Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Colleges: Klotz finding scoring touch for Bulls

TAMPA – Most attackers who are in a funk when it comes to finding the back of the net will tell you once you get one, things quickly turn around.

That’s certainly been the case for South Florida’s Chelsea Klotz, who after having a frustrating start to the season has scored three goals in the past four games for the Bulls.

“I was getting a little frustrated at the beginning of the year, but I told myself that once I scored, more of them were going to come,” Klotz said.

The most recent of her goals came on Sunday when she gave the Bulls victory against Stetson in overtime. Klotz had 10 shots overall, and five on goal, the last of those providing the game-winner in the 106th minute.

“(I was) relieved,” she said. “The game had gone on way too long, and I was just happy that we all came together and I got the winning goal.

“I was feeling it coming, because in the last five minutes I had taken shot after shot, and none of them were going in, so I was just praying that one of them would go in.”

The Bulls' finishing as a side appears to be rounding into form, with Noelle Pineiro’s fast start to the season being added to by Brittany Burt’s pair of recent goals. South Florida has already equaled its goals total from 2008, 13, with the bulk of its Big East schedule yet to come.

Bulls coach Denise Schilte-Brown thinks her young team’s chemistry has reached a point where they have a better understanding of what each player wants to do on the field.

“With new players playing together and finding their stride and finding each other, it just takes time,” Schilte-Brown said. “It’s a really young team, we don’t have six seniors on the field that have been playing for three years, there’s a huge difference. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be any less successful, it just may take time to click.”

PATTERSON’S PROGRESS: While Schilte-Brown didn’t want her midfielders to shirk their defensive responsibilities, she had been encouraging them to join the attack more and provide support for Klotz, Pineiro and Burt.

Freshman Taylor Patterson took those words to heart, and as a result now leads the team with four assists, including two in her last two games.

For Patterson, the biggest transition from the high school and club game has been the physicality of college soccer, but she feels as though she has adjusted her game accordingly.

“It’s a lot more physical,” Patterson said. “I think I’m getting used to it, for sure. It’s different, but I like it, I enjoy it. It makes me play better, I think.”

Schilte-Brown thinks familiarity with her teammates has helped Patterson flourish of late.

“She’s a talented kid, and brings a lot to the table,” Schilte-Brown said. “But her teammates didn’t know what to expect from her, and when the delivery of the ball would come, and when it wouldn’t come, that she likes to take players on, or likes to serve early. It’s knowing, and it’s easy to think if you’re not a soccer player or you haven’t been around the game a lot that you can pick that up in two weeks, but you can’t. It just takes time.”

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