TAMPA — The USF women's soccer team is the only team in the country to play at least five games and not allow a goal this season. The Bulls (4-0-1) five consecutive shutouts are a school record.
To keep the streak alive, the Bulls want to keep their luck alive. That includes specific playlists and specific rituals.
"I listen to a lot of country music, honestly," senior fullback Chyanne Dennis said after practice. "I listen to Drake, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber. I listen to Luke Combs."
"Before each half, and after every goal that we score or I get scored on, I have to touch the crossbar," said junior goalkeeper Sydney Martinez. "I have to touch the crossbar, then I have I have to start on the goal line," she continued with a grin."If I don’t, then it’s like… it’s a big issue. It’s a superstition."
Bulls head coach Denise Schilte-Brown isn't overly superstitious. She just wants to motivate her team as best she can before they take the field.
"I try to be motivating for the girls. I have a small window where I can maybe change some of their energy- from good to great," Schilte-Brown said after practice. "When they leave the locker room to step on the field, I’ve helped contribute to that energy."
Dennis says there are many moving parts that go into pulling off a string of shutouts.
"Our teamwork, our speed of reaction. Our defenders working hard. Midfielders and attackers," she explained. "Everyone doing what they should do on defense. And of course Syd, our keeper. You know, not allowing anything in the net."
Martinez is happy with the shutout streak, but she's even happier to get the chance to play every game on the schedule.
"To be able to play this year, with COVID and everything else. Just the fact that we’re able to be out here is amazing," Martinez said. "For the seniors that decided to stay, I just want to keep this going as long as possible for them.
The Bulls host rival Central Florida Sunday night at 6 P.M. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.