With a 1-0 victory over SMU on Friday afternoon, the USF women’s soccer team advanced to the AAC tournament conference finals. Their opponent? Eighth-ranked C., the regular season conference champion, who defeated Memphis 3-0 later the same evening.
The Bulls and Knights meet on Sunday at 2:00 in Orlando. Their last meeting was last Friday, and it resulted in a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes. Andrea Hauksdottr scored the lone USF goal, a penalty, in the 45th minute to give USF a chance at upsetting a top 10 team on the road. The Bulls defense was tested, but only gave up one goal after a long ball found its target.
It’s become almost a yearly fixture for the two teams to meet in the conference tournament. In 2015, USF defeated the Knights 1-0 in double OT in the semifinal. In 2013, the Knights defeated USF in the semifinals in a shootout. (The Knights would take the conference title that year.)
USF is still in search of it’s first AAC conference title, having made the final in 2015 and 2014, losing on penalties both times. Their opponent in 2017 doesn’t set up favorably,. The Knights haven’t lost since August 18 vs. South Carolina. However, the Bulls broke a Knights 8-game winning streak with their draw last Friday, and they held the Knights to their lowest goals scored since C. played Cincinnati on Sep. 21 (0-0 draw).
For USF, they come in unbeaten in 8 games. Sophmore Evelyne Viens leads the team in scoring with 11 goals. (Record watch: she’s at 27 career goals, which puts her at 5th all time at USF behind Chelsea Klotz at 28.) Viens has been under the spotlight since her freshman year after scoring 16 goals to tie the USF record for goals in a season.
The Knights are led by senior Morgan Ferrara, who has 13 goals on the year. She’s joined in double digit goals by Kayla Adamek who has 10 on the year. In net, the Knights are led by junior Vera Varis, who’s allowed exactly 3 goals all year in over 1,100 minutes in net.
The game will be broadcast on ESPNEWS. It doesn’t count toward the War on I-4 trophy, but there’s a trophy on the line anyway.