Cougars Suffer 3-1 Setback to NNU Crusaders
USF saw its record fall to 1-8-0 (1-5-0 GNAC) while Northwest Nazarene improved to 5-2-3 with a 4-0-2 mark in the GNAC.
Both teams had early chances, but it was a perfect cross with an equally flawless finish that gave the visiting Crusaders a lead they would not relinquish. In the 12th minute, John DiLulo sent a cross to Dylan Coffee that was slotted home from just outside the box to put Northwest Nazarene in front 1-0.
A defensive miscue allowed the Crusader side to score their second goal in the 34th minute. After a shot by Jon Curry was blocked by Cougar netminder Kyle Simons, the USF defense failed the crash the goal on the rebound and Daniel Clark got a foot on the ball and tapped it into the net.
The Cougars dominated the last eight minutes of the half but could not connect, as two shots went wide of the goal. Mark Tollefsrud also had a great look but his shot was saved by NNU keeper Alferdo Ontiveros.
Two minutes into the second half, the Crusaders scored again when Jaime Torres received a through ball from Zane Meehan and lobbed it over a charging Simons to give the Crusaders a three goal cushion.
USF broke up the shutout bid in the 53rd minute when team scoring leader Brice Holiday found classmate Ryan Keohane, who juked through the box and fired the ball into the left corner of the net.
The Cougars refused to quit and pressed the Crusader back line until the horn sounded. Both Connor Shefte and Holiday tallied header shots in the final minutes but the attempts went high and wide of the mark, respectively.
USF recorded 15 shots, two on frame, while NNU finished with five shots on goal (13 total). Tollesfrud and Ashton Carlson paced the Cougar offense with four shots apiece.
Simons had another solid performance in between the pipes and finished with two saves.
USF will host fellow GNAC newcomer the University of Mary on Saturday, Oct. 6, with kickoff slated for 11 a.m.