The men’s soccer team won their last preseason exhibition 3-2 over Nova Southeastern on a stormy Thursday night at Corbett Soccer Stadium.
After a weather delay of over two hours, the game was shortened by 20 minutes after it finally kicked off. The Bulls were eager to make up for lost time, and got on the board in the second minute. Alex Zis took a rip from range that found the back of the net. Almost exactly a minute later, a short corner cross from Zis found its way to the back post for Tomasz Skublak, who easily slotted the ball home for an early 2-0 lead.
However, the Bulls then got sloppy and let their pace drop. They managed 13 shots in the first half, but they allowed Nova 6 shots. Unfortunately for USF, one of those took an awkward deflection off a defender and rolled past USF keeper Harrison Devenish-Mears to cut the Bulls’ lead to 2-1.
During the second half, Nova slowly gained confidence, equalizing early. Nova player Youssef Abougendia shredded the entire USF defense before shooting a low ball to the far post. Their two-goal edge gone, the Bulls finally began to pile on the pressure on the offensive end. In the 53rd minute, the Bulls reclaimed the lead when Stephen Rudderham crossed the ball to Luis Garza on the far post. After an extra touch, Garza found the net for the game-winning goal.
Head coach Bob Butehorn gave Nova credit for hanging with the Bulls after the game. However, he was pleased to see the fight in his team, especially given this season was considered a “learning season.” He repeated that he wanted to see more growth out of the team, specifically the younger players, but was overall pleased by their ability to fight back in a close game.
The men begin the regular season this Monday at home against Lipscomb.