USF men's soccer takes draw with Marquette
TAMPA — There USF junior Javed Mohammed stood in the penalty box with 44 seconds left in regulation, his hands on his hips as he stared at the ball that lay perfectly still on the penalty marker.
The No. 5 Bulls, knotted in a 1-1 tie with Marquette, were on the cusp of victory as long as Mohammed could take care of the penalty kick that freshman Hasani Sinclar won when he was taken down in the box in the last minute.
A crowd of 1,452 at the USF Soccer Stadium stood as the left-footed defender approached and struck the ball with the inside of his foot and Marquette goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski dove to the left.
Mohammed’s miss sent the match into overtime, where a pesky Marquette, which has only one win this season, held USF (4-0-1) to a 1-1 tie at the USF Soccer Stadium Friday night in the Bulls’ Big East opener.
“I took the responsibility of the kick and time after time I put that in,” said Mohammed, who entered the match with a team-high four points. “This time it just didn’t go … I just didn’t take it right.”
USF and Marquette exchanged chances in overtime, with the Golden Eagles striking the post in the first overtime and the Bulls having a goal called back on a foul in the second.
“You always want to win, so I’m a little disappointed with the result but I thought the team played well and created chances,” USF coach George Kiefer said. “We had a lot of balls go across the goal that could have been touched home.”
Redshirt sophomore midfielder Bernardo Anor put the Bulls up in the first half, shaking a Marquette defender on his own and beating Pyzdrowski on his near side of the box with a low right-footed strike in the 29th minute.
Anor tested the Marquette net a couple times during the first half, including a well struck swirling free kick from nearly 25 yards out that was saved by a diving Pyzdrowski.
The Golden Eagles turned things around quickly in the second half, though. Marquette freshman Adam Lysak pulled the match level with his first goal of the season in the 56th minute, a tap-in after a Marquette shot ricocheted of the post.
USF forced a number of good saves out of Pyzdrowski in the second half, as the Bulls poured on pressure but couldn’t find the breakthrough goal.
“I think we did enough to win the game tonight,” Kiefer said. “We just didn’t, so when you do that you can still feel pretty good about the group.”
USF extends its home unbeaten streak to 21 games. The Bulls host No. 21/23 Notre Dame Sunday at 1 p.m.
(Photo of USF's Bernardo Anor by Kerry Klecic)