By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – The Bulls definitely look comfortable in their new stadium.
The USF women’s soccer team cruised past Alabama A&M for a 9-0 victory Sunday that marked the Bulls’ second in two tries in their new digs.
Nine different players scored in a game that allowed many Bulls to get valuable playing time. Noelle Pineiro had a goal and three assists while Demi Stokes scored her second goal in two games at the stadium.
Head coach Denise Schilte-Brown was pleased with how her team responded after a loss in USF’s season opener Aug. 19.
“We really wanted to turn things around from the last week,” Schilte-Brown said. “I thought the girls took a really optimistic approach to the whole thing and worked hard.”
USF also got goals from Cara Patterson, Sharla Passariello, Kayla Bala, Kelly Campbell, Marsha Harper Sara Miller and Mary Ann Krlin. The assist machine also was powered by one each from Patterson, Bala, Harper, Anne Vikre, Brittany Piulon, Rehana Murani, Taylor Patterson and Kendall Narum.
The Bulls had 39 shots (20 in the first half) and headed into halftime with a 5-0 lead. Stats, however, weren’t the most important thing.
“The emphasis wasn’t scoring goals after (the first half),” Schilte-Brown said. “It was proper runs, moving the ball quickly, staying on sides and learning how to stay on sides in those situations.”
Pineiro saw the game as a valuable opportunity for the Bulls to sharpen their skills as well.
“We can work all we want in practice, but the game is where you get the most work in,” she said.
It also was an opportunity for sportsmanship, which USF showed a lot of as the game moved toward the final whistle.
“I thought they showed a lot of class at the end of the game,” Schilte-Brown said. “They really had compassion for the other team and felt like they wanted to make sure the other team kept their heads up.”
The Bulls continue their seven-game homestand 5 p.m. Friday against Vanderbilt in the weekend Dafeldecker Classic. USF’s second test in the Classic is Sunday against Murray State at 2 p.m.