Kiefer seeking consistency from USF men's soccer
USF men's soccer has four wins against ranked opponents this season, including Saturday's 3-2 win against No. 8 St. John's, but coach George Kiefer said his players, ranked as high as No. 11 themselves, can't complain about their position in the national polls until they take care of business against lesser opponents.
"It's not disrespectful that we're not ranked in the top five or six. It's because of what they've done this season," Kiefer said. "They've dropped some games they shouldn't have dropped, tied some games they shouldn't have tied. We cannot look and say 'Why is this poll treating us this way?' Look right in the mirror and answer that question yourself. We still have a lot to prove. A bunch of guys who want to be respected across the country. Well, then show up every day."
The Bulls (7-2-2) have plenty of elite wins, but also have a bad loss to a Saint Louis team that is now 2-7-1, and ties to lackluster opponents like Dartmouth (4-4-2) and Providence (6-4-1). So rather than pat his team on the back for the St. John's win, Kiefer is calling his players out and challenging them to play at a high level Wednesday night at home against DePaul, which is 4-6-2 this season.
"I'm waiting for us to show up," Kiefer said. "I would really like us to respect DePaul on Wednesday and give them our A-game. Then I can start to say 'This team wants to accomplish something.' Until you do it every day, I don't know that I have that thought solid in my mind."
Kiefer has had perhaps the best success of any USF program in the Big East era, winning a Big East championship in 2008 and reaching the NCAA Elite Eight that same year. He won't answer questions about this year's postseason potential, with six matches still left in the regular season and issues still remaining for his team.
"You start looking over there, you take one on the chin," he said.
THIS AND THAT: Junior Dom Dwyer, who leads the Big East with 10 goals, celebrated his first goal Saturday with a running back flip. "I'm not a fan of the back flip, not a fan of it at all," Kiefer said. "He does have a little tweak in his back right now, so I think we're going to eliminate that. We might also tell me he's going to keep doing it, too." ... USF defensive tackles coach Kevin Patrick has a history against UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni. He has a picture in his home from his days as a Miami defensive end, showing him tackling Syracuse quarterback Marvin Graves to force a fumble and defensive touchdown in a 49-0 Hurricanes win against Pasqualoni's Orange team in 1993. ... USF volleyball, after an 0-5 start to the year, is 4-2 to open Big East play, with key matches at DePaul and Notre Dame this weekend before the Bulls return home to face Louisville (6-0) and Cincinnati (5-1) next weekend.