USF MSoccer takes on UT in Rowdies Cup exhibition game

Posted: August 23, 2014 in Soccer

This is such a fun game. The Bulls, in their second game of the exhibition season (tied Saint Leo College 1 to 1 in the first exhibition game) comes against the University of Tampa in the Rowdies Cup, a yearly rivalry between the two Bay teams (game is scheduled for August 23rd at 7:30 PM at Corbett Stadium). The Bulls are 17-8-3 all time against the Spartans and were able to retake the Cup last year after dropping it in 2012. UT went 6-8-3 (3-5-1 away) last year and averaged 1.88 goals per game. 

One of the biggest headlines for this exhibition game is Tyler Blackwood. Blackwood was the MVP last year for UT and was a two time conference player of the year for the Spartans. He had 13 goals last year for them but now finds himself in the green and gold after transferring to USF. How will he play in his first game against his old team? It should be fun to watch.

One of the top players for UT is junior defender Alex Knaggs who scored 2 goals last year (27 shots) and added 5 assists, making him a big time player on the counter attacks. Junior midfielder Naysir Rodriguez had 2 goals and 2 assists last year, making him every important player on offense with the departure of Blackwood. Another weapon to watch is senior forward Craig Laird who had 1 goal and 2 assists last year. I net, the Spartans will have to replace top keeper from last year in David Niepel. Replacing him will be junior Norbert Bengyel who appeared in 1 game last year and made 1 save. The USF offense needs to take advantage of this match-up against a very inexperienced keeper as they prepare for the start of the regular season.

This is a game USF must win and needs to win. Throw out the preparation for the regular season stuff for a moment (still important) this game is a rivalry game and a game for bragging rights for a year. The Bulls have the Rowdies Cup and they should not return it anytime soon.

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