Men’s soccer loses last home stand of the season

With the college soccer season winding down, the USF men’s soccer team hosted their final homestand of the season, with both matches ending in heartbreaking defeat. The Dons faced the Stanford University Cardinal, a Bay Area neighbor, on Nov. 4, and this marked the third time this season that USF played a team from the Pac-12 Conference. Both sides were scoreless until the 90th minute of the match, when the Cardinal found the back of the net and sealed a 0-1 loss for USF. 

Offensively, the Dons were kept quiet as the green and gold did not record their first attempt at a goal until the 18th minute. However, Stanford kept defender Nathan Simeon’s strike from putting USF on the board. Despite both teams having opportunities to break the tie within the first 45 minutes, strong defense on each end of the field meant that the teams were deadlocked heading into the half.

Defender Kevyn Lo (#21) attempts a steal. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS

Forward Nonso Adimabua came out of the locker room with fervor and attempted his first shot at the 50th minute. However, the Cardinal’s goalkeeper had Adimabua’s number, and the game remained a scoreless affair. USF would not get another chance at scoring until the 67th and 70th minute, with both attempts once again coming from Adimabua. Still, the forward’s strikes were no match for the Cardinal’s unwavering defense.

With a few ticks left in regulation, the Cardinal scored and subsequently shut down USF’s final attacking attempt, pushing the Dons’ losing streak to four games.  

USF returned to Negoesco Stadium Nov. 7 for the squad’s final home game of the season against the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Lions and, more importantly, Senior Day. Prior to kickoff, seniors Shayan Charalaghi, Ivo Neto, and Dominic Valdivia were recognized for their contributions to the team and received their framed jerseys. 

The Dons’ fate mirrored their last loss as the Lions scored in the final three minutes of regulation, handing USF another 0-1 loss. 

Both sides were fairly matched in the first half as the Lions recorded eight shots in comparison to USF’s five shots. Neither squad broke the tie, and the game was knotted up at the end of the first 45 minutes of action. 

The second half of the match told a different story for USF as the Dons did not get a single scoring opportunity. Alternatively, the Lions rattled off 11 shots in the second half, with their lone goal being scored in the 87th minute of the match. At the end of full time, USF was outshot by the Lions to the tune of 5-19.

The Dons’ troubles went beyond scoring as two players were given yellow cards during the match. The first card was given to midfielder Tamba Di Matti in the 73rd minute for unsporting behavior, and the second card was given to Valdivia in the 89th minute for the same offense. USF also found itself in foul trouble as the team committed 13 through both halves.

USF’s latest loss pushed their losing streak to five games, and the team holds an overall win-loss-tie record of 2-12-1 with an 0-5-1 record in West Coast Conference play. USF will wrap up its season Nov. 13 and hit the road for a game against the University of Portland Pilots. These squads last encountered each other in April with the game ending in a 0-0 tie.


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