Off to a winning start

Men’s and women’s soccer teams take season openers

Freshman Nonso Adimabua (#10) races to the ball against a Sacramento State University player. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS

With the collegiate soccer season getting back into full swing, the USF men’s and women’s soccer teams showcased new squads with freshmen-heavy rosters, featuring seven freshmen starters for the men’s team and six for the women’s team. USF men’s soccer started their season with a win, defeating the Sacramento State University Hornets by a score of 2-1 Aug. 26 on their home turf at Negoesco Stadium. 

Freshman forward Nonso Adimabua carried the first half of the men’s game with a shot courtesy of a tackle-led assist by freshman midfielder Gabriel Bracken Serra, which built the Dons’ lead. The Hornets’ lone goal came courtesy of a penalty kick. However, a far launch down center field from Adimabua closed up the first half and sealed victory for the Dons.

In their first away game of the regular season, the men’s team fell short Aug. 29 against the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins. The Bruins struck first in the contest, but senior Shayan Charlaghi tied the game at one goal each within the last five minutes of full time. An overtime goal from the Bruins sealed defeat for USF, and the Dons lost by a score of 1-2.

Looking ahead, men’s soccer will travel to Santa Barbara for a Sept. 3 fixture against the University of California, Santa Barbara Gauchos.

Elsewhere on the pitch, the USF women’s soccer team tied with the University of Oregon Ducks Aug. 22. However, the team claimed a victory Aug. 26, blanking the San Jose State University Spartans by a score of 2-0., 

In their home opener against the Spartans, freshman midfielder Elle Soleau and freshman forward Marissa Vasquez teamed up, allowing the Dons to strike first in the 11th minute. Soleau tapped the ball in the center of the penalty box, creating some leeway for Vasquez to launch a left corner kick from the top of the box.

Sophomore defender Jasmeen Ward and freshman defender Gabby Rizzo also shined at the close of the first half with a fast break off the quick feet of Rizzo putting the Dons up by two goals, a margin the Spartans could not overcome. 

The women’s soccer team returns to the pitch Sept. 5 when they host the University of California, San Diego Tritons.

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