Tallahassee, Fla. - The University of South Florida women's soccer team (14-5-3) picked up its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory as sophomore Taylor Patterson's two goals helped the Bulls to a 3-1 win over Auburn Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex. USF advanced to face host Florida State in the second round on Sunday.
"I was really proud of the girls today," said USF head coach Denise Schilte-Brown. "It was a good game for us and we took care of our opportunities. I thought in the last six or seven games we've been progressing as a team and today a lot of things culminated to help our performance."
Patterson put the Bulls on the board first midway through the first half.
After taking a touch from junior Chelsea Klotz, Patterson used some fancy footwork to create space and launched a left-footed shot from 22-yards out, bending it just inside the far post past a diving effort from Auburn keeper Amy Howard.
The shot would be the Bulls lone attempt of the half. On the other end, Nicole McClure stopped the only two shots she faced in the first half and USF would take a 1-0 advantage into the half.
The Bulls advantage did not last long into the second half.
Just under seven minutes into the second period, USF was whistled for a foul just outside the 18-yard box setting up a free kick for Auburn's Ana Cate. Cate took a shot on net that ricocheted off the crossbar and into the back of the net for the equalizer.
With just under 31 minutes remaining in regulation, senior Angelique Waller knifed through the Auburn defense, splitting two defenders and taking a shot that nearly trickled over the goalline for the go ahead tally.
Just minutes later, Patterson notched her second goal of the night in the 61st minute, which would be the eventual game winner. She took a feed from Brittany Pilon and skipped a shot from 17-yards away past the keeper to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead. The game winner was her third of the season.
McClure and the Bulls defense were able to successfully weather a number of Auburn scoring chances to preserve the 2-1 lead.
The Bulls would eventually put the match on ice with just under 12 minutes remaining in the match when freshman Sharla Passariello extended the Bulls to lead 3-1. It was her second goal of the season, coming off an assist from Venecia Reid.
Streaking down the middle of the Auburn defense, Passariello slid and kicked the ball over the head of the keeper, off both the far post and crossbar to post the final outcome. The goal was her first since the first match of the season.
On the evening, the Bulls were outshot 13-7, but sent three of their five shots to the back of the net.
McClure ended the night with seven saves.
USF's second-round match with Florida State is scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The Seminoles advanced with a 3-0 win over Middle Tennessee State in the first match of the day.
The match marked the first NCAA Championship match in USF's 16 seasons of women's soccer and the Bulls NCAA win... USF is now 1-0-0 in NCAA Championship matches... The goals for Patterson were her fifth and sixth of the season... She now has seven in her career... USF is now just one win shy of tying the school record for wins in a season with 15, set in 1998... USF has won nine of their last 10 matches... Venicia Reid now has nine assists on the season... She leads the team with 31 points... Patterson is the first Bull other than Venicia Reid or Chelsea Klotz to score more than one goal in a match this season.