M. SOCCER

David Niepel played a stellar game in goal to keep the Division I Bulls scoreless.
David Niepel played a stellar game in goal to keep the Division I Bulls scoreless.

Tampa Defeats USF to Claim 2012 Rowdies Cup

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa men’s soccer team defeated the No. 5 University of South Florida by a 1-0 score to claim the Rowdies Cup in a Saturday exhibition at USF’s Corbett Soccer Stadium.

"I first want to thank USF for giving us the opportunity to play a D1 opponent,” says Bush. “They are a fantastic team, well coached and they will continue to be one of the top teams in the country."

The game went to halftime with a 0-0 tie, as both teams had one solid opportunity in the opening half. USF’s goalkeeper made a huge save on a shot inside the six-yard box from a cross. USF also hit the crossbar on a free kick outside the box.

It was a very even first half as Tampa sophomore Rae’Shaun Washington had a great chance late in the half as he missed an open net on the back post with five minutes left until the break.

In the second half, Tampa went up 1-0 on an own goal from its forwards pressure on their back line. USF’s defender was pressured and went to play the ball back to the keeper, who was out of position. Craig Laird nearly made it 2-0 in favor of the Spartans as his 1-versus-1 shot was saved by the Bulls goalkeeper.

"I'm extremely proud of the effort tonight from our guys,” says Bush. “I felt we frustrated USF's rhythm and our players did a great job of executing our game plan defensively. With this past Wednesday's game against FGCU getting cancelled, to put together that type of performance is something to build on as it was our first full game this year. 18 players saw action tonight and we still have some players that could not play tonight due to injury or NCAA clearinghouse. We hope to get them back this week."

David Niepel started in goal for head coach Adrian Bush’s squad and played the whole game earning the shutout victory. He came up with a couple very big saves to preserve the win.

Overall, Tampa played 18 players in the game as did USF as several young players received valuable experience.

"We still have a lot to work on; we will look at the game film and make the adjustments needed to be ready August 31 versus Carson Newman,” states Bush. “This was a big step in the right direction but the reality is we are still 0-0-0 on the year. Last Game - Next Game!"

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