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USF men's soccer hosting NCAA tournament

Despite struggling near the end of the season and missing the Big East tournament, the South Florida Bulls reached the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament for the sixth straight year. They will host the Florida Gulf Coast Azul on Thursday.

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The South Florida Bulls men's soccer team lost six of their last seven matches in Big East play and missed the conference tournament completely. Despite that, the Bulls made the NCAA Soccer Tournament for the sixth consecutive year. In addition, they will host a tournament game on Thursday against the Florida Gulf Coast Azul. The winner of that game will host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the second round.

Despite the recent struggles, the Bulls finished the season 4-2 against teams ranked in the RPI top 30, including Tulsa. Top 30 ranked teams including the St. John's Red Storm, Michigan Wolverines and SMU Mustangs all lost to the Bulls as well. To get his team ready for their first tournament game, coach George Kiefer scheduled a scrimmage last Friday against the U.S. national under-17 team to lessen the effects of a 20-day layoff.

Kiefer believes that his team is back at full strength, having been missing as many as five key players in the final month of the conference season.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.