TAMPA, AUG. 28, 2015 – A dominant second-half performance led the USF men’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Missouri State in the regular-season opener at Corbett Stadium.
Sophomore forward Eduardo Maceira opened the scoring in the 55th minute and junior midfielder Lindo Mfeka provided a brace in the 62nd minute to lead USF to a big win over the defending Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champions.
Friday’s game didn’t get underway until nearly 10 p.m., due to a lengthy weather delay prior to the USF women’s soccer game earlier in the evening.
The Bulls struggled offensively in the first half, but the defense held strong until USF’s attack found its groove after the break.
Maceira, an American All-Rookie Team selection last season, tallied his first goal of the season with a shot from just inside the box that took a slight deflection off a Bears’ defender and looped over the goalkeeper’s head to spot USF a 1-0 lead nine minutes in the second half.
Just a few minutes later, the Bulls added to their lead after a great passing sequence between Mfeka and junior Nazeem Bartman. Mfeka, a preseason all-conference selection, beat Missouri State goalkeeper Liam Priestley with a low drive from the center of the box for his 10th career goal.
“I think we communicated well as a team the second half and then came together as a team. That’s all we needed,” Mfeka said.
After being outshot 4-2 in the first 45 minutes, USF controlled the play and outshot the Bears, 8-2, in the second half.
“We just did a better job with pressing them (Missouri State) and going together as a group, and I think that took away their rhythm,” head coach George Kiefer said regarding the team’s second-half adjustments.
Junior forward Kendan Anderson led the Bulls with three shots while seven different players posted at least one shot on the night for USF.
Thanks to a stellar performance from USF’s back four, American Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, Spasoje Stefanovic, didn’t see much action on the night, only having to make one save to record his seventh-career shutout.
The Bulls continue their busy weekend on Sunday night at 7 p.m., with a showdown against No. 3 Georgetown at Corbett Stadium.
“I think the leadership did a good job of not focusing on Georgetown tonight,” Kiefer said. “They were very focused on this team, Missouri State is a good team that’s going to win a lot of games, so now we can turn the page and look forward to Georgetown.”
Purchase tickets for Sunday’s match against the HoyasHERE.
The men’s soccer program has been one of the most successful on campus over the years, advancing to seven NCAA tournaments in the last eight seasons. The Bulls return 13 letterwinners and five starters from 2014 on top of bringing in the third-ranked signing class according to College Soccer News. They won the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship in 2013 and head coachGeorge Kiefer has also led the Bulls to two Elite Eight appearances and four conference/division titles in his 13 seasons as the head man. Follow the men’s soccer team on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram) and visit GoUSFBulls.com for the most up-to-date information. Purchase tickets HERE.
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