What was already a successful regular season for USF only got better this past week. The Dons did what they could to solidify their case for the playoffs by dominating Pacific 4-1 and Santa Clara 2-0 in two weekend games at Negoesco Stadium. Unfortunately, the Dons’ consecutive wins were not enough to earn them an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, as the team did not hear its name called on selection day. With the two wins, the Dons finished the season with a record of 11-6-2 (5-2 West Coast Conference), improving on their 7-11-2 (4-7-1 WCC) record from 2013.
On Saturday, USF celebrated Senior Night by honoring the seniors in their last regular season game, and then proceeded to defeat the Santa Clara Broncos with impenetrable defense by a score of 2-0. The first half was a standstill between both squads, and the game was tied at halftime. The Dons got on the scoreboard in the 63rd minute though when sophomore midfielder Davi Ramos received a pass from sophomore forward David Garrett behind the left side of the box and blasted it by Santa Clara goalie Carl Carrwik for the first goal of the game. It was Ramos’ fourth goal of the season.
Freshman midfielder Aaron Lombardi put the icing on the cake when he scored in the 85th minute for his third goal of the season. The victory supplemented what was a happy and emotional night for the USF men’s soccer team and the seniors in general.
“Everyone really does care about you,” senior defender David Romney said, reflecting on his time with the USF soccer program. “I’ve utilized that as much as I could…everyone’s there for you 100 percent, and you can’t get that at a big university. We built a family here.”
On Thursday, the Dons dominated the Pacific Tigers, with three different freshman scoring goals in the 4-1 win. USF established its presence early in the game by scoring three of its goals in the first period. Ramos scored first on a one-timer to the right side of the net to give USF a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute. Later, freshman midfielder Jonathan Fabulich found the back of the net in the 17th minute to give USF a 2-0 lead. In the 36th minute, freshman forward Bryce Kaminski scored his second goal of the year to make it 3-0.
The Dons’ lone second-half goal came when freshman midfielder K.J. Ahlo scored his first goal of the year by chipping a shot into the net to secure the win for the Dons.
USF’s record this season was its best mark since 2006. Although they didn’t receive an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, the Dons deserve a lot of credit for what was an outstanding season under first-year head coach Eddie Soto.