FRISCO, Texas (November 15, 2013) – The Rutgers men’s soccer team run in the American Athletic Conference Tournament came to an end on Friday evening with a 2-1 double overtime loss to USF at Toyota Stadium.
After both teams traded goals in the early moments of the game, the contest remained tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation. Four minutes into the second overtime, USF’s Stiven Salinas controlled the ball and sent in a shot from 22 yards out into the high right corner of the Scarlet Knight goal for the win.
Rutgers, the tournament’s eighth seed, who reached the semifinals after back-to-back wins last weekend with a 5-1 victory over Cincinnati and 1-0 upset of top-seeded and seventh ranked Louisville, ends the season at 7-11-2.
The fifth seeded Bulls meanwhile improved to 8-3-8 overall and advanced to the AAC finals to face the winner of either second seeded UConn or third seeded UCF.
Sophomore midfielder Mael Corboz (Green Brook, N.J.) registered the Scarlet Knights’ lone goal of the game and freshman goalkeeper David Greczek (Fairfield, N.J.) logged a career-high 12 saves.
Corboz wasted no time in getting Rutgers onto the scoreboard in the game’s third minute of play. After a Greczek save and kick midway into USF territory, Corboz played a volley off the Bulls’ defense into the right corner of the net.
Less than four minutes later, however, USF tied the game up at 1-1. Terry Delancy fed Edwin Moalosi at the left post. Moalosi drew out Greczek and was able to play the ball into an open net in the game’s seventh minute.
The Bulls were outshooting the Scarlet Knights 10-3 in first half action, but Greczek managed five saves to keep the score knotted at 1-1 at the intermission.
Neither team managed to find the back of the net in the following 45 minutes of regulation, but the Scarlet Knights had several chances.
With 23 minutes remaining in the second stanza, redshirt sophomore J.P. Correa (Montville, N.J.) sent a pass from the left post to Corboz about five-yard out. Corboz’s point-blank shot was deflected by USF keeper Brentton Muhammad.
Corboz had another look off a free kick five minutes later, but the Bulls’ Muhammad once again came up with the save. Sa had a header off the rebound, but the shot went wide left of the USF goal.
Senior forward Kene Eze (Sayreville, N.J.) had another RU opportunity for a score with 16 minutes remaining in regulation, but was slide tackled by Muhammad in the box to prevent the shot.
USF recorded three shots, but only one on goal, in the first overtime period.
With just under seven minutes left in the second overtime, Salinas controlled the ball and sent in a shot beyond the reach of Greczek for the game-winner.
“Obviously we are disappointed. It was a hard fought game and credit to South Florida, a very good team,” said head coach Dan Donigan. “I thought both goalies played well, in particular our goalie (Greczek) made some great saves to keep us in it. It’s never fun to go out like that, but hats off to South Florida. I wish them well in the final on Sunday.”
“The last couple of weeks we didn’t do ourselves any favors finishing as an eight seed, but go out to Louisville and play Cincinnati last Friday night, have a convincing win, turnaround the next night and knock off the number one seed in Louisville, who is a tremendous team, says a lot about the character and resiliency of our program,” added Donigan.
“South Florida has only lost three games, there’s something to be said about that,” he added. “To be able to compete with these guys toe-to-face, face-to-face, I’m very proud of our program.”
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