TAMPA — Jeff Attinella has rewritten USF's goalkeeping record books, and as the senior from Countryside prepares for his final regular-season home game tonight against Rutgers, he wants to see the Bulls continue his college career as long as possible.
"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. His 28 career shutouts have long surpassed the previous mark of 21, and he matched a 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 record of 0.76, set by Dan Peterson in 1981. Attinella's ownership of the goal is a complete one — he has logged every minute between the posts the past two seasons.
"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 has proved that in the past month. A blow to the head against Cincinnati had him fearing a concussion — it wasn't — then last weekend against Louisville, another collision knocked out a tooth.
Attinella understands the 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 projected as a 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."
Response: USF issued a four-page response Tuesday to the nine pages of allegations turned in by academic adviser Myrtice Landers, and an internal review of 16 allegations found no evidence of any NCAA violations.
USF's review panel included Joseph D'Antonio Jr., the Big East's senior associate commissioner for compliance and governance. The summary response said USF's athletic department showed "a culture of compliance." To read more about the response, check out tampabay.com/blogs/bulls.
This and that: The women's soccer team's NCAA Tournament resume will get a big boost if the Bulls win Sunday 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, whose 6-10 C Dale Carn is the brother of USF women's player Daleisha Carn.
Greg Auman can be reached at email@example.com and (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bulls and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.