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Attinella, soccer seniors ready for home finale

26

October

TAMPA -- Jeff Attinella has rewritten USF's goalkeeping record books, and as the senior from Countryside prepares for his final regular-season home game Wednesday night against Rutgers, he wants to see the Bulls continue his college career as long as possible.

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"You always want to finish everything on top, whether that's winning the Big East or winning everything," Attinella said Tuesday. "As a team, as long as we did everything we could, I can leave happy knowing we gave everything we had and fought to the end. This is a really important week for that."

The Bulls (8-3-4) won a Big East championship in 2008, and Attinella is wrapping up a record-breaking three-year run in goal for USF. His 28 career shutouts have long surpassed the previous mark of 21, and he matched another school mark by recording six in a row this season, a span of 668 scoreless minutes.

His next shutout will be his 11th, breaking Troy Perkins' 2001 record; his career goals-against-average of 0.71 should finish below the Bulls career record of 0.76, set by Dan Peterson in 1981. Attinella's ownership of the goal is a complete one -- he's logged every minutes between the posts over the last two seasons, and doesn't plan to have that change the rest of the way.

"Now that I'm in there, I don't want to come out," Attinella said. "I look at it as 'This is my net. This is kind of my team.' It's going to take a lot to keep me out of a game."

He's proven that in the last month -- he took a blow to the head against Cincinnati that had him fearing a concussion -- luckily, it wasn't -- and then this weekend against Louisville, another collision knocked out a tooth. He understands the aggressive, physical play he's greeted with comes with his being last year's Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and a first-team All-American; he's now projected as a draft pick in January's MLS SuperDraft, though he's as excited about graduating in December with a degree in communications.

"The things I've done, I'm most proud of it not because of the awards, but because I had to put a lot of hard work in to get where I am," said Attinella, a captain for the second season in a row. "Our senior class is a great group of leaders."

THIS AND THAT: USF's women's soccer team's NCAA Tournament resume would get a big boost if the Bulls can win Sunday afternoon at Georgetown in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. The Bulls (11-4-3) have their best record in 11 years and a 6-3-2 mark in conference play. ... Men's basketball opens its preseason Monday with a home exhibition against Eckerd College. Eckerd's roster includes 6-10 center Dale Carn, brother of women's basketball player Daleisha Carn.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 6:58pm]

    

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