USF Wins Second Straight With 2-1 Victory Over Memphis

Shion Soga records a three-point night and Ben Kaplan logs his first career goal in the win.

TAMPA (Oct. 15, 2021) – The University of South Florida men’s soccer team won back-to-back matches for the first time this season, and the winning streak couldn’t come at a better time as the Bulls handed Memphis a 2-1 loss at Corbett Stadium on Friday night. South Florida improves to 4-6-1 on the year and 2-4 in the American Athletic Conference, while the Tigers, who came into Friday’s match tied for third in The American, fall to 4-7-1 overall and 3-3 on league play.

The Bulls got goals from Shion Soga (Aichi, Japan) and Ben Kaplan (Richmond Hill, Ontario), and goalkeeper Kazuna Takase (Tomoto, Japan) recorded a season-high eight saves, the second most of his collegiate career.

The Bulls got on the board first in the 25’ minute when Soga netted his second goal of the season off an assist from Segun Afolabi (Austell, Ga.). Afolabi took a long pass from Sal Mazzaferro (Toronto, Canada) at the top of the 18, boxed out his defender, and then tapped the ball to Soga who pushed his offering past Memphis goalkeeper, Colin Welsh, to put South Florida up 1-0.

Soga’s goal stood up for the remainder of the half, one that the Bulls dominated offensively, outshooting the Tigers, 10-3, and 6-3 in shots on goal.

Soga then figured into South Florida’s second goal of the night sending a perfect pass off a free-kick into the box, finding the head of Kaplan who redirected the ball into the near corner, in the 47’.

Kaplan’s goal was key – proving to be the game-winner – as Memphis got on the board three minutes later when Max Galizzi took advantage of a USF turnover and beat Takase on a breakaway to cut the Bulls lead in half.

South Florida had numerous opportunities to extend the advantage, as did Memphis to level the match, however, the Bulls’ defense and Takase being on point between the posts – including making several highlight real saves – were too much for the Tigers to overcome. 

In the end, South Florida held a slight advantage in shots over Memphis, 16-13, as the Tigers tried to hit another gear offensively in the second half, outshooting the Bulls 10-6, but were unable to capitalize. 

Scoring Summary

USF – Shion Soga (Segun Afolabi, Salvatore Mazzaferro; 24:31)

USF – Ben Kaplan (Shion Soga; 47:19)

Memphis – Max Galizzi (Unassisted; 50:14)

                               1              2              F

USF                       1              1              2                        

Memphis            0              1              1

Shots: USF 16, UM 13

Shots on Goal: USF 10, UM 9

Saves: USF 8, UM 8

Corner Kicks: USF 7, UM 4

Fouls: USF 5, UM 10

Notable

  • South Florida extends its advantage in the all-time series to 17-5-4 … The two sides will meet again at Memphis on Oct. 31.
  • Ben Kaplan’s goal marked the first of his collegiate career.
  • Kazuna Takase’s season-high eight saves are the most since he recorded a career-best 11 at No. 14 Central Florida on Feb. 20, 2021.
  • Shion Soga’s three-point night marks the second of his career, and the second of the season … He also tallied a goal and an assist in the season-opener against Jacksonville on Aug. 26.

Up Next
The Bulls close out their short two-match home stretch on Oct. 22 when No. 10/8 SMU visits Corbett Stadium.

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