The USF men’s soccer team came out to play Friday night against the 9th ranked Wildcats of Northwestern. The Don’s upset the Wildcats 1-0 in a hard fought game on a foggy San Francisco night at Negoesco Stadium. Coach Erik Visser started two freshmen for the night.
After an early Wildcats goal was called back because the ball flew out of bounds on a corner kick, the Don’s got a reality check and started to lock down the defense.
Freshman center back Fred Loechen anchored the defense strongly, using his height to win every ball in the air holding the opponents to shots from outside the area.
The Dons’ deep pool of young talent came in handy against Northwestern, especially after freshman forward Tanner Smith scored his first goal for the Dons, a beautiful bending shot at the top of the 18-yard box into the corner of the net. Impossible for the goalkeeper to even get a finger on, the goal was assisted by senior captain Bryan Burke.
At the start of the second half the Wildcats had multiple chances on goal but the Dons’ sold back line was able to handle the pressure. Freshman midfielders Felix Luna and Mauricio Diaz De Leon worked hard in the center mid-field distributing the ball effectively, allowing the Dons multiple scoring opportunities from both Tanner Smith and Bryan Burke.
In the 67th minute sophomore mid-fielder Vinnie Colario’s shot hit the crossbar after a scramble in the Wildcat’s 18-yard box, almost securing a 2-0 lead for the Dons. Luna nearly assisted forward Oscar Englund on a sneaky breakaway threw-ball but the Wildcat’s goalkeeper came up with an amazing one-on-one save. Sophomore goalkeeper Brendan Roslund made four saves to record his 1st shutout of the season.
On Sunday the Dons traveled to nearby St. Mary’s in Moraga to play Cal State Fullerton to finish up play in the Saint Mary’s Invitational. Senior forward Jeff Penna scored the opening goal for the Don’s with a far post shot assisted by freshman Karl Krafft in the 43rd minute.
In the 70th minute, Cal State Fullerton forward Nick Posthuma scored an equalizer for the Titans on a defensive blunder by the Don’s.
Minutes later the Dons received a red card and were forced to play with 10 men for much of the second half. Even under the pressure of overtime, Dons goalkeeper Brendan Roslund came up with a huge save, denying Titans forward Celso Alvarez’s point-blank shot. Just a few seconds later, Roslund came up with another huge save keeping the Don’s in the game. Roslund played a major roll in conserving the tie and finished the game with an incredible 8 saves.
Two Dons freshmen, Tanner Smith and Fred Loechen, along with senior captain Bryan Burke earned all –tournament honors for their strong, consistent play over the past two nights.
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