TAMPA - The University of South Florida women's soccer team would use a similar combination to what it used in its two previous exhibitions matches; second half scoring and overpowering defense as sophomore Noelle Piniero would provide the scoring in USF's 1-0 victory over Florida Atlantic to open up the 2009 season Friday evening.
The in-state foes would play a scoreless first half. The score was however a bit misleading. The Bulls had numerous scoring opportunities as the Bulls put six shots on goal.
The Owls would create a couple offensive chances themselves but would be turned away by senior keeper Mallori Lofton-Malachi, as the Philadelphia native handled all three Shots on goal with ease for her 14th career shutout. Lofton-Malachi played the full 90 minutes in goal for the Bulls
With a stranglehold firmly in place on the FAU attack, the Bulls' continued to force the issue in the offensive third and their persistence would pay off.
Piniero would break the ice for the 2009 season as she would use some fantasy footwork to create some space and then send a left-footed blast from 16 yards out to beat diving FAU keeper.
Even with a 1-0 lead, the Bulls would try to add on as they continued to unload on the FAU goal. The Bulls totaled 21 shots with 11 on goal while completely shutting down the FAU attack. The Owls did not register a shot over the final 52 minutes of action.
It became apparent early on that referee's would let the player's decide the outcome of the game as only blew four fouls total for the match.
With the loss the Owls fall to 0-2-0 on season. The Bulls now lead the all-time series between the schools 8-5-2 and are 5-0-2 at home.
Season tickets for USF women's soccer games are $40 for adults and $20 for youths and senior citizens. Adult individual match tickets are $6, while youth and senior citizen admission is $3. All groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $2.50 per ticket. All USF students will be admitted at no cost when they display their student ID.
Following tonight's win, the Bulls will quickly turn their focus to Sunday as they will have just one day to prep for an engagement with No. 7/11 Florida. The Bulls will jump on Interstate-75 and head north to Gainesville for a 1 p.m. start time Sunday at the James G. Pressly Stadium. Following the Bulls trip to Gainesville the Bulls will return home as they the 2009 USF Invitational when they host FIU on Friday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Freshman Taylor Patterson and Redshirt freshman Brittany Burt made their first career starts... Joining Patterson and Burt, freshmen Eyllcia Colon, Kelly Campbell, Taylor Brown and Boo Eagle made their USF debuts against the Owls...Mallory Lofton-Malachi made her 35th consecutive start for the Bulls dating back to 2007... Lofton-Malachi is has made 38 career appearances... Sophomore Rehana Murani made her 19th career start... She has started every game that she has appeared in...Sophomore Noelle Piniero's goal in the 53rd minute was her second career goal... Tonight's attendance was 787... The shutout is the 14th in 35 career start in Lofton-Malachi's career... With the win the Bulls are now 5-7-2 in season openers and 3-4-2 at USF Soccer stadium.