South Florida’s Chelsea Klotz came closest to breaking the deadlock, hitting the crossbar in overtime, but the Bulls were unable to find a way to score and settled for a 0-0 draw against Florida International in the Dafaldecker Classic at the USF Soccer Stadium on Friday night.
"Of course, it's a little bit frustrating, and the girls are a little disappointed with how they played," USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown said to GoUSFBulls.com after the game. "But at the end of the day I think it's important that they don't think about it too much, and for too long, because we have to prepare for Sunday's game, which is a really big game."
After a thunder storm forced a delay at halftime of the opening game of the tournament, a 0-0 tie between Central Florida and LSU, both USF and FIU were tentative to open the game. When the game did start to open up, USF goalkeeper Mallori Lofton-Malachi was kept more busy than FIU goalkeeper Melanie Raimo, making six saves in the first half.
Lofton-Malachi finished with 13 saves for her 16th shutout as a Bull.
The Bulls (1-1-1) came out with greater purpose in the second half, and they came close to taking the lead 14 minutes after the break. Taylor Patterson created some space for herself down the left side, and fired a cross into the penalty area, but it was just too far in front of striker Chelsea Klotz, and trickled away harmlessly.
Bahar Sansar also had a chance at a game-winner late on in regulation, but her shot after a well-worked free kick grazed the top of the crossbar.
Klotz’s chance came less than a minute into overtime, as she was able to use her speed to get in behind FIU (0-1-2), but her shot from just inside the penalty area came back off the crossbar, and was cleared.
The Bulls face LSU on Sunday at 1 p.m., with Central Florida and Florida International closing out the Classic at 3:30 p.m.