Men Opens Conference Play Against Santa Clara, Pacific

The Dons’ men’s soccer has been successful over their last two games against San Jose State and UC Irvine. The Green and Gold scored 35 percent of their season total of goals in these two wins.


On Sept. 22, the Dons sprinted into the first half scoring three of their five total goals against San Jose State. In addition, the Dons scored the first goal of the match for the very first time this season. Junior midfielder Santiago Digiuseppe started the onslaught of goals in the 22nd minute with a left-footed shot through the goalkeeper’s legs for Digiuseppe’s third goal of the season. Less than 10 minutes later, junior midfielder Sean Bowman rocked a volley into the back of the net off an assist from senior midfielder Leon Schwarzer.


Schwarzer also contributed with a goal from the penalty spot. Schwarzer does an unusual thing when he draws the penalty and takes the shot himself. Many players who draw a penalty do not take it themselves.


However, the Green and Gold did not continue to run away with the game. San Jose State made the match interesting when they scored back-to-back goals in less than a minute — all within 30 minutes left in the game.


Bowman netted his second of the match six minutes later off a SJSU failed corner clearance. In the closing minute of the game, senior midfielder Aaron Lombardi added to the total, after missing a penalty kick earlier in the match. Lombardi’s goal increased the Dons’ season-high goals in a single match.


The Dons extended their winning streak to two games against UC Irvine two days later.


USF let in the first goal of the game 17 minutes in. This would be the only goal that UC Irvine would score in the game. The Dons let this lead go into halftime, but not long into the second half. Lombardi chipped the UCI goalkeeper and netted his third of the season in the 51st minute off an assist from Schwarzer.


Bowman scored the winning goal not long after. Bowman’s shot deflected off the inside of the left post and goes in.


In an interview with USF, coach Eddi Soto praised Bowman’s play over the weekend. “Sean’s been unbelievable. His form is really sharp and he’s talented. It’s great the way he’s responding because that’s the way the really good players do.”


The USF Dons opened their West Coast Conference play against Santa Clara on Sunday, where they hoped to continue their win streak. Unfortunately, Santa Clara had other ideas. The Dons controlled much of the possession early in the game and were awarded a free kick in the 6th minute. Digiuseppe stepped up to the ball and sent it into the box for sophomore defender Matt Orr to score the first goal of his career. However, less than three minutes later, the Broncos leveled the game with a powerful shot past Ruben Stuiver and into the back of the net. Santa Clara scored their second of the game minutes before halftime. The Dons continued to create chances in the second half, including a free kick from Lombardi that was cleared out of bounds and a header from Bryce Kaminski that clipped the top of the crossbar as it went high. The Broncos clinched the game with a free kick just outside the 18-yard box in the 80th minute.


The Green and Gold continue WCC play on the 13th against Pacific. Pacific comes off an extra day of rest after playing Portland on Saturday. Pacific also comes into the game with an 8-2 record. The Tiger and Dons have a few common opponent, in San Jose State, Sacramento State, and Stanford. USF and Pacific have the same record against the three teams, 2-1. However, the Dons have a composite score of 8-5, while Pacific’s combined score is 4-2. This game will be held at Negoesco Field, at 7 p.m. on Friday.


Featured Photo: Starting XI gather to get final instructions before the game/Donsathletics Flickr


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