The USF women’s soccer team NCAA tournament run came to end on a Friday night in Gainesville with a 1-0 second round loss to No. 16 Florida.
"We tried something different. There were a couple people out of position for us to slow down what we thought they were successful at, so we were a little disjointed,” head coach Denise Schilte-Brown said. “We were not really executing what we were trying to do well."
The Bulls managed just four shots in the game to the Gators’ 12, and only one was sent on goal, by sophomore Evelyne Viens. She accounted for two of the four total shots.
“Some of our advice to Evelyne was to try and turn them and try to spin them. I think she had a lot of success. I think that early on she got taken down in the box, but she did a good job doing what she was trying to do,” Schilte-Brown added. “I think Evelyne is one of the most dangerous strikers in the country, and I think she proved that tonight."
Florida carried momentum the entire game and USF was unable to create any semblance of sustained pressure. With the Bulls under siege late in the first half, Mayra Pelayo hooked in a shot from 10 yards out to give the Gators the only goal in the 42nd minute.
The score might have been more than 1-0 if not for senior goalkeeper Kat Elliott. She tallied six saves in her final game, including two key second-half saves on a pair of Gator breakaways to keep the game within reach.
It was the first regulation loss for USF since October 8. The Bulls finish the year at 13-4-2. This marks their sixth consecutive season of double-digit wins, and of course their first conference title in The American.
A lot to be proud of, but a lot to learn from in 2017.
“Obviously, it's hard to swallow right now, but I'm really proud of this team,” senior midfielder Jessica Hamrick said. “It's a young group and I know that they are going to continue on for the next few years and keep going and get further than this."