Tampa Bay Sports Day

ROWDIES CUP: South Florida Defeats Tampa, 5-0

FILE PHOTO

TAMPA — The University of South Florida men’s soccer team took home the Rowdies Cup for the third straight year Saturday, defeating crosstown rival Tampa, 5-0.

“First and foremost, I’m really happy for the guys. I would be lying to you if I didn’t have mixed emotions because that’s my place. That’s where I did my time, I cut my teeth. I’m glad. I’m glad the way they responded, I’m glad the way they played. We had a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys. Look, it’s a long road, but we’re excited tonight,” noted USF Head coach Bob Butehorn.

The Bulls turned in another exhibition shutout but the offense once again stole the show.
 
The final five minutes were the highlight of the annual match-up, as Butehorn’s philosophy of “play fast” was on full display.

USF scored three goals in three minutes, sealing a 5-0 victory. Junior transfer Tomasz Skublak  sparked the 3-0 run in the 85th minute on header off a perfect cross from Stephen Rudderham.

Rudderham followed his assist with his own goal when he scored on a run up the left side in the 87th minute. 26 seconds later Skublak scored his second goal on a cross from Avionne Flanagan.
 
The Bulls’ defense stifled Tampa, limiting the Spartans to just four shots in the final 45 minutes. Christian Knight and Harrison Devenish-Meares split time in goal, each playing 45 minutes. Knight made four saves while Devenish-Meares added one. 
 
Ricardo Gomez and Adrian Billhardt each added a goal while Gonzalo Rodriguez and Kori Cupid each tallied an assist.

The Bulls have one final preseason exhibition prior to the season opener Aug. 28. USF will host Nova Southeastern Thursday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.
 
MATCH NOTES:  The Bulls scored four goals in the second half, the final three in the last five minutes of the match….USF outshot Tampa 9-4 in the second half…USF scored five goals against the Spartans for the first time since 2005, when the Mayors Cup transitioned into the Rowdies Cup…Prior to Saturday’s match alumni from USF and Tampa squared off in the first ever Rowdies Cup alumni match. USF won 3-2.