of the pitch doomed the Bulls as it gave the Dolphins increasing amounts of confidence. Off a set piece foul in the second half, JU took the lead as the long ball into the box was headed into net by an unmarked man.
The Bulls hit rock bottom when Stefanovic whiffed trying to clear a ball out of the defensive third, and allowed JU to simply dribble into the net.
Epps provided one late chance for the Bulls with a ground cross that passed the face of net mere feet from the line, but no USF player could get a foot to it.
The Bulls outshot the Dolphins 12-5, but the Bulls couldn’t finish any chance given, particularly the three golden chances given above. The defensive play was pretty good, highlighted by a good game by Gabriel Pfeffer, but the lack of teeth up top will cause the Bulls more headaches if they don’t figure out how to score soon.
The women travel to Statesboro, GA to take on Georgia Southern on Sunday while the men stay at home to face the University of San Francisco (USF vs USF!) Saturday at 1.