Oct. 5, 2011
The past week was a tough one for the Friars. The team first traveled to Tampa, Florida where they would take on the University of South Florida in their second Big East match of the season. The game kicked off at 7:30 and lucky for me, it was streamed live online so I was able to watch it. South Florida is a very difficult place to go and play. It is a lot of travel for the guys and the weather is usually a factor in the ability of visiting teams to maintain a high tempo game there. It is a new facility with a full-sized pitch of beautiful Bermuda grass. And on this night, perfect conditions for a game. The Friars came out and had a great first half. They possessed the ball well and were dangerous in the final third. This possession and creativity paid off when Greg Davis found the back of the net after a flick from Marcos Ugarte snuck underneath a sprawling USF defender. Davis calmly tucked the ball into the corner and put the Friars up 1-0.
Providence was under a lot of pressure in the second half. The defense held strong until a penalty was given to USF in the 58th minute. USF converted the penalty kick to tie the game at 1. The game would end in a 1-1 draw which was a good result for the Friars. It is not easy to come out for a night game after a long day of travel and stand up against not only the 11 players on the other team but a very hostile crowd. Taking a point away from home and winning all your home games will do well in the Big East standings.
The Friars returned to campus on Sunday afternoon. Their next game was Tuesday night, so it was another quick turnaround for them. They traveled up 95 to Boston University for a 7 pm kickoff. Boston University is also a tough place to play. The turf field is surrounded by dorms and this game has become a bit of a semi-local rivalry for the boys. The Friars had chances to score which culminated in an Ugarte strike off the post but were unable to find the back of the net. Boston University scored with under three minutes to play and the game would end 1-0.
They are now 6-3-1 heading into a Big East match on Saturday versus a tough, veteran Marquette University. This time the Friars will be at home so I am looking forward to an enthusiastic Friar team to put in a winning performance and maintain pace with the Big East leaders. Game time is 1 pm and it is a chance for the team to grab a much needed three points. From here on out, it is all Big East battles so every game is a must-win!
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