TAMPA - The USF women's soccer team's memorable run through the Big East tournament ended just short of the championship game.
The Bulls had a lead on Georgetown with less than 7 minutes to go in regulation before losing to the Hoyas in penalty kicks, 5-4, in Friday's semifinal held at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.
"I'm really proud of the girls. I thought in the first half we came out and really dominated the game," head coach Denise Schilte-Brown said. "It was tough to give up a goal late and still have the right mentality to battle back in overtime. I thought overall they handled themselves very professionally."
USF jumped ahead of the 13th-ranked Hoyas in the 14th minute when Sharla Passariello put a loose ball in the box past keeper Emma Newins. Passariello, an All-Big East third-team selection, leads the Bulls with eight goals heading into the next phase of the postseason.
"She had a couple of other chances and she worked really hard being dangerous in front of the goal," Schilte-Brown said.
The Bulls used a solid defensive effort to keep the lead until late in the second half when Daphne Corbox evened things up.
A tie through two overtimes was fitting for a pair of teams that were even in shots (10) after Georgetown took the lone shot of the overtime periods.
Passariello, Jessica Clark and Demi Stokes scored for USF in the shootout, along with freshman Olivia Chance, who tied it at 4 a game after sending the Bulls to the semis.
Georgetown had a 5-4 edge when Newins, an All-Big East second-teamer, made an outstanding stop on a shot by Jackie Simpson to send the Hoyas to a title game meeting with Marquette on Sunday.
USF (11-5-4) now awaits seeding in the NCAA tournament after the Bulls lost only once in their past 10 games.
"I think one of the big factors is the significant wins and ties we had," Schilte-Brown said. "Our win over Miami and our ties against Louisville and Georgetown should be enough to get us in."