By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – Fans have a prime opportunity to watch the USF men’s soccer team begin its chase for an NCAA title.
The Tampa Bay Sports Commission has provided free admission to Sunday’s 6 p.m. NCAA Tournament second-round game between the Bulls and Thursday’s FGCU-UCF winner at Corbett Soccer Stadium.
“We’re excited to be hosting an NCAA Tournament match in the brand new Corbett Soccer Stadium,” Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard said. “Our men’s soccer team worked extremely hard to earn the right to host a match and we hope you’ll reward them by filling the stadium on Sunday. We want to make it as much of a home-field advantage as possible, and thanks to our friends at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, we’re able to make this both a USF and community event.”
The Bulls (12-3-3, 7-0-2) went undefeated in Big East Play to earn the second Red Division Championship in program history, including a 7-2-1 mark at home during the 2011-12 season. The impressive regular season run for USF earned the team a No. 7 overall seed and a chance to play in front of their own packed house at least one more time.
“This Sunday serves as a unique opportunity to celebrate our community’s rich soccer tradition and our longstanding partnership with USF in hosting NCAA postseason events. Our organization is excited to play a small role in helping create an unforgettable atmosphere for these special student-athletes,” said Rob Higgins, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s executive director.
There will be a free student tailgate prior to kickoff and the first 500 kids through the gates get a free mini soccer ball.
USF (12-3-3, 7-0-2) won the Big East Red Division title this season and made it to the conference tournament quarterfinals before earning the seventh seed for the NCAA Tournament on Monday. The Bulls are 7-2-1 at home this year.
“We love to play in front of this crowd and that’s what the No. 7 seed did for us,” senior Aubrey Perry said. “It just got us another home game.”