Even as USF was inducting a new trio into its resuscitated athletics hall of fame in a Marshall Center second-floor banquet hall Friday evening, a current Bulls athlete was in Gainesville cementing a future hall spot.
Senior Evelyne Viens’ hat trick lifted the Bulls to a 4-2 victory against Florida (11-9-1) in an NCAA Tournament opening-rounder on a damp, chilly night at Pressly Stadium. The triumph was USF’s first against the Gators in eight meetings.
The Bulls (15-4) face the winner of Saturday’s match between Washington and Seattle University in the second round, with the likely site being Tallahassee.
The victory represented an atonement for the Bulls, bypassed for the chance to serve as one of the tournament’s 32 opening-round hosts despite a top-25 RPI and AAC championship.
Viens, already the American Athletic Conference’s career points and goals leader, established a league single-season goals record with her hat trick, giving her 23 on the year. She had 10 of the Bulls’ 18 shots and scored the match’s first three goals, two of them in a three-minute span early in the second half.
Fanny Pelletier-Laroche had USF’s other goal.
The Gators got goals from Deanne Rose and Georgia Eaton-Collins.