TAMPA - 110 minutes would not be enough time to decide an outcome as the University of South Florida women's soccer team played Florida International to a scoreless tie in the Bulls' first match of the 2009 Dafedecker Classic.
The two Sunshine State schools would spend the better part of the first half feeling each other out as both teams were selective in picking their spots but neither team would capitalize as defense and goalkeeping would be tonight's story line.
Despite a scoreless first half, the Bulls and Panthers both had their fair share of chances as the teams put a total of nine shots on goal, with FIU testing senior Mallori Lofton-Malachi six times, however the keeper from Philadelphia, PA handle all of the attempts with little difficulty.
The Bulls nearly took the lead just under the 14 minute mark. Freshman Taylor Patterson used a few nifty moves to create some space coming down the left side and sent a cross to a streaking Chelsea Klotz, but the ball was just out of sophomore's reach.
Lofton-Malachi, who was on her way to her 16th career shutout, was much less active in the second half as the Bulls possessed for the better part of the half, with as many as nine Bulls on the Golden Panther's side of field. Lofton-Malachi would end up with 13 saves on the night, which is a career high for Lofton-Malachi. She ties Breck Banster for the third most in a single match. The school record is 16.
The Bulls would almost take the lead with just under two minutes to go. An FIU foul would setup a USF free kick from 35-yards out. USF would use a deceptive set piece to free up defender Bahar Sansar and she unleashed a blast that just grazed the top of the cross bar.
USF would nearly end it just 33 seconds into overtime. This time it would be Klotz who broke away and had a lot of space at the 16 yard box but her shot ricocheted off the cross bar and was harmlessly cleared by FIU.
USF would continue to pressure FIU but their efforts would come up empty as the two teams would head to a second overtime. The Bulls out shot the Golden Panthers
Following tonight's draw, the Bulls, now 1-1-1 in the young season, will turn their focus to Sunday for a noon showdown with the LSU Tiger's who played to a scoreless tie in the opening match of the 2009 Dafaldecker Classic. The meeting will mark the first meeting between the two schools. The Bulls will be looking for their first win against a member of the Southeastern Conference.
Post Match notes: True freshman Boo Eagle made her first career start, although she has played in all three games in 2009... For the first time in her career sophomore captain Valorie O'Brien did not start... USF leading Noelle Pineiro but came off the bench for the third consecutive match, she played 70 minutes...Senior Mallori Lofton-Malachi and junior Angelique Waller extended their consecutive match started streak to 37 and 29, respectively... With 13 saves tonight, Lofton-Malachi moved into second place all time with 13 Saves... Lofton-Malachi tallied her 16th career shutout and second of the season... It is the fourth time Lofton-Malachi has tallied more than 10 saves in a match... The Bulls are now 2-0-1 in the Dafeldecker Classic... Four USF players played the full 110 minutes...