Thursday, September 24, 2009

Colleges: USF's Lofton-Malachi, Pitt's Kulla star in goalless draw

South Florida’s Mallori Lofton-Malachi and Pittsburgh’s Natalie Kulla stole the show on Thursday night as both recorded shutouts as the Bulls and Panthers played to a 0-0 tie at Founders Field.

The lack of goals on the night did not come by way of a lack of chances as the two sides combined for 29 totals shots. Brittany Burt and Taylor Patterson each forced a pair of saves out of Kulla in the Pittsburgh net as the Panthers goalkeeper made eight saves on the night.

Lofton-Malachi wasn’t to be outdone, recording seven saves for her second shutout of the season, and 17th of her USF career.

“Tonight was a very well-played match,” Bulls coach Denise Schilte-Brown said. “I am proud of the way the team came in and battled for 110 minutes. We understand that every league game from here on out will be a difficult task and tonight proved that. Pittsburgh is tough place to come in and play. Of course we wanted to come out with a victory but a tie on the road in this conference is an acceptable outcome.”

As expected, Ashley Cuba proved the biggest scoring threat for the Panthers, taking a game-high four shots, two of which forced Lofton-Malachi into saves. But the Bulls defense was solid, holding off some late pressure by the Panthers to earn their first point in Big East play.

South Florida will return home and begin a five-game home stand on Sunday against West Virginia at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast locally on the Bright House Sports Network.

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