A late goal by Marquette’s Kerry McBride consigned South Florida’s womens soccer team to a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat on Thursday night at Valley Fields, Milwaukee.
With a little over a minute remaining, and overtime beckoning, Becky Ryan’s cross found McBride in the center of the Bulls penalty area. Her looping header found the net, dashing the Bulls' hopes of an opening victory in Big East play.
South Florida had opened the game brightly, Valorie O’Brien and Chelsea Klotz both testing Marquette goalkeeper Natalie Kulla early with shots on target. It was the Golden Eagles, though, who opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Rachel Sloan got the better of a one-on-one and drove home a shot from 20 yards out.
Marquette (6-2, 1-0 Big East) pressed for a second goal before halftime, but the Bulls (2-4-1, 0-1) held the the Golden Eagles off, and then as in the first half came out strongly after the break. That period of play was rewarded in the 63rd minute when Taylor Patterson found Klotz, who scored her first goal of the season to tie the game.
The Bulls continued to create opportunities to try and grab the lead, Rehana Murani and Noelle Pineiro each having their shots saved with a little over 10 minutes to play, but the tactical move by Marquette coach Markus Roeders to re-enter Ryan and McBride in the 83rd minute proved to be pivotal.
The Bulls will look to bounce back from a second-straight late defeat, Central Florida having also used a late goal last Sunday for a 1-0 win, as they face Stetson in DeLand on Sunday afternoon.