The USF men’s soccer team battled for a 1-1 tie in their BIG EAST home opener against Providence College on Saturday night at Corbett Soccer Stadium.
It was a physical game in which both teams combined for 45 fouls and a pair of yellow cards.
“In the Big East it’s always going to be a physical game and Providence is a hard working team and we pride ourselves in being a hard working team. When two opponents like that clash it’s obviously going to be a good battle,” USF senior defender Aubrey Perry said.
Providence (6-2-1, 1-0-1) opened the scoring with a goal in the 16th minute when sophomore forward Greg Davis received a pass from Marcos Ugarte in the box and calmly put the ball in the upper right corner of the net.
Lucas Baldin nearly tied it up for the Bulls (5-2-2, 1-0-1) on a free kick in the 36th minute but his shot curved just wide left of the goal.
USF equalized with 32:26 left in the second half when forward Dom Dwyer dribbled into the box and was taken down by a Providence defender to draw a penalty kick. The Bulls sent sophomore midfielder Leston Paul to the spot where he drilled his shot into the bottom right corner for his second goal of the season.
After a back-and-forth first half the Bulls were able to dominate possession and control the pace throughout the second half and overtime.
“Second half and the two overtimes we had 90 percent possession,” head coach George Kiefer said. “I thought some of the soccer we put out there tonight was very good so I’m pleased from that standpoint.”
USF had a number of chances to win the game in overtime. The best chance came from a Wesley Charpie cross into the box that was headed just wide by Dwyer.
“I felt like we put ourselves in a position to win the game. We just didn’t come away with it tonight so we get a point in the Big East and carry on,” Kiefer said.
The Bulls outshot the Friars 15-7 on the night and 5-1 in the two overtime periods.
USF will play at Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday, Oct. 4 before getting back into conference play at home against No. 15 St. John’s on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.