The USF women’s soccer team went down in their last preseason exhibition, 4-1. to Washington on Monday night.
It was a wet evening, with lightning delaying the game by an hour. It also shortened the game down to two 30-minute halves instead of three 30-minute periods as originally planned. The fans were also in the dark about the time because the scoreboard seemed to have been struck by lightning and wasn’t functioning.
The game kicked off and looked to be an even affair from the off. However, Washington’s first corner saw the cross sneak through the USF defenders to a Husky at the top of the box. Goalkeeper Rikki Farquharson got a hand to the shot but couldn’t push it up far enough to save it.
The Bulls unfortunately would see UW score again on a free kick just a few minutes later. The long ball into the box went through a mess of traffic and the slick ball somehow found a Washington head to go up 2-0.
USF went on the attack following the second, and freshman Sydny Nasello ripped off two extremely good shots, one denied by a top class save. She was very unfortunate not to have scored, but she continued to make a name for herself leading up to the home opener on Thursday.
It’s worth noting that USF played the entire night with a mix of newcomers and returning players from last season. Occasionally the nerves showed in the younger players, but the young team showed a lot of promise. Emma Davies showed a cool head on the finish that resulted in USF’s lone goal. A steal off the back line by Megrath set Davies up nicely for her first goal in a USF shirt.
Speaking of uniforms, USF debuted their new white kits, which looked sharp enough to be worth writing this sentence.
Washington would score two in the second half after keeper Sydney Martinez entered the game. USF nearly had a second when Katie Kitching got sprung free late in the game. She beat the charging Husky keeper to the ball and flicked it on frame, but one of the retreating defenders just managed to reach the ball in time to clear it off the line.
After the game, Coach Denise Schilte-Brown spoke highly of the freshmen heading into the opener.
“We are farther ahead this year. The freshmen just haven’t really missed a beat,” Schilte-Brown said. “You look at (freshman defender) Mia Palango and Sydny Nasello, Emma Davies tonight. You just have these good freshmen that are out there, and they seem a little more seasoned than your typical freshman.”
As noted during the first game, USF’s wingers pushed very high up the field. There was less opportunity for them against a higher quality opponent, but the high offensive line was there. Related, the strike partnership potential between Evelyne Viens and Sydny Nasello should be mouthwatering for fans, and terrifying for defenders.
Women’s soccer opens their season at home vs Towson this Thursday.